Most art shows are financed by the sale of art, which should in theory cover the cost of the exhibition, profit for the gallery, and hopefully payment for the artist. The result is too often an art world that is sales-oriented and that caters to a small class of cognoscenti and a smaller group of collectors.
Since this is a community art project, we wanted to remove all barriers between art and the local people who are both the subject and the audience and money is perhaps the biggest one, so we took for-profit selling out of the picture and instead looked to the community (local and extended) itself for help.
By contributing to this campaign, you are supporting art that is in the community and for the community—all of it. We succeeded beyond our expectations and the project was widely acclaimed. Many or most participants had never seen themselves as participants in the arts before.
Monticello Road has never been about selling work—although the work is available on a pay-what-you-can basis, and every kickstarter contributor gets something as well. The show took place in a non-profit space and I came to peace some time ago with not getting paid, as have the many volunteers who contributed their time as well.
Still, even though we have been frugal and begged, bartered, and borrowed as much as possible it has been very costly and we are hoping to recover some—not all, mind you—of the costs.
Here are some specific direct costs the campaign will cover:
$664 for outreach including over 2500 postcards, distributed throughout the neighborhood and beyond, that are now hanging on fridges, cubicle walls, and under glass on coffee tables. I’ve been in many neighborhood living rooms and I’ve always seen them there.
$320 for food and refreshments at five public events, including a very lavish opening, all free of charge, open to the public and full of people who don’t usually go to galleries.
$875 for printing and preparing the exhibition itself. A very low price for such a comprehensive show
$370 for the work prints that were intermediate steps for the exhibition prints
$350 for the four public photo booths, at which every participant received a free print
$150 materials for various prints given away to subjects and those unable to pay
$320 (approx) admin cost of kickstarter campaign
$1000+ anticipated cost of rewards
That’s where I came up with the $4000 figure. You don’t notice a category in there for artist fee. If we exceed the $4K goal we will first pay our contributors (including my intern) and put the rest toward the next project, which looks like it will be even cooler.
More on that soon…