Artists Fees and Wages
One of the important budget items to consider when developing a temporary or travelling exhibition is artists’ fees and payments.
Fees vary depending on the role the artist performs. The most common types of payments are made for:
- The creation and/or installation of a visual art, craft or design work.
- The loan of an artist’s own work which may include site-specific installations and performance works. This is important when the artist is required to develop or install the work in-situ.
- Associated public talks, curatorial or administrative work.
Artist loan fees are paid to practitioners for the loan of their work to a public gallery or a non-selling exhibition. These fees are paid in recognition of the potential loss of income to practitioners while their work is on loan for a short or long-term exhibition and not available for sale.
When an exhibition goes on tour to multiple venues, the loan fee is usually paid by the exhibition organising body based on the length of time of the tour.
The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) publishes recommended rates of pay for artists and creative professionals on its website. It’s a great resource that contains tables for calculating appropriate payments and covers fees for studios, copyright, and curatorial duties as well as aspects such as design, illustration and freelance writing.
We recommend using a resource such as this as NAVA keep up-to-date with current visual arts and artists issues.
Code of Practice for Visual Arts, Craft and Design
The sixth edition of the Code of Practice sets out good practice approaches to working relationships in the professional Australian visual arts, craft and design sector, ethical standards of access and inclusion, and payment rates for artists and arts workers.
The Payment Standards section of the NAVA Code of Practice provides a recommended benchmark for fees and wages which can be used to inform negotiations between artists, arts workers and organisations. It also provides recommended standards and conditions, including superannuation, taxation and other allowances.
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The National Exhibitions Touring Support (NETS) provides another reliable way of getting advice. NETS Australia is a national network of independent arts organisations committed to promoting and presenting contemporary art, craft and design through touring.
M&G NSW is the NETS representative in NSW. It’s our job to develop, organise and coordinate touring exhibitions throughout NSW. So feel free to talk all things exhibitions with us!
While all care has been taken to ensure information is accurate at the time of publication, all information in this resource is intended as a guide only. You should obtain professional advice if you have any specific concerns.