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The Essentials: A Guide to Artist-Dealer Relationships and Contracts (Jan. 25, 2023)

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 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

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.