ArSake has been thinking a lot about the economy lately and how artists navigate their current economic realities. Artist Tabitha Vevers’ monetary policy is to take this subject straight on through her painting.
Tabitha Vevers: Value Added
With so much talk about the ups and downs of the economy, I began to wonder if I could take matters into my own hands, adding value to US currency by painting on it. In what quickly became addictive, I began painting on singles, and eventually worked my way through twos, fives, and tens, all the way to one hundred dollar bills. In Sally Hemings, the imagined eye of Jefferson’s lover gazes out from a two-dollar bill. In the Nest Egg paintings, broken eggshells and gold leaf echo the oval shape that once framed the portraits of US statesmen. These paintings are, in a sense, collaborations with the various Treasury Secretaries, such as Hank Paulson and Larry Summers, whose signatures adorn the currency. The work raises issues about art and commerce: is a painting on a $100 bill worth more than one on a $5 bill? Is the value of an art object in the artist’s work or the paper it is painted on? Is the currency worth more or less now that it can no longer be spent?
By purchasing this work, the collector becomes part of the Value Added series itself by establishing that the value of a work of art is greater than the materials used to create it. It is my hope that viewers will encourage their congressmen to support the Artist-Museum Partnership Act, which “amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow artists to deduct the fair market value of their work, rather than just the costs of the materials, when they make charitable contributions.” http://museums-now.blogspot.com/2009/04/advocate-let-artists-get-tax-deductions.html
Eden Series + Value Added by Tabitha Vevers, as well as work by Rama Rejman and Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz is currently on display at the Art Institute of Boston Gallery at University Hall, (Lesley University/Porter Exchange Building), 1815 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA.
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 11 from 6-8pm
Exhibition dates: February 4 – March 6, 2010
Gallery Hours: Tues + Wed 12-5pm, Thurs 3-8pm, Fri + Sat 12-5pm
It’s All About the Hamiltons: The 2nd Artists’ Roundtable, sponsored by ARTmorpheus/BCA, will will take place on Wednesday, February 10, from 5:30 to 7:30pm in the Cyclorama, at the Boston Center for the Arts.
These free of charge roundtables provide artists with the opportunity to talk about their professional needs and exchange resources. In addition, each month features a guest presenter. Their co-sponsor for this month’s Roundtable is the Massachusetts Society of CPAs and Susan Dupuis, an income tax consultant and an attorney who will answer your recordkeeping and tax questions.
This roundtable follows their two-session Basic Finance for Artists workshop, which will conclude on Monday, Feb 8. There is no pre-requisite attendance or knowledge for attending the Roundtables. The only thing they request is that if you plan to attend on Feb 10th, please RSVP to email@example.com to ensure adequate seating and consider bringing an edible item to share.
It’s All About the Washingtons: If you’re interested in further honing your business finance knowledge, you may also be interested in registering for and attending Business Finance and Accounting Basics, at the Copley Square main branch of the Boston Public Library on March 23, from 6-8pm. There is no charge for this program. For more information, contact the Boston Regional Office & Minority Business Center at 617-287-7750 or register online.
Image credit: Tabitha Vevers’ VALUE ADDED: Watching II (after Hank Paulson) © 2009 oil on US currency