Two of my (many) favourite things are original art and a good cause. And so I was excited to learn about Artists for Japan, an art-inspired fundraiser to help victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
Kelowna-based artists Carrie Harper and Tomoe Afseth started the Facebook group ARTISTS FOR JAPAN last week, and sent invites out to a slew of artist friends and art lovers.
Artists and crafters are invited to donate a work, post a picture of it on the group page and suggest a starting bid. Everyone else can place bids in the comment portion of each post.
“As artists we work in a solitary way and are often not able to contribute much financially. I love social networking because it allows me to connect with other artists and friends around the world,” Carrie, who’s work is pictured above, told The Pear Tree.
“I had never seen anything of its kind so I was making it up as I went along.”
When the auction closes this Saturday, 26 March, at 4 p.m., it will be up to the artist to deliver the work and collect the money from the highest bidder, and then donate the proceeds to the Red Cross.
Contributions range from paintings and photography to note cards, books, CDs, and five-foot Kanji flags created from reclaimed steel.
At the time this plug for the effort went up online, there were more than 650 members to the group, and donations have come from around the world. Included on the auction block is (clockwise from left) a copy of the book Global Citizen by Stan Chung, a hand-stamped tag made from reclaimed brass from a pipe organ by Lisa Brown, and earrings by Tomoe Afseth.
In addition to accepting online bids, Artists for Japan will be set up at Fabulous Finds at Summerhill Pyramid Winery Friday evening and all day Saturday, accepting bids for some of the local auction items.
Carrie said she hopes the auction gives people – artists and fans alike – a chance to contribute to an important cause while getting a little something for themselves out of the deal.
“Imagine being able to donate to Japan and take home a nice piece of art at the same time,” she said.
Like this original oil painting, called Island Vista, by Rod Charlesworth.
On Sunday, 27 March, the group will be deleted and replaced with a Facebook page to handle the large numbers, and a gallery-style focus for all the art.
She hopes she and her artist friends can help to keep Japan’s need in people’s minds for some time to come.
“I know that Japan will be a long time in re-building, infrastructurally, emotionally and spiritually,” she said.
– Words by Lori-Anne Poirier