Like many artisans practicing in Glasgow I hadn’t realised Glasgow City Council were about to impose a tax on any organisation wishing to display art.
Due to come into force in April 2012 it does not allow exhibition and event organisers time to complete, file the paperwork and receive the correct documentation.
With fees ranging from £120-£7,500 it could cripple not-for-profit organisations and dissuade community groups from showing their work. Currently it is unclear to be about who will have to pay. I mean, if schools want to display their children’s art will they be charged? Will each event within Refugee Week have to pay individually? Will the Art School degree show be charged? All these events are free to the public and enhance the lives not only of those who take part but also those who view the pieces.
I have signed the petition to Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government adding the following note to it
I believe art, in all it’s forms, should be available for all and that the Art Licence is detrimental to the communities of Glasgow. Communities in Glasgow have always expressed themselves in art from schools, religious groups and unions to the many artists and artisans the city has fostered. With this tax I believe many communities will not be able to afford to enrich themselves by publicly displaying their creativity and that emerging artists will have fewer platforms to display their work as independent galleries and pop-up not-for-profit shops close or move to other more welcoming cities.
I am disgusted that a city council that has prided itself in proving free entry to art galleries and has built it’s collections on the generosity of its citizens (The Burrell Collection for one) has agreed to this tax and I hope it will rethink this policy.
If you would like to know more here is a link to the petition. It also has links to Glasgow City Council’s website and an article from The Herald regarding this tax.
There is also a public meeting arranged on Saturday 18th February between 1-4pm. The venue is still to be confirmed so please check the Facebook page for more details: http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/292474694148218/.