Sunday, September 30, 2007

More About Copyright - Art and Law

Additional resources for visual artists about copyright and its protections include:

Copyright in Visual Arts – Franklin Pierce Law Center - Thomas G. Field, Jr.

Copyright Registration for Works of the Visual Arts - U. S. Copyright Center

Visual Artists Rights Act – Ivan Hoffman, B.A., J.D. - These rights exist independent of the artist’s rights of copyright

Artists Guide to the Visual Artists Rights Act: Understanding Your (Limited) Moral Rights - Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts/St. Louis

The Arts and the Law/Florida - This is a 255-page legal guide available in print for $20 from the Pinellas County Cultural Affairs Dept.
"This publication is for artists and arts organizations
and contains information such as copyright,
consignment and sales, contracts, representation,
starting and running a business, Florida Statutes
affecting the arts, and a listing of state and national
resources. It provides sample forms (government,
agreements, contracts, model releases) and numerous
sections dealing with incorporation of nonprofit and for
profit businesses, liability, partnerships, leases, use of
fictitious names, and much more."
Ringgold v. Black Entertainment Television, Inc. – An episode of the sitcom, “ROC” used a poster of Faith Ringgold’s “Church Picnic Story Quilt” as a set decoration. She sued for violation of her copyright.

Case Summary:
Court Opinion:

Friday, September 28, 2007

Dottie Moore Interviews Hollis Chatelain

"Precious Water"
85" x 77"
The work of Hollis Chatelain is evocative and emotional, mesmerizing by its beauty – compelling in its message.
Working deeply, Hollis Chatelain infuses her art with power and meaning speaking elegantly and eloquently about many difficult and pervasive social, political and environmental issues that occur worldwide.
In her work, Hollis also provides us with a glimpse into the richness and traditions of other cultures, evoking a sense in the viewer of the inherent dignity and worth of each person portrayed.
A 36-minute audio interview of Hollis Chatelain by Dottie Moore on the LadybugLive! Internet Radio website can be accessed via:
To learn more about Hollis Chatelain and
to view more of her art, visit her website:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

So What…About Copyright? What Artists Need to Know About Copyright and Trademarks: For Filmmakers, Visual Artists and Writers

This 116 page free e-book addresses the needs of artists and is written in plain and understandable English. It includes a series of essays on the basics of copyright, trademark, fair use, public domain and has chapters written specifically for visual artists, writers and filmmakers.

Read it online and/or print it out:

If you prefer to have a printed version, one can be ordered for $10 from:
This resource is provided by Public Knowledge,
a Washington, DC based advocacy group, and is edited by:
David Bollier, Gigi Bradford, Laurie Racine and Gigi B. Sohn

Monday, September 24, 2007

Protect Your Most Valuable Asset – YOUR NAME

I’ve always thought that my name, Gwen (Gwendolyn) Magee was not that common, and foolishly thought that the likelihood of there being another artist with that name was not great. Therefore I wasn’t concerned about securing a domain in my name prior to my readiness to have a website. So I was very fortunate (translation – “I was damn lucky”) that the domain was still available when I finally got around to having a website developed earlier this year. Since then, I have discovered that currently there is not one, but two other professional artists named Gwen Magee – one is a painter and the other is a ceramist.

KEY POINT: If you have not already done so, secure your domain name even if you are not yet ready to develop a website.

My last name (Magee) is misspelled frequently, even by people who know me well. It is very common for me to receive mail addressed to “McGee or Mcgee.” Because of this, I was aware that in addition to the domain name, I would also need to purchase the domain name of and have it point to the primary site. In other words, so that if someone typed, they would automatically be taken to It has recently come to my attention that this was a much wiser decision than I ever envisioned.

Several days ago I was contacted by someone who was sure I was the person she was looking for – it took several messages back and forth and some serious internet searching to clear up the confusion. I initially thought she was seeking textile artist Gwen Aqui (the names do sound a lot alike and we are both African American). But it turned out that she was trying to contact a Gwen McGee (also a textile artist; also African American – what were the odds of that?).

KEY POINT: If you have a name that is commonly misspelled, purchase those domain name variations as well.

You can't afford to not have control of your own identity. I know that professionally, I have to do everything that I can to ensure that anyone trying to find "me" is able to do so. And professionally, I can't afford to have my art confused with that of someone else, nor can I afford to have those trying to find me confused about what I create. Frankly, I prefer to be put into the position of helping someone who contacts me in error, than to “hope” that another person will be willing to do the same for me.

KEY POINT: To the fullest extent possible, you need to be in control of what is associated with your name.

Have you ever typed in what seemed to be a perfectly innocuous web address and found yourself redirected to a porn site? I know it has happened to me before (although thankfully not in the past couple of years). The chance that this would happen to a domain name similar to mine is very slight – but frankly it’s a risk I don’t want to take.

More risky is the chance that a domain with a name similar to mine could be used as someone’s personal site to post pictures of their grandbabies, their cats, their dogs, or to coordinate a family reunion. This obviously is less offensive than the porn site scenario, but it still is problematic from a professional perspective.

It is true that you will never be able to purchase (even if you can afford it) each and every conceivable variation of your name – nor am I suggesting that it is necessary to try to do so. However, in this era of expanded and global communication, artists have a critical need to do everything possible to protect what is probably their most precious intellectual property - their identity.

