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Thursday, June 24, 2010

BADC Bridge Begins with “Is the Price Right?”

The BADC Bridge Program has begun, and the first class was filled to capacity in only two days. On June 18th 2010, something quite unique was taking place in a small row home in historical Ledroit Park. Upon entering the house one’s jaw drops due to the striking artwork and beautiful interior decorating. E.J. Montgomery, a seasoned curator, arts administrator, consultant, and artist in her own right, and Caesar Jackson, the gallery owner known for his brisk sales of African American art, came together to assist BADC artists in understanding how to attach a monetary value to their work. The artists attending ranged from young artists entering graduate school to senior artists, both male and female. The class was called “Is The Price Right?’,

We began by taking a tour of the space. Mr. Jackson and Ms. Montgomery selected several pieces for us to price, giving us information about the artists, their training, achievements past galleries that had carried their work. We then shared the prices we believed the pieces would sell for. Next, Mr. Caesar gave us the actual price, and why. There were mixed emotions as we discovered that we under priced, overpriced or were right on target in pricing a work. Follow-up questions helped us to better understand how the work was assigned value.

Each of the attending artists were then able to share their work and ask what price Mr.Caesar feels he would attach to the work for it to sell in his establishment to his market. The works critiqued were strong, varied in media and content. He told us antidotal stories about works that were over or under priced. We discussed the perils of framing and it’s effect on the work, and the need for work to be titled to aid in selling work.

Both E.J. Montgomery and Mr. Jackson seemed to be impressed by the work shared by our artists. BADC artists found the class to be chocked full with information. BADC wants to extend a heart felt thank you to both Ms. Montgomery and Mr. Jackson for a MOST informative class.

We identified a few glitches in the registration of artists. For instance three artists did not know to bring their works because BADC did not have their e-mails on file to share up dated information.. In the future e-mail addresses will be a requirement for registration. We would also like to help the flow of the classes to keep pace with the time constraints of the class. “Is the Price Right? was the first of over 15 classes that will be offered by the BADC Bridge Program this summer. Future classes include: “How to Make it Stick: a Class in Adhesives”, “Beyond the Easel: A Class in the Business of Art “, How to Make it Last: a Class in Archival Materials”, “Record Keeping for Artists and the Use of Documentation in the Valuation of Art Work”. These are just a few of the many exciting BADC Bridge classes that will be offered this summer. Many of the classes will be open to all Washington DC artists. Working together we can create one of the most knowledgeable communities of artists in the country.

By Claudia Aziza Gibson-Hunter
Images by Gloria Kirk
Anne Marie Williams and James Brown

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