Aid 4 Art – Attention for the visual arts sector
by Josée Thissen-Rojer
For the past 11 days, the website of Frank’s Auctions was all about visual arts due to the Aid 4 Art auction. This large auction was organized to sell visual art made by local artists. On viewing days, those interested could take a look at the art pieces at two different locations. The bidding, through the Frank Auctions website, started on November 22, and ended a week later on Sunday afternoon, November 29, 2020.
The auction was an initiative by artists Gwen Anderson and Avantia Damberg. Other organizations within the art sector like Fundashon di Artista, the Open Atelier Route (OAR), and Art Foundation Curaçao joined in. The visual artists were approached and invited to participate through them. The interest in participation was great, which resulted in an auction of 142 lot numbers.
With the art world struggling because of the pandemic and all its restrictions, the goal of the Aid 4 Art auction was to create awareness of the local art scene and to encourage the artists. Even though the art sector is doing a lot more online these days, it’s still a matter of searching for solutions. An online auction seemed like a creative way to still reach the buyer.
To attract attention to the event, a collaboration with radio station Paradise FM began. Three DJs were each matched with an artist and together they’d create a piece of art. Maarten Schakel painted a self-portrait with the guidance of artist Avantia Damberg. Joris Reer built ‘Radio Reer’, a fake radio with scraps of metal, with artist Giovanni Abath. Nadine Roos created the ‘Trump hat’, a hat made out of thorns under the instructions of artist Herman van Bergen. These three pieces were auctioned off separately, with the ‘Trump hat’ raising the highest amount.
A total of 53 artists and creatives participated. The viewing location in Punda was at the gallery of Art Foundation Curaçao in Hanchi Snoa. The viewing location in Otrobanda was at a pop-up gallery in the Renaissance Hotel Shopping Mall. The variety was great and included paintings, sculptures, batik art, photography, ceramic, jewelry, and more. There were pieces by established artists such as Hortence Brouwn, Ria Houwen, Ellen Spijkstra, Merly Trappenberg, Brigitte Wawoe, and by up-and-coming young talent like Giovanni Abath and Rose Ann Ignacio.
Participant Pito Polo considers the virtual auction to be the new formula. Auctions and exhibitions have fascinated him since he was a kid. “It’s a new development in the art world”, he says with excitement. “And this isn’t necessarily caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the future, a lot more will take place virtually and this is just a step in that direction.” His work was sold and he was satisfied with the proceeds.
This is the first time such an event has taken place and the organizers are very content with the result a day after the auction. “It all went very well, but we also learned a lot”, says Avantia. As an organization, they are planning a follow-up as they feel a new edition is possible.
Published with financial support of Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds Caribisch Gebied.
Previously published in Amigoe, December 1, 2020. This text, in whole or part, may only be reproduced with reference to the source: Curaçao Art®️, www.curacao-art.com. Copyright of the artworks remains the property of the artist.