a-n/AIR’s Exhibition Payment Guide calls for written confirmation of exhibition and financial details in the form of a contract or letter of agreement. This quick guide offers 12 key points an agreement should cover.
To fully inform your negotiations and create a bespoke, formal arrangement you can use the Exhibition agreement within a-n’s Contracts Toolkit.
Whatever form an agreement takes, it should clearly set out an agreed schedule of work and delivery dates, the amount and dates of financial payments to be made (including the Exhibition Payment and the value of any non-cash benefits agreed).
1. Who is the agreement between?
The parties may include the artist who has made the work, the exhibiting organisation or an independent curator.
An additional agreement may be required if works are to be loaned to the exhibition from an owner (other than the artist), such as a private collector, and if works are to be consigned from a gallery representing the artist.
2. What is the purpose of this agreement?
In the case of an exhibition agreement, essentially, to hold an exhibition of particular works (new and/or existing). In outlining the arrangements each of the works to be lent should normally be listed in an Appendix.
3. What is the nature, scope and intention of the exhibition?
A short description of the intention or theme and/or title of the exhibition, including whether solo or group, and names of other exhibitors.
4. Where will the exhibition be shown?
Include venue name and address, and additional venue details if the exhibition will be split across more than one site.
If the exhibition is to tour, details of other venues, including dates (where known) should be listed in an Appendix.
5. When will the exhibition be open to the public?
Include dates, opening times, fixed closed days, and any alterations due to public holidays.
6. When will the preview take place?
Give the date and time of the preview and note who is responsible for providing refreshments, etc.
7. Who will deliver the works to the venue and return them afterwards to the artist?
Include packing, repacking and transport arrangements, and who is paying for these, as well as collection and return delivery dates to the artist. If the exhibition is touring, include these details for each venue.
8. Who is installing and de-installing the exhibition?
Identify who is responsible for what and when they will be doing it – whether the artist or gallery have sole or joint responsibility. Include details of any preparation by the gallery eg painting of walls, building temporary screens, supplying audio/visual equipment etc, and also what the artist is supplying such as display material or plinths.
9. Who is taking care of loss, damage and insurance?
It is best practice for artist and gallery to note the condition of each work prior to packing and on delivery. If the work is transported by others, a ‘condition report’ records any changes from the original condition and thus identifies who is responsible for damage or loss.
The gallery should be responsible for insuring the work from the time it is delivered to the gallery to the time it is collected or delivered back to the artist; contracts often specify that the artist is given a copy of the insurance policy or certificate. The contract should specify the insurance value of the work, and whether the work will be insured in transit (to and from the venue), or only in-situ at the venue.
10. Publicity and promotion
Include details of all publicity and marketing material to be produced by the gallery, including catalogue, preview card, leaflet, website and press release, how many copies will be given to the artist, or distributed to a list provided by the artist. It is good practice for the artist to approve any images, captions and written texts prior to distribution. List where advertisements will be placed.
11. What fees and expenses will be paid?
Detail the amount, dates and currency of financial payments to be made to the artist, including Exhibition Payment; other fees (for example for installing the work, providing a talk, workshop, or other activities); the value of any non-cash benefits agreed; and reimbursement for expenses such as travel, accommodation and subsistence while installing.
Exhibition Payment is a payment to artists which values their singular imagination and professional contribution to the success of publicly-funded exhibitions. Guidance on suitable fees are outlined in a-n/AIR’s Exhibition Payment Guide.
If new work is being commissioned for the exhibition this should be covered by a separate commission agreement and include commission fees and fees for materials and production.
12. Will work be for sale?
If work is for sale, define the sale price (including or excluding VAT, if applicable), any sale commission the gallery will charge, and when the artist will be paid.
In the case of commissioned work, public galleries will often require repayment on all or part of the production costs or a percentage of the sale price if the work is sold within an agreed period (‘recoupment’).
This is an edited version of a guide from a-n Resources. It is provided here to support the implementation of a-n/AIR’s Exhibition Payment Guide, the outcome of the Paying Artists Campaign. For full access to a-n’s member resources and other benefits go to www.a-n.co.uk/join