CARFAC supports artists

The latest newsletter CALENDAR from CARFAC arrived in my mailbox last week. Its arrival reminded me how important this organization is to Canadian artists.

The first article, “A Living Income for Artists: a proposal for a significant increase in artists’ fees” is well worth reading. “It was just over 35 years ago that the first artists’ fees were paid for the public exhibition and use of an artwork. While fees are a welcome addition, they are still not considered to be a significant source of an artist’s income. Many artists still use their fee to help offset the costs of the exhibition for which they are being paid. It would seem that it’s time that fees began to be considered a significant source of income and formed the basis of a ‘Living Income for Artists’.”

Read all about this and more in the Calendar: Download pdf file

There’s lots more interesting reading: reports about CARCC’s (the copyright collective) move to Ottawa, and from the provincial affiliates, other artists’ organizations, plus lots of membership information.

And, in the “From our ARTchives” column (page 14) is an article written by Jane Martin, “Why Does It Make a Difference? Reactions, Myths and Reality”, referring back to one published in Feb.1981 that discusses how women artists were funded substantially less than their male peers. “…in this country the visual arts field is dominated by men”.

In this follow-up report 23 years later: “2004 Update: Has it Made a Difference?”, some improvement was noted. For example, the Art Bank jury “bought more works by women than by men. But when we did the math, we saw that most of the money was going to male artists who were a whole lot less timid when it came to pricing their work. […] it’s important to note that what I was arguing for in the “Why Does It Make A Difference?” section was not the substitution of a female boss bunch for the reigning male one, but for a lot of different ways of looking at art, of doing art, for the little streams of excellent and exciting work. I was challenging the incestuousness of the jury and recipient pool, the idea that there was a Mainstream, and that it was Excellent. While back then, most of the Big Fish in the pool were male; most male artists weren’t in the pool with the big fish either.”

April 12, 2004 in Being an Artist by Marja-Leena