Sunday, April 12, 2015

A departure

Just to break away from the plans a little bit;
     I just became aware of the fact that an artist had created a statue of Lucille Ball for her hometown of Celeron, NY.  It has been an eyesore and a bone of contention ever since, a number of years now.  People have taken sides and the opposition has a blog called "We love LUCY".
     The artist is quoted as having said it was "beyond him", the project, that is.  I wanted to offer some ideas so this can never happen to anyone else! As a sculptor, you simply never want to pull up with the truck and have a client say "What is that?" Likewise, as a committee member, you never want to be sitting home and wondering what the piece will look like. There are ways to avoid this.  This entry will be from the committee/client point of view;

#1 A design should be presented in scale model form for the individual or group to examine.  This is normally done with the help of a Design Contract.  Simply an agreement that lays out what the artist will do and what the client will pay. When the models, (and I say models, I provide three) are presented you will know whether the sculptor has in mind what you had in mind.  You cannot assume that a sculptor can work in large scale unless they have a portfolio of large work.

#2  If the client is pleased with a design, it is time to enter into a Fabrication Contract.  The sculptor outlines what he will create in terms of design, materials, scale, medium, deadline and price. Payments are made as the work progresses.  THIS NEXT STEP IS IMPORTANT.  The client is called in to examine and approve of the original clay sculpture.  In this way, a piece would never be molded and cast (which costs in the tens of thousands of dollars) in the event that it is not acceptable to the client.
What you should see when the sculpture arrives is a bronze version of what was approved in the clay.
A final payment is always held back until delivery.  Satisfaction is guaranteed.

     I have heard numerous scary stories over the years from people who have commissioned artwork in the form of stained glass, paintings and sculpture which fell short of what the client imagined.  This gives all artists a black eye.  In my view it is criminal to sell someone something sight unseen and expect payment.  In this case "Scary Lucy" is the most egregious.  This wonderful woman was absolutely gorgeous, and I refuse to re-print the picture of the sculpture I saw online.
     I was pleased to learn that the City has secured another sculptor who will "repair the piece". I offered Manzi Studios' services, but was too late in my contact with them.  Good luck to Celeron.

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