Thursday, September 29, 2011

To donate or not to donate artwork

Pieces of Claire, 2010, 16" x 13"

I decided to donate an artwork to the 10th Annual Shore Institute of Contemporary Art Fundraiser. It is my first time donating my artwork. I have had mixed feelings about making a donation. On the one hand, donating artwork may result in exposure, recognition, and a tax deduction and most likely a warm feeling for donating to a good cause. A collector might acquire a piece at the beginning of my career and remain supportive by purchasing more works or recommending me to friends. As a recent graduate student, I am motivated by the exposure and recognition that this auction might generate for its own cause and my fledging career–don’t get me wrong, I like the warm fuzzies, too.  However, I also know that one donation to a fundraiser isn’t going translate into great publicity either. A perspective patron will probably be purchasing the work for less than what he/she would pay for at a gallery. I also know that I can only deduct the cost of the materials of the artwork when I donate a piece to a non-profit organization – not the market value of the piece. Of course, the worst-case scenario is what is the work doesn’t sell at auction? Could I live with that?
With all these pros and cons, I have decided to donate an artwork to SICA. Not because of the tax deduction or great exposure, but because I believe in its mission. The Shore Institute of the Contemporary Arts (SICA) is a non-profit corporation whose purpose is to establish a uniquely stimulating and creative environment in which to experience the contemporary arts. The primary goal of the center is to increase the general publics' accessibility, awareness and appreciation of the contemporary arts in central New Jersey. And SICA is moving to Asbury Park – the coolest place on earth. If you are so inclined to make a donation to SICA, click on the hyperlink above. See you at the auction on December 3!

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