Mission Statement

Our Mission is to promote art and art education in the community and among its members. To encourage and promote a public interest and understanding of art; to create and develop a closer relationship between art and the community and further the education and artistic development of its members.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

No Derivative Works Please!

More and more you read these words in prospectus and show outlines. That along with the wording “nothing based on published photographs or under the direction of class or workshop” All works must be original. Still. Many show personal complain that they still get work based on photos published in books and on the web. So obviously, many people do not know just what is meant by derivative work.

A derivative work is defined as one that is substantially derived from another underlying work. The dictionary also notes that such a work, when based on a copyrighted work is an infringement if permission is not obtained prior to execution. Understand? No. Well if you can tell where it came from, it is a derivative work.

This used to be quite common in artwork. All over the world you could find these works and art historians could trace their origins. With the establishment of copyright, and intellectual property, it is now a definite no-no.

Fair Use

Well, what about fair use, you ask. It truth, fair use has nothing to do with creating new works of art, which collage artists around the world repeatedly fine out. This clause in the copyright laws is actually meant for critique and publicity. Reporters and critics covering art shows and doing book reviews, etc, can show snapshots of or include excerpts from works and shows they are reviewing. It was never meant to say you could take parts of other works and incorporated them into your own work. Most shows do include a clause in their prospectus explaining that images can be used to publicize that show or gallery. This is also fair, and does not effect the actually copyright holder’s integrity.

When is reference not reference?

But I only used that photo for reference in my painting, isn’t that fair? Well is it? Why did you use that photo? Did you copy the layout of it? Mimic the colors and lighting? Use the same stances of the people? Well? Who's work is it then?

Dictionary.com defines reference, # 8 as: “use or recourse for information”. This is the meaning that our reference photos should have.

I am doing a painting with a horse, oh; I need a picture of a horse so I know how many legs a horse has. You should use those photos for information only, the actually composition of your painting must be your own if the painting is to be submitted to any show or competition.

If you copy the composition of a photo, you are copying the photographer/artists work, their artistic vision. There is a huge temptation to do this. We all have calendars, books etc, that contain photos we would love to copy. But remember, this makes it a derivative work.

When is a derivative work not a derivative work?

Well, all I have to do is change 10% of it and it is my own. Or simply reverse it. Where this myth came from I don’t know. But it persists. Not true, people. Simply change a few things around, reversing the photo, etc. does not mean it is ok to copy. How do you know the photographer did not reverse the print before it was published? And there is no truth to the 10% rule at all. If you can recognize where it came from, it is copying. And don’t think simply doing it in another medium makes it ok. It does not.

Now there is definitely a difference between derive from and inspired from. One is totally based on the previous work, the other has it own composition, style, texture, etc.

Royalty Free photos on the web

There are tons of sites on the web to view and download photos. Read the fine print. Even on the stock photo sites, these works cannot be copied for artwork. The fine print even states that you cannot use these for derivative works. If you find a photo you like, you must get permission in writing from the photographer to use it. The site you find it on may or may not be the site of the photographer, and I would be cautious of any site that does not protect or mark the photos. Many websites unfortunately, make free with photos, drawing and paintings found on the Internet. Yes, Virginia, things on the internet are covered by copyright laws.

Please, No Derivative works!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Things I like about The Renaissance Art Gallery

It is a friendly place.

It is a place for everyday, blue-collar working artists to get together.

It is small enough to feel comfortable. But large enough to make an impact.

Kids like it.
Artist run it and they are always happy to see you!

Then there is the


There is a big
Variety of art
Different styles and viewpoints

No two are alike. Original

there is

Something for everyone

It changes with the seasons


Learning is constant

Classes for all levels and mentoring of new artists.

Something for everyone.

At the Renaissance Art Gallery


Who are artists?

Art is not something only for the elite
Everyone likes art
No exceptions

Everyone’s ideas as to what is art differs, this is ok.

All art is decorative and always has been.

Art is what makes us human.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Welcome, Raine

Raine Klover is the newest artist to join The Renaissance Art Gallery co-operative. She is an accomplished photographer and encaustic painter, combining two mediums in a really interesting way.

An itinerant photographer and artist, Raine is inspired by both the natural and man-made worlds. In the past decade she has lived in Seattle, Dallas, New Orleans, Dayton, OH, Albuquerque and currently resides in Huntington, WV. These diverse locales have all added layers upon layers of unique cultural flavors to her worldview. Her work is not about capturing a moment – but about capturing emotions and creating visual allegories. She is drawn to the darker side of life and loves things that simultaneously break her heart with their emotional context and lift her up with their unmistakable beauty.

