Monday, October 26, 2009


I wonder if any of my followers are members of or serve on the board of arts organizations that are involved with advocacy for artists and their rights (copyright, exhibition fees etc.)

I believe that one person can make a difference in the lives of many and organizations are set up to do just that. The other side of my art practice is participation on a nation arts board, CARFAC. Our provincial visual arts organization,Visual Artists Newfoundland and Labrador (VANL), is an affiliate of the national organization. Four years ago I agreed to be VANL's representative on the national board, and since that time I've transitioned into a member at large position and serve on the executive.

Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC) is a non-profit corporation that is the national voice of Canada's professional visual artists. It's mandate is to promote the visual arts in Canada, to promote a socio-economic climate that is conducive to the production of visual arts in Canada, and to conduct research and engage in public education for these purposes. It was founded in 1968 by visual artists. The belief that artists should be paid for their work and share equitable in profits from their work is a cornerstone of the organization.

I just returned from four days at our fall face to face meeting in Ottawa. It is always an intense time with many board and committee meetings, exhibition viewings and socializing. I have gained so much from my presence among this very diverse group of artists from across Canada who take time away from their own work to participate in meetings and serve on various committees all aimed at improving the socio-economic standing of all artists in Canada.

Not every country has an organization that has managed to gain the right for artists to be fairly paid for their participation in various facets of their profession. CARFAC has achieved just that for Canadian artists . Most of my artist friends outside Canada , and even some Canadians, are astounded to learn that Canadian artists have the right to receive a set minimum amount for exhibitions, professional talks, reproduction of their works etc. This right was not easily obtained and the organization continues to ensure that it remains. Learn more about the minimum fee schedule and its development here.

I feel I receive more than I give to this group. The meetings are long and tiring and the planning is intense, and the day is made longer, but better, by our opportunity to visit various exhibitions and other art happenings in Ottawa. We also have an artist scrum where board members show images and talk about their practice. On this trip I even managed to visit two art stores to stock up on my paper collection.

I belong to a large community of artists through Canada. This gives me a very empowering feeling.

I continue to think about pattern and found two Ottawa artists whose work I admire and will share later. Off to the studio to let my papers inspire me.


Tina Steele Lindsey said...

That is wonderful Margaret. You are so right, one person can make a difference. It gives me great joy to know what all you are involved in. Your commitment to further the arts is extremely admirable, and your art always fantastic. My best to you for continued good things in your life, thank you for sharing so much with us all. Your friend in the lower states (who laughably this morning is freezing from the cool rain and outside temp of 55 degrees) Tina.

Margaret Ryall said...

Thanks for your reply Tina. I definitely get much more than I give in committee work with CARFAC. It's not exactly warm here today either. It is hovering at freezing point and quite windy. Snow flurries were forecast but none have arrived yet.

beauty comma said...

i'm a member of the musicians' organization here in norway, but i'm not active. i think this work is very important though - i suspect that many people don't consider arts to be a "real" profession... so it's great that you do this!
margaret, i think i've lost your last comment =( where it disappeared to, i don't know - i just wanted to let you know in case you started wondering why i never published it.
hope you were inspired by your papers today!