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I got an email invite the other day to this site (it was an impersonal email addressing me as "Hi you" LOL):


From their site: "We're bringing together the work of 1000 international artists, illustrators, and designers in an exhibition and book unlike anything ever created before! We're showing off the edgy creative talent that is tipping the institutionalized art world on its head! You'll be gasping in wonder as you view piece after piece of the best independent art around! "

Apparently this is to be in the format of a book and an exhibition. They have some artists listed as part of the project but I noticed a lot of them were students. Now I have to admit, despite not having any experience with my art being published, a little red light went beeping in my head as I was reading up on this project. It started with the impersonal email that said my art was awesome but did not actually name any particular works nor ask permission to print them in this book and/or host them in this exhibition. Then I noticed on the site that accepted artists are expected to pay a $35 fee to participiate, from their Q&A section:

"Q: Is their an application fee?

A: NO! It is free to apply! Only accepted artists are required to pay an operational/participation fee of $35.00!

Q: Where does my operational/participation fee go?

A: All money brought in via these fees goes towards online and print promotion for the show, upkeep fee's associated with this website (ie: designer/programmer fees), mechanical costs (ie: DJ, Sound system, Webcams, etc), rental fees for the gallery, and promotion of the book! This exhibition is costing a TON of time, energy, and money to put on! Your fee helps ease that pain!

Q: Are there any other fee's associated with this show?

A: Yes. Artists must pay shipping to and from the gallery. The gallery will also keep %15 of the sale price."

Also noticed this part about artists getting a free copy of the book their work will be in:

"Q: As a participating artist do I get a free copy of the book?

A: Unfortunately we can not give out free books due to the HUGE cost of producing them. Sorry! We still love you! We will however offer all participating artists wholesale discounts on ANY book orders they place!"

To me, it looks more and more like a particularly clever vanity press site for artists, trying to entice more customers through this exhibition, which may in fact happen but does not mean the project can't also possibly be a scam along the lines of "Get your poetry published! Only pay to own the book with your poetry in it!" - the line in particular about "wholesale discounts" made the red-light beeping go faster.

So what say you? Heard anything about this site and/or the project? Do you think I guessed correctly regarding its possibly not legit nature?
Artist's beware has moved!
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( 68 comments — Leave a comment )
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Apr. 29th, 2010 06:23 am (UTC)
I think this is just a vanity scam honestly. Whenever any compilation expects and artist to pay a FEE to be featured, I totally get red flags. So good job on finding this!
Apr. 29th, 2010 06:48 am (UTC)
That's what I thought as well, and I recently read up on a fiction-type vanity press company that used similiar "enticements" about wholesale book discounts, probably made me pay more attention LOL
Apr. 29th, 2010 06:27 am (UTC)
I received this same email a few weeks ago, I highly doubt it's legit in any way. The "showcase" lasts for a only single night, and is supposed to feature "1000s" of artists worldwide.

I suppose one way to tell if it was real or not would be to see if the site even exists after the appointed gallery show day.
Apr. 29th, 2010 06:48 am (UTC)
Good point about 1000 artists in one night, I can't imagine a gallery big enough to do so that would be willing to host so many unknown artists, even for one night.
(no subject) - lastres0rt - Apr. 29th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 29th, 2010 06:45 am (UTC)
Well it certainly doesn't have a legit copy editor. "Fee's" is not the plural of fee. *facepalm*
Apr. 29th, 2010 06:46 am (UTC)
Oh wow, they spelled it correctly a few other times, well spotted! LOL
(no subject) - tally_kat - Apr. 29th, 2010 06:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - paperarbor - Apr. 29th, 2010 11:10 am (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 29th, 2010 07:03 am (UTC)
Yeah I also got an e-mail about this and immediately found it to be rather fishy. After poking around the site and discovering the fees involved, I decided it was best to ignore it and delete the e-mail, lol. I'm not going to outright call it a scam...but not something that I think would be very beneficial to participate in.
Apr. 29th, 2010 07:29 am (UTC)
Ahaha I too got this email and called scam after a bit of investigating. It's a nice idea, but it seems a bit shady.
Apr. 29th, 2010 07:43 am (UTC)
Got one too. I asked someone who works at an art museum here in town about being invited to an exhibition that would charge the artist $35 and right away they were like "don't do it". I did notice lots of popular Deviantart artists in their little artists gallery, perhaps someone should make note of them and then ask them after the event has passed how things turned out, and if they ever ended up selling their pieces or seeing a book.
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - poisonbatcandy - Apr. 30th, 2010 09:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Apr. 29th, 2010 08:04 am (UTC)
Sounds like a Poetry.com kind of scam to me.
Apr. 29th, 2010 08:23 am (UTC)
Definitely a Vanity Book Scam.
Apr. 29th, 2010 09:26 am (UTC)
A lot of REAL LIFE galleries you DO have to pay to exhibit. Some places do charge you even if they reject you. I'd consider Spectrum more of a scam than this.

