The Present Group – Call For Submissions

Who we are:
The Present Group is a subscription art service. TPG subscribers receive 4 original pieces of art from 4 different contemporary artists in one year. Each work is reproducible in intent; the piece cannot lose quality by being reproduced. The edition is limited to the current number of subscribers, plus a small percentage for new subscribers and a small stock of back issues.

What we are looking for:
Proposals for projects that are reproducible in intent. Each piece can be a limited edition, an artist multiple, or either a part of or a document of a larger work. Our current edition numbers are under 100. We choose based on the piece’s Visual, Conceptual, and/or Experiential interest. The project will be made exclusively through The Present Group. We understand that similar themes and images may be used throughout your other work, however you agree not to create the exact project in the same form again.

Appreciation for Selected Artists:
• $500 (This is an honorarium; we cover the costs of production)
• 4 of the produced work for your own collection or to sell on your own.
• A captive audience of Art Lovers and Collectors
• All the contextual information we create for your piece, including artist info, critiques, and video
will remain free on-line as long as TPG exists

Do you have to make them all yourself?
No. You don’t have to be able to physically make them all yourself. We‘ll work with you to have them made, or help you make them. It is not a requirement that you have worked on this scale before.

How does this “working together to get things made” work?
We can’t give you a definite answer here, as every piece and every person will be different. But in general, we will find vendors, organize labor, figure out production methods. Your timely approval will be necessary so that we will be able to maintain your vision and stick to our quarterly schedule. If chosen, you will be asked for an artist statement, and for some or all of the following: to be interviewed, to provide information to someone writing a piece about you or your work, to be videotaped during a studio tour or lecture, etc.

Your proposal should include:
• Contact Information: Name, Address, Phone Number, E-mail, Website (if it applies)
• Project Proposal:
1. What you want to do.
2. How this work will relate to/expand on current themes in your work
3. Anything (sketches, photos. . .) to help you explain your idea.
• Links to Artist Resume, Statement, Work Samples

The Present Group has a rolling submissions policy; we review proposals four times a year. Our next review date is AUGUST 8TH, 2007. Everyone who applies will be contacted by e-mail.

Email guidelines:

Include all of your contact information in the body of your email.
You may also include your project proposal in the body or .PDF.
We much prefer links to web sites or files. If you must use attachments, limit it to three. We will not open more. We prefer .PDFs or .JPGs. We will not accept attached video.

Snail Mail guidelines:
The Present Group
Attn: Submission
593 8th Street #3
Oakland, CA 94607

Send us anything you feel will help us understand your background and/or proposal. We will accept any form of media. If you’d like your sample material returned please include a SASE with proper postage.
Download guidelines here (pdf)

Anthroptic Press Release

Innovative Arts Organization releases first piece free online, unveils new way to Support Contemporary Art

OAKLAND, CA: March 30, 2007 – The Present Group, a quarterly art subscription service, unveiled an interactive online version of their first edition today. The hand-made artist book “Anthroptic” is a collaboration between new media artist Ethan Ham and writer Benjamin Rosenbaum. It was produced for the organization’s subscribers, however, an interactive, digital version of the work is now available for everyone online, along with an interview with the artists, critiques, information on the books’ construction, and a forum for discussion.When: Now

Subscription Art
“The Present Group is like a mutual-fund that produces art instead of profits. It enables a community of subscribers to support contemporary artists and receive original artwork in return,” explains co-founder Oliver Wise . For an annual subscription of $150 TPG subscribers receive four limited edition works from four different contemporary artists. Artists submit proposals for projects that are reproducible in intent (i.e. will not lose quality by being reproduced). TPG chooses one project every season, collaborates with the artist to produce it, and return their subscribers’ investment in limited-edition artwork. Each piece is accompanied by information to help subscribers gain insight into the work, its creator, and recurring themes in the contemporary art world.

“Anthroptic” is an edition of 80 hand-made artist books by Ethan Ham and Benjamin Rosenbaum. The book contains 8 folios that pair one image with one “chapter” of the story. The images were taken from Ethan’s online project “Self-Portraits” in which he trained a facial recognition program to his face before unleashing it onto Flickr. While searching the millions of photos for its creator, the computer program sometimes made mistakes, identifying inanimate objects as Ethan. These mistake images became the starting point for Benjamin’s short, short story. Benjamin weaves these images into an exquisitely interconnected tale that can be read in any order.

A New Way of Supporting Contemporary Art
The Present Group’s goal is to create a new source of funding for artists while expanding the base of art lovers and collectors. They aim to de-mystify the art world by providing a free online resource and discussion area built around each piece. Subscribers can learn about and absorb each piece at their own pace, in the comfort of their own homes, without the intimidation factor of a gallery or museum. At only $150 per year, The Present Group provides an affordable opportunity to explore your tastes while collecting. As Wise points out, “It’s the most current contemporary art class you can take..”

For more information contact: Oliver Wise – or visit


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