The expansion of the internet,……… the accompanying proliferation of social media,….. the growing participation of businesses in the artworld,…… and many artists’ increased understanding of their rights to their intellectual property — have all been causing a re-evaluation of numerous laws and practices that conflict with each other in the status of copyrighted works, fair use, freedom of panorama., and other areas.
A new special report has just been prepared that outlines recent changes in the status of artworks created for public spaces, and private and corporate art collections.
The report is a useful guide for artists, art collectors, corporate art advisors, and anyone involved professionally in the artworld.
Some of the new legal situations that are detailed in the report include:
A new provision in the French Code of Intellectual Property. Since October 2016, article L122-5 of the French Code provides for a limited freedom of panorama for works of architecture and sculpture. The code authorizes “reproductions and representations of works of architecture and sculpture, placed permanently in public places and created by natural persons, with the exception of any usage of a commercial character”.
In the United States, on April 11, 2016, the US District Court for the Central District of California struck down the California Resale Royalties Act. California had been the only state that recognized royalty rights in favor of artists in cases when a work of art was re-sold. The ruling noted that the Calfornia Resale Royalties Act conflicted with the Copyright Act of 1976 with the “first sale doctrine”.
Sweden is testing the apparent conflict between Creative Commons and Freedom of Panorama in their country. In April 2016 the Swedish Supreme Court ruled that Wikimedia Sweden infringed on the copyright of artists of public artwork by creating a website and database of public artworks in Sweden, that contained images of public artwork uploaded by the public.
The European Commission has been attempting to harmonize the laws of Freedom of Panorama throughout all its member states. This will change the practices in virtually all of the countries to make them consistent with French and Italian laws. This is a development that needs to be closely followed to understand its impact on all artists, especially photographers, and anyone working in the artworld.
These are some of the new laws that are affecting the copyright status of artworks in both private and public collections, and in public spaces. Know about these new realities so you can protect yourself and your intellectual property !
Copyright and How it Affects Corporate Art Collections
History of Copyright Law
Works for Hire and their Copyright Status
Fair Use in Copyright
Visual Artists Rights (VARA)
Freedom of Panorama
Photographing Works of Art in Public Locations – a changing reality
…..an artist in residence program that also helps the environment.
Artists in residence programs have been proliferating, and are very successful because not only do they help the artists, they can generate a body of work and art programs related to a company’s activity.
A couple of years ago (December 2014), I featured an article about three artist in residence programs – Kohler, CERN, and the Recology Program. I thought it was time to revisit the Recology program because it has a positive influence on not only providing artists with support and inspiration, but it is also going far to help recycling efforts in the San Francisco Bay area that ultimately are helping to restore the environment. It is a truly innovative and visionary art program.
Recology is a recycling and waste disposal company in San Francisco. The Artist and Residence program has been providing Bay Area artists with access to discarded materials, a stipend, and a large studio space at the Recology San Francisco Transfer Station. By supporting artists who work with recycled materials, Recology hopes to encourage people to conserve natural resources and promote new ways of thinking about art and the environment.
The Beginnings of the Program
The Artist in Residence Program at Recology was established in 1990 at the same time that recycling was being implemented in the city and county of San Francisco. Part of the city’s plan was to design an education program to promote recycling and resource conservation. The SWMP and Recology San Francisco (then known as San Francisco Sanitary Fill Company) worked together to create informational ads and brochures about recycling, develop classroom presentations, and organize tours of recycling plants.
The goal was to teach people how to use curbside recycling bins and to encourage source reduction in order to promote a general awareness of how recycling helps protect the environment. Conceived by Jo Hanson, the Artist in Residence Program was the most innovative element of the education plan and the first program of its kind in the United States. In the late 1980s Hanson suggested to Recology and the City of San Francisco that they develop an artist-in-residence program at the city dump which would offer studio space and stipends for emerging and established artists to create artwork from the waste stream and raise public awareness about environmental issues. Now more than twenty years later, the Artist in Residence Program has been nationally recognized and awarded, and countless artists, children, and adults have benefited from Jo Hanson’s vision.
Jo was a guiding force for the program and served as a member of the program’s board from 1990 until she died in March, 2007. The program has continued to expand and add new features, and since 1990, over 120 professional artists and 30 student artists have completed residencies. The studio is located at the San Francisco Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center (Recology San Francisco), a 47-acre facility that includes the trash transfer station (where trash goes before being sent to landfill), the Household Hazardous Waste Facility, the Organics Annex, the Public Disposal and Recycling Area (“The Dump”), and other recycling areas. The facility is also the site for a three-acre sculpture garden containing work by former artists-in-residence.
The program has had four goals:
To encourage the reuse of materials
To support Bay Area artists by providing access to the wealth of materials available at the public dump
To encourage children and adults to think about their own consumption practices
To teach the public how to recycle and compost through classroom lessons that explain the city’s three-cart (recycling, composting, trash) system
As part of the program, artists speak to elementary school classes and adult tour groups about their experience of working with recycled materials, and when their residency is completed, the company hosts a three-day exhibition and reception to show the work they have completed.
Artists make three pieces of art for the company’s permanent art collection, and leave art created during the residency with the company for the next twelve months for exhibitions at off-site venues. Current artists that completed their residencies in May are Cybele Lyle, Carrie Hott and Nathan Bryne. Upcoming artists for 2017 include: Rodney Ewing, Cathy Lu, Erik Scollon, and Beth Krebs.
