Deep Thought Thursday: Granting panels

Today's Deep Thought comes from the book I'm (finally!) almost finished reading, The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art by Don Thompson–page 180.

Regarding grants to artists from governments . . .

     If there are to be grants [from governmental agencies to artists], who chooses the recipients?

The public?
An elected elite? (politicians)
Arts administrators?
Critics?
Art historians?
Gallery owners?
Collectors?

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8 comments to Deep Thought Thursday: Granting panels

  • Alyson, I have just started reading the same…

  • of two opinions…1)does it matter? the specifics of who exactly government grant money is coming from does not negate the possibility of ‘the tyranny of the masses’ (A.deT.)(reducing the quality of your work to populist pap)… or 2)perhaps art is better by rep. by pop., meaning, if the money for your art is coming from many people, as tax money is, perhaps the art will be better? a refutation of the tyranny of the masses, to perhaps, as an example, the Japanese concept of ringladi (sp?) where circles of smart people decide upon a product, rising up to the next circle if it passes muster, till the ultimate circle accepts the proposal…(ie: the more circles your art has to leap through, the better the art)… I guess both 1) & 2) probably have to live in balance…Personally, I just hope people will stop killing sharks…& stuffing them…as art…

  • Perhaps it should be a combination of some of the above depending on the institution giving the grant. I tend to believe in the saying, “he who has the pesos has the say soes.” If it’s public money, maybe a commenting period for the public is in order. If it’s an institutional grant, the institution might consider appointing a panel of experts that may include one or all of the choices you delineate. Stay warm and inspired, mira

  • Kind of depends on the future of pieces in question. Maybe a combination: finalists by panel/critics/galleries, final choice by people/collectors.

  • I’d just like to see grants for emerging artists 50 years of age or older. Everything right now is directed to young artists, or artists who have been working 30 years.

  • Once an artist has mastered his/her work and has done the necessary marketing, etc., the rest is just luck as to how far they go. So with that said, the grant applications could be initially screened by a mixed background committee to weed out improper subject matter, application not filled out properly, etc. Next,divide the applicants into male and female. If there are 6 grants available, for example, pick “out of a hat” 3 female and 3 male applicants.

  • I agree that a combination of the experts listed above, including the public would be a refreshing change for grants. There should be more grants for artists period, however it would be nice to see an emerging artist grant. Most grants I have see go to artists that have the money to support themselves anyway. It is like giving away free stuff to celebrities who could buy the stuff in the first place. It only gives publicity to those who already have it.

  • Jan: Are you implying that the marketing is done at some point?