TWO WEEKENDS, 35 ARTISTS, RADICAL EQUITY IN OPPORTUNITY AND INCOME
JUNE 7-9th, 11th, & 14-16th
2604 IBERVILLE ST NEW ORLEANS LA 70119
In June 2019, the Lucky Art Fair will host 35 New Orleans based artists a free room at the Lucky Inn Hotel, a site currently under development. The fair will take place over two weekends and draw a large local and national audience, offering contemporary New Orleans artists prominence and exposure infrequently found in our city’s major art institutions. Organized by a union of five artists and arts professionals tired of the hierarchical structures of the art world in New Orleans and beyond, the Lucky Art Fair was born of a desire for radical equity in regard to artistic income and opportunity. We have seen the content of the work exalted by the art world evolve, often in politically and socially radical ways, but it’s underlying financial structure continues to only serve a select few.
The Lucky Art Fair is organized by an “Administrative Board,” essentially five people that have decided to commit a lot of primarily unpaid passion to this project. We all have had professional experience in the art world, either as administrators, curators, or artists. We are sharing our different skills, experiences, and connections to put together what will be an experiment in unilateral leadership, financial equality, and equitable curating.
The Lucky Art Fair is intended to present a financial and curatorial model that is supportive of artists regardless of the marketability of their artwork, while making the experience of the fair available to a broad audience regardless of economic status. We are able to offer rooms (booths, if we are translating to art fair lingo) to artists completely for free, because of the generous donation of the space from the hotel owner. Artists will keep 100% of their sales. There will also be no required entrance fee. Instead, we ask that all visitors truly consider the pay what you can model. Do you regularly pay $10 for a movie ticket? $12 to enter a museum? $1 for a bottle of water or $5 for a sandwich? $40 for a pair of jeans? Meditate on the amount of labor the artists have put into the artwork you are experiencing. Donate what you would feel comfortable spending on a unique entertainment experience.
The donations accumulated during the event weekend and from our Kickstarter campaign will then be used for production expenses, such as marketing materials, furniture rentals, equipment, etc. The remainder of all income will then be evenly distributed amongst the artists and board members. Dispersals will be prorated based on reported individual art sales in order to remain true to our mission that all artists be valued equally regardless of the marketability of their work. Additionally, artists and administrative board members can choose to waive a percentage or all of their income from the pool if they feel they are economically stable without it.
The structure of the Lucky Art Fair is intended to place equal financial value on all artists, despite reputation, connections, or financial profit. We are hosting an open call and intend to exclusively show artists living and practicing in New Orleans who do not hold gallery representation and have not yet had a solo exhibition at a major institution. These parameters are intended to expose the wealth of talent in New Orleans that is not always visible due systemic limitations in our current art scene.
We find it especially important to design the fair equitably in the context of New Orleans, which has historically been plagued by wealth disparity. We intend to include a diverse array of artists, with a priority on those born and raised here. During the fair we will also be hosting community and youth oriented events, local musicians and filmmakers, and local food pop-ups.