The Sculpture Garden and Gardener in Residence Project
The Sculpture Garden is a private, three-acre facility that includes more than 35 sculptures made by former artists-in-residence, with new pieces added each year. Each facility tour includes a visit to the garden. In 1992, under the direction and design of Susan Leibovitz Steinman, Recology San Francisco built the sculpture garden on a hill overlooking San Francisco Bay. The land functions as a buffer between the SF Transfer Station and the adjacent residential neighborhood, known as Little Hollywood. It was previously a field of ivy and ice plant.
The garden path is made from recycled concrete salvaged from the Embarcadero Freeway when it was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. Bricks that line the path came from a building on Mission Street, and many of the plants in the garden were rescued from the garbage and brought back to life using Recology compost.
The goal of the Gardener in Residence Program (GIR) at Recology San Francisco is to bring awareness to the importance of native plant restoration, water conservation, and the value of compost as a soil amendment. The focus has been on educating the public about sustainable landscape design techniques — essential for reducing water useage and attracting native wildlife, such as bees and butterflies. Using the garden as a platform for educational outreach it is meant to encourage dialogue about these environmental issues.
The program provides experienced local gardeners and landscape designers with access to the Recology Sculpture Garden for site specific projects. In conjunction with Recology staff, the gardener-in-residence determines the appropriate areas for development within the three-acre sculpture garden, and will design and execute their plan by working hands-on in the garden. Projects are to incorporate drought-tolerant plantings, effective use of mulch and compost, and native plants.
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For more information, contact people for the Recology program are: Deborah Munk: (415) 330-1415 Micah Gibson: (415) 330-1414 Sharon Spain: (415) 330-0747 Felisia Castaneda: (415) 330-9943 The mailing address is: Artist in Residence Program, 501 Tunnel Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94134
The Recology website for the Artist in Residence Program is https://www.recology.com/recology-san-francisco/artist-in-residence-program/
Information on this and nearly 700 other corporate art programs and collections are included in the 2017 edition of the International Directory of Corporate Art Collections here.
One of the most popular new works of art to emerge in recent weeks is the bronze Fearless Girl sculpture by Kristen Visval that has rapidly become a symbol and rallying point for the women’s movement.
It was placed on March 8 in Wall Street at the intersection of Broadway and Morris streets, to draw attention to gender inequality and the pay gap in the corporate world. The sculpture – which became an instant tourist draw, and has been seen by thousands of visitors to New York since it was installed — had been due to be removed on Sunday.
Now New York’s mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the sculpture will stay in place at least until March next year. The statue was “standing up to fear, standing up to power, being able to find in yourself the strength to do what’s right”, he added. “She is inspiring everyone at a moment when we need inspiration.”
The art work was commissioned by asset managers State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), who have stated that one in four of the 3,000 largest traded US companies did not have even one woman on their board and the company has said that the girl represented the future.
But this young girl has had a far wider and unexpected impact. It is being recognized as a symbol of the women’s movement and can be seen on many levels to represent the strength and courage of women around the world. Fearless Girl is something all women of any age, shape, color or creed can relate to.
The sculpture has been created by Kristen Visbal, an American sculptor who was born in Uraguay, and who now lives and works in Lewes, Delaware. She specializes in lost-wax casting in bronze. She attended the University of Arizona in Tucson. Her latest creation, Fearless Girl, is a 50-inch high (1,300 mm) bronze, installed on the Bowling Green in Manhattan’s Financial District.
According to Visbal, “The young girl says soft and sensitive equals strong and capable — The piece is pungent with Girl Power!”
In a March 8 press release she stated that “All women should relate to this work,” she wrote. “It should inspire the young to dream as if anything were possible and simultaneously encourage today’s working woman to hold her ground, no matter what challenges may come barreling down the pike.”
The piece was a collaboration with State Street Global Advisors and McCann New York in celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8, and Women’s History Month.
The Charging Bull sculpture was originally guerrilla art by Italian-born artist Arturo Di Modica. Installed in 1989, the bronze was meant to represent the “strength and power of the American people” in response to the market crash in 1987. But it become a popular attraction and was allowed to stay.
The impact of the Fearless Girl sculpture, and one that has not escaped anyone that sees it, lies in the fact that in spite of the confrontation by the iconic bull of Wall Street, the young girl braces herself and defiantly stands firm. As she faces off against the bull, she has become a potent symbol for the awakening strength in today’s international woman”s movement.
However, in an article on Artnet, a darker view of the story behind the sculpture is described.
“In contrast, Fearless Girl, created by artist Kristen Visbal, is a carefully calculated play—some say a publicity stunt—by financial firm State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) and advertising firm McCann New York. As Nick Pinto put it at the Village Voice: “Too Bad That Statue of a Girl Staring Down the Wall Street Bull Is a PR Stunt by Wall Street Patriarchs.”
“As such, the work’s pro-women message is a bit tainted. Both companies are predominantly run by men: Hyperallergic crunched the numbers and found McCann’s leadership was only 27 percent female. SSGA was even worse at just 18 percent. The gender gap, the very thing The Fearless Girl appears to be fighting, is alive and well at the companies that brought her into being. “Could there possibly be anything more patronizing,” asked Hyperallergic’s Jillian Steinhauer, “than two massive, male-dominated capitalist companies installing a branded statue of the most conceivably non-threatening version of womankind in supposed honor of a day devoted to women’s equality that was founded by the Socialist Party?”
In my opinion however, it shows that art has a great impact and can change the world, sometimes in totally unexpected ways!
This non-threatening but courageous little girl has become a potent symbol for the women’s movement as it makes its own statement about the strength and courage of women in the face of aggression — no matter what the original intent was of the firm that commissioned it.
You can never predict how art may transform the world !