Art for Charity Collective’s third auction is here
With galleries currently off-limits to artists and potential customers and many charities struggling during the pandemic, the Art for Charity Collective has offered an important lifeline for both.
Founded by landscape artist Lucy Kent, the Instagram initiative helps to raise much-needed charitable funds by auctioning the works of emerging and established artists online.
After two auctions raised more than £40,000 for incredible causes including the Enzo Saunt Brighter Future Fund at Great Ormond Street Hospital, she’s hoping this week’s third auction – running from Monday, 22 March until Friday, 26 March to mark a year of lockdown in the UK – will do the same.
Lucy Kent told us: “There was a lot of fear and trepidation around starting something like this, but it’s really snowballed, and I think we have now grown in confidence with it. I feel that the sky is the limit. It’s amazing what the power of a group can do, and everyone across all three auctions has just really got behind our chosen causes, and it’s been really lovely knowing how many people out there believe in them as much as we do. It’s been really positive and restorative after a pretty awful year for everyone!”
With reports that almost half of intensive care workers have turned to alcohol or had suicidal thoughts during the pandemic, ACC will be fundraising to support A Space Between. Founded by Fardokht Sharifi-Yazdi, Emily Halban, and Tianna Moquette-Dagher, the nonprofit provides art materials and workshops (in person in non-covid times and through a digital platform) for hospitals, hospices and community groups to engage patients and healthcare staff alike, in the therapeutic benefits of creativity to help our mental wellbeing.
Lucy says: “A Space Between contacted us during our second auction and asked us if we’d like to fundraise for them. We had an initial chat and I just fell in love with all three of the women behind this beautiful organisation.
“Everything they do and stand for really resonated with me. On a personal level, painting has really helped me over the years with my own mental health and is a way to quiet my busy mind. I know firsthand what an incredible tool art is as self-care. And moreover, given the pandemic and the huge rise in mental health problems because of it, it just felt even more like the right fit for this time.”
This fundraising will help the organisation in its efforts to address both immediate mental health needs and the inevitable longer-term psychological burden caused by the pandemic.
Curated by Lucy, 82 established and emerging artists will showcase a diverse selection of works in a variety of mediums including internationally acclaimed artist Richard Whadcock, photographer Claudia Legge, Christabel Blackburn, the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year, American figurative painter Josh Clare and portrait painter Tom Croft, founder of #portraitsfornhsheroes. Over five days starting Monday, around 17 lots will be auctioned each night by a special guest host from 7pm, including broadcaster Pips Taylor, gallery owner Ocki Magill and Christie's Milo Dickinson. Absentee bids can also be made via email before 3pm on each day of the auction.
Lucy says: “I painstakingly curate each exhibition, choosing works from each of the artists and making sure there is a good balance between subject, genre and price point. My general rule of thumb is that if I want it on my own wall, it’s in the show. The Collective comprises a mixture of artists both emerging and established; some that I’ve followed for years and years since I was an art student. Melanie Comber and Richard Whadcock are two of these artists.
“We held an open call and chose 15 new artists. One of them is Ifada Nisa, whose haunting painting of falling chairs I also absolutely love. She lives in a small town in Indonesia. And this is the other main reason I started ACC, to give more visibility to artists and to empower and support each other. Instagram is a pretty incredible platform for that.”
She adds: “My hopes are that we continue to grow and develop. And that we are able to hold in-person events when Covid settles down. Instagram will always hold a bit of a special spot for us, as it’s made all this possible and manageable. But to be able to hold a live, in-person auction, and to meet some of our artists and ambassadors in person, would be amazing.”
To view all lots and bid on ACC’s upcoming auction visit its Instagram account @artforcharitycollective.