Artists, like other professionals, should be paid for their work.
17 September 2013: After a year long research and consultation process Visual Artists Ireland, the all Ireland organisation representing professional visual artists, is delighted to launch the Payment Guidelines for Professional Visual Artists.
For the first time in Ireland, venues and artists will be able to properly calculate equitable levels of payments, properly budget for their programmes and for the variety of work that professional artists undertake in not for profit spaces.
As a result of our 2012/13 research and consultation process we realised that not only was there no consistency in the type of remuneration that institutions provided to artists but that in many cases no fee was paid to the artist for their participation at all. Case studies show that artists at the pinnacle of their career are expected to work at a level that no other profession would tolerate. Examples include those working for nothing or paying to have their work shown. The small minority who are being paid for their creative skills earn in the region of only €1200 Euro per annum. In any industry this is inequitable when taking into consideration the salary levels of other art professionals such as arts administrators, managers, curators and technicians who rely on visual artists for their jobs.
In follow up, VAI undertook a series of conversations with the sector to find the cause for the non-payments. Along with reasons such as insufficient funding, one of the main reasons given for non-payment was that, unlike other professions, there was no national scale of payments available for reference.
Visual Artists Ireland has collaborated with artists, organisations and our international partners to create this set of guidelines. The guidelines are based upon international best practice, and are scalable for different sizes of organisations as well as the experience/reputation of artists. They also take into consideration the different work undertaken by artists within the context of exhibitions and supporting services.
It is intended that these Guidelines will become the national go-to resource for calculating artists’ payments and become the first step towards the development of a sustainable model for best practice between artists and the institutions that contract their labour.
The Payment Guidelines for Professional Visual Artists can be found here
The Payment Guidelines for Professional Visual Artists will be launched as part of The Workers Café (11 October to 2 November), a collaborative event to mark the centenary of the 1913 Dublin Lock-Out, at Temple Bar Gallery and Studios at 6pm on 17 October 2013.
The Payment Guidelines for Professional Visual Artists were officially announced at Visual Artists Ireland’s AGM on 17 September 2013.