Thank you to all VAI Members who participated in our recent survey

Thank you to all VAI Members who participated in our recent survey about our policies regarding advertising Jobs & Opportunities. We would also like to thank those who made contact with us to offer their stories and to offer both insights and evidence of the effect of our work and policies to date.

As those who engage with VAI will understand, we hold policies to be central to our decision making. Our work through the offices in Dublin and Belfast, as well as through our events around the country, gains excellent insight into the issues and realities faced by our members across Ireland in their professional lives. We use these to inform our advocacy areas and to provide trusted and independent advice and feedback supported by our non-partisan obligations as a representative body that focuses clearly on visual artists in their careers and which supports visual artists across a broad spectrum of political and personal beliefs.


VAI will not publish exhibition opportunities from publicly funded, private, and commercial organisations who do not pay artist’s fees with the following exception:

  • We will advertise opportunities which do not offer a fee only when they offer substantial supports in lieu of payments.
    • Our definition of substantial is an opportunity that provides funding for Production, Shipping, Insurance, Marketing, and Expenses, and offers a percentage of sales cost in excess of 60% to the artist. We do not include nor assign any value to exposure type opportunities unless the above is offered.
    • We will only advertise these opportunities from the following types of spaces: Funded Not for Profit Programmes; Established Commercial Spaces who offer significant Supports for Artists as part of their programmes; and Not for Profit Programmes where it is clear that nobody is paid.
    • We will err on the side of caution, reserve the right to mark such opportunities with a caveat, and may make a value-based judgement which allows artists to make a decision based on their own specific opinions and circumstances.

Visual Artists Ireland will not advertise calls for unpaid work in the following areas:

  • Unpaid Internships;
  • Calls for Volunteers from Commercial or Publicly Funded Spaces;
  • Requests for donations of money/art works;
  • Crowd funding requests;
  • Any opportunity in a funded/commercial space that asks artists to provide their work/services for free.

We will advertise Internships only when they are paid or, at a minimum, that equitable expenses are covered and the internship complies with our best practice policy.

We will advertise Open Calls who do not pay artists who offer prizes only when there is a clear description of the prizes and the judging process.

We will advertise Publications which seek to publish or feature artists work with no fee only when all publication costs are covered and artists receive other forms of support.

We will advertise Academic Calls for Papers only when the paper(s) will be published in recognised academic journal or proceedings.

We reserve the right to request further details on advertisements if we are not satisfied that the job or opportunity  treats artists in an equitable manner, and require such advertisers to supply details of their Equitable Treatment of Artists policies as part of their advertisement.

We do not undertake personal missions nor do we engage in campaigns outside of the visual arts. This is in keeping with our obligations as a representative organisation with charity status. We are open to providing input from a visual artist’s career point of view, and engage with researchers and policy makers working in this specific area.

We will continue to provide organisations, festivals, projects and events with free advice on how they can comply with policies concerning the equitable treatment of artists.


You may ask if these are complete? And we answer with certainty that they are probably not. These form a core of how we assess Jobs & Opportunities. As we can never be certain as to the full spectrum of the types of Jobs & Opportunities that we are asked to advertise we cannot consider that we have every eventuality covered. However, we can guarantee that we will be informed by the above principles.

We also acknowledge that we may make errors in our decisions. In keeping with our policy as a learning organisation, we acknowledge this, and operate a no blame environment that is designed to learn from our mistakes in the same way that we learn from our members and our many successes.

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