Email regarding having Artist shows in an Office Environment.
I am an attorney, however, I put an art gallery in my law firm space. The agreement I have with the artists is that they allow me to hang their work for 3 to 4 weeks. I promote their work to my clients and throw a party in the artist’s honor, where the artists agree to be present and talk about art.
We serve some refreshments and invite everyone we see. There is no charge to the artist. I do not pay the artists. I do not sell art. There is no charge to the people who attend. It is a community event intended to bring a little culture to our small town and, admittedly, let people know where my office is without in-your-face law office marketing.
The rules in Iowa are the strictest in the country about regulating attorney advertising. I cannot hand someone a business card and say, “hi. I’m a lawyer. What can I do for you?” But, I can hand someone a party invitation flyer and say, “Hi, please come to my law firm’s gallery party and meet some cool artists, see some great art, listen to some inspiring music, and have a little wine and yummy appetizers. It’s so much fun!” I know. Crazy stupid.
When the party is over, the artists take their work away and three or four new artists bring in work to hang, and we do it all over again. My 4th party is November 14, 2014.
The artists for this party are asking if I have insurance to cover the art in the case of fire, vandalism, or theft. My insurance guy is not helpful. He says I have no insurable interest, so I cannot insure them with the exception that if I trip over them, my liability insurance might cover it. Lame.
The artist could sue me if something were to happen to their paintings while in my control. I do have an insurable interest, at least while they are in my custody and control.
Can you assist me in finding a way to obtain insurance or a bond of some type that will protect me in the case that something unthinkable would happen to these paintings?
The Answer… or my Answer.
When I further inquired I found the Artist work was hung without any paperwork. Interesting.
1. If the work was Loan during the show to the office, it may be covered under the office BOP policy, usually, there is $25,000 limit for Fine Art.
2. A dealer art insurance policy could be bought, for $150,000 on location limit, $30,000 Art Transit and $30,000 at unnamed locations.
3. Have the Artist buy their own Artist Insurance policy. $100,000 of Art Insurance while in transit, in the studio and while at Exhibitions for an annual price of $1,000.00.
4. Explain to the Artist, it’s a business risk and art is a risky business. The odds are higher of damaged or stolen while in transit, and less than their work in the studio, at lease your office is alarmed or locked 🙂
She explained to me even though a hold harmless could be drawn up and signed, there was still the exposure of a negligence lawsuit by the artist. So here is the question to ponder, buy insurance and not worry or understand it is a business risk you are taking verse the benefit of letting the people know your law office exists.