Thursday, June 08, 2006

More on the Art Bank


It seems to have been the topic of conversation this week. On Monday I wrote about it, on Tuesday I followed up. Now it is late on Thursday, and I have more information. I emailed Carole Breton of the Canada Council and see very graciously responded over and beyond what I expected.

First off, This is what the piece by Mr. Fafard looks like.

Second off, the artists set their prices, and the Art Bank does not negotiate. Which then means to me, that Canadian artists don't value their own work all that much, which makes me think that things are in an even worse state of affairs than if it was merely a big faceless governmental monolith taking advantage of creators.

Thirdly, the highest price paid by the Art Bank was $22,500. The lowest price paid was $200 (five separate times).

And lastly, Ms. Breton took great pains to explain to me that it was not taxpayers money (a throw away line I use indiscriminately anytime any government spends money) that was being used to purchase the works. As she put it, 'the Art Banks rents the works to private companies and government agencies. When the profit is high enough, the Art Bank calls for submissions and then a special committee chooses the works to be bought by the Art Bank. The profits fluctuate every year and that's why the purchases are not done on a regular basis.' I'd really like to thank her for her prompt and clear responses.

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