Monday, May 10, 2010

Artist Pension Trust Update

The Art Newspaper checks in on the Artist Pension Trust, now in its seventh year. I described it here as a kind of 401(k) plan for artists. According to the article, 1,100 artists have signed up, and it has a collection of more than 4,500 works. Each artist contributes 20 works (over 20 years), with a minimum market value of $5,000 per work. Upon sale of a work, 40% goes to the artist, 32% goes into a pool to be shared with the other artists in the same "hub," and 28% goes to the investors who are funding the plan's operations. (It's unclear whether the running expenses come out of this 28% or instead come off the top before the money is split.) As the article notes:

"The payment structure means APT artists ... share in the value of other artists’ work as a hedge against the price of their own. While this might be an attractive prospect for an emerging artist, is it so appealing for more established artists? ... In reality, ... APT is an untested novelty and one artist, who did not want to be named, said she was 'sceptical' about how the venture will pan out."