Copyright Fair Use for Visual Art - Good News

New Consensus on Guidelines for Fair Use of Visual Art

Great news for artists! The College Art Association has completed a well-documented process of elucidating what fair use really means for visual art. These are important guidelines for any artist, curator or art teacher to read. The document is easy to obtain, free of charge. Download a copy in .pdf form of the Code of Best Practices for Fair Use in the Visual Arts.

For more on the process by which this document was achieved, see the Fair Use page at the College Art Association website. This page also includes several valuable links to more information. For example, at "Fair Use: You Be the Judge," you can think through sample scenarios posing questions about fair use. There are also links to FAQ, an infographic on why consensus on guidelines has been needed, and a PowerPoint presentation.

I definitely recommend taking the time to download and  look through this PowerPoint presentation on Fair Use. (The link is toward the bottom of that main Fair Use page.) There are some fascinating surprises in it. If you're an artist, I guarantee you will feel both freer and more thoughtful after watching it!  It gave me a huge boost on my top current project.

Artists - Use Your University Libraries

I ran across this information in the Georgia State University Library blog, filtered for "Art." Am I glad that I needed to find out the library's hours during spring break! I'd never clicked on the library blog before.

If you're an artist in the north half of Georgia, shame on you if you don't explore the art books at the Georgia State University Library -- or at least, at some college library nearby. I happen to be an alumnus of Georgia State (graduate school in psychology) so I can check out books there. There's no way I could ever afford to own all the art books that can inspire and help me, so this is a fabulous privilege.

The Power of a Good Art Library

There was even a day back in January where a traumatic family event had me wondering if there was any use at all in making art. Painting seemed like such a futile activity in the face of my family's new tragedy. Art seemed like nothing to me.

I had to return some books to the GSU Library, though, so I went, pretty much in tears. Some survival instinct took me to the section first on aesthetics (the philosophy of art). Right away I found books on why art is so important -- making art, looking at art, encouraging art. It was as if these books were putting their arms around me and offering me comfort. 

I spent a few hours there at the library and when I left, having found fresh books to study at home, I felt renewed. I was sad but I felt that I could go on. Art mattered.