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The Generosity of Artists

The generosity of artists

As a working artist and gallery owner, I’m often asked for art donations. I donate about 15 to 20 pieces of artwork per year. Some of the donations are small others may be larger in value.

I myself have asked artists to donate. During February, artists across the country came to my call to create miniature paintings of roses for Cystic Fibrosis. The fundraiser, 65 Roses for Cystic Fibrosis has raised over $130,000 over the past 9 years. 100% of the sale go to the CF Foundation for research for a cure.

If a collector donates a piece of art from his collection, he or she can donate the value of the piece. What the buying public may not know is that the artist can only write off the cost of materials. There is not any consideration for their time or talent. So, when they are asked to give, it is truly a gift.

As artists, we sometimes have to turn down a request. For me, I prefer to keep my donations non partisan and not political in nature. I prefer to give to causes that are near and dear to my heart. For instance, I have a granddaughter with Cystic Fibrosis so that is something that I have heart felt reason to donate. I am inspired by all the donations from artists who give for the simple act of caring.

Sometimes we turn the requests down for the simple reason we have to have a limit to how much of what we do we are willing to give away.

Often times I will go to the fundraiser to see the amount of money that is being raised by the donations and I cringe to see how little was paid for the art piece. At some point, I personally would rather have given money than all the hours spent to create the art and then add the cost of framing.

So, if you are at a charitable event that offers original art, keep in mind the goal is to raise funds for the charity, not to get a bargain on a piece of art. Remember what the artist gave was truly a gift.


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