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jim collins 12-11-2013 10:28 AM

WARNING FOR SCULPTORS
 
WARNING FOR SCULPTORS.
Looks like The Owensboro Public Art Commission is up to a new scam. Here is a little history of the Owensboro Art Projects. In 2005 there was the much-touted Riverbend Sculpture Biennial 2005, Owensboro Museum of Art, Kentucky (http://www.opublicart.org) started in May 2005 with a $25.00 “Processing Fee” and after an extended deadline, finally got off the ground.

September 11th a big day for this Ohio River Town with the “Public” opening of the exhibition, a speech by Martin H. Bush and the announcement of four commissions. Only one, Denny Haskew went through the selection process.

The record reveals that the Owensboro Museum added an unannounced MASTERS OF PUBLIC ART, invitational exhibition running concurrently with the biennial. The commissions were selected from both groups, even though there was no mention of this procedure in the prospectus. None of the information given by the museum made reference to MASTERS OF PUBLIC ART. No mention in the prospectus, nothing in any fact sheets: 1-December-04 or 8-March-05. No mention in the letter of July 1, 2005 (Juror’s Results). No mention of the Masters Show in the invitation to the Preview Gala or the Public Opening Sept. 11. Not until the MEDIA RELEASE (15 Sept 2005) does the concurrent exhibition appear. One can only assume that the museum wanted to fill out the galleries with competing sculptors selected from several hundred applicants, and get the sculpture they wanted from the beginning.

I have requested that the museum remove my name from its mailing list.
SO THIS TIME THEY CALLED ME WITH A NEW INVITATION.

MY RESPONSE…STICK YOUR COMMISSION.

Art-Deco 12-12-2013 12:32 PM

Re: WARNING FOR SCULPTORS
 
Quote:

The record reveals that the Owensboro Museum added an unannounced MASTERS OF PUBLIC ART, invitational exhibition running concurrently with the biennial. The commissions were selected from both groups,
I guess I fail to see what the issue is, if they selected commissions from BOTH groups then no one lost out, it's not like someone entered this thing not knowing about the other event and that only ONE commission had been selected just from the unannounced event- leaving the participants in the first group out in the cold.

From what you describe there were two "winners", one in the first group and the other in the "unannounced" group event.

jim collins 12-13-2013 08:48 AM

Re: WARNING FOR SCULPTORS
 
Please go back and read the sequence of the project.

OK, here is the problem. The sculptors were not informed of a double exhibition or that there would be selection from any place other than the Riverbend Sculpture Biennial 2005. No problem competing with other sculptors at whatever level or professional standing, nationally or internationally. I do that weekly.
However, in this case it appears there was an arrangement, made that was not very open. That is two of the MASTERS OF PUBLIC ART were dead at the time of the competition. So, one must assume, it would be difficult for them to present a new Public Sculpture proposal for this project. Further questions are: did the estate offer the work, or was it a possible dealer of the estate or an Art Dealer who just so happened to have several pieces in inventory that could be placed in a small town along a beautiful river in Kentucky?

jim collins 12-13-2013 01:39 PM

Re: WARNING FOR SCULPTORS
 
Go to this website and see how it reads to you.

http://www.opublicart.org/sculpture/...exhibition.htm

Checkout the links and you will see why I call this a scam.

Six possible Public Sculpture commissions available for a total $380,000.00.

Score: 5 won by the unannounced Masters
1 won by the announced prospectus

Andrew Werby 12-13-2013 03:50 PM

Re: WARNING FOR SCULPTORS
 
This all seems to have happened quite a while ago - the competition was in 2005, and the sculptures chosen were all installed by 2007. If this was really a biennial event, there should have been other ones in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. If they're just getting around to announcing another show (for 2015?), then that would make it a decennial But there's nothing on the site referenced that talks about any of that.

Why did you wait 8 years to post this "Warning"? I agree that the sponsors seem to have changed their minds about choosing art from the "biennial" for purchase, but I'm sure if you read the fine print they gave themselves the right to do so (these arrangements are entirely one-sided). The $25 "processing fee" is another matter. While fees like that are unfortunately common among open invitations for art exhibitions, they are less so in solicitations for public art commissions. This is because while the sponsors of fee-based exhibits want money from a maximum number of participants, regardless of the quality of their work, if they actually are spending money to purchase a piece of art, they don't want to be limited to artists who are so desperate for recognition as to be willing to pay cash up front for the chance of it. This seems like a departure from the norm which they subsequently regretted (although not to the extent of refunding the money).

This points up the problematical nature of these fees. For an artist, it's rarely a good idea to "pay to play". Opportunities that are based on the idea that many artists will sponsor an exhibition for a few of themselves, chosen by other people according to their own undisclosed agendas, are fated by their own inner dynamics to produce shows of scant artistic merit. There are too many incentives for abuse, neglect, or outright fraud by those unscrupulous enough to see them as a good way of raising money. There are no controls on disguised lotteries like this which would ensure openness and fairness in the process, or even that a promised show will actually take place.

