a-n/AIR are bringing together UK organisations that have a national remit or sector specific expertise to form a Paying Artists Working Group. The organisations will engage with the next development of the Exhibition Payment Guide and support its implementation through their networks.
The group, which includes AD:UK, Crafts Council, CVAN, Engage, Museums Association, Plus Tate, SCAN and Visual Artists Ireland, will work with a-n and its networks to contribute to the development and implementation of future iterations of the Exhibition Payment Guide. The guide – which was published by a-n in 2016 and is endorsed by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and Arts Council of Wales – sets out best practice for establishing and agreeing exhibition payments for artists.
Other sector support organisations have committed to assist the work of the group, to be led by a-n, in different ways. a-n will also continue to work with Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales and (through Visual Artists Ireland) Arts Council Northern Ireland.
Artists, to be recruited later in the year, will also share an important and constructive role as artist representatives in the working group.
Jeanie Scott, a-n executive director, said: “Having the support of these major national organisations as we move into the next phase of Paying Artists is highly significant. The expertise and reach they each bring is going to be a great asset to how we develop and implement Exhibition Payment across the sector over the next four years. We look forward to working with them.”
Commenting on the initiative, Engage director Jane Sillis said the organisation was “honoured to serve on the Paying Artists Working Group.”
She added: “Engage represents galleries, visual arts organisations and artists working in gallery education, and we want to ensure that both artists and visual arts organisations flourish. Artists thriving by making a living through their work is a key component of this.”
On behalf of Plus Tate, Modern Art Oxford director Paul Hobson said: “All member organisations of the Plus Tate network are committed to supporting and championing the importance of artists and their contribution to society, and to the principle and practice of their proper remuneration.”
For the Museums Association, policy officer Alistair Browne commented: “The Museums Association has done a substantial amount of research into salaries in the museums sector recently and I think that our sectors have much to learn from each other about fair pay.”
Scottish Contemporary Art Network (SCAN) director Seonaid Daly said it is “vitally important that appropriate guidance is in place to support artists and art organisations to agree fair and transparent terms and conditions for their collaborations”.
a-n published the first edition of the Exhibition Payment Guide in October 2016 following a two-year sector-wide consultation as part of the Paying Artists campaign, which aims to secure payment for artists when they exhibit in publicly funded galleries.
There are over 150 publicly funded galleries in England, Scotland and Wales but until now there has been no widely agreed guidance as to how much artists should be paid for creating the work shown within their changing exhibition programmes. The guide is a vital first step in ensuring the sustainability of the arts ecology.
a-n is committed to developing the guidance, and to supporting its implementation through further research and partnership working over the next five years.
For more information on the Paying Artists Working Group and its members visit the Paying Artists website