Saturday, January 31, 2009

Okay you art show experts, riddle me this!

Since I've never been invited nor have I entered a show, I just submitted a couple of images of my work to an email associated with this organization.

World Art Foundation

I immediately got an email the next morning stating that my work was accepted , please join the association for $30 and if you cannot afford the booth fee of $500, they will provide a sponsor and on top of that if you can't afford to attend, just send your work and they will have a representative to explain your pieces. Submit images of 20 pieces you are going to display.

Maybe it's my background, but you know what they say, "If it looks too good to be true....etc"

Anyone have any experience with this organization? They purport to be interested in everything from plein air, photography, tattoo , spray and digital art and much more.

And check these out. Usually there are cash prizes but in this set of contest rules, they write, Million dollars in prizes but at the bottom refer to being featured in a magazine worth $5,000.

Contest Rules


Stephen Dell'Aria said...

I don't know about this one, Sheila. Personally, if the gallery isn't local or well known, I'd steer clear. I hope I'm not being overly pessimistic and ruining something here with my opinion. The show's I have entered I found in Artist magazine or else were local galleries.

Sheila said...

Exactly Stephen. I haven't given them any money yet because they were a little too eager for me.

Art with Liz said...

Sheila I have a problem with any organisation that asks for money upfront, especially that much! Be careful girl, be careful!

James Parker said...

I checked their website, and it seems impressive, but only begun in 2008, it seems a bit ambitious in taking on so many categories in its first competition. The membership fee is minimal, but the participation fee is the fee required for each submission? The million dollars in awards is primarily composed of the estimated value of exposure in their publications and the giclee prints. May be legit, but I'd be wary. I think I'd go to sites like Empty Easel and see what bonafide competitions are out there first. I've done very little entering and exhibiting myself, but I'm interested in trying, so I'm in the same boat with you, Sheila

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Sheila, Seems fishy to me. They don't actually use many names in their publication. The entry fee is VERY high. Under the value of the awards, I feel $10,000 for 25 giclee' to be an exagerated value and under physical awards they state what looks like $25,000. but actually ready $25.000. There are so many out there willing to cash in on an artists dreams! I think it is actually a larger industry than selling art.

Stephen Gardner said...

I'm always suspicious of stuff like this, as soon as anybody asks for money I get cold feet. I friend of mine recently paid $2500 to a new rep as a consultation fee and then never heard from her again. I could have done that much for him myself and at least I'd have taken him out for a pint.

r garriott said...

Yeah, highly suspicious. There's a lot of hype on this website and not much substance.

It does not appear that they do actual shows, nor place art anywhere (although there's a brief allusion to that). They publish magazines. (Although I give them credit for having the magazines online where you can flip through them; look under ‘umbrella publishing’). I would not be surprised if they get artists to subsidize the printing in many cases; in other words, a vanity magazine. (The lure is the 'prize' of a featured article.)

The magazines look city specific; "Laguna's Best', 'Orange County's Best', etc.-- they include ads of fine dining, luxury retail, real estate, an upscale gallery here and there. I keep looking for how that's a benefit to an individual artist who's just getting started in the business. Probably not much.

You might try looking up a few of the 'member artists' online and email them through their own sites to see what they make of the deal. For an artist who is established, churns out (and sells) $100,000+ worth of work a year, has a studio gallery of their own to promote, eh, it might be an option. I bet most of them have to pay to have an article printed, though, plus pay for an ad.

Another scam to avoid is an unrequested email that offers you a gallery show (at a steep price)-- sometimes known as 'vanity galleries'. This sounds like a variation on that.

For legitimate shows to enter, you might also try magazine's online Call for Artists. They have shows with and without fees. If your hope is to get published in a magazine (and honestly, don’t we all think that would be cool??) a better option might be to enter the contests from magazines like The Artist’s Magazine, American Artist, Watercolor artist, etc. (Seems like Karin Jurick herself said that she entered a contest at one and while she didn’t win, was later contacted for an article.)
Some of the art supply catalogs do it, too, and the benefits include no entry fee, and sometimes a gist certificate for art supplies (Hey! Something of value!)

In the meantime, there are plenty of places to get your artwork out online and in real life for little or no fees.

Chris Beck said...

As a friend of mine said, "There is a very popular job in the world called 'making money off artists.'"

Trust your gut!! Something about this doesn't smell right. I second the suggestions in the previous comments. Better to search out show opportunities yourself in most cases.

Low Tek said...

Hey Sheila, I found your blog while googling World Art Foundation scam. I'm glad I did. I recently got the same offer on MySpace. I was also amazed by the offer and got that scam vibe after visiting their site.

First off, did you notice that the Membership Information page isn't actually text? The entire form and rules are a series of images. This is so the text can't be copied and pasted, and so search engines won't cache the text. If you go to their parent company's site, Umbrella Publishing. You'll notice their demographics page is constructed the same way.

Being a creative designer I knew their site looked decent, but not decent enough. It was as if they had a really good template, and messed it up. Then I remembered where I saw their site design before.


I hope others don't fall for it either.

Anonymous said...

If anyone still wants "proof" that George "Jojo" Marengo is a con-artist and fraud and his World Art Foundation a scam here it is.

The art gallery of his own city has put out an alert warning artists against him and his scam.

Anonymous said...

Just one very, very LITTLE point:

Con-artist and fraudster Marengo and his so-called “WORLD ART FOUNDATION” (WAF) deceitfully claim to be a legitimate registered “NO-PROFIT” arts organisation. However, the fact is that this a blatant LIE and fraudulent misrepresentation. The WAF is NOT a registered non-profit arts organisation. To establish this fact for yourselves GO TO: The WAF is not and will never become a registered non-profit organisation with the Internal Revenue Service, as it is a purely FOR-PROFIT scam that would never pass scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service, who we will be sure to have investigate them.