A user submitted the following;
I would like to report and warn all of an artist residency retreat business called Starry Night Artist Retreat. Be very careful. They offer you a special opportunity called Exposure, to exhibit in Miami, USA or Venice, Italy at art expos. They charge you thousands of dollars and then they pay themselves to fly from where they are to the expo and then if you do something slightly so wrong (in their eyes!) such as converse with an art gallerist (which you should be allowed to do!!!!) they go off at you and run off with your money. The promises they made to support artists like myself for one whole year which they did not honour, breaching the contract I had signed. I also won a scholarship to do one of their courses (which I must mention was nothing but cheap silly point form information and no real content!), and then was selected to be in an art expo, which then they charged me $6000 for, and promised me ongoing support. Later when I went to dispute the breach of contract by them, they told the gallerist that I had paid for the course – after telling me I had won it. So effectively they told lies to get out of paying me my money back which still has not come back to me three years on.
This person Monika Proffitt is the person you need to watch out for. An awful temper, a great jealousy of good artists, and will take your money and run! Do not give Starry Night Artist Retreat your business, no matter how glowing reviews may be on their site, they are not honest! And their prices are ridiculously high! Just another Vanity type of art service! I make no apologies for exposing this horrible company.
A reader sent in –
Artlimes – a website – they claim they only take a 3.5 commission, and you get to upload 5 artworks for free for review, but the second menu when signing up is asking for your banking information and routing number to your account. WTF? They say they are based in London, but only have one or two likes on their Facebook page posts.
A user sent in this comment –
Ken Featherstone who repeatedly made promises but never “fully” delivered. He is involved in many types of artists’ opportunities such as exhibitions, on-line representation, and advertising/editorial/representation. I have had three separate dealings with him. I continued to give things a try, thinking that surely I was mistaken. In the end, clearly, I was not. His emails and messages were extremely angry. After politely responding to his last email request, I received a very unprofessional response that I do not feel appropriate to share here.
Bottom-line, in my dealings with them, neither of these two people were who they seemed to be on the surface.
A user submitted post —
I am writing to report unethical unfair and unprofessional practices by Lab Art Gallery, LLC of California owned by Iskander Lemseffer. I am an artist who sold a painting through the business owned by Mr. Lemseffer.
Mr. Lemseffer is a thief and is in breach of contract on two counts: not disclosing the true price of my piece by not issuing a copy of the sales receipt and not paying me in full. In addition to this unethical behavior, he also “left” my painting in the potential owner’s house for 18 months after I repeatedly asked of its whereabouts. I eventually started receiving payments after insisting for months that he remove my piece from her house.
I gave the gallery owner ample opportunity to pay me in payments which he did but he was once again negligent in keeping his word whereby first promising to pay $1000/mo. of the $4000 owed (the painting could have been more, I may never know). He paid the thousand then dropped the payments to $500/mo. then $250 every other week. He stopped paying me a few weeks ago and has stopped responding to me with a balance due of $1500.
While I realize that my hopes for restitution could very well be in vain, (this amount is too small for me to to waste my energy fighting him in courts), I do want people to know of his unethical behavior. This was a very large and very reputable gallery. He struggled so much at the end of last year that he is now in real estate but the Lab Art gallery remains as an online store. He had another location in Texas but I don’t know if it is still open.
In Lisbon Portugal, a city I’ve frequented and love very much, there is near its castle Colorida Gallery. They approached me via Linkedin and after some correspondence I agreed to be included in a summer exhibition that went from two weeks to two months. A map of the gallery indicated the wall where my 8 paintings would hang in my bonding contract, and yes they asked for money to cover the expenses of an online booklet included on their website. When I arrived, on the Thursday before their Saturday reception reassembling my paintings, I noticed in the hours spent there that no one paid the gallery a visit, which I dismissed knowing the difference would be made during the reception. My wall was given to another which I didn’t protest (my regret). A mutual friend of the late Francis Bacon flew in from Paris as did another from England. What I was to discover is that the gallery is situated way behind the castle where no traffic, tourist or otherwise, would manifest, the reception was discouragingly feeble, the gallery sold nothing, no collectors, and my conclusion is that they just live off of international artist monetary contributions, Americans included, and I’ve yet to have galleries charging artists sell substantially having no collectors. There’s much more but not worth stretching into this comment, although I’ve noticed Colorida in previous forums where many struggling artists have been approached and question their legitimacy. Sometimes we artists must take chances and make sacrifices, but my heart bleeds when we consider adding up all that it may end up costing and yet a gallery is incapable of selling and just continue targeting vulnerable artists to keep their expenses paid.
Has anyone published in Artvoices Magazine? Or been involved with any of Terrence Sanders efforts? Platform Contemporary Art Show etc. The organization seems to have good intentions, but there is a sliding scale of cost with most of his projects. Typically a red flag, but he seems to be putting good effort twds some alternative channels for artist. And the shows seem to have some curatorial strategy behind them. Just not sure of his figures / claims – ie 15k-20k people showing up at Platform Contemporary Art Show. Thought I would post and see if anyone has shown with this organization.
Can you set up a residency category? Lots of problems there is you are just beginning. I traveled to India last year to this place: http://tvakstudios.blogspot.com/ Owner did not connect me with sculptor after 10 days. I went with a local friend and set it up with said sculptor in under an hour. When I got back to Tvak, owner kicked me out and kept $700 USD. She is notorious for doing the same to local artists. She also tried to derail my connection with the sculptor. Mean person. In April 2017, a poet came from UK and she said she’d get him a place to stay in town. Never did and he had to rely on another organization. Steer clear.
One user sent this in –
This is a gallery that specializes in photography. They put out a “call” for a subject or keyword and make a selection of “winners” to be exhibited. They offer print services if you send your files. I had 3 pieces selected for one of their exhibits. The “opening” was on a Saturday. I live in NY but my son lives in L.A. and wanted to see the exhibit. That began to unravel the despicable sham this place is. Going online to fine a phone number – no listing. We could not get days or hours without emailing. There is no website. Well there is, but it takes you to a FB page. There’s no photos of the gallery itself, and when I emailed for days and hours of operation so my son could go, the response was that there are no hours, that he should EMAIL to request an appointment to see the exhibit, and it was too bad he didn’t come to the “Saturday” opening, because the exhibit would only be up for a week and unfortunately the gallery was going to be CLOSED for that week! I paid for them to print the 3 pieces which were supposed to be shipped back to me after the exhibit, and I have yet to receive them.