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7.3 Schedule of fees for practitioners

7.3.1 Types of practitioners

Studio practitioner

A studio practitioner creates work that explores a conceptual premise or process and can use a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, ceramics, performance and digital media.

 

Qualifications: The entry requirement is a bachelor degree or higher qualification or at least 5 years’ relevant experience. Some occupations in this unit group may require high levels of creative talent or personal commitment and interest as well as, or in place of, formal qualifications or experience.

 

Skills, responsibilities and duties:

  • Conceives and develops ideas for artistic presentation using guidelines from a commissioning buyer or at their own initiative for markets, organisations or galleries.
  • Selects the artistic medium which can include painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, pottery, metals, jewellery or textiles.
  • Selects, finds and prepares the materials.
  • Selects and applies artistic techniques and technical skills to arrange objects, apply and/or transform materials into desired shape.
  • Develops applications for funding grants and scholarships and submits work for peer review in formal refereeing processes for exhibitions.

 

Performance practitioner

A performance practitioner creates live work that explores a conceptual process or premise and can use a variety of mediums including installation and digital media, and is presented to an audience.

 

Qualifications: The entry requirement is a bachelor degree or higher qualification or at least 5 years’ relevant experience. Some occupations in this unit group may require high levels of creative talent or personal commitment and interest as well as, or in place of, formal qualifications or experience.

 

Skills, responsibilities and duties:

  • Conceives and develops ideas for artistic presentation using guidelines from a commissioning buyer or at their own initiative for markets, organisations, galleries or any chosen venue.
  • Selects the artistic medium.
  • Selects, finds and prepares the performance and associated materials which can include installation and digital media works.
  • Selects and applies artistic techniques and technical skills to present a live work to an audience.
  • Develops applications for funding grants and scholarships and submits work for peer review in formal refereeing processes for exhibitions.

 

Public artist

A public artist is involved in the visual conception, planning and usually the installation of public art works.

 

Qualifications: Typically possess a post-graduate degree in visual arts or commensurate skills and experience.  Often also holds formally recognised or informally acquired computer-based engineering skills.

 

Skills, responsibilities and duties:

  • Undertakes independent research into the site and formulates an original design concept which addresses the brief of the tender organisation and takes into account the legal codes, technical requirements and the environmental, cultural and historical character of the site; 
  • Develops and presents project tenders containing costings, timetables and art models/diagrams in a competitive tendering process;
  • Develops and implements appropriate consultation techniques to involve stakeholders such as the local council and the community in project development;
  • Senior practitioners usually hold executive responsibility for the project and must have time, budget and people management skills.  They recruit, supervise and coordinate project workers as required and may liaise with tradespersons and sub-contractors.  Project workers themselves exercise different levels of responsibility depending on factors such as the size of the project and personal experience.
  • Promotes, markets and explains art work to the media, council and local communities.

 

Collaborations and groups

It is recommended that ideally, payment of fees and wages for collaborative groups should follow similar principles to those used in awarding grants to collaborative groups. NAVA's devolved grant scheme for example offers artistic groups double the amount awarded to single artists. It is recognised this may not always be possible within project budget constraints. However, the artists’fee should still be increased to acknowledge multiple producers.

7.3.2 Commissioned practitioner fees

For the commissioning of new work there are separate scales of fees and wages for: public art; fees for the development of new work (non-acquisition); and fees for new work (acquisition).

 

The term ‘commissioning’ is often used in a variety of contexts to refer to the mode of enabling the production of an artistic work by a client.

For example:

  • Commissioning of art in the public space as addressed in Chapter 3 of the Code refers to work created for public spaces. This can include permanent or temporary work. 
  • Chapter 4 of the Code outlines special purpose commissioning and in this context the term commission refers to the method of enabling creation of work for a specific purpose such as ‘one-off’ special pieces, multiple copies of an original design or ‘architectural projects’, a term used here to cover various integrated design elements within a building project, which may be either built-in or free-standing.
  • Commissioning also can refer to an art organisation requiring and paying the artist to make a new work for exhibition and then its acquisition into the organisation’s collection - meaning the organisation will own the commissioned work.
  • Commissioning also refers to an organisation paying the artist to produce a new work for exhibition only. In this instance the organisation is supporting the development of new work.  

 

The scales of fees and wages in this Code recognise these differences and establish scales to ensure organisations are paying a flat fee to the artist known as an 'artist fee'.


Separately a production fee is to be paid which covers material costs, production costs, installation costs and technical costs. Artist fees and production fees should be commensurate with the purpose, function, scale and size of the particular commission.

 

When establishing an artist fee, galleries should take into account the calibre of the artist, the size and calibre of the work, the number of artists involved and the estimated return on the work with regards to ticket sales or audience participation (for performance events).

New work (non-acquisition)

The scales of fees and wages take into account career stage, type of work, and the size of the organisation to establish the flat rate for an artist fee towards the development of new work (non-acquisition). This artist fee is separate from and does not include the payment of production costs.

 

Flat rate artist fee solo show, new work (non-acquisition)

The schedule below is based upon calculating a one artist, single venue rate for publicly funded galleries and museums who have an operating budget of less than $1 million and less than 20 full time staff.

 

Larger organisations of more than $1 million with over 20 full time staff should be budgeting accordingly and paying higher artist fees commensurate with their organisational size.

 

Larger galleries (venues) with multiple exhibition spaces should also ensure that each exhibition is treated separately in the calculation of artist fees. Therefore, a gallery with three concurrent solo artist exhibitions should pay the appropriate artist single venue rate to each solo show practitioner.

