Artist-Dealer Relationships Clinic
In 2012, New York passed an amendment to its Arts & Cultural Affairs Law, N.Y. Arts & Cult. Aff. Law §12.01 (2012), that affects the consignment relationship between artists and dealers and creates critical new duties—and liabilities, for the art dealer. Most importantly, it makes using any form of agreement drafted under the old law risky, particularly for the gallery or consignee. In 2022, Center for Art Law is launching its third clinic, the Artist-Dealer Relationships Clinic.
The Clinic connects artists, dealers, and attorneys to forge meaningful relations and provide a platform for artists and dealers to learn about consignment agreements and have their questions on the topic addressed by experts in the field.
In addition to one-on-one pro bono consultations, the Clinic will offer primers, workshops and webinars on the law governing artist-dealer relations and facilitate conversations between artists, dealers and attorneys on drafting and negotiating contracts and consignment agreements.
If you are interested in the clinic or would like to participate in any way as an artist, dealer or attorney, please fill out our interest survey here.
Upcoming Clinic Events
To view or gain more information about our previous programming, please visit our Event Archives.
The Essentials: A Guide to Representation Agreements For Artists and Dealers
About this event
What is a representation agreement? What language should an artist or dealer include to protect their interests? Who pays for storage? Is there insurance? What about prompt payment? Any negotiation between artists and galleries requires forethought and legal acumen to protect the interests of either party.
This Art Law Lunch Talk moderated by Jessica Wessel Esq., Director of Business Development, Northeast at Gurr Johns, in conversation with Megan Noh Esq., co-chairs Pryor Cashman’s Art Law Group, Sara Maria Salamone, gallerist and director of Mrs., a contemporary art gallery, and Onyedika Chuke, artist and archivist. This dynamic conversation focuses on the terms and language artists and galleries should look for when negotiating representation agreements with the other side.
Whether you need to learn or review, we will focus on the most essential terms for artists and dealers when negotiating a representation agreement.
About the Speakers
Jessica Wessel, Esq.
Jessica assists private collectors and institutions with the valuation and disposition of art and other tangible assets. In this role, Jessica works closely with insurance brokers and carriers, as well as private banks and family offices, to provide clients with comprehensive appraisal and collection management services.
Prior to joining Gurr Johns in 2014, Jessica practiced corporate law at Herrick Feinstein LLP, where she also advised clients on a range of transactional art law matters, including advice with respect to art funds and art loans. Jessica received her BBA from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and her JD from Villanova University School of Law. She is admitted to the practice of law in New York.
Megan Noh, Esq.
Megan’s practice is uniquely holistic in its representation of members of almost every segment of the art market, and she is known for her ability to negotiate a transaction from both sides of its key issues—whether it’s an auction house consignment agreement, a museum exhibition loan agreement, or an artist-gallery representation agreement.
One industry source from Chambers 2021 noted that Megan is an “exceptional thinker and deeply informed..as broadly knowledgeable of art law as anyone.” Others noted that Noh is “a real star in complex deal transactions,” and an interviewee says she is “particularly well suited to operating in the art transactions sphere because of her past experience in auction houses,” adding: “She has been on both sides of the transactions, so she is able to understand what the stress points will be for both parties and put our best foot forward using those experiences.” Another source reports that Noh is “one of the most responsive, professional, diligent and thorough attorneys whom I’ve worked with in my career.”
Sara Maria Salamone
Sara Maria Salamone is the co-founder and director of Mrs., a contemporary art gallery located in Maspeth, Queens. Founded in September of 2016, the gallery collaborates with and showcases a variety of emerging, under-represented, and mid-career artists, in the hopes of engaging the community and offering a new platform for their practices. The gallery’s dynamic program has already received critical praise from outlets such as Artforum, ARTnews, Hyperallergic, Two Coats of Paint, the New Yorker, and The New York Times, among others. Salamone has a creative background herself, having received a BA in Photography from Hampshire College and an MFA in Photography and Related Media from Parsons, The New School for Design. Outside of Mrs., she has curated exhibitions at venues including Albany Center Galleries, LAUNCH F18, site95, Field Projects, and Doppelgänger Projects, among others. Salamone lives and works in Queens, New York.
Onyedika Chuke is an artist and archivist living and working in New York. His largest body of work titled The Forever Museum Archive (2011-present), is a disquieting collection of sculptures, text and images in which Chuke analyzes social, cultural and political structures. His practice has been supported by venues such as The Drawing Center, SCAD Museum, The Shed, Sculpture Center and The American Academy in Rome. Chuke’s next project opens on June 12th, 2021 at Lower Manhattan Cultural Center (LMCC) Art Center on Governors Island as a collaboration with Pioneer Works.
From January 2018-2019, Chuke served as New York City Public Artist in Residence (P.A.I.R). The position placed him in the offices of Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) and Department of Corrections (DOC) Rikers Island.
His work as a P.A.I.R artist entailed collaboration with individuals on Rikers Island facing extreme challenges, create access to art and open dialogue between New York City policymakers and those in their custody. In addition, he utilized DOC’s archives to research architecture and historical landscape that have shaped New York City’s penological system. His ongoing research was covered by various publications including Art Papers and Bomb Magazine.
With a focus on social theory, drawing, painting, and photography as well as sculptural mold-making, Chuke is equally invested in the processes of production and research.
