Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Best of...

The 48 Hour Film Project's "Best of...." with films about Tim Tate: Glass Sculptor Extraordinaire will show at the Warehouse Theater on 7th St. this Thursday, June 22nd starting at 7:00 pm, and it is free.

Details here.


To the CP's art critic Jeffry Cudlin, who won the 3rd place award in the 2006 AltWeekly Awards.

Note that Cudlin came in third after two... uh... film critics -- not that movie criticism is easier to do than visual arts criticism... right...

Online Arts Sales Workshop

Maryland Art Place (MAP) is hosting a workshop given in partnership with the Maryland Lawyers for the Arts on Saturday, June 24 th at 1pm.

Cynthia B. Sanders Esq., from Astrachan Gunst Thomas, will address ways artists can protect themselves when conducting online art sales and other issues relevant to artists’ legal concerns. The talk will be followed by a question and answer session. Contact MAP for more information.

Maryland Art Place
8 Market Place, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
email: map@mdartplace.org

$10,000 Art Prize Controversy

When is copying another artist's style and imagery beyond inspiration and "in the style of..."?

Perhaps when art jurors award a $10,000 art prize to the alleged copy cat?

Michael Banks

At the Affordable Art Fair last weekend, one of our neighbors was Marcia Weber who was displaying the work of Michael Banks and selling it quite impressively thoughout the weekend (including a piece to Bryant Gumbel).

Since they were next to us at the Fair, we became quite familiar with Banks' work and he even came by and chatted for a while with Catriona Fraser.

And yesterday, an artist who participated in the 51st Annual Boardwalk Art Show in Virginia Beach was talking to Catriona about the work of Doug Odom, the Alabama artist who had been awarded the $10,000 Best of Show prize at that event.

She described the work, and once Catriona saw the artwork via this Virginia Pilot article and studied the imagery of the artwork itself, it immediately dawned on her that the award winner's artwork was essentially very similar to Michael Banks' work.

And thus the question: Should an artist whose work is essentially done is a close copy style of another, better known artist, be awarded a $10,000 prize?

Especially since the jurors apparently praised the originality and naive style of the award-winning work.

The Plot Thickens

And now I am told that Odom used to be Banks' framer, and is thus quite familiar with Banks' work.

And most recently Odom's "art" used to be in making birdhouses, until he started painting the Banks-style paintings.


In my opinion, while it may not be illegal to copy another artist's style, in this case it is certainly unethical, especially since the copier has received a major art prize based, in part, on originality and style.

Furthermore, I think that the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia, which is the institution which awards the prize, should recall the award and present it to the second place winner, whoever that artist may be.