Open letter to the The Michigan Silversmiths Guild

 

The recent national call for entry for your regional show sounded enticing. Interesting theme, notable juror - even a small amount of prize money. The $35 entry fee seemed in line with many other exhibitions of the same level. Then we read in the fine print that membership in the Michigan Silversmiths Guild is required to enter - another $35 fee, bringing cost of entry to $70.

 

This thinly disguised membership effort is unworthy and unsubstantiated. It feels more like extortion than an opportunity.  Please tell us, Michigan Silversmiths Guild, why we would want to be members of your group? What benefits do you offer anyone beyond a very small geographic area? On the face of this call for entries, the only benefit to non-local metalsmiths is the privilege of paying you an additional fee to enter the show.

 

We would not take umbrage at this effort if it was in fact a local/regional membership drive. But it is not. You are promoting this as a national event. We could understand a tiered entry fee. Members pay one fee, non-members pay another. That is straight-forward, honest and commensurate with how these things are normally done. Your approach is none of these things.

 

We're certain that the Michigan Silversmiths Guild is a great organization, run by dedicated and hard working people. You have a cadre of talented members. This subterfuge is unworthy of you and the artists you represent.

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Comment by Jon M Ryan on February 10, 2011 at 12:12am

This is just what I was thinking when I read about this exhibition. They are just trying to get more members. 

 

Why would I want to be in the Michigan Silversmiths Guild if I don't live in Michigan?

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