Every artist I know has been asked at one time or another to donate a piece of art to some worthy cause. With so many 'causes' now-a-days it is not unusual to be approached a number of times a year.
Mist on the Water - Art Trot
Over the years I have donated over 12 of my original paintings. Some were small, some were large but I was happy to support the different causes. I think that Art Trot has been the recipient of most of my donations in the last few years. It is a very good cause in the small community of Creston BC: fund-raising for the Therapeutic Riding Society which sponsors horse riding for the physically and mentally challenged.
Slim Pickin's - Art Trot
Unfortunately, I am becoming disenchanted with the whole donation scene. Most of the artists who donate are trying to SELL their paintings - how can we compete with silent auctions where a painting with a suggested minimum bid of $200.00 ends up with a high bid of $40.00. Also, last year the Art Trot started accepting re-gifted items for their auctions. This year I was surprised to see a painting of mine that was donated to the Creston Art Club for their last Annual Fall Show and Sale door prize, on display at the Art Trot. Okay, the painting raised money for two different causes but, somehow, I still felt insulted.
Garden Bouquet - Art Club
Like others, I have heard all the hype: it's for a good cause, think of the exposure, you have plenty of paintings, well, it's just a hobby etc. etc. How many plumbers or electricians get asked to donate? Don't artists work as hard (and have as many expenses) as plumbers or lawyers?
Reaching Out - We Imagine Peace (FB)
I don't even want to know how much (or how little) my paintings have earned for the various causes because I have seen how low the bids have been. I could probably rant more about this situation but right now the question is, do I continue to support these worthy causes while
undermining my value as an artist? I am thinking more and more that a
cash donation is the route I am going to follow in the future.