“Just saw the posting on your blog about the OPAL process. You should be aware that there is no fee at all in getting the NYS Tax Id (DTF - 17). That’s all you need to exhibit in our show. Individual artists selling their own artwork are protected under the aegis of the first amendment ( freedom of expression and so forth) and are not required to have a vendors permit—temporary or otherwise. It’s these vendor permits that involve the fees that you mention in your blog.
"Sometimes bureaucrats at the city or state level are unaware of the distinction about individual artists selling their own art, but it’s my understanding that the courts have fully upheld the privilege of individual artists selling their own artwork without a vendors license. In any case, I do not think there are many artists in the show who have such a permit. To my knowledge, the city has never bothered us over this. "If, however, one were selling other peoples art or anything else for that matter (that wasn’t created by one’s own hand) you would need the vendors permit.
"The OPAL process does provide a "confirmation of application number" which has been used without problems on the report we have to file with the city. It sometimes takes a few weeks for the formal tax id to come through so while the artist is waiting for that we allow them to use the OPAL number.
"WSOAE pays a portion of the total booth fees paid into the show to NYC. In return, we are issued a permit to hold our show on the city sidewalks at specified times. No one else has the right to exhibit in our "permitted" zone.during the times specified. For each show, we are required to file with the city a report specifying the names and addresses of our exhibitors and their NYS Tax ID number. We are also required to have a photocopy of such in our files for each show.
"If you have questions, please call or e-mail.
"Regards, John Morehouse/Director of the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit
"WSOAE is a 501(C)3 non-profit entity and we annually file the form 990 in lieu of paying taxes. We do take any percentage of the sales of art."
In 1973 the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit selection committee famously rejected Gordon Matta-Clark when he submitted hand-colored photographic scrolls depicting graffiti-covered surfaces. In response, he staged his own “Alternatives to the Washington Square Art Fair” on Mercer Street. After inviting graffiti artists to paint his truck, he parked it outside the exhibition and proceeded to cut the vehicle into pieces, which he offered as salable objects.