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The Canadian Society of Marine Artists was founded in 1983 to recognize and promote marine art and artists. The Society will foster Canadian marine artists; will preserve and conserve works of art; will advocate the teaching and study of marine art, its history and its techniques, methods and values; will encourage co-operation among artists, historians, patrons and collectors, and others engaged in activities related to marine art and maritime history.
The CSMA promotes excellence in marine art by Canadian artists. The CSMA defines Canadian as citizens, long-term residents or others whose relationship with Canadian art is unmistakable.
The CSMA accepts that "art is in the eye of the beholder" but believes that the broad notion of "fine arts" - including both two and three dimensional works - and "excellence" should be used as guidelines. The CSMA defines marine as pertaining to the seas, oceans and lakes; the ships and men that ply them; and the associated attributes on land, both natural and man-made.
To maintain excellence, admission to the Society as a full/signing/artist member will be by invitation only. Such invitation will follow a juried process (the jury to be defined by the Society, but normally of at least four persons, all artist members or directors of the Society). Potential artist members will be invited to submit a minimum of five works (preferably the works themselves, but high quality reproductions or photographic images may be acceptable in the first instance) together with documentation covering the artist's career, exhibitions, etc. The jury may then invite the potential artist member to exhibit at one of the Society's shows - normally the Annual Exhibition, following which the Society may, at the discretion of the jury and the artist membership, extend an invitation to join the Society.
- Permanent Collection: each artist shall donate at least one work to the Society's permanent collection; such work[s] to be chosen by the artist him/herself as representing the reputation and legacy that the artist wishes to promote. A tax receipt may be issued. Under exceptional circumstances, the Society may agree to exchange a work in the Permanent Collection for a more recent work that the artist believes is more representative of his opus
- Annual Show: each artist shall use his/her best endeavours to make at least two works available for the Annual Show
- The Society's Gallery: each artist shall maintain at least one work for sale in the Society's galleries - such sale shall be subject to the Society's Conditions of Sale, which may be changed from time to time, but which will include payment to the Society of a commission (currently 33 1/3%) on works sold by the Society.
- Pay an Annual Membership fee (currently $150.00)
- The artist shall have the right to sign "CSMA" after his/her name on works of art, letters, cards, catalogues etc.
- Certificates of Authenticity, to be signed by the artist and by the Society, will be issued for all originals, and upon request for limited editions; the Society will maintain a Registry of Certificates; such certificates to be free of charge for works sold from the Society's galleries, but to be subject to a minimal handling fee otherwise.
- The Society will use all means to ensure that Copyright, belonging de jure to the artist, is protected at all times; the Society will aggressively pursue all known infringements; the Society will enter into agreement with the artist for any special reproduction of works for advertising or promotion of the Society's goals, but such agreement shall be assumed for the Society's catalogues and occasional press releases that could not used as "art reproductions".
- The Society will maintain a world wide web (www) presence. The artist shall have the right to his/her own page or pages of the Society's web site; the material therein shall be supplied, edited and updated by the artist
- The artist will be encouraged to participate in the Society's activities, recognizing the distance
involved, in order that the artist gain wider exposure and recognition through the Society's activities.
- Member's rights, as far as is possible, shall continue posthumously.
- The Member's rights may be terminated by resignation.
- The Member's rights may be terminated by his/her failure to respect his/her obligations.
- The Society may, under exceptional circumstances and after careful consideration, request the resignation of a Member if the Society's goal of excellence is felt to be in jeopardy