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Re: Purchasing student work

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From: Judie (judiej50_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Mar 12 2002 - 03:33:07 PST


This always presents many different opinions. What I've found that works
for me is once or twice a year the Art Club has an art show/sale and
students can submit as much work as they want to sell. The Art Club gets a
25% commission
(in the real world, galleries get 50%) which is used to defray Art Club
expenses and most of it is donated to charity (or our school's scholarship
fund). The materials are supplied by the school, or they can bring in work
they have done outside of school.

The Parents' Council asks for student work to sell at their annual
fundraiser event. I asked students to donate a piece that was painted in
the theme of the fund raiser event, which we spent two weeks on in class,
materials came out of my school classroom budget, and the students got a
grade for the project (most were 100, I think.) Several parents inquired
about buying their students' work, and they were asked to make a donation
to the Parents' Council for the piece --the money comes back into the
classrooms throughout the school, so the students eventually benefit from
these sales

As far as pricing the work, I usually suggest starting at $50. Many times,
the work is in a silent auction, and if a minimum bid is set, then you at
least get that price, and usually it goes up from there. This seems a
little low, but I remind the students that if they price it too high, the
liklihood of selling it is reduced. Depends on how much they want to sell
it. Put a higher price on it if you really want to keep it. Usually
artists starting out have lower prices (or are expected to, then increase
with experience, etc.)

As a professional artist, I know the bitter feelings I have when asked over
and over to "donate" work for worthwhile fundraisers. The buyers get to
take a tax deduction, the artists can deduct only the cost of materials. I
usually set an annual limit and when I reach that, no more freebies. It
would be nice if our culture valued art in the same way they value
atheletic events !!!!!$@@$<$$$%#@

Recently, Dale Chilhuly had an exhibition in Atlanta. I overheard many
comments of disgust about his high prices. In my humble opinion---hats off
to one of the few artists who have paid their dues, broken through the
barriers and is able to command the prices he does.

Judie

>I have a situation that I am a bit confused about how to handle. I thought
>I would ask all the high school teachers on the list because perhaps some of
>you had experience with this. My Printmaking class did some incredible
>finger printed portraits of the faculty a la Chuck Close. I finally got
>them matted and hung today. Apparently the teachers in the building are so
>excited and want to buy the work. I don't know how to handle this.
>Considering that the students used school materials to create these
>portraits, is it okay to allow them to sell them to the teachers? If so,
>should the students get all the money, part of the money or should the art
>dept. get all the money or part of the money to buy more materials? Or
>should the students give the portraits to the teachers? I want to handle
>this professionally and fairly but I'm not sure what to do. Do you have any
>advice for me?
>Marian

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