Lori Dillard Rech, President and Chief Executive Officer of Center for Emerging Visual Artists addressed the assembled guests for the innaugeral art show at the Arts and Business Council of Philadelphia’s offices on the Avenue of the Arts. The Galleries at the Chamber is showcasing contemporary Philadelphia artists in the lobby, board rooms, meeting rooms and offices on the 7th floor of the grand Bellevue-Stratford Hotel, designed in the French Renaissance style by G.W. & W.D. Hewitt.
“I am with the Center for Emerging Visual Artists and we’re really thrilled to be invited to present this show. I want to thank the Karin Copeland and Miriam DeChant who really had the vision for being able to enhance these spaces, enliven these spaces in a way that’s so enriching. We’re very appreciative.”
“Genevieve Coutroubis, Director, Regional Community Arts Program has been with CFEVA for about twelve years and she really began the program of starting to look at trying to customize exhibitions for businesses. We go into lobbies, hospitals, office spaces, all kinds of different non-profits use us and many businesses. We would hope that many of you would consider having an exhibition in your space. We would be more than happy to come out to talk to you about what that means. The way we curate the shows is we bring in a group of artists and we allow you to look at the works and help you find something appealing to you. And hopefully will be appealing to to your clients and what’s appropriate for you and your clients.
For many years we’ve been providing programs just like this, a wide variety of exhibitions in spaces throughout the Philadelphia area. And one of the most important things for us, in terms of our mission, is that this also gives us the opportunity to showcase the amazing artistic talent of this region. And we can give you that opportunity to do that as well. Thank you to the Arts and Business Council for this incredible opportunity to bring artists into these spaces so that the wider business community can look at it and appreciate it. And think about it for themselves.” – Lori Dillard Rech
Genevieve Coutroubis introduced the artists in attendance but first pointed out that all of the artwork is for sale. The represented artists include photographer James B. Abbott, Gregory Brellochs, Kirsten Fischler, Tish Ingersoll, Eric Kennedy, Shalya Marsh, Maggie Mills, Tremain Smith and Michael Yoder.
“The Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia (ABC) strengthens our creative sector, including arts, culture and for-profit creative businesses, by engaging the business, legal & technology communities, providing capacity-building services, and serving as a thought leader and a convener. ABC, with the support of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, is uniquely positioned to actively connect the creative sector with the business, legal and technology communities.” – The Arts & Business Council of Greater Philadelphia mission statement.
“What I think I want them to know the most is we are available for them. And we prefer to be a vaccine instead of a bandage. So, I would like them to ask questions, even if they’re not sure of what the question is because if you’re a little wiser about getting things in writing, being more careful about paying their taxes, working within copyright laws. But, in the future, we want to help people determine whether this is a legal problem or not, before it gets to the point where something actually goes wrong.
I’ve been here for five years and in the last ten years our case load had indicated that with the internet people are more aware that there might be a problem. And if they take risks they’re likely to get caught. So, there’s actually a bit of a chilling effect because people are hesitant to appropriate because they’re afraid to use other people’s work in a way their personal rights might not let them allow them to use in a ‘fair use’ way because it’s such a gray area.”
“It would be useful to talk to a lawyer about these gray areas. It’s important to talk to a lawyer and ask, ‘How big of a risk is this?’ “Is it worth getting permission or is this enough of a commentary that it’s fair use?
Appropriation is an art form of it’s own, absolutely. There’s a very large case in the Appeals Court of the 2nd Circuit involving prints about photography and approbation in a very interesting way so we’re waiting to see if that goes up to the Supreme Court or not. There’s been progress but it’s a very gray area.
If an artist has a question, they need to submit to me, to us, the work that they’re worried about that’s their’s and whatever it is that they think they are using or gaining inspiration from is legal to share. And then we can talk to them about the therapy. They can call us, there’s an application on-line, We primarily help artists in a pro-bono way for artists who have a low income or modest income, collectors and non-profits, so it’s a bit of paperwork but we’ll work with you on it.
And everyone in the office is really passionate about art.” – Miriam K. DeChant, Esq.
Written and photographed by DoN Brewer except where noted.
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