Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Good Causes

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.



  1. I can certainly understand your point of view, Val, and the reasoning behind it. I do, however, donate a large number of paintings each year so that all the organizations who are so struggling to make ends meet can benefit from my output. I feel this is one way in which I can return something to the community that has so made me welcome; for me it's an alternative to other forms of volunteering ('cause you KNOW I'd rather be teaching or painting!).

    Thanks for this question; it made me much clearer on the 'Why?'!

    1. Glad to help Win. It is nice to have another point of view.

  2. That's a good point Val, my observation living here in the Creston Valley has been similar. For some reason 'most' not all people seem to feel prices for many things should be less than in the city. I'm not sure why people think work on any level should be less than the going rate.? If we could all benefit from lower prices then I could see it. But it's those people that are still living in the 70's that feel they somehow should not have to pay the price that we all do. It is one of my pet peeve's.

    1. Thanks for the comment Shelly. I think some people are living in the 50's based on what they want to pay for art - lol. I have had city people through my gallery who always comment on how low my prices are and locals who always want a deal - can't please everyone!