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Letter: Why must visual artists pay to exhibit their work?

Why must visual artists pay to exhibit their work?

Michelle Marcott’s My View regarding the difficult times for visual artists exhibiting their work at fairs is exactly true. But times have not changed. In the 1970s, my partner and I traveled the eastern United States to sell pottery at craft fairs. The better fairs juried the work to be exhibited and the better fairs cost more money to enter. Expenses could approach $1,000. One must sell a lot of pots to break even. And this gets to my point.

Why do visual artists have to pay to enter exhibitions? Think of musicians. Do they have to pay to be able to perform at outdoor concerts?

It would seem more just to be able to lighten the burden placed on the visual artists who create the reason the public is drawn to the event.

It would be a welcome change for artists to see entry fees cut in half and tickets purchased by the public to enter the art/craft fair. Yes, there probably would be fewer viewers and sales to food venders, but at least the visual artists wouldn’t be so exploited.

As a retired art professor, I’ve had many conversations with students and parents about the realities of the visual art world.

William Disbro


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