The following post to a blog gives some good advice to artists about choosing a name for their website:
Domain Name Rules for Artists

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Free Studio Spaces in New York City

The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation has a program that grants free studio space in New York city to 17 visual artists each year. Key program points:

1. Residency requirement is U S citizenship or permanent residency (students are not eligible)

2. Only studio space is provided - funds for living expenses, equipment & materials not included - artists are not permitted to live in their studio space

3. Artists who currently have 400 sq feet or more of studio space in NYC not eligible

4. Studio space is provided for a period of up to one (1) year

5. Studio space is to be used for creation of new works of art

6. Studios are located at 20 Jay Street

7. Application Deadline: January 31, 2008 (occupancy begins the month of September)

To apply, contact:

The Space Program
The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation
830 North Tejon Street, Suite 120
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Telephone: 719-635-3220

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Visual Artist's Guide to Estate Planning

This free 183 page document (+17 additional appendices) is the outcome of a joint conference ("On the Needs of Visual Artists: A Roundtable 2001") by the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation and the Julia Rothschild Foundation

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Richard Florsheim Art Fund

This is a fund whose purpose is “…to address the dilemma faced by senior American artists of merit whose public recognition may have lessened, but who continue to be productive working artists. Essentially the Fund intents to assist living American artists of established reputation who are over the age of sixty. The Fund accepts applications from individual artists and from institutions.”

Individual artist support is available for the partial funding of exhibitions and for exhibition catalogs. Nonprofit support is available for the collection, purchase and exhibition of works by senior American artists.

Grant amounts generally range from $1,000 - $20,000. Evaluation is based upon eligibility and artistic or scholastic merit. Decisions are made by the Board of Trustees within 60 days of the established deadline. “Upon completion of the project, recipients are required to submit a full report to the Fund, detailing records and receipts of all directly related expenses.”

Two annual deadlines: October 1st and March 1st.

Contact Information:
August L. Freundlich, President
Richard Florsheim Fund
4202 E Fowler Ave, USF 30637
Tampa, FL 33620.

Telephone: 813-949-6886


Friday, September 14, 2007

Photo-Realism, The Embroidery of Carol Shinn

"Patio Door", 2007
21.75" h x 15.75"w

Carol Shinn creates stunningly realistic textile art that evokes in the viewer not only a sense of comfort, but also of deja vu; a sense that she has somehow captured a shared memory. There is an incredible tension and mystery in her work - each piece "reading" as if it is a single page in a book and it is up to us (the viewer) to determine what is going on at this specific time and place, to wonder about what happened on the previous page, and to predict what we would see if only we could turn the page.

An article for Embroidery by Jessica Hemmings about Carol's work can be read:

To learn more about Carol Shinn's art, visit her website:
and the galleries representing her:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Book by Steve Aimone

Steve Aimone, author of Design! A Lively Guide to Design Basics for Artists & Craftspeople (the "must have" reference book for artists of all mediums), has written a new book, Live and Learn: Drawing, which is scheduled for release early 2009.

In conjunction with this, Steve is offering a wonderful opportunity to have your drawing compositions included. To learn more:

Steve also offers a series of comprehensive workshops in "The Spiritual Language of Art" (including "Line and Mark as Subject"; "The Language of Non-Objective Compostion"; "Shape and Form as Subject"; and "Processes of Abstracting From a Reference"). The primary location is the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL. For more information:

For more information about Steve Aimone
and his full range of offerings:

Monday, September 10, 2007

Art Biz Connection - Alyson B. Stanfield

The Art Biz Connection is a program designed by Alyson B. Stanfield (an art business coach) to help artists develop and complete art marketing plans. It is designed for a group of at least three (3) artists who will meet for nine (9) sessions.

Each participant is expected to be committed to: (a) selling their work; (b) focusing on attaining their goals; and (c) supporting each other. Information is provided that guarantees a complete art marketing plan is developed for each and every participant by the last session.

All of the materials needed are provided free of charge. However, to receive the free marketing plan you must register your group.

To read how the program works:

The program home page:

To learn more about Alyson B. Stanfield

Alyson has an excellent free e-mail newsletter that is sent each Monday. To sign up:

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

More About Cuesta Benberry

Karen Alexander, President of AQSG (American Quilt Study Group) wrote a beautiful tribute:

Newspaper articles include:
Washington Post (long article with a picture):
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Wilene Smith (Wichita, Kansas) wrote to me that Cuesta also is listed in the Who's Who of American Women, Who's Who in the Midwest, and Who's Who in the World; that her biography was published in two parts in the January and March 1984 issues (#'s 23 & 24) of Quilter's Journal; and that two of her many articles include: "The 20th Century's First Quilt Revival," Parts 1-3, QNM, 114-116 (Jul-Aug, Sep, Oct 1979); and "Storrowton Village--Home of the First National Quilt Show," QNM, 195 (Sep 1987).

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has an online memorial book about Cuesta which viewers can read and/or post a message:

Monday, September 3, 2007

Free E-Book - BROKEN CRAYONS - Robert Alan Black

This poster is also downloadable in color:

Broken Crayons examines 32 traits identified as being characteristic of creative people. While artists are not the book's primary target (primary focus is on the workplace), it nonetheless has many points and pointers that are worthwhile examining. It is downloadable:

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Dottie Moore Interviews Bernie Rowell

(canvas, paint, thread nests, transparent overlays)

Each month, Dottie Moore publishes interviews of women artists around the world about their creative processes on the LadybugLive! Internet Radio website.

A 35-minute audio interview of Contemporary Quilt Artist Bernie Rowell can be accessed via:

On her website, Bernie Rowell states that her "mixed-media canvases are painted, pieced and then quilted. This quilted presentation gives tactile references to home, family and the whole history of women's work." To learn more about Bernie and her work, visit her website: