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Market an Annual Limited-Edition Print by the State Artist of the Year


The state of Texas should market an annual limited-edition print by the state artist of the year.


The Capitol gift shops, operated by the State Preservation Board, sell Texas-specific items quite successfully. Annual prints sold by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, such as wildlife prints, are quite popular and appreciate in value over time.

The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) oversees the Texas Cultural Endowment Trust Fund, which is intended to provide a sustaining funding source to enhance arts education and encourage economic development in the state. The fund is a “local” fund held outside of the State Treasury and managed by Chase Bank.

TCA is involved in the Legislature’s annual selection of Texas’ “artists of the year” (one for two-dimensional art and another for three-dimensional artwork). Nominees must be native Texans or residents for at least five years, and have received notable recognition in their disciplines. TCA reviews all nominations and submits names in each category to a legislative committee composed of members appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House of Representatives that makes the final selections.[1]

Texas’ current funding for the arts amounts to 18 cents per citizen annually, placing it last among the 50 states.[2]


A. The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) should market an annual limited-edition print by the state artist of the year, in coordination with the State Preservation Board, through the Capitol gift shops, and its web site.

TCA should be allowed to keep $100,000 per year from the revenues generated by the sale of the prints to cover administrative expenses, including printing, advertising, promotional and staff costs. The agency should develop a marketing plan similar to the one used to promote the TCA “State of the Arts” license plate.TCA should establish a select committee of staff members and artists to work with the state artist in designing the paintings to be used for the prints. The artist would be asked to donate the painting to the state, since he or she would receive a considerable amount of the free publicity through TCA as it markets the prints. The original work of art should be auctioned by TCA. The prints would be numbered; a select number should be signed by the artist and sold at a higher price. TCA should hold a “signing event” to allow the artist to personally sign prints for purchasers. Proceeds from the sale of the prints should be deposited to GR Account 0334 – Commission on the Arts Operating Fund; any amounts in excess of $100,000 would be transferred to the Texas Cultural Endowment Trust Fund.

B. f the annual prints prove successful, TCA should create a similar program for the state artists producing three-dimensional works such as sculpture. This phase of the project should begin in fiscal 2005.

Fiscal Impact

The estimate assumes, based on the sales of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department wildlife prints, that 5,000 18 inches x 22 inches prints might be sold each fiscal year. The original artwork would be sold for $10,000. Two hundred signed prints would be sold at a slightly higher price ($175) than 4,800 numbered prints ($150). About 200 guests would attend a signing event at a cost of $25 each.

TCA should receive $50,000 for the first year from general revenue for advertising and administrative costs associated with the art project. General revenue would be reimbursed as funds are received from the sales of the prints. Each year thereafter, TCA Account 0334 would receive all revenues from the sales of the prints and artwork. TCA would keep the first $100,000 each year of revenues generated for administrative expenses, including printing, advertising and staff costs. TCA would transfer all revenue in excess of the first $100,000 to the Texas Cultural Endowment Trust Fund each year.

The estimate does not attempt to predict revenues generated from sculpture sales in the next phase of the project.

Fiscal Year Gain to General Revenue (Cost) to General Revenue Gain to General Revenue – Dedicated (Account 0334) (Cost) to General Revenue – Dedicated (Account 0334) Estimated Potential Gain to the Texas Cultural Endowment Trust Fund (Held outside of the State Treasury)
2004 $50,000 ($50,000) $ 50,000 ($ 50,000) $670,000
2005 0 0 $100,000 ($100,000) $670,000
2006 0 0 $100,000 ($100,000) $670,000
2007 0 0 $100,000 ($100,000) $670,000
2008 0 0 $100,000 ($100,000) $670,000


[1]Texas Commission on the Arts, “Texas Seeks Artists to Represent the State,” (Last visited September 13, 2002.)

[2]Texas Commission on the Arts, “Texas Cultural Endowment Fund,” Austin, Texas, p. 2. (Promotional folder.)