ED Magedson – Founder
Luci Bell345 W. Ponce de Leon Ave Decatur, Georgia USA
LuciBell, Luci Bell Boutique, MyLuciBell, Janice Grady Destroyed Artwork on Consignment Decatur Georgia
I am an Artist. I have a degree in Studio Art, and I make a (meager) living by painting and selling those paintings.
Back in early March, I heard a new boutique was opening in Decatur and looking for local artists to consign. I saw no reason not to: I'd done well with consignment before, and I had a friend who was already consigned there. In mid-March, I signed a consignment contract for 10 paintings in the care of Janice Grady, the proprietor of Luci Bell in Decatur.
6 months later (this past Thursday), after not hearing from her, I stopped in unannounced to collect my property. She tells me that she'd "just recently packed up" my paintings, and she was "just about to call" me to come pick them up. Janice goes to retrieve them, and roots around in 2-3 closets before finding and bringing them out: all 10 canvases jumbled together in a GARBAGE BAG. Angry, I left. When I got home, I went to hang them in my studio and realized they were all damaged. Some beyond repair: scratches across the face, chunks of paint gouged out, paint transfer, and two canvases are severely stretched. I decided that confronting her about this was best done face to face, with it all laid out in front of her, so she could have the opportunity to do the right thing.
In the afternoon of the next day (Friday), I pulled up to her shop with a friend who could help me stay calm (and be a witness). I made sure Janice did not have any customers that I was taking her attention away from, and then I laid it all out. Upon seeing it all, Janice candidly admitted: there was quite obviously damage caused by her, she didn't pack them properly, she shouldn't have stored them in a humid closet for "about two weeks", and that she was sorry.
Since she admitted culpability, I asked what she was going to do to make it right. She suggested that I leave them with her so she could get her brother, who "is an artist", to fix them. I explained that I didn't need her to "fix" them, and re-asked my original question. She then offered to try to touch them up herself, because she has some paint and she's pretty crafty. I pulled out our signed contract stating that she is financially responsible for all damages, up to 60% of the total value of the paintings. She did the math and didn't like the number (just over $200). She became angry and defensive. She said I was exaggerating (how can I exaggerate something in front of her?), and that one of the paintings was damaged before I brought it to her. When I presented proof (a pic on my website) that the painting was not damaged when I gave it to her, she started LITERALLY yelling at me. I remained calm.
Her final proposal was that she gives me 60% for the damages, but that she keep the paintings. I tried to explain to her: when you rent a moving truck, you assume financial responsibility for damage incurred while it's in your possession. If it becomes damaged, you owe the truck company money for damages - you do NOT get to KEEP the truck! I told her she was not keeping my paintings for anything less than 100%. She started shouting again and name-calling until a customer walked in. She was quite obviously not going to honor the contract, and I was not going to continue this in front of a customer, so I took my paintings and left.
I am a good person. I understand the difficulties of a new and struggling business. I went there to give Janice Grady the opportunity to be a good person, with the hope that she would do the right thing and honor our contract. If Janice had offered a sincere apology but explained that she couldn't afford 60%, I would have understood and worked something out with her. If she had offered me 40%, or even 30%, to show that she was a responsible business woman who honored the contracts she makes, it would have been over and done with. I deserve compensation for damage to my property, and I am legally entitled to it. However, I have since learned that I am NOT the first artist whose work she has had on consignment in her store and ruined and/or damaged, and has refused reparations.
I have both photographical (on-line) and and physical proof of damages, as well as a third party witness to the face-to-face confrontation. I would still like the monetary compensation I am owed for damages incurred, but I understand the slim liklihood of that happening. At this point, I would just like to get the word out about this woman's bad business practices and warn other artists against consigning with her in the future.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/21/2013 01:59 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Luci-Bell/Decatur-Georgia-30030/LuciBell-Luci-Bell-Boutique-MyLuciBell-Janice-Grady-Destroyed-Artwork-on-Consignment-D-1086340. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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