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everyone on clayart is proud to be a fine artist!(long)

updated sun 20 sep 09


Vince Pitelka on fri 18 sep 09

Terrance wrote:
"Is being a member of a professional artist association necessary? I believ=
a member voice will become loud because it is supported by a professional
body that works to promote the social and economical well being of the
member artists."

Hi Terrance,
Thanks for such an informative and well-stated post. The one point I wish
to make is that the above is true only if an artist needs a professional
organization. Many do not. The Tennessee Association of Craft Artists
(TACA) is a powerful force for fine craft in Tennessee, and runs all sorts
of services for craftspeople, educational programs, and several excellent
juried craft fairs in Nashville. Such organizations are very beneficial to
many artists, but involvement in such organizations is by no means
absolutely necessary for someone to be an artist and to be successful. Art
is such an individual thing, and each artist must seek his/her own path to
personal fulfillment and/or financial success, depending on their objective=
and the kind of art they make. It is important to point out that a person
can be an artist and never show their work to a single other person. Art i=
not validated by the gallery, the press, or the marketplace. Art is
validated by the individual making art. That's the beginning of it all, an=
without that there is no art.
- Vince

Vince Pitelka
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Tech University;

Terrance on fri 18 sep 09

I have been reading the voices on this subject, trying to figure out what=
people are trying define.=3D20=3D20=3D20

I believe that in order to find our place in the field of art we must loo=
k at the=3D20
subject in terms of art with a capital =3D93A=3D94 and art with a small =3D=
. When I=3D20
say I am an artist, I say it under the capital A. When I say I am a scul=
or a potter or a painter or a chef or a writer, I am talking about my art=
profession using the small =3D93a=3D94. Using the small =3D93a=3D94 does =
not be=3D
little the action=3D20
that I perform; it just means that I am practicing that field of art at t=
time. I use the term Artist with the capital =3D93A=3D94 when I tell peopl=
e =3D
what I do=3D20
for a living in general or when I am filling out documents that ask my=3D20=


Furthermore, in order to be recognized as someone who works as an artist =
both the Capital =3D93A=3D94 and the small =3D93a=3D94 one need only to pro=
to the=3D20
public that they are practicing the art form. But lets not forget that a=
can call themselves and artist. Some are =3D93con artists=3D94 others are =
artists=3D94. Therefore one should do more to ensure the public understand=
s that=3D20
they are a practicing visual artist.

Therefore, In order to be recognized by the public body as a professional=
practicing visual artist/craftsman/painter ect. One should belong to a=3D20=

professional organization promoting the art form that they are practicing=

Many professional organizations have gained their recognition by creating=
form of governing body. This body sets out the rules and regulations th=
support the definition criteria that must be met, in order to become a ce=
member in the organization and thus use the organization=3D92s seal or mark=
apply towards their daily practice of their profession. When the public =
this seal they know that certain criteria had to be met in order to use t=

In Quebec, (which, by the way Lis, is in eastern Canada), people working =
the art field have many professional organizations that promote their act=
Potters in Quebec, for example, can belong to the provincial visual artis=
organization or the provincial craft organization or both. Nevertheless =
in order=3D20
to belong to the professional organizations they must meet certain criter=

Below is the definition of a visual artist wishing to become a member of=3D=

the =3D93Regroupement des artistes en art visuel du Qu=3DE9bec. It is alig=
d with the=3D20
Province of Quebec=3D92s definition of professional artist. There are simi=
lar criteria=3D20
for the Quebec Craft Council.

1. Work in one or more of the following disciplines:
=3DB7=3D09Video Art=3D20
=3DB7=3D09Textile Arts=3D20
=3DB7=3D09Another visual arts discipline
2. Be a permanent resident of Qu=3DE9bec

3. Meet the four criteria of professionalism as defined by the Act Respec=
the Professional Status of Artists in the Visual Arts, Arts and Crafts an=
Literature, and their Contracts with Promoters (R.S.Q., S-32.01), as list=

You are considered to be a professional artist if:=3D20
=3DB7=3D09You declare yourself to be a professional artist;=3D20
=3DB7=3D09You produce works on your own behalf;=3D20
=3DB7=3D09Your works are exhibited, produced, published, presented in publi=
c =3D
marketed by a presenter;=3D20
=3DB7=3D09You have been recognized by your peers as a professional artist b=

way of an honourable mention, an award, a prize, a scholarship, an=3D20
appointment to an adjudication committee or an invitation to participate =
in a=3D20
salon of by any other similar means.=3D20

The important point to note in this definition is that anyone can declare=
himself or herself to be a professional artist. We do not need to have th=
at title=3D20
assigned by any one or any organization. But to be recognized as a credi=
professional artist one must meet the other three criteria as well. The =
means that you produce art to make money from it. The third is self-
explanatory and of course the last is the one that really counts.=3D20

Is this definition necessary? In Quebec it means using the title =3D93pro=
artist=3D94 as your profession on your tax returns and will in turn; allow =
treatment as a business, allow deductions for copyright revenue, allow th=
e use=3D20
of sales tax exemptions rules and most importantly allows you to particip=
ate in=3D20
many government programs and grant competitions.

Is being a member of a professional artist association necessary? I belie=
ve so;=3D20
a member voice will become loud because it is supported by a professional=
body that works to promote the social and economical well being of the=3D20=

member artists.=3D20=3D20

Another point in passing is that the organizations that I mentioned above=
, also=3D20
had to meet certain criteria established by the government at all levels,=
order to speak for the members.=3D20

That is why I am proud to be a fine artist."=3D20=3D20

I know that the government recognizes my creativity and artistic talent a=
the government speaks for the people.