It may not seem fair, but it's not a scam. It's the way small galleries and small shows work in certain cities. It's just not worth it for a lot of folks.
Apr. 29th, 2010 12:48 pm (UTC)
A lot of REAL LIFE galleries you DO have to pay to exhibit. Some places do charge you even if they reject you. I'd consider Spectrum more of a scam than this.

I've never really plied the art scene too hard - when you say "a lot", do you mean /most/, in your experience, or a significant minority?
"Exposure" can indeed be valuable, but it seems to me if the artist is paying to have their work displayed, then they haven't really "made it" :/ It's more like a convention/vendor show where people are renting space to put out their wares rather than being invited to be part of a select group, or being published, yaknow?

I don't know much about this Spectrum - I guess people are into it and it's gotten some respect among artists but if not for that I'd think it sounded fishy too, personally.
(no subject) - thrivis - Apr. 29th, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thrivis - Apr. 29th, 2010 01:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - spiffystuff - Apr. 29th, 2010 01:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - spiffystuff - Apr. 29th, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Apr. 29th, 2010 09:46 am (UTC)
I think it's a matter of degree and approach.

Yes spectrum does charge, but a) the accepted artists get a free copy of the book b) it is a genuine "big name" which people not featured in the book will purchase in large quantities and c) (perhaps most importantly) it does NOT spam DA kids asking for work, artists have to actively submit work

This thing seems, like many people have said, to resemble Poetry.com anthologies because it will probably not sell to many people, and because it is actively soliciting specific artists without making reference to their works, ie, it's spamming the art sites.

It's probably not a "scam" in as much as the artists will be exhibited and be in the book, but it seems the main intent is to sell the book to the *participants*, not the public (hence the "wholesale discounts if your art is featured" thing)

Apr. 29th, 2010 11:35 am (UTC)
I get a lot of these emails, I just chuck em in the trash without a second though. Like Neolucky said, anything that requires you to pay a fee to participate is usually a scam.
Apr. 29th, 2010 11:45 am (UTC)
Sounds a lot like that 'who's who in high school students' thing where they say you're such an omg incredible student, we'll put you in this book! And then they ask for you to pay like $50 in administrative fees and $150 for the book.
Apr. 29th, 2010 12:09 pm (UTC)
I got an e-mail from them too. They lost me at "hey you". You can't pretend to be impressed with someone's work and then not even call them by name.
Apr. 29th, 2010 05:37 pm (UTC)
exactly. Impersonal form letter is a BIG red flag.
Apr. 29th, 2010 01:39 pm (UTC)
"Not legit" means you wouldn't get your book even if you pay for it, or you won't get in the book even if your $35 acceptance fee is cashed.

On the other hand, this is definitely a scam so artists can say, "Look, I'm published!" As you noted with poetry and authorship, this is just a clever way to get people to buy their own stuff.
Apr. 29th, 2010 06:24 pm (UTC)
Pft, Print-on-demand books are cheaper if that's all people are after...
Apr. 29th, 2010 02:16 pm (UTC)
Reminds me of the International Star Registry. :-)
Apr. 29th, 2010 07:40 pm (UTC)
Haha oh gosh. Yeah...thats pretty goofy. But it has it's novelty, I admit. My dad got one "bought for him" when he was younger, so it's been around a long darn time.
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