Monday, 3 November 2008

Life support

So Peter Robinson took out the Walters (deservedly, say Bestof3 readers, who correctly picked him as the winner earlier this year) and I have high hopes of tonight's Laureate awards.

Both the Walters and the Laureates provide artists with a healthy chunk of cash. But with the news that Janne Land, 64zero3* and Fishers Fine Arts are all closing their doors, I'm beginning to think - in these hard times, should CreativeNZ be underwriting art dealers, the way the govt is underwriting banks? After all, they've funded every other part of the production and critical apparatus (from making the work to critiquing it).**

*I'm kinda meh about the other two, but really disappointed to hear 64zero3 will shut up after their 64th show next February. They showed a number of artists whose work I really admire, they put the shows up online, were really easy to deal with, and regularly showed newer artists' work. I think it's a real loss.

**Yeah, I know they hand out the occasional grant to support a dealer to show at international art fairs, but I think it's a valid argument that dealers are an integral part of the visual arts ecosystem and are contributing to CNZ's strategic priorities:

  • New Zealanders are engaged in the arts
  • High-quality New Zealand art is developed
  • New Zealanders have access to high-quality arts experiences
  • New Zealand arts gain international success

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