Meet artist, feminist, academic, author and donor, Elvis Richardson. Elvis ran an ACF campaign to raise funds for Countess Women Count in the Art World, a benchmarking report that publishes data on gender representation in Australian contemporary visual arts. Elvis has since funded four other campaigns to show her support for the local arts community.
In our new Artist to Artist series, we chatted to Elvis about what spurred her to donate to other creatives, and why it matters to her.
Firstly, a challenge: tell us about yourself in 40 words or less.
I am an artist, writer and sometime curator. My current gallery project is true-estate.gallery that I run with two other artists above a bar in Brunswick, Melbourne.
If money were no object, what work of art would consume or buy?
I would fund more artists to make more work – I would curate a show and start a collection of women and gender non-binary artists.
What initially made you donate to another artist’s campaign on the ACF?
I think it was Ace Open in Adelaide, an organisation that I have worked with in some way and respect what they do, they were asking for money to expand their space. To be honest I was also shopping around to do my own fundraiser for Countess and found it interesting looking at the different campaigns and what they were doing.
What makes you want to give to an artist or organisation?
My gifts are very humble in value I just give what I can afford which is usually only $20 but I find the gesture of support is good too, and if it is a project I am going to enjoy as a viewer then its even better value.
Once you have donated to these campaigns, do you like to stay in touch, is it important to you?
Yes to a point, but I don’t have unrealistic expectations of the organisations to provide that in any way – I don’t think it is necessary as it is given in the spirit of a gift and in good faith.
What other ways do you like to encourage and support artists in your network?
I take part as much as I can which sometimes is much less than I would like so donating is a way to support the project also when you can’t be there.
What would you say to other artists who are thinking about donating to the arts?
Just give what you can afford as it helps to keep artists working. There are fewer and more competitive grants for artists today so this has opened a new door to ask our communities to help as most art we get to see is free – the big galleries charge for their blockbusters but there is still plenty to see for free outside of the museum.