In addition to hanging pictures at The Renaissance Art Gallery, Raine will also be teaching. Leading workshops in encaustic painting for adults and a combined workshop in jewelry making, open to children and adults.
Her work can be viewed at the gallery during normal gallery hours and on her website: http://www.raineworks.com/

The Renaissance Art Gallery
900 8th Street, Suite #20
Huntington, WV 25701

Gallery (304) 525-3235
Appointments: (304) 453-3187


Gallery hours are:

Friday & Saturday 12-4 pm, Sunday 1-4 pm
Studio hours Monday 10-Noon, Wednesday 1:00-7:30 pm and Saturday 10-Noon

Monday, August 9, 2010

Black Expo 2010 Artist's Reception

Sunday saw the opening of "Black Expo 2010". These are the winning artists from the Juneteenth celebration. Juneteenth is a celebration of the signing of the emancipation proclamation by Abraham Lincoln. It is the oldest such celebration is the United states, and was this year sponsored by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Huntington Alumnae chapter. After one of our member artists, Gary Taylor served as a juror for their art show, he invited them to a month long display of their art in The Renaissance Art Gallery’s exhibition hall

Although it was hot out, the gallery was rather comfortable. The new chairs in the Kumkum Majumdar Exhibition hall are a wonderful addition to The Renaissance Art Gallery. I don’t know how we got along so long without them. It is so nice to have adequate chairs!

We moved one of the tables used for classes into the main hall, and set up the refreshments there, allowing more room for circulation around the art exhibits. It was a good thing we did. Sunday was sufficiently warm to need both the air conditioning and a large fan to keep the air circulating.

We did get really good press coverage of the show, with all three major stations sending reporters and cameras to the reception. Marsha Dawson, president of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority was interviewed by one station while two of our guest artists were interviewed for another.

Many of our visitors had never been to the gallery before and it was a great chance for us to make many connections in the community. We had guests not only from Huntington, but also from Ashland Kentucky, Southern Ohio and the Charleston, WV area.

The artists displaying their work in this show are relatively unknown as artists. For a few, this show represent their premiere as visual artists.

We also have a nice display by some younger artists who are showing their health related posters.

This show will run for the month of August, so there is still time to come and see it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Black Expo 2010

Gallery member Gary Taylor was so impress with the work he saw when he was invited to be a juror for this year's Juneteenth Celebration, that he immediately asked the sponsoring group, the Huntington Alumnae chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, to bring this group of artists to the Renaissance Gallery. The Juneteenth show, being outdoors, was of of necessity brief.

I could go on, but I will let Gary's own words speak for this show.


I represented The Renaissance Gallery today at the Juneteenth [held on June 19th]

year’s Festivities at the A. D. Lewis Community Center in Huntington, West Virginia. I served as one of three judges for the Black Art Expo under the auspices of the service sorority Delta Sigma Theta.
Two other judges joined me: (1.) Teresa Crisp, a ceramicist and sculptor who has been teaching art courses for young people at the Huntington Museum of Art and who works at the A. D. Lewis Center and (2.) Adrian Blackstock, a student of Michael Cornfeld (Most of you will recall that Prof. Cornfeld served as juror for our spring color complements exhibition.) You can see some of Ms Blackstock's work at

We three had the pleasant experience of agreeing immediately and unanimously on the First Place winner: "Haiti's Situation," a large painted construction piece by Elaine Blue. (Most of you will remember that our gallery hosted a one-woman show of Elaine's work a year ago.) In a youth category, we awarded the top prize to young Alynna Garrett for a blue and green glazed bowl. (A People's Choice award went to JoJo Gardner for a surrealistic oil painting.)
On my say-so, I have invited Delta Sigma Theta to extend an invitation to all of the finalists to bring their work to our gallery for display in August. There will be at most some 15 pieces of work, and they are all artworks of high quality and great variety. It will be to our advantage to have in our gallery the work of these artists in particular:

Frederick Hightower, Sculpture and oil painting.
Elliot Scott, Painting and drawing
JoJo Gardner, Fantasy and surrealistic painting
Brooksie Blue, youngster, Playful versions of anime and comic book figures

A dancer, whose name I didn't catch, left me breathless. She danced an extraordinary piece not up on the stage but right down on the thick grass in A. D. Lewis field in temperatures going north of 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Next year, I may go just to eat some more sweet potato pie and fresh fried catfish. And there'll be good gospel and rap and poetry. And did I mention the barbecued ribs?

Best regards,
Gary T.

(drawing is one of Gary's impressions of the Juneteenth Festivities )