Reading

Art Scam, Sham, or The Ultimate Vanity Gallery? Thanks but no thanks!

Previous Story

Nathan Coley at UMCP March 26

Next Story

Between East and West at Hamiltonian Gallery

A couple of weeks ago I received an unsolicited email from an arts organization I had never heard of that sounded vaguely legit: Art Fairs International.

The person who emailed me claimed to be interested in publicizing my artwork to an international audience and included a link to NY Arts Magazine at www.nyartsmagazine.com. The email-er said my work would be presented as editorial, not advertising, which sounded complimentary. I clicked on the link and checked out the publication, which includes editorial, reviews, good-looking images and artwork, and interviews with artists. At first I thought this was a good opportunity, until I got to the bottom of the email – to participate in this ‘artist package’ I had to pay $1200.00. Excuse me?

I wrote back and asked if ALL the artists featured in NY Arts Magazine had paid to be there? I was being ornery and never expected a response. To me, this seriously undermines the credibility of any magazine and makes it virtually useless to an artist – the ultimate vanity gallery publication.

Surprisingly, the person wrote back to me! His reply was this: “To answer your question as to whether all the contents that you see on NY Arts Magazine’s website are consisting of artworks by artists who have paid a fee to be listed; the answer is negative dear Ober. We, as World Art Media PR Agency, have few slots available to place the artists that we promote into this context, just as into other venues as well. The NY Arts Magazine has a %85 editorial and %15 advertising and the proposal we are giving you is for an editorial slot, dear Ober, which makes it so much more valuable.”

Oh really? I don’t think so. So parts of this magazine appear to be editorial, i.e. merit based, but are really advertising. To me, this seems dishonest. This type of ‘advertising offer’ also seems predatory towards artists who might be naive enough to believe this is their big break.

For anyone who is still interested, here’s the rest of my Publicity Proposal:

PUBLICITY PROPOSAL FOR ARTIST: CARA OBER 1) The artist Cara Ober to be featured with a 1/3 Page in the editorial Tips & Picks section of NY Arts Magazine’s upcoming (Jul/Aug/Sept 2009) issue, in print and online as well as the art publications’ 2009 Artist Directory online. Please click on the below link to see a sample page: http://worldartmedia.com/sample This feature will be posted at the NY Arts Magazine Online. The artist’s work presented on the homepage at http://www.nyartsmagazine.com for10 days with a direct hot link to the artist’s site. 2) The artist to be featured in NY Arts Annual Catalog* in Print (Oct/Nov/Dec 2009 issue). 3) The artist’s work to be featured in Art Fairs International Magazine*’s “Artists of the Month” Flash Presentation: Please check: www.artfairsinternational.com Payments: Total of $1,200 includes all of the features listed in this proposal – 4 Internet Features + 2 in Print Features – and is due upon acceptance and signing.

WAM – World Art MediaWAM, founded in 1998, is a Public Relations entity working with artists, dealers, writers, curators, collectors, galleries and museums. Significantly combining the worlds of art and business, WAM is allied with specific groups* which makes for a PR agency well positioned to find, promote and develop the individual and collective interests and needs of its clients.

At the end of the email, the arts organization was listed: World Art Media 473 Broadway, 7th floor New York, NY 10013(212) www.worldartmedia.com.

So, just for the record, if you get an email from World Art Media, from Art Fairs International Magazine, or NY Arts Magazine – international promotion of your art career sounds good, but paying for it is a bad decision. Don’t give them any money, even if you had any. As a practicing artist, you want to be recognized in legitimate publications and this always comes free of monetary compensation.

Sure, press can be hard to come by. But press that is paid for isn’t really worth anything.

Related Stories
The Seasonal Party That's So Much Fun it Should Convince You to Join the Art Space Even if You Hate Art

Last Saturday, the most recent Members Party featured live projections by Tony Rutka and beats from DJ Paul Campion. I am kicking myself for being out of town last week, but thankfully digital and film photographer Oliver Maddox captured the fun and sent some photos our way to stoke my FOMO.

As Rubys Artist Grant Applications Open, New Alumni Initiatives Announced

Moorhead has been selected from a pool of more than 170 past Ruby grantees to receive a fully-funded residency and material stipend through a new partnership with Art Omi in the Hudson Valley.

Baltimore news updates from independent & regional media

Women's History Month events at the Portrait Gallery, the Rubys return, Baltimore's mini Hip-Hop museum, the Book Festival, VisArts new fellow Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, John Waters' "Liarmouth" to feature Aubrey Plaza, with reporting from the Fishbowl, ARTnews, Banner, and other local news sources.

Wood firing is one of the biggest community events at Baltimore Clayworks and it is attended by ceramic artists from Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

“The imprints of elemental properties inherent to ceramics fired in a wood kiln often yield mesmerizing finishes; it almost adds a fourth dimension to the artworks.”