Yesterday's Deep Thought was inspired by two different emails I have received this week.
The first was from Jill Rumoshosky Werner, who wrote:
I know that I don't have an easy name, but it's my name and the one I choose to use professionally. However, the majority of the shows in which I'm exhibited seem to think it's all right to change it. To me, my name is my professional reputation and all my paperwork is submitted with the name the way I want it to be. This situation happens so frequently that when I get into a show, I always send them a note requesting that all three names be used on anything printed (signs, press releases, webites, etc.). This note is often ignored, even when I ask them (very sweetly) multiple times in different ways.
I can't possibly be the only person who encounters this problem. What more can I do to change this situation and am I being overly sensitive about this? How important is it to maintain a consistent name presence in the art world?
The second was from Beth Jasnoch Turner, who is going through a divorce. She cautions:
For about the first 7-10 years I continued to use my maiden name when I signed my artwork and then I got to the point where I thought that was kinda silly for an artist, so I went to just my married name. Now, after 38 years I'm going back to my maiden name professionally and will not change it again! I wish I'd had the foresight, I would not have changed it. Keeping an individual and consistent professional identity for an artist is important.
By the way, for all of those years, Beth was known only as Beth Turner. When this post was first published, she had started adding her maiden name to her professional name (Beth Jasnoch Turner). She is now known as Beth R. Jasnoch.
This post was originally published on June 13, 2008 and has been updated with comments intact.