Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Another first

What was Creative New Zealand thinking about when it promoted the Empire Art Award on its web site yesterday? It sounds ok at first blush. “The Empire Arts National Youth Art Award is to be New Zealand's premiere art award for artists under the age of 27. This is to be an annual event beginning in 2008 attracting significant national and local publicity and media attention.” But did no-one from CNZ check out who was running it or what the conditions of entry are? It turns out the Empire Award is the child of the Empire Gallery in Cambridge, a dealer gallery whose artists include Kate Butchett, Jane Finch, Delys Lodge, Elaine Williams, Garry Moore and Gillian Bigham. This “premiere art award” is worth $2000 (inclusive of any taxes) or $1990 when you deduct the “non-refundable” $10 entry fee. Still you might get to sell your work because it’s a condition of entry that “all works must be for sale” and don’t forget the Empire Gallery get 40 percent commission on all sales because “all sales will be negotiated through the Empire Gallery”. Freight to and from the gallery? You’ve got it, “responsibility of the artist.”