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Cover of Artists' Contracts: Agreements for Visual and Media Artists

Published by CARFAC Ontario, 2006* 
By Paul Sanderson & Ronald N. Hier
ISBN 978-0-919379-33-8
ISBN 978-0-919379-33-6 (Electronic)
*All contracts have been reviewed in 2016

Artists' Contracts: Agreements for Visual and Media Artists is a comprehensive and easy-to-understand guide to the “dos and don'ts” of written contracts. Artists' Contracts is a valuable resource to all artists, emerging and established, on their legal rights. It serves as an important educational primer, providing information on the essentials of contractual agreements, tips on how to draft and negotiate contracts, and advice on what to do if disputes should arise. It also introduces general legal terms found in most contracts, and includes comprehensive notes. Written in plain language, Artists' Contracts offers the necessary tools to help artists negotiate contracts effectively and to their benefit.

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Contents Covered: 

Agreements with Agents & Dealers:
This includes a contract for signing with an agent who will be representing your work, a consignment agreement to have a dealer keep a selection of works for possible sale, and an agreement with a dealer regarding representation by their gallery.

Artists’ Collaboration Agreement:
This agreement addresses issues of ownership of copyright in regard to works created jointly by more than one artist.

Artist’s Lecture Agreement:
This lecture agreement, while designed specifically for use in an educational institution, can be adapted for use for any presentation, seminar, artist’s talk, panel discussion, roundtable, workshop and/or consultation an artist may participate in as part of their professional art practice.

Bill of Sale & Transfer of Sale Agreements:
For use each time an artist’s work is sold, this folio includes resale royalty clauses and agreements.

Community Art Agreement:
This is a contract for professional artists who engage in an art project with a group of participants representing a particular sector of society outside the arts.

Copyright Licence Agreements:
This folio covers the licensing of an artist’s works for limited use in publications, including books, catalogues, magazines, CD ROMs, posters, cards, websites, etc.

Digital Art Licence Agreement:
This is a contract geared toward artists working with digital media.

Exhibition Loan Agreement:
This agreement covers any exhibition in a public space, including public and regional galleries, artist‐run centres, public libraries, city halls, convention centres, or any other venue – other than commercial venues – where art exhibitions are regularly programmed.

Model Release Agreement:
This agreement grants an artist the right to use a representation of a model in his or her work.

Original Print Publication Agreement:
For use primarily by printmakers for the publication of a set of limited edition original prints.

Performance Art Agreement:
In this edition of Artists’ Contracts, we expanded on the original checklist and notes regarding performance art from the previous edition, in order to include a full contract.

Private & Public Commission Agreements:
Both private (corporate or individual) and public commission contracts are covered here, as well as a confidentiality agreement to protect the confidentiality of artists’ proposals.

Rental Agreement:
This agreement covers the rental of an artist’s work by individuals, corporations, film companies, etc.

Sound (Video) Art Agreement:
This is a contract designed to cover the exhibition of sound art pieces. It can also be adapted for use in the screening and/or installation of video art pieces.

Video Art Distribution Agreement:
This is a contract designed to cover the distribution of video art. It can also be adapted for film distribution.


This manual is a godsend. Too many contracts are vague, and too many artists sign them without clarifying their rights and expectations. Written in simple, straightforward language, with handy checklists, these sample contracts give you the tools to ensure fair treatment and payment, and to forestall potential conflicts. The more artists use these contracts, the greater will be their general acceptance by galleries, community organizations, dealers and other institutions.” - Robin Pacific, Artist


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