A new initiative by InsurAid aims to raise funds for 6 charities and NGO’s to help support those affected by the current Covid-19 pandemic. Dubbed Art&Co, the online art auction is a project where 30 plus international freelance artists are auctioning their paintings to corporate and private bidders with proceeds going to both artist and charitable causes.
The art collection spans some 240+ pieces with an aggregated auction value of £1.65 million ($2 million) and prices ranging from £1,000 ($1,250) to £36,000 ($45,000) per piece.
It is touted as the only auction to help with the immediate as well as longer term “causal effects” of the coronavirus pandemic, including domestic violence, illnesses, isolation and mental health.
Art&Co, an online art auction with a difference
A brainchild of PremFina CEO Bundeep Singh Rangar, Art&Co aims to “connect the worlds of art, finance and support groups”. The Art&Co website describes the process as follows:
“Each piece of art will be sold for a hammer price which will consist of a creation fee to the artist, a small processing fee and most funds donated to 6 causes and NGOs. Each artist is profiled on the site, with a photo and bio. They will provide a creation price for each piece of theirs that’s selected for the auction.
For example, an artist could set £1,000 as a creation price for a particular piece. We will add £1,000 as a donation amount, for example, to make it £2,000. A £100 processing fee will bring the total starting price to £2,100 (plus any applicable shipping costs). All paintings, including those with a starting or a reserve price, will be available at the time of the live bids.”
We had the opportunity to speak to Bundeep ahead of the launch of the site. We started by asking him where he got the inspiration for the project.
“Back in March we made an executive decision to proactively raise funds as we realised that money was going to be the biggest requirement after lockdown. We looked at what we know best.. the insurance industry and financial services industry and thought it would be a good idea to get them to be more community oriented, come up with better policies and also do something that is good and important for communities they serve. Afterall, insurance is about making people feel safe and giving them peace of mind when they face hardship.
One of the most affected groups in terms of loss of income are those in the gig economy, people who are on the fringes. Artists who rely on their creative output, who need public spaces to display their art, are completely shunned out. As art galleries are closed, we decided to launch a digital art auction instead.”
Why an online auction? Bundeep explained:
“We actually thought about launching a charity, but that’s not a quick process and time is not a luxury we have at the moment. If we really wanted to help these artists then we needed something which we could launch now. We realised the online auction route would actually offer the possibility of helping both artists and raising funds for good causes.
We identified six frontline organisations, which are tackling the immediate effects of Covid19, mental depressions or loneliness, child abuse and domestic violence and make sure we are making the maximum impact both in terms of the contributions we’re making and the people benefiting from it. It was a spectacular effort but we managed to put together a 247 collection of art from 33 artists across the world in a very short period of time.”
One of the artist’s auctioning their works is Sola Olulode, a British / Nigerian artist who set a clear intention to bring black British narratives to life through art, documenting both historical and contemporary themes which are now available at the auction.
Her paintings are the most beautiful celebrations of black identity, womanhood, femmes, and tell the story of her Nigerian heritage. It is so liberating to see her powerful message expressed through indigo dyes and patterns that are inherited from Nigerian traditions, making us aware of the body language of the subjects, and engaging in authentic social stories.
At 24 , Sola Olulode, lives and works in South London and her paintings are nuanced and tender visions of intimacy and community, reflecting both personal and collective experience, and carry powerful messages of personal and community strength.
The blues and yellows are her trademarks and a metaphorical expression of harmony, joy and contemplation as a state of mind which is born from the love for her community.
Raising money for charity
The auction encourages both individuals and corporates to participate and bid on one-of-a-kind art representing themes connected to these trying times, such as health, nature and spirituality. The funds raised will mostly go to frontline organisations, with the remainder going toward more than 30 freelance artists who are contributing their work and otherwise unable to sell art due to the lockdown. The charities and NGO’s being supported are:
The Care Workers Charity, (supporting current and former care workers with one-off crisis grants)
ICU Steps, The Intensive Care Unit Support Teams for Ex-Patients
Khalsa Aid, an international NGO that provides humanitarian aid in disaster areas and civil conflict zones around the world
Silver Charity, founded to help combat social isolation and loneliness by bringing older people together to engage in fun and interesting creative activities
Solace, who work to prevent violence and abuse against women and children, as well as providing services to meet the needs of survivors.
Za Teb, the first app in Eastern Europe to help fight domestic violence.
To get involved head over to the Art&Co website https://www.artandco.net/contact/ and use the contact form to register your interest.