Artist for Hire (all skills required)
Artist For Hire, 2013
Performance Series, Arts Council Windsor & Region
Artists: Arturo Herrera, Alana Bartol, Danah Beaulieu, Collette Broeders, Nicolas de Cosson, Patricia Fell and Trevor Malcolm, Lucy Howe, Donna Kwasnicki, Olivia Lori, Doug MacLellan, Srimoyee Mitra, Sasha Opeiko, Nadja Pelkey, and Michelle Soullière.
Curated by: Alana Bartol
Photos: Alana Bartol and Arturo Herrera
In an industry where skills, education and experience are no guarantee of marketplace success, how do artists survive financially and maintain their artistic practice?
Artist For Hire was a performance-based series developed in 2013, inviting artists and arts workers/administrators based in Windsor, Ontario-based to perform a skill that they have used to generate income in a gallery space. The project aimed at raising public awareness, understanding and recognition of the labour of artists and its various forms, generating discussion within and outside of the arts community on the realities of sustaining a professional artistic practice in the city.
Like many cities, Windsor, Ontario, Canada has recognized the potential of their arts communities as engines of economic development. While artists are generally in support of such a realization, they are also aware of the potential downfalls of such policies that rely on a business model that seems to echo disturbing trends in the private sector, namely the rise of precarious employment, the elimination of pension schemes and unfair work to compensation ratios. As Windsor develops cultural policy and attempts to build strong arts supporting infrastructure and institutions, it is important that artists also advocate for themselves in the process, not only for recognition of what it actually means to live and work as an artist, but for our work to be recognized as a legitimate form of labour.