Given the many facets in the career of an artist and maker, there are always instances when reality diverges from expectations.
During 35+ years of experience, I have learned and witnessed the benefits of well written contracts with galleries and exhibition sponsors. Contracts certainly help to clarify anticipated circumstances, but alas, not every possible scenario can be or will be anticipated.
Most recentlya misunderstanding arose with a Fundraising Auction where the pricing format was far outside the usual parameters. I was deeply committed to participate and had already shipped my work, so it was a surprise (shock!) to learn that I would be negatively affected by an unexpected auction structure.
So the question arises...Should I speak up and risk alienating the auction sponsor, primary donor and staff? What are the perceived risks or actual risks for speaking up? Should social pressure cause me to just be quiet, conform and follow the status quo?
Honestly, at the time, the fear of perceived risks was stressful -- very stressful. All the possible risks seemed to outweigh the immediate benefits. But I did speak up -- and ultimately the outcome of my effort changed the pricing, not just for my work, but the pricing policy for everyone. Actually, by raising the issue in advance it gave the sponsor time to consider the merits and choose a different plan.
Was it easy? No. Did the other artists benefit? Yes. Did the sponsor benefit? Yes.