Over the last month I have donated my work to a variety of causes, and in the process thought about how artists well-known or unknown are always donating to one cause or another. Our work is raffled, auctioned, given away for door prizes, etc. The raffling or auctioning of artwork is not unusual at all. As part of my consideration of this topic, I learned that in Montana, an individual can raffle almost anything, as long as the value is under $5,000. There is no limitation on the purpose for such a raffle. So, I have decided to raffle one of my own works in order to raise money so that I can continue to be an artist. I have made a beautiful quilt just for this purpose. The raffle has already begun, and the feedback has been interesting, ranging from "wow that is really cool, I want 5 tickets" to "who would want to buy a raffle ticket from you?" I'll bet that if this same quilt had been donated to a non-profit (where I could only deduct the cost of materials and nothing for my time and expertise) and the non-profit raffled it, no one would likely wonder "who would want to buy a raffle ticket" for it. They would do it for the fun of it and the possibility of winning and to support the cause. Yet I wonder how many folks bidding on art or buying raffle tickets for art for a 'Cause" ever stop to wonder if the artist is benefiting in any way?
How often are you bidding on a doctor's services, the car mechanic, the groceries, gas or any other thing not art, a car a bike or some tangible item that some one had to buy from the store or car dealer? Maybe some items were donated but not all by any means.
I spent a week consulting with "the Gambling Guy" at our local state gambling control division office. He was very informative, answered all my questions and has even taken the time to review my Facebook posting to be sure I covered all the right information. The gambling laws involved in a raffle are interesting. A raffle by an individual in Montana has to be intrastate. In other words, while I have tons of artist friends who live all over, many of whom would probably buy a couple of tickets, and vice versa if they conducted a raffle of one of their works, I cannot conduct my raffle other than in Montana. Montana residents and people who are visiting Montana can purchase tickets but out-of-staters cannot. I cannot sell raffle tickets over the internet, via credits cards or pay pal and mail orders must be from folks with a Montana mailing address.
As a result of this raffle I may make enough money to live on for a year and continue to create beautiful fiber art, or perhaps I will only make enough to cover the cost of materials. That is part of the fun of this. And, I love, love, love doing something that gets an "Oh, my, that is really outside of the box" reaction, or "why don't artists raise money for themselves?" or "I might have to try that after I watch to see how it works for you."
"This is the offical raffle quilt. It is roughly queen-sized, and has a burgundy minky-fur back. Designer fabric was used for the flowers and the border, vintage muslin-ish fabric for the flower backgrounds, and wool batting inside. The drawing will be conducted on September 12, 2013. The winning ticket will be drawn by the East Helena Police Chief. (The time of day is to be announced, since crime investigations comes first, raffle drawings later.) Tickets are $10.00 each.The sale of raffle tickets is limited to the geographical confines of the state of Montana. Tickets may be purchased in person or through the mail if accompanied by cash or check (made out to Montana Quilts) and you have a MT address. No tickets can be sold over the Internet. The item being raffled must be worth less then 5,000. The applicable statute is Montana Code Annotated section 23-5-413."
|The blocks made from designer fabric|
|Liking it with the dark green and yellow.|
|The Lulu dog giving her 2 cents on how it looks. This was my first choice with a yellow green batik to set the blocks together. It sat around for weeks waiting to be finished.|
|Wondering why I do not quite want to finish it?|
|Replaced the batik with a soft green which is also used on the border and now it is ready to be finished.|
This is one of the very few quilts I have ever ripped out.
|Minky fur backing. The binding is on and it is now officially ready to raffle.|
The raffle quilt was won by Adam Pople of Big Sky Montana.
|The winning ticket was drawn on Sept 12th 2013 by the local Police Chief Dale J Aschim.|