Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Vancouver Art Box Show Scam

The Vancouver Art Box show was held at the Autumn Brook Gallery in Vancouver BC on the 30th of December 2008. It was set up and promoted by "Shawn Findley" and his girlfriend. The idea was to supposedly promote new and upcoming art talent while donating 10% of the proceeds to Gallery Gachet; a not-for-profit co-op that provides artists informed by mental health issues with opportunities to exhibit, curate, perform, read, teach and to develop their leadership skills.

According to the Vancouver Art Box Show website:

1. Artists pick up premade wooden boxes 2-3 weeks before the show
2. They create artwork using whatever methods they wish
3. We have a big show with ~ 200 boxes being made by various artists
4. Visitors mingle and peruse all the artwork, priced at $100 each!
5. Feel good about supporting the artistic community
6. Purchase original artwork at a very reasonable price

I attended on the night as i knew someone who contributed pieces and overall the standard of work displayed was excellent. I was tempted to purchase one particular piece on the night but instead took note of the artists name. I'm now glad i didn't as it appears that both artists and the Gallery Gachet were ripped off. The artists were promised $ 50 per sold piece and none to date have received payment for the pieces sold. Gallery Gachet has not heard anything from "Shawn Findley" since the event

The payment never arrived as the organizer appears to have fled, possibly with all the money from the show. Mr Findley who according to his facebook profile, hails from Austin, Texas. He has not responded to any communications enquiring about the status of the money raised from the show.

This concerns me as it will have an effect on anyone genuinely trying to put a show together, either to help emerging artists or to raise money for organizations. It isn't the typical behavior displayed in the Vancouver art community, where most people operate with integrity, goodwill and faith. The police have been contacted and i would advise anyone who participated, attended or bought art on the night to spread the word, contact the police or join the facebook page below to support the artists.

Original Vancouver Art Box show:


Anonymous said...

what a scumbag

Green of Eye, Sharp of Claw said...

@NM: It really is such a pity as the people involved in the art scene/world here really do strive to work with integrity.

The weird thing is that it seemed so legit on the night and had a sizable turn out, i hadn't a clue that the artists involved wouldn't see any payment for their work.

I only hope that someone tracks him down and recovers the payment for the charity and artists involved.

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