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galleries ... ol' beady eyes rebuts

updated fri 4 dec 98


Jeff Lawrence on thu 3 dec 98

Ray Carlton wrote:
> I also consider Clay Artists crossing the consignment
> picket line as being scabs....I am afraid
> i take a very hard line on this isssue and refuse
> to deal with any gallery that wants my work on
> many other areas in manufacturing
> are there where the retailer wants product on a sale
> before payment basis??

Dear Ray down under,

For less established artists, consignment can generate wholesale accounts
--if the stuff sells. If the stuff doesn't sell, the potter gets good
market research at the shopkeepers expense (retail space ain't free).

In nearby Santa Fe, an arty town if ever there was one, galleries always
consign -- they never buy the work they show. Is, then, every Santa Fe
artist a scab? Or is this honor solely for potters, who coagulate the crust
of the earth?

Actually, being called a scab doesn't really sting. Here in the US, unions
are shrinking steadily, due IMHO to their increasing irrelevance.
Personally, I feel no solidarity with the extortionist workers I encounter
at shows in union-ridden cities.

Your obvious success allows you your hard line and can only be made
possible by high quality work. However, I suggest you are a success savant,
ignorant of the scrabbling necessary to those less gifted. I have consigned
lots of my lights -- sure, some got ripped off, but big deal. I got
exposure and lined up regular customers thereby.

I also occupy the other side of things. I run a small store out front and
sell consigned pottery and paintings. Works for the artists and works for

Too bad you can't see the big picture from that soapbox!

Said he from atop his own...his shifty eyes darting to and fro as he
secretly fondled his ill-gotten ducats ...