Handouts and Reading Material
Read the handouts HERE.
Recording of the Lecture
Watch the recording HERE.
12:00 pm EST
Workshop on Licensing and Negotiation (w/ Catlan McCurdy)
Licensing arrangements can provide artists with a great opportunity for passive revenue, allowing you to commercialize your art on your terms. While license discussions may begin based on commonly used terms, every license negotiation is bespoke due to the uniqueness of the work of art and proposed use for such art. There are fundamental provisions that all license agreements should contain, as well as pitfalls for the unwary. Join the Center for Art Law along with Catlan McCurdy, Esq. in a presentation that will cover a bit of both in an effort to make you a more informed licensor.
About the Speaker
Catlan McCurdy is the Principal Attorney at McCurdy, LLC, a boutique intellectual property and technology transactions firm. After a decade of working in large law firms and in-house counsel at National Public Radio, Inc., Catlan founded McCurdy,LLC to provide modern and personalized solutions for creative individuals and technology-focused organizations. Located in Minneapolis, Catlan helps clients nationwide develop, license, and sell their art and intellectual property and technology.
Handouts and Reading Material
Read the handouts HERE.
Recording of the Lecture
12:00 pm EST
Artist – Dealer relationships: contracts, consignment agreements & negotiation (w/ Dean Nicyper, Jim Kempner and Paula Scher)
Join the National Arts Club and Center for Art Law in conversation with Dean Nicyper, partner at Withers Worldwide, artist Paula Scher, and fine art dealer and artist Jim Kempner. Together, the panelists will discuss their experiences and the intricacies of drafting and negotiating consignment agreements from the perspectives of an attorney, dealer, and artist.
6:00 pm EST
Artist – Dealer Relationships: Reading the Fine Print (w/artist Eric Aho and attorney Dean Nicyper)
About the Event
A conversation on contracts, consignments, the art market and more from the perspective of an artist and an attorney.
Join the Center for Art Law in conversation with Eric Aho, an artist represented by the DC Moore Gallery and Dean Nicyper, partner at Withers Worldwide.
Together, the panelists will share their experiences and perspectives from the view point of an artist and attorney, and discuss the intricacies of art contracts, building relationships with dealers and drafting/negotiating consignment agreements.
About Our Speakers
Eric Aho was born in Melrose, Massachusetts in 1966 and grew up in rural New Hampshire. He studied printmaking at London’s Central School of Art and Design, and received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. Aho completed his graduate work at the Lahti Art Institute in Finland supported by a Fulbright Fellowship in 1991–92 and an American-Scandinavian Foundation grant in 1993. Exhibited and collected widely, his works are included in the permanent collections of the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH; Denver Art Museum, CO; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, NH; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Neuberger Museum of Art, SUNY Purchase; and the New Britain Museum of American Art, CT among others. Aho lives and works in Saxtons River, Vermont. DC Moore Gallery in New York represents his work.
Dean Nicyper heads Withers Bergman Dispute Resolution Group in the Unities States. For the past two decades, Mr. Nicyper’s practice has focused on commercial disputes with a significant focus on art disputes. Among his various clients, Mr. Nicyper has successfully represented one of the two largest art auction houses for more than 20 years in dozens of lawsuits covering a broad range of art law related issues, such as authenticity of works of art, art fraud, auction law, consignment obligations as well as rights and obligations of parties in loan transactions where works of art have been pledged as collateral. He also has represented artists and their families and foundations, art dealers and agents, art collectors and art appraisers in many art-related disputes. He represented claimants in all of the major US art fraud matters over the past 20 years and was lead counsel in the initial cases uncovering two of the largest art fraud scandals in the past 20 years. He also spearheaded legislation that is now incorporated in the New York State Arts & Cultural Affairs Law. Mr. Nicyper has appeared on Court TV and Good Morning America, has given many presentations and published several articles concerning art law. He served as the Chair of the Art Law Committee of the Association of the Bar for the City of New York from 2013 to 2016.
Watch the Recording
Volunteer Attorneys and Professionals
Who may register?
- We encourage participation by visual artists who wish to build and strengthen their case for employment-based visa applications over the next 6-12 months.
- The 1:1 consultations that occur at the Clinic are not suitable for artists with urgent immigration issues. However, all visual artists are welcome to attend and listen to the presentation.
- The Clinic best serves those artists which have no attorney and are seeking a first-time legal consultation. If you already attended a session of the Visual Artists’ Immigration Clinic, we encourage you to reach out to the attorney(s) you already met with (contact information is in the handouts distributed at the session).
How do I register?
- Pre-registration is mandatory for a $10 fee.
- Registration takes place through Eventbrite, where you will need to fill out a confidential intake form.
- Choose your preferred session date; you do not need to attend all open sessions.
- Dial-in details and other instructions will be emailed once registration has been confirmed; be sure to check your emails in the days leading up to the Clinic.
How do I prepare for the Clinic?
Make sure that you have the following documents on your computer:
- A passport showing your current visa;
- CV or resume;
- List of exhibitions and media publications about your work.
What happens after the Clinic?
The Center for Art Law will be providing immigration law guides and the contact information of the Volunteer Attorneys participating in each session.
If you wish to pursue the conversation with the Volunteer Attorneys participating in the session, you should reach out to them directly!
If you have any further questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org