One of the benefits of Axis membership is that the website gets looked at by many organisations who are interested in working with and promoting artists.
Another benefit is that if these views turn into contacts, we provide the mechanism for those people to get in touch with artists. Each month I send hundreds of enquiries on to artists, often with my fingers crossed and a big smile, hoping that a great opportunity for one of our members is the outcome.
However, sometimes I have to filter out the stuff that doesn’t meet our terms and conditions. The usual reason for declining an enquiry is that the person is advertising a product or service. The quandary is though, whilst I know a sculptor is unlikely to want to hear about the latest paintbrushes available from China, would that same sculptor be interested in hearing from a gallery that charges to show work… And if so, how much is acceptable?
Is £2,400 for a month’s show acceptable? How about €400 for a week’s residency? So, I often have to turn down specific enquiries and also submissions to the opportunities notice board because is being charged that much really an opportunity?
Some advertisers who trawl Axis looking for artists can circumnavigate my careful perusal of their enquiries by simply going to the artist direct through their personal website. Advertisers may claim to have seen their work on Axis, thus appearing to give some credibility to their offer of ‘showing your work’ and offering a ‘solo exhibition’. But if the enquiry has not come through Axis, from an axisweb email address, then we have not sent it. And certainly we cannot ever say we endorse every enquiry that we do send on from the website. I always encourage artists to undertake their own checks and I am available to answer questions on any enquiry that I send through.
Last year I sent an enquiry from a gallery on to Julie Parker. They were interested in offering her an exhibition after having seen her work on Axis. The show, which includes Catherine Bertola, Paul Hazelton and Stephen Livingston, opened on 7 February at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Some of those exhibition opportunities that come through Axis are genuine and rewarding…
But if you get an email from a gallery, maybe in London, that excites you about the possibility of showing work, mentions Axis but isn’t clear that they will charge you a whole heap of money for their services, please do forward it on to me and then delete it….