Viscopy announces $1.7 Million Royalty Distribution

Visual Arts

Viscopy has announced a $1.7 million distribution of royalties to members for the 2011–12 financial year, a 19% increase from the previous year. The announcement was made this week at Viscopy’s annual general meeting (AGM) in Sydney.

A focus on large international exhibitions over the last 12 months including the Picasso: Masterpieces from the Musee National Picasso, Paris exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and Surrealism: The Poetry of Dreams at the Queensland Art Gallery contributed to this growth in royalty distributions.

Viscopy Chair Jeremy Thorpe said that despite the challenges faced by many in the creative industries over the year, Viscopy has seen a renewed focus on their core objectives as an organisation.

‘This year was a difficult one for many organisations and Viscopy was no different. However, we are pleased to report the past year has been one of continued growth. 2011-12 saw yet another record year in direct licensing revenues paid to Viscopy members and a 6% overall growth in membership,’ said Mr Thorpe.

‘In addition, more than 300 artists, arts workers and community members receive practical education and training from Viscopy staff through the Indigenous Artists © Business education program. This commitment is important in assisting local communities to build a professional, profitable and stable base to produce and distribute artworks of artistic excellence,’ says Mr Thorpe.

The $10,000 John Fries Memorial Prize for emerging visual artists was another highlight of the year. The competition was fierce, attracting the highest number of quality of entrants to date including a finalist from New Zealand for the first time.

With the introduction of the services agreement with Copyright Agency on 2 July 2012, Mr Thorpe said ‘we are confident this coming year will be an exciting one allowing us to continue to deliver licensing revenue to visual artists and to reduce our administrative costs. The services agreement is about sharing core resources to deliver better results for both creators and users of artistic works.’

Also announced at the AGM were a number of changes to Viscopy’s board of directors.

Ms Merilyn Fairskye and Mr Des Griffin AM will be stepping down from their positions on the board; both have retired at the expiry of their current terms having served the maximum term permitted as Viscopy directors.

The AGM confirmed two new NAVA appointed directors, Mr Gary Carsley and Mr Matthew Sleeth. In addition, the AGM also confirmed the appointment of two new independent directors, Mr Marcus Clark and Ms Cass Matthews.