Artists & Charity Auctions
Art auctions are a great way to raise money for charity and is one of the popular means of fundraising for a number of non-profits. Such events also give the artists and art related businesses a lot of exposure and publicity. However, not all the fundraisers or charitable auctions have the potential to do so. The artists are essentially the ones who tend to get the short end of the stick often. However, there are a few things, which when kept in mind can help an artist gain the maximum from such events.
For your career it is best to donate to the fundraisers that are associated with and benefit visual arts organizations and hence entice the art community including collectors, gallery owners, dealers, and more. By exposing your work to this kind of audience you get an opportunity to leave an impression on and be recognized by the right people. In case you are donating to non-art related fundraiser, make sure that it is a dedicated art auction. In case it is simply an auction that has a variety of objects and art is just one of them, do not expect any exposure or career benefit out of it, as the audience would also be diluted and not necessarily from the field of art. Expect and ask for a free admission to the event you are donating to. Ensure that along with your art, the display includes your name, biodata and contact information. Ideally the auction catalogue, the fundraiser website and all other avenues wherever your artwork is showcased should have all the details of the artist incorporated in the display. Before choosing the artwork that you would be donating, do your research. Ask the organizers for information on what kind of work and which price range sells the best. Consult their archives for prior auctions and sales to build up a bidder profile. The better you research this area, the better suited work you would be able to put up and higher would be the chances for you to attract attention to your work. Just because it is a donation, do not donate the worst. The work that you donate would be a reflection of your generosity and the kind of work you are currently doing. Putting up something that is not representative of your standard will do you more harm than other as it would build the perception of either an untalented artist or someone who is simply getting rid of a bad piece through auction. While setting up the minimum opening bid and minimum selling price, be considerate. These limits should not be so high that they end up intimidating the buyers, neither should they be so low that they make no sense compared to the real worth or retail price. Having no one bid for your artwork is probably going to do you more harm than selling the artwork for a lower price. Donating to every possible cause may cause dilution and give the collectors an impression that they can buy your art at a cheaper price through auctions rather than buy them in the galleries at the full price. There are hundreds of do’s and don’ts for participating in charity auctions or fundraisers that you may keep in mind, but with just a few pointers in mind, the real fun is in being benevolent and enjoying the event.