Thursday, January 31, 2013

Yet More Thoughts on Legacy, a Call to Artists

Artists, recognize your own importance in helping to establish your own legacies.  Your collectors are important and help to preserve your own history, so respect and celebrate them.  Those galleries and representatives that really do good by you also help to establish your history by fostering and promoting what you do, so it behooves you not to undermine or undercut them by selling to their collectors wholesale or you risk losing those connections.  But enough of that - this post isn't about fostering relationships.

I want to note the importance of record-keeping in regards to establishing legacy.  Are your artworks clearly labeled?  Are they organized?  Are they stored in such a way that they are well-preserved?  Do you keep a record of shows and events in which your work was included?  Do you know what works were shown where?  Can someone else going through your studio identify your works later and determine what they are and how much they are valued at?

I don't expect you to know the answers to all of these questions.  Hell, I don't know all of this regarding my own work, especially what was shown where as I am so active.  But I do try to label things and keep an ongoing record what shows and events I've participated in (and even those that declined me, though that's more of a personal record to sense where I am and what is most worth pursuing later).

My artworks are my legacy, and an important part of my estate, and I realize that if something were to happen to me that my husband or other heirs would have to go through that estate and make sense of it.  They will already have enough work cut out for them in doing so, the least I can do is make sure that they know what they're looking at and trying to make sense of.  So I'm off to label some artworks and record them for posterity...

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