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Artist pension fund created

The first pension program created specifically for visual artists was announced by MutualArt, Inc., a company developing innovative financial services for the art world. Called Artist Pension Trust, the pension program has been designed to provide emerging and mid-career artists with long-term financial security.

APT was created because traditional pension programs are not practical for most artists. Artist employment patterns do not lend themselves to existing pension plans, since artists typically do not work full-time and therefore often are not eligible for the pension benefits provided to full-time employees. Also, because of the ways in which their careers usually unfold, even artists who are able to work on their art full-time often are not able to invest for their future at the beginning of their professional careers.

Drawing on the traditional structure of mutual assurance societies, a series of trusts each comprised of 250 artists will be formed in cities and regions throughout the US. Artists will be invited to apply for participation in a trust by a selection committee, comprised of individuals experienced in working with emerging artists within their respective regions. The selection committee members for the first APT, Artist Pension Trust, New York, are Clarissa Dalrymple, Jeffrey Deitch, David A. Ross, Jack Tilton and Simon Watson.

APT is a barter-based program in which the participants invest works of art, rather than cash, in their pension program. Income for payments will come from the future sale of works held by their trust. During the next two years, MutualArt plans to help initiate the establishment of eight to ten trusts serving more than 2,000 artists across the US and in selected art centers around the world.

Artists who have joined Artist Pension Trust, New York, to date are: Jules de Balincour, Sebastiaan Bremer, Ambreen Butt, William Cordova, Naomi Fisher, Anthony Goicolea, Justin Lieberman, Tim Lokiec, Nate Lowman, Chris Mir, Lamar Peterson, Chloe Piene, Tyson Reeder, Mika Rottenberg, Aida Ruilova, Simone Shubuck, Zak Smith, Jeff Sonhouse, Mickalene Thomas, Kehinde Wiley and Zachary Wollard.

The artists participating in APT will invest 20 works of art over a 20-year period, and will start to receive income 20 years after the inception of their trust. Fifty percent of the net proceeds from the sale of the works in their trust will accrue to the retirement benefit accounts of all participants in that trust. The remaining 50 percent will accrue to each artist’s own retirement benefit account. As with traditional mutual assurance societies, each participant will receive an equal share of the pooled funds generated by the sale of the works held in a trust. thereby benefiting from the collective success of all of the artists in their Trust. Additionally, this structure will reward artists according to their own individual market success, since 50% of the net proceeds of the sale of his/her work are invested in individual benefit accounts. ??The sale of works held in APT will be timed to maximize the amount of money in each Trust and the return to the participating artists. Whenever possible, APT will work with each artist’s own primary gallery to offer the works for sale. It will also sell works through the selective use of private treaty sales, auctions and secondary market dealers. ??The works of art invested by the participating artists are held in trust by APT and cared for by art professionals using museum-quality standards. APT will initiate its own exhibitions and publications to help advance the careers of the participating artists. The works of art will be publicly exhibited in an open-storage facility and made available for loan to museums and galleries. ? ?APT was specifically conceived to support and supplement the activities of art galleries. APT – with the help of MutualArt – is providing a valuable service which the galleries cannot provide since it would require artists to be employees of their galleries in order to qualify for a pension plan. In addition, many artists do not have dealers and those that do often do not stay with a single dealer over the full trajectory of their career. ??”The APT program is built upon a confluence of interests among artists and dealers,” noted Mr. Galai. “All parties are interested in, and benefit from advancing the careers of the artists and in building the long-term success and financial security of an artist as a way to support the ongoing development of his/her work.” ??For further information, please contact: ??David Resnicow/Sascha Freudenheim?Resnicow Schroeder Associates?212-671-5151 / 212-671-5172?


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