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January 23, 2011

AIR Gallery, DUMBO, Brooklyn!

Reception: Thurs. March 3, 2011 / 6 - 8:30pm

Artist in Residence / A.I.R. Gallery
111 Front Street, 228
Brooklyn, NY 11201

The gallery is in Brooklyn's DUMBO. (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass)
The New York Water Taxi company runs a water ferry from the Fulton Slip at Fulton Landing. New York City Subwaystations are located at York Street (F train) and High Street – Brooklyn Bridge (A C trains). A convenient staircase connects the Brooklyn Bridge walkway to Washington Street, one of DUMBO's main streets.

January 15, 2011

Art Scams...Artists Beware!

The past few days have been a whirlwind of what I thought was going to be a great art sale. It turned out to be a scam. Some sweet person e-mails you saying they love your work, picked two paintings they really want to purchase, inquirers about your inspiration for the artwork, and then arranges to purchase them from you. What tipped me off was the over-payment in the check, it should have been for $ 1,500, instead a check for $ 4,500 fell out of my Fed Ex envelope. My first thought - money laundering.

I searched on-line for any information, the buyer's name came up with nothing, but when I put in the address she was moving to, the scam was revealed in another artist's blog, with the exact verbiage used to lure me in. The artist had posted it as a warning. I am going to do the same here in hopes that other artists search out such information before falling into this deception.

She started out by saying that she was pregnant and at her twin sister's wedding in London... she wanted to purchase two paintings from me, and was rushing me because she was moving from NJ to South Africa and needed to arrange with her shippers to get my artwork for the move:

"Good to hear back from you. Yes, I will like to proceed with the purchase of both works. I think they are lovely works and I hope to give them a good home.

I am presently away in London for my twin sister's wedding even though it comes at a time when I was preparing for a big move and also expecting a baby, but it means so much to her. I should be back in few days.

Meanwhile, I will like you to forward your mailing address and phone number so I can inform my husband still shuttling between our home in New Jersey and Jo'burg, SA on where to forward the payment. He has just been transfer to head of the IT section of their head Office in Jo'burg.

I can also forward your contact info to the local cartage company that will be moving all our house decors so they can get in touch with you to arrange shipping details. They can arrange FedEx pick up of the artworks from your studio.

I will look forward to hearing from you so I can know how best to proceed. Cheers." Same e-mail as I got, but from another blogger's site!

then mine:

"From: Debby Barnes
Sent: Thu, January 13, 2011
To: Callie

Subject: Payment Sent..

Hi Callie,

Hope this message finds you well. Thanks so much for your patient regarding
the transaction. It has been a very difficult time with alot of things on my plate.

Anyway, I will like to inform you that the payment was sent to you by my
husband yesterday via FedEx ( tracking No 794311416237 ) and he was advise
that you will receive it today so try and be on the look out for it.

I will like you to have both our addresses, you can add it to your mailing
list. I will like to hear about your future works and art shows. Our address
in the states is...

743 Passaic Ave
Clifton, NJ 07012

While our new address in SA is....

12 Dennis Street
Nelson Mandela SQUARE,
4005 JB, South Africa.

Meanwhile, I forwarded your contact info to the moving agency that will be
handling the shipment of all our house decors and they promise to get in
touch with you. Try and make shipping arrangement with them and
keep me updated with details.

I will look forward to hearing from you soon as you receive this email so I
can be sure we are on the same page. Thanks for your patient.

Best Regards, Debby.

PS...Try and acknowledge this email asap."

This is the final stage, after over-payment is acknowledged:

"Good to hear you have received payment for the paintings. Thanks for your
update. I am very excited and can't wait to have them on my wall. I hope to
give them a very good home and enjoy the pieces for years.

Regarding the payment, my husband overpayed you because he didn't have full
details of the transaction since I was sick when he sent it.

Therefore, I would like you to get the ball rolling, I will like you to go
ahead and deposit the payment, as soon as it clears, you can then remove the
asking price for the two paintings and forward the difference back to him.

Meanwhile, I was able to get in touch with the movers and i was informed
they are presently on shipping tour and will like to come for the pick up as
soon as possible. Try and make shipping arrangement with them and keep me
posted with updates. Thanks.

Best Regards,
Debby Barnes

PS...I will like you to acknowledge this email as soon as possible."

The over-payment made me think of money laundering. Turns out that the check would have just bounced (totally fake from Marvel Comics, looked like an official paycheck), and then she would have tried to have rushed me into returning the rest of the money by Western Union, another artist stated. She would have walked off with my artwork and my money had I not thought to search on the address in South Africa and found the other artist's blog on this same scam.

Looking back there were a lot of signs that should have tipped me off, but the way she flattered me, the thought of an art sale and the rush she put on it made me move forward without thinking about possible scams.

Artists be wary! Use paypal or Western Union for sales.

January 04, 2011

Traveling Artist

Seeing art in foreign countries is intriguing as well as inspirational. The streets of Berlin, Madrid, London, are all filled with the most wonderful public art.

I am just back from a wonderful week in Madrid, and would enjoy nothing more then to share all the fun things I have experienced. But nothing can replace actually going abroad and feeling these things first hand. The different cultures, money and tastes of exotic foods is unbeatable.

Coming home I am all the more inspired to create my vision of these experiences. And share I will, but not in words....