I feel guilty about being crabby twice in one week, especially when it's Christmas and I'm feeling generally cheerful and happy.
And I feel guilty about being crabby about SAQA, which just a few days ago did me the honor of including my refugee quilt people in its new exhibit, "Forced to Flee."
But I'm going to do it anyway.
|Entropy -- in QN'15 and now in a new SAQA book|
Almost two years ago I was invited to have a quilt included in a SAQA book "that compiles the significant art quilts and artists from the 1960's to today." I sent off my images, signed the permission form, and forgot all about it. This week I happened to search my email inbox for "SAQA" because I needed to confirm the info about the "Forced to Flee" show, and there at the top of the list was this very old email. Hmmm -- did the book ever get made?
I went to the SAQA website and found that sure enough, it came out six weeks ago under the title "Art Quilts Unfolding" and is available for $49 through the SAQA store.
I was surprised (a) that I had not received an announcement that the book was published, and (b) that I had not been sent a copy. I've had my work published in many different books and magazines and it is standard practice to send a complimentary copy, especially when the publisher did not pay anything for the rights.
I wrote the SAQA staffer in charge of the project and asked if copies were going to be sent to the artists, and the response was NO.
I don't know if this chintzy decision was made by the publisher, or by SAQA, or both in concert, but I think it was a bad one.
SAQA makes a LOT of money off its publications, which are made possible by the cooperation of us artists who graciously provide images, sit for interviews, lend our quilts to tour for years, and in the case of juried shows, pay entry fees. Yes, it's a nice ego trip to see our quilts in a book, but since we've done our part for free, the least they could do is send us a copy.
There's always a lot of chatter and angst on the SAQA email list over copyright, with people in a flutter over how much they should be paid if their quilt is reproduced on a CD album cover or a fundraising brochure or the side of a barn. Usually the consensus is "we deserve to be paid!!!" "we are professional artists!!!" "we shouldn't give our work away!!!" "people should take art quilters seriously!!!!!"
Seems like the shoemaker's children when SAQA avails itself of free publication rights to its own artist/members' work and can't even send us a copy of the publication.
What do you think?
UPDATE: After I complained to Martha Sielman, executive director of SAQA, I got this response:
Maybe when SAQA negotiated the deal with Schiffer Publishing they should have put free books into the agreement. Just my two cents worth.