For Love or Money by Zainub Verjee

Published April 5, 2020

According to the CRA, an artist is either a professional or a hobbyist, which raises broader questions about whether art should be valued because it can be sold or because it can be shown.

Image credit: Ken Nicol, $10,000 promise (detail), 2014–17. Collected cheques, ink on paper and bottle, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist/Olga Korper Gallery.

Written by Executive Director Zainub Verjee:

“Today in the light of #Covid19 #crisis, the world of labor now looks a lot like the way art labor has looked for decades. Artists’ low income and status—in other words, their option to be categorized as “hobby artists” when only profit and income are regarded as key metrics—are international issues. It is unclear, particularly for artists, as to what qualifies as employment income and whether this income is net or gross. We cannot afford to lose sight of the bigger picture, larger issues are at stake. Read my take in today’s context to grapple with the political economy of a Visual Artist.”