My husband and I donate artwork to virtually all the local fundraisers. It usually goes cheap and we are happy that someone “got a deal” and the cause was supported. I once heard a well-known Alaskan artist on public radio say that artists should never give prints to local fundraisers, only originals. I didn’t understand then, but I do now.

At the recent bazaar, I sold a framed serigraph to a festival-goer from Whitehorse. She was pleased with her purchase until she saw the same piece at a local retail location for $40 less. When I handed the print to her at the banquet, she engaged me in the middle of the room full of diners. Three times I offered her a full refund, but she refused and insisted I “make good” the $40 instead. I explained that I don’t give discounts to my friends, that I try to keep the gallery dealers consistent in their pricing, and this other business had no doubt bought it at auction. In the end I came half way just to get out of the embarrassment of having this conversation (i.e., haggling) in the middle of a hundred people. I apologize to any who overheard us.

I am happy for someone to resell an auction item. But please, in a retail location, could you mark it full retail? (They thought they had, it turns out.)

In the end, one of our Yukon neighbors went home feeling ripped off. So did I.

Donna Catotti