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strange exhibition terms

updated mon 30 jun 97


Vince Pitelka on sat 31 may 97

At the Craft Center we just received prospectii (is that a word??) for the
"1997 Mid-States Craft Exhibition" at the Evansville Museum of Arts and
Science in Evansville, Il. They are offering some good purchase awards, but
there is one stipulation in the prospectus that is very disturbing. In a
section with the heading "Agreement" it reads "Submission of a work of art
to this exhibition shal be understood to indicate an agreement on the part
of the entrant, with all conditions set forth, including permission for
reproduction in general publications and newspapers. All purshase award
winners will be asked to relinquish all copyrights to their work. Each
artist is asked to sign a statement on the application to this effect." But
on the application the only statement to be signed says "I have read the
rules for the Mid-States Craft Exhibition and will abide by them."

I called the Evansville Museum, and they assured me that all this means is
that the artist gives the Museum or the person funding the purchase award
the right to publish images of the work at any time in the future. Such an
agreement is not at all uncommon. But that is not what the agreement says
at all!! It can be read different ways, and if held to the letter of the
law, you would be giving others the right to reproduce your work, or
possibly even to copyright the work themselves, preventing you from making
the same work in the future..

I know that this sounds a little paranoid. I do not really believe that the
Evansville Museum is out to rip off your work, but they are guilty of having
worded this prospectus very poorly. If any of you decide to enter this
exhibition, I suggest that you sign the application with the written
stipulation that this applies ONLY to photographic reproduction of your work.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka -
Phone - home 615/597-5376, work 615/597-6801
Appalachian Center for Crafts
1560 Craft Center Drive, Smithville TN 37166

Karl P. Platt on mon 2 jun 97

I would agree that Vince is correct in his interpretation of the
contract. It would be appropriate to modify it using language that gives
the Art Center and the others specifically named the right to use an
_image_ of the work for their promotional purposes. This is reasonable
as it also facilitates the publicity aims of the artist -- provided
they're not taking ad space in Shaved Beetle Review.