work for pay is a performance piece by Lydia Bell, made in collaboration with unemployed/underemployed artists-turned-dancers. It has been performed at various venues in New York including Envoy Enterprises, Eyelevel Gallery, and McGolrick Park.

Artists are paid minimum wage for rehearsal time. The piece allows the artists to demonstrate their marketable skills to audience members. In Stage I of work for pay, Lydia worked with three artists during Summer 2009–Sara K. Edwards, Brock Shorno, and Adriana Young–who have since found unemployment. Stage II of work for pay was created in one day, on Labor Day 2009, and was presented by Urban Art Projects in East River Park as a part of Perform Williamsburg. The last work for pay event (Phase III) will be on Saturday, October 3 at Invisible Dog Gallery as a part of “No Money No Problems,” a group show produced by Recession Art.

work for pay is a critical project in the discussion of sustainable tactics in art. It aims to create a discreet economy in which artists are paid for creative research. This project suggests a new model of connecting artists to resources by using the art itself as a means of communication.

This project is supported, in part, through FEAST (Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics), a Brooklyn-based organization that uses community dinners to fund new art work democratically. Additional funds were raised through a benefit at Tandem bar and the donations of generous individuals.

For more information, please go to lydiabell.wordpress.com or write to lydia.m.bell at gmail dot com.



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