Frequently Asked Questions

As an artist, you may have some questions you would like answered prior to committing as a Made to Order artist. We hope you find the answer to your questions here.

In 2020, 26 artists were commissioned to do 50 works of art, which raised nearly $30,000 for artists.

1. What is the artist’s role in this project?

We ask artists to allow TMA to present their work to potential buyers, who may commission a personal work of art. For artists asked to do a commission, the commissioning process is somewhat collaborative and is determined by each artist/buyer pair.

We encourage buyers to explore how contemporary art can fit into their personal lives. Likewise, we want artists to be innovative and have fun talking through the possibilities with their buyers. Each piece will be new work created specifically for each artist’s buyer based on the pairing’s interactions. Creativity and experimentation are encouraged with the idea that everyone is happy with the end result.

2. How are artists selected?

Unlike most exhibitions at TMA, Made to Order is not curated in a traditional way. The concept that ties the work together is that of “patronage.” Each work included in the exhibition has been newly commissioned by a buyer, who takes it home after the exhibition closes on November 7, 2021. Additionally, the work has been informed by some kind of interaction, collaboration, or conversation between the artist and buyer. The exhibition celebrates the diversity of buyers and artists in our community and the breadth of work that can result.

Artists are included by one of two ways:

  1. TMA collects a group of artists, which it invites to participate. Their work will be presented on our website and solicited to potential buyers by our board, staff and friends of the museum. If selected by a buyer, the commissioned work will be exhibited. At times, these artists know a person who would like to commission their work, and we are happy to help facilitate the process. TMA is currently selecting this group of artists.
  2. Alternatively, some artists are introduced to us by buyers who would like to work with them. In such cases, TMA still acts as the facilitator of the commissioning process. The work is also included in the final in-person and virtual exhibition. (Note: since the project is about patronage, the work must develop out of a relationship or interaction between artist and buyer. No previously existing works will be included.)

Not all artists will receive commissions and some will receive multiple. We do our best to match up as many artists as possible. We hope having work represented by TMA will prove to be beneficial to artists regardless of receiving a commission.

3. What is the process/timeline?

The role of the TMA is to help match artists and buyers and facilitate the commissioning process. TMA can assist buyers with the decision-making process by suggesting commission possibilities that fit their needs, interests and budget range, as well as arrange artist-buyer phone calls. Once a match has been made, TMA coordinates with both the artist and buyer to collect information and commission details (such as price, size, medium, edition, etc). With this information, TMA creates a contract, which must be signed by both parties in order to participate in the exhibition and for artists to receive payment.

Feb – April: Artist-buyer matches are made
May: All contracts finalized
May – July: Artist make artwork 
August 15: Completed artwork is due to TMA
August 27: Made to Order exhibition and opening reception
August 27 – November 7, 2021: Made to Order exhibition and virtual exhibition are on view

4. How will the price for the commission be set?

Artists set their own price. TMA will receive 50% of the set commission price as a charitable contribution from the buyer. The other 50% is paid to the artist to cover the artist’s costs and fees (and anything his/her gallery requires, when applicable). TMA can assist in determining an appropriate price, but ultimately pricing is the artist’s decision.

5. How is payment taken care of?

Typically, the TMA receives half of the payment up front and the other half by August exhibition opening. The artist will receive a check for half of their fee at the start of the commissioning process and the other half at the end when TMA has received the final payment.

If alternate payment schedules are arranged, they will be set mutually with the artist.

6. How many artworks will be in the exhibition?

We are aiming for 60-90 commissions this year.

Please contact Ann Weuve at aweuve@troutmuseum.org for more information. Include a website link or samples of your work if you are interested in being considered as a Made to Order artist.