It's entirely common for terms and conditions on public art projects to change between the issuing of a prospectus and the awarding of a contract. Often a big competition will be held, with many artists working late nights to put together submissions, only to end up with the jury rejecting every entry and choosing something else, or deciding not to install anything at all. If all you lost was your $25 fee, and your work was exhibited, then you probably did better than many others.

Andrew Werby
Juxtamorph.com

Art-Deco 12-18-2013 10:28 PM

Re: WARNING FOR SCULPTORS
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jim collins (Post 105407)
Please go back and read the sequence of the project.

OK, here is the problem. The sculptors were not informed of a double exhibition or that there would be selection from any place other than the Riverbend Sculpture Biennial 2005.

Further questions are: did the estate offer the work, or was it a possible dealer of the estate or an Art Dealer who just so happened to have several pieces in inventory that could be placed in a small town along a beautiful river in Kentucky?

If this was 8 years ago as Andrew indicated then it's long past water fallen over the cliff and time to move on.
Yeah might be hard for a dead man to submit new work unless his family donated something.
I entered an art show years ago, called Art Show at the Dog Show featuring canine art, works were to be submitted by slides.
I spent a lot of time with it and making slides for this- which I never had any use for, the entry form as I remember did not mention the entries were all selected by one jurors' subjective choice. So basically it didn't matter how good your work was or anything, it only had to appeal to this one "juror."

All of the submitted pieces were to be for sale and if selected by the juror they would be for sale at the dog show.

I know one of the pieces I sent slides of was one of this bronze edition on marble, and it was not selected, which was their loss because I sold it right away:



Yes, I was not a happy camper when I learned a bit more about their selection process, about all you can do is move on and don't bother entering another one like that.

jim collins 12-19-2013 05:39 AM

Re: WARNING FOR SCULPTORS
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Art-Deco (Post 105427)
about all you can do is move on and don't bother entering another one like that.

That is what the WARNING is all about. Others may not know of the history of this organization with past “Public Sculpture Projects”.

Art-Deco 12-19-2013 08:37 PM

Re: WARNING FOR SCULPTORS
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jim collins (Post 105428)
That is what the WARNING is all about. Others may not know of the history of this organization with past “Public Sculpture Projects”.

But since it's been EIGHT years after this event, don't you kind of think that after all these years there are probably different people heading it, different people involved, and different policies, and that what may or may not have happened eight years ago may not even apply to today?

jim collins 12-20-2013 08:25 AM

Re: WARNING FOR SCULPTORS
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Art-Deco (Post 105429)
But since it's been EIGHT years after this event, don't you kind of think that after all these years there are probably different people heading it, different people involved, and different policies,


The Director who called me with my “special telephone invitation” stated he had been with the Owensboro Museum for twenty years, when I ask. That covers the possibility of new people and new projects.

Art-Deco 12-20-2013 02:46 PM

Re: WARNING FOR SCULPTORS
 
Well, if you feel there is fraud or fraudulent practices going on, report them to the appropriate agencies for review and provide them with all of the documentation, evidence, proof etc.
If they are non-profit or connected to one they come under additional rules and scruitiny.

jim collins 12-21-2013 07:35 AM

Re: WARNING FOR SCULPTORS
 
You really must be kidding! My position here is not to be the “SCULPTURE POLICE”. Remember the old statement. “People get the art they deserve.” Now we can add “Sculptors get the shows they deserve.”

Art-Deco 12-21-2013 11:58 PM

Re: WARNING FOR SCULPTORS
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by jim collins (Post 105434)
You really must be kidding! My position here is not to be the “SCULPTURE POLICE”. Remember the old statement. “People get the art they deserve.” Now we can add “Sculptors get the shows they deserve.”

If this issue was important enough for you to post a warning here about it, I would think you would have been motivated enough with the information, evidence etc that you have- to go and make better use of it by reporting what you have to the appropriate agencies so the situation is either corrected, or they are shut down.

I've reported a non-profit to their state agencies for fraudulently soliciting and accepting donations from the public when their non-profit status had been SUSPENDED over 2 years prior and they knew it.
Their web site also misled visitors into believing their donations would be tax deductable, in addition the for-profit business which took over this non-profit was improperly using resources in the non-profit to advertise sales for their for-profit business.
Surely if I can figure out how to gather the evidence, locate the agencies to send it to and drop it in their laps to investigate and do with it as they will, you can too.

marblecutter 01-05-2014 09:38 AM

Re: WARNING FOR SCULPTORS
 
1 Attachment(s)
I no longer apply to any competition that requires a fee. It becomes a lottery. The award money comes from the entries. Sculpture is not a competitive sport.
If they like your work they can buy it out right without putting it up for jury.
at all costs, avoid competitions with entry fees.


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