Paying Artists aims to secure payment for artists who exhibit in publicly-funded galleries.

The Paying Artists Campaign was launched in 2014 in response to the needs of a-n the Artists Information Company’s 25,000 members to secure payment for artists who exhibit in publicly-funded galleries. In that time, we have consulted nearly 2,000 individuals – artists, curators, funders, arts producers, museums, galleries, local authorities and other public commissioners. There has been great support and willingness from all corners of the sector to help shape and see guidance put into practice.

a-n’s Exhibition Payment Guide published in 2016 provides sectoral advice for establishing and agreeing exhibition payments for the benefit of the whole sector; for organisations to establish best practice, for artists to sustain their careers and so that audiences can see art that reflects the full spectrum of human experience.

The Paying Artists Working Group was established in 2018 to implement and develop the guide over the next four years.

We believe paying artists for the work they do will mean that in years to come we’ll still be able to access quality art which reflects the broadest possible spectrum of human experience.

Despite the visual arts contributing £2.3 billion gross value added to the UK economy each year and employing more than 37,000 people – 71% of artists had not received a fee for their contributions to publicly-funded exhibitions and 63% had to turn down exhibition offers from publicly-funded galleries because they couldn’t afford to work for nothing.

The first time there’s been such a major collaborative approach, the Guide represents a significant marker in the evolution of the visual arts sector and a vital step in ensuring the sustainability of the arts ecology in England, Scotland and Wales for decades to come.

a-n and its artists advisory group, AIR, has spent more than two years working and consulting with artists, major public funders and visual arts organisations, big and small, to come up with a solution: a set of suggested payments (ranging from £150 to £6,000) to cover a wide range of exhibition scenarios and guidance for implementation.