Starry Night Artist Retreat

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.

  • Shelle

    Sooooooooooo, just checking in here. Has anyone else had more dealings with this horrible Monika and her Starry Night program? I happen to know she has left the program in someone else’s hands and is doing a money making scheme. So if this is the case, return my money or else. Remember my threat to sue you…. I will be proceeding. If you don’t want to lose more money, then return the $6000 you stole from me.

  • Anonymous

    I would steer clear from this “opportunity” as well. You’re charged a lot and receive very little. No professional selling or representing on their part at the fairs. The course “worth thousands” is laughable as well.

  • Disappointed

    I am sorry to say, but I also had a bad experience with the starry night exposure program. I found a lack of professionalism and a general feeling of something being “off” or a hint shady. I would not recommend the program.

  • Carrie

    I’ve met Monika and I’ve done a residency at Starry Night. We first met a few years ago when I was there, and I’ve watched her work her ass off with that place, and make more programs for artists, and then the free yearly Artists to Look Out For book too. I went to Miami for Exposure Program a couple years ago, and I had no idea how much work went into that until I was there. I’ve never seen Starry Night do anything like this, although I can’t imagine they have time for this kind of negative crap.

    • Shelle

      Carrie, why would you even bother posting here. I think you are one of Monicka’s. Don’t blame the site owner, he has not done anything wrong! He just asked us to post our bad experiences! IF Monicka had of not treated some of us like shit, THEN this would not be happening! Her working her ass off (BAH!) does not excuse her bad behaviour!! I am furious beyond furious! SHE took advantage of a Deaf person and did not take in account the fact that the Deaf person (myself) had no idea what I had done wrong! I CANT BLOODY HEAR WHAT IS BEING SAID OR WHAT IS HAPPENING – ARE YOU THIS STUPID AND IGNORANT, MONICKA? Whatever rules she had, she did NOT clearly outline! I think she just set up a trap for us to trip over to give her an excuse to abuse us!!!!!!!! Monicka, I have NEVER forgiven you for abusing me right IN FRONT of a huge crowd and making me cry and ruining MY opening night that I (repeat I) paid thousands of dollars for and flew over for!!!! YOU HAD NO RIGHT DOING WHAT YOU DID TO ME! YOU BASICALLY TOLD ME I WAS BAD AND ABUSED ME AND SAID YOU WOULD NEVER WORK WITH ME AGAIN WHICH EFFECTIVELY BREACHED THE CONTRACT THAT PROMISED ME ONGOING SUPPORT!!!!!! YOU WERE NEVER CLEAR ON WHAT HAPPENED. YOU ARE A NASTY PERSON! YOU DESERVE THIS NAMING AND SHAMING, I AM GLAD THIS POST WAS RAISED!! SERVES YOU RIGHT!!!!!!!!!! IF YOU WANT TO CLEAR YOUR NAME UP, DONT ABUSE BRAINARD OR ANY OF US FURTHER, INSTEAD PAY US OUR MONEYS BACK AND APOLOGISE TO ALL OF US AND THEN ASK BRAINARD TO REMOVE THE POST!!!!!! THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!!!! I WAS RIGHT OBVIOUSLY, THAT I WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE YOU TREATED BADLY AND UPSET!!! LOOK AT OTHERS BELOW. YEAH!!!! YOU THOUGHT YOU ARE THE GOOD GUY? NOT SO! DONT BLAME US FOR YOUR BLOODY CRAPSHIT ACTIONS!!!!!!! I REPEAT – THIS IS YOUR FAULT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU ARE TOO ABRUPT, RUDE, NASTY, PRECOCIOUS, THINK YOU ARE ABOVE ALL OF US AND MOST OF ALL JEALOUS! YOU SHOULDN’T EVEN BE WORKING WITH ARTISTS! I HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!!!! THIS HAS JUST RAISED MY IRE ALL OVER AGAIN AND I AM GOING TO PUT IN A FORMAL REPORT AGAINST YOU TO THE ARTS BOARD OF AMERICA RIGHT AT THIS INSTANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND THERE WILL BE NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU HAVE MADE THIS PERSON FURIOUS, GOOD ON YOU!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Carrie I remember working with you during one of the Exposure program events for Starry Night and you were very kind the whole way through. Unfortunately, working with Monika was a difficult experience and I am just chiming in that I also felt “conned”’ by her and the program. I experienced some shadiness that sounds a lot like the original poster’s experience. There was some pretty shady stuff that also makes me question Starry Night’s “support” of artists. Maybe she didn’t let you in on everything that was going on. I also recommend steering clear of this program, unfortunately.

  • Shelle

    Ha ha!! I am Shelle and I have just seen this, n very gladly!!!!! I agree with everything the original poster has said!!!! She has NO right dictating what we do with our art and who we talk to! As for Roy, I agree, I think it is you Monicka! Of course only you would defend yourself and your bad services!!!!!! Undercutting galleries? Who said any of us did this!? I don’t think anyone did. YOU were NEVER loyal to me (or anyone from what I can see below!) It’s about time that horrible Monicka was exposed!!!!!!!! SHE did that to me in Venice. I can never forgive her. She also has hold of my money and I am still furious about this!! Monicka, if you are reading this, you better start paying these people including me back otherwise face a class action!!!! You left me high and dry! Pay me my money (I emailed you my details, PAY ME NOW!) or face the consequences of losing more of your money through class action! As I can now see, more people have come forward…… If you hadn’t been such a jealous cow and treated me badly and spoke rudely to my arts manager in Venice, THEN you would not be exposed like this! It is YOUR OWN fault and no one elses!! Don’t blame other people for YOUR actions!!!!!!!!!!!! Narcissist that is what you are! WE WANT JUSTICE!

  • Anonymous

    To Roy, if you are actually Monika or a friend of hers, your comment is not going to change anyone’s mind. Monika might want to consider how rude she is and how she treats those who entrust their money to her. Why would anyone want to identify themselves after the way she treated them? Get over yourself and start treating people better.

  • Roy van der Aa

    I find it dishonest that the comments are from 2 persons who don’t know Monika and 2 more from the poster who will not identify themselves. I know Monika and she works very hard to advocate for emerging artists. Art fairs are expensive – it is NOT pay to play and you do need representation to show there. I have had representation and I know that you do NOT undercut your gallery or representative and you stay loyal to them. You are downplaying your own responsibility in all of this. Monika’s programs have published 3 volumes of an international catalogue of 100 emerging artists. The artists juried into this book are charged NOTHING. Also, if you are going to disparage someone in a public forum, get their first and last names right.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry you had that experience with Starry Night. I wish I had seen your post before she tried to sell me the place. She bilked me out of some money in the process. Beware of her and Estrella Arts, LLC. Her corporation.

    • Stella

      That is terrible! What services was she supposed to give you? I hope more see this and realise she is not all that genuine. What Roy said sounds like herself defending her own practices. She does not advocate for artists at all, we think she just wants to control artists.

    • Anonymous

      I know right! I wondered the same thing when dealing with her. Not a nice person at all. Abuses you if you do something she doesnt like. Basically you get no freedom with her even though you paid her thousands dollars.



        I actually responded to her constant requests of residency artists and the outrageous amounts of money involved in her requiring. She was extremely rude and the tell all!

        • Anonymous

          Shosh, thank you and I’m sorry to hear too that she’s been hassling you and the way she’s spoken to you. It just proves that if she doesn’t get her own way or doesn’t like something she will have a tantrum and be rude. I hope after all these comments above that she wakes up to herself but she may be too narccisstic and arrogant to see that in herself.

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