In a recent VAI newletter published: 14/01/2015 I read an article posted by The Weary Blues - A digital journal of poetry, short fiction, art and photography in which they welcome submissions from both emerging and established artists. Now there is nothing strange about this as every artist likes to have their work circulated 'to as wide an audience as possible' as stated by the publishers. However, when you look at the submission guidelines there is something awry:
By submitting your work to The Weary Blues, you are giving permission for that work to be freely reproduced by the journal in any particular mode or form that they see fit. Your work will be offered freely online and via other means of distribution, to as wide an audience as possible.
What disturbs me most about this willingness to showcase other artists work, is the fact that The Weary Blues can reproduce any work that has been submitted in any format. They can print your artwork in any size or publish your written work and pass it on in book form. There is no mention of compensation for the use of these pieces of artwork and they are not just any artwork, as they say in their post on the VAI newsletter:
"The Weary Blues is published in digital form every few months, depending on the quality of submissions that we receive.
So, only the best is good enough for The Weary Blues. This all for free and can be distributed under their name in the name of the arts. More to the point the VAI itself have a campaign entitlted ' ASK, has the artist been paid?' as well as their 2013 – 2014: Report Payment Guidelines for Visual Artists which points out that no fee was provided to 79.66% of artists for their participation in exhibited work with further figures indicating in many cases that production costs were not met. Yet the VAI allow this type of advertisment on their own newsletter. I understand that it is up to each artist to look after themselves, but if galleries and publications (on-line or not) decide to use the work of the artist for free for their own benefit and these are supported by the VAI with free advertisement does it not defeat the purpose of the campaign and what they stand for in relation to their support for the artists of Ireland?