 

These fees should be seen as a minimum standard. Higher profile or more established practitioners, as well as practitioners showing in higher profile or better resourced public galleries, should be able to negotiate higher fees.

 

Performance rates are exclusively for performance work. When an artist has been commissioned to present a solo exhibition which includes both a body of studio work plus separate performance work, they should be paid fees for both components.


These fees do not include production costs that should be calculated in addition to the artist fees set out below.

Table 1

Early careerMid-careerEstablished
Studio Artist$2,018$2,564$3,478
Performance
(one-off event)
$748$1,528$2,247
Performance
(ongoing as part of an exhibition)
$1,123$2,246$2,995

Table 2

Publicly funded Artist Run Initiatives (ARIs) operating on much smaller budgets, in relatively smaller spaces, are encouraged to refer to the rates below for the payment of artist fees.


Early career
Studio Artist$500 – $1,000
Performance
(one-off event)
$200 – $500
Performance
(ongoing as part of an exhibition)
$500 – $1,000

Flat rate artist fee group show, new work (non-acquisition)

The schedule below is based upon calculating more than one artist, single venue rate for publicly funded galleries and museums with an operating budget of less than $1 million and less than 20 full time staff.

 

Larger organisations of more than $1 million with over 20 full time staff should be budgeting accordingly and paying higher artist fees commensurate with their organisational size.

 

These fees should be seen as a minimum standard. Higher profile or more established practitioners, as well as practitioners showing in higher profile or better resourced public galleries, should be able to negotiate higher fees.

 

Performance rates are exclusively for performance work. When an artist has been commissioned to present both studio work plus separate performance work, they should be paid fees for both components.


These fees do not include production costs that should be calculated in addition to the artist fees set out below.

Table 3

Early careerMid-careerEstablished
Studio Artist$1,009$1,282$1,739
Performance
(one-off event)
$374$764$1,124
Performance
(ongoing as part of an exhibition)
$897$1,123$1,498

New work (acquisition)

For the development of new work (acquisition) the fee should be calculated at the hourly rate for Public Art and Special Purpose Commissioning or be equal to the market value of the work. Production costs are not included in this fee and should be negotiated in addition to the fee. 

 

Artist fees for public art and special purpose commissioning, new work (acquisition)

For public art commissions and special purpose commissions where the work is to be acquired by the commissioner the hourly rate below should be applied. This rate does not include the payment of production costs, which should be negotiated in addition to the fee.

 

These fees should be seen as a minimum standard. Higher profile or more established practitioners, as well as practitioners creating large scale work both permanent and temporary in higher profile areas, should be able to negotiate higher fees.

Table 4

PermanentCasualSelf-employed short-term contractSelf-employed long-term contract
Senior Practitioner$68.36$85.45$135.07$112.56
Mid-career$56.97$71.21$112.56$93.80
Minimum/Trainee$25.73$32.17$50.85$42.38


For information on how rate is derived see Methodology 7.14.

7.3.3 Practitioner fees hourly rate

The below rates can be used as a basic hourly rate where a flat rate is not applicable. For example, these rates could be used for a period of development or research which the practitioner is being funded to undertake. Rates can also be used to calculate residency fees where the residency does not include the commissioning of new work. Rates can also be used as a general administration rate where a practitioner is paid an additional fee for extra work being requested beyond what is covered by a flat fee.

Table 5

PermanentCasualSelf-employed short-term contractSelf-employed long-term contract
Senior practitioner$57.96$69.54$114.52$95.43
Mid-career$42.93$51.51$84.82$70.69
Minimum/trainee$23.94$28.73$47.30$39.43


For information on how rate is derived see Methodology 7.14.

7.3.4 Artist loan fees

Artist loan fees are paid to practitioners for the loan of their existing work to a public gallery or major event in a non-selling exhibition. These fees are paid in recognition of the value being provided to the public, and the potential loss of income to practitioners while their work is on loan for a short or long-term exhibition and not available for sale. The fee relates to work borrowed from the practitioner directly, and not to work borrowed from a collector. 

 

It should be noted that if a work is borrowed from a collector or as an inter-gallery/museum loan the artist should be notified that their work will be included in the exhibition to ensure the gallery/museum is adhering to moral rights requirements.  

 

The schedule below is based upon calculating one artist, solo show, single venue rate and deriving multiple venue, multiple artist rates from it. For group shows, divide the total fee by the number of artists (up to 10 artists). CPI has been added to the $2,300 proposed in 2009 to reach the listed figures. These rates do not include transportation of the work.

 

These fees should be seen as a minimum standard. Higher profile or more established practitioners, as well as practitioners showing in higher profile or better resourced public galleries, should be paid higher fees.

 

Larger galleries (venues) with multiple exhibition spaces should ensure that each exhibition is treated separately in the calculation of artist loan fees. Therefore, a gallery with three concurrent solo artist exhibitions should pay the appropriate single artist single venue rate to each solo practitioner. When an exhibition goes on tour to multiple venues the loan fee is usually paid by the exhibition organising body as a flat fee based on the length of time of the tour.

Table 6

Single venue up to 2 monthsMulti venue or extended exhibition 2 to 12 monthsMulti venue or extended exhibition 12 - 24 monthsMulti venue or extended exhibition 2 years+
$2,868$5,737$7,793$8,603

Note: For group shows, divide the total fee by the number of artists (up to 10 artists) i.e. $287 to be paid to each artist if a group show has 10 or more artists.