Writers aren’t the only ones expected to work for free. Sarah Waite has started a campaign to ensure that artists also get paid for their work. Most property developers, at least, will pay artists to provide artwork for their buildings. Except Daniel McWilliams, Assistant Facilities Manager of Manchester’s Beetham Tower, who recently sent this message to local artists:
[The company] need a work of art by a local artist to brighten up our plain old reception area above the Hotel. We have no budget for this so anything free would be great but am thinking more along the lines of it being a shop window for someone to get their work displayed in Manchester’s tallest building…..? No real spec so any ideas taken, thinking along the lines of contemporary, modern and most importantly local.
Manchester artist Liam Curtin responded to this chutzpah:
I’m an artist and need a building in which to display an artwork. I have no budget for this but am thinking along the lines of it being an opportunity for a developer to get their property noticed by paying for a great artwork. There is no real spec but the building should be contemporary and by a local architect if possible.
And I like Confidential’s version:
I am a freelance writer and need a bar to stand in and drink for free. There is no real spec, any bar will do as long as it’s contemporary, modern and most importantly local.
Manchester artists 1, corporate pigdogs 0.
Wanted: someone to decorate our tower for absolutely nothing