studioNotes Blog
Thursday, February 24, 2005
  George Bush's Favorite Painting and several other sorces report that George Bush's favorite painting is The Rio Grande. He referred to it in the third presidential "debate" with John Kerry thusly:

In the Oval Office, there's a painting by a friend of Laura and mine named -- by Tom Lea. And it's a West Texas painting, a painting of a mountain scene.

And he said this about it.

He said, "Sarah and I live on the east side of the mountain. It's the sunrise side, not the sunset side. It's the side to see the day that is coming, not to see the day that is gone. "

I love the optimism in that painting, because that's how I feel about America . . .

--submitted by Fain Hancock 

Tiltfactor is a think tank-research group specializing in cutting edge humanistic, artistic, and scientific approaches to the intersection of computer gaming, cultural studies, and gender study. The group has affiliations with artists, scientists, and other laboratories in the UK, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canada, and across the United States. Current collaborations include working with NYU, SUNY Buffalo, and independent researchers and artists. 
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Ione Citrin explains on her site that she does “diverse oil and watercolor paintings, bronze sculptures, found object collages and mixed media assemblages” and that "When I paint, I dip my brush in my soul...” She is extremely active as an exhibitor, having shown her work in more than 40 venues in the last three years, mostly in California, but also Philadelphia and New York. 
  Artists and Privacy

Artists may be particularly sensitive to issues of privacy, especially if they or their friends have lifestyles or political beliefs that are outside the mainstream. In addition, as Victor Navasky said, “Artists are almost always the first targets in times of trouble.” Because of this, readers might want to know about the ACLU's Pizza program, pointed out to us by Brooklyn artist and designer Carol A. Durham alerted us to. The site says: “The government and corporations are aggressively collecting information about your personal life and your habits. They want to track your purchases, your medical records, and even your relationships. The Bush Administration's policies, coupled with invasive new technologies, could eliminate your right to privacy completely. Please help us protect our privacy rights and prevent the Total Surveillance Society.”

DUNS Numbers
The effort of the Americans for the Arts to try to get “all the nation's artists to secure a DUNS number”appears to play into this quest for the categorization and tracking of everyone. DUNS stands for “data universal numbering system.” These numbers are maintained by Dun and Bradstreet's (D&B), a company that provides business information for credit, marketing, and purchasing decisions. The unique 9-digit numbers are used by businesses and the federal government to keep track of more than 70 million businesses and individuals world-wide.

Americans for the Arts claims “there are two reasons that it is important for all of the nation’s artists to secure a DUNS number. First, the federal government (including the National Endowment for the Arts) has recently adopted a new policy that requires organizations to provide a DUNS number as part of their grant applications and proposals, and many state and local arts agencies are already doing the same. Second, Americans for the Arts has developed a powerful geo-political advocacy tool—the Creative Industries project—that uses the DUNS number to identify each for-profit and nonprofit arts-related business and artist in the country. The more accurate the information is, the more successful our combined efforts to increase public awareness of the scope of the U.S. arts industry will be.” The studioNOTES e-Journal believes that it makes some sense for non-profit organizations to have DUN numbers, but little sense for individual artists unless they operate mainly as businesses, such as studios engaged full time in public art commissions. As to the idea that it would help identify each artist in the country for purposes of geo-political advocacy, that seems an impossible goal which is likely to result in an “official” number of artists -- the ones who have DUNS numbers -- that would be far less than the actual number of artists. Unless it were made mandatory, of course, which would involve some sort of enforcement mechanism like your not being able to sell or exhibit work unless you had a DUNS number. Which means art cops to check on such things and issue citations or make arrests.

In case it is of interest, there several thousand categories in D&B's list of arts-related businesses, your category would probably be: 89990102, Artist's studio. This is in addition to your DUNS number. 
  Copyright Brush Up

Beginners and laypersons often do not realize that when a work of art is sold, the buyer gets to own *only* the physical item, not the image itself. That means, unless the artist has specifically sold reproduction rights, the buyer cannot make copies or use the image on a book jacket, in a brochure or advertisement, or for any purpose at all, except for certain specific purposes as in a review.

If you discover that someone has reproduced your work without permission, it's usually best to treat that person as though he or she did it out of ignorance, unless evidence to the contrary is overwhelming. Contact the person (a letter is usually best) and explain the law in simple terms, as above and state your price for permission to reproduce the image. You should have a policy, perhaps formulated just because of the occasion, and it should cover the limits of the use, such as one-time only on a book jacket, etc. In essence, your attitude should be that of a store manager who spots someone inadvertently walking out of a high-end store with merchandise: remind them that they forgot to pay for it and the price is $XX. If you handle it diplomatically and professionally, not only will you get paid, but you may have a collector for life. If you handle it too brusquely, you may alienate the person and decrease your chances of getting paid. If you wimp out, though, and make a half hearted effort (like sending an invoice without a polite explanation) or do nothing, you will mark yourself as unprofessional and as someone who can be stepped on again. You will also have perpetuated the myth that artists don't need to be paid for their work.

If your polite and reasonable approach fails, however, you may want to call in a lawyer. Make sure you get one familiar with such issues -- not all are; your local Lawyers for the Arts Program may have someone on tap. (See list on Artists Help Network or the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts National Directory.) 
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
  Shipping Supplies

I have found Uline to have an excellent range of shipping supplies at very reasonable prices. They have offices in the major metropolitan areas so that delivery can be extraordinarily swift when they use their favorite local services. I ordered some sealing labels and bags online on a Monday at about 5 PM and they were delivered the next day at 10:30 AM. 
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Don Gray reports, “I'm currently re-exploring my roots in traditional realist painting, but the site also has examples of my contemporary work.” He has been painting professionally for more than 30 years and has also illustrated more than 20 books. He has exhibited throughout the US -- more than a dozen solo shows and several dozen group shows -- and his work is in the collections of University of Washington Medical Center, State of Oregon, Bank of America and Microsoft Corporation, to name a few. In his artist's statement, he writes ”I don't require that my paintings makes 'sense” any more than I'd require a tree or a sunset to make 'sense.' I've grown comfortable with ambiguity. My paintings are like little rhetorical questions . . .” He is also a muralist whose public works are in more than 16 locations from Pennsylvania to Washington state. 
  Public Art on Campus

Iowa State University boast the largest collection of campus public art in the US, over 2000 pieces. 
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Amparo Jelsma,, is a photographer based in Playa del Rey, CA. She has a BFA in photography from CSU, Fullerton and has exhibited at the Irvine Fine Arts Center and elsewhere in California. Her work has also been seen is such publications as JPG Magazine
Art information from the publishers of studioNOTES, the journal for working artists of all styles, media and geographic locations. Includes practical stuff like art opportunities, marketing and promotion for artists, as well as "deeper" stuff like the role of art, the worth of art history, and the use or non-use of mind-altering techniques and substances. Some humor, quotes, oddities and other material for your mental collage.

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