What happens when 133 artists, 20 art galleries and some of the world’s leading humanitarian charities get together to help Syrian refugee children? Syri-Arts is set to found out after it appealed for paintings, sculptures and photographs to be auctioned for the youngest victims of Syria’s terrible 31-month conflict.
If the past week is anything to go by, the answer is: great things. Online bids totalling $250,000 were made in the first two days alone of 101 Works of Art for Syrian Refugee Children, which is organised by Lebanese NGO Kayany and proudly supported by Mosaic.
“This is first time that you have so many artists from the Middle East mobilize for a cause,” Noura Jumblatt, of the organisers, told Reuters.
“We had more offers but we had to limit ourselves,” she added.
The stunning pieces come from a diverse group of artists, most of them from the Middle East. Some, like the legendary political cartoonist Ali Ferzat and Qamishli-born artist Youssef Abdelke, have witnessed the brutality of the Syrian conflict first hand (Ali Ferzat had his fingers broken by attackers he says were pro-Assad militiamen, while Youssef Abdelke was detained by Syrian authorities in July). Others, who come from Iraq, Palestine, Morocco and beyond, were simply moved by the call to help Syria’s children, who make up half of the country’s two million refugees – many living in dire conditions in Lebanon, with limited food, medicine and education.
The artworks have been brightening the walls of the Beirut Exhibition Center since 30 October, where a live auction of the pieces will be held on 8 November. Art-lovers can also bid for the work online at paddle8.com, until the same date.
We are delighted to have donated several works of art going under the hammer, including several iconic pieces by Ali Ferzat.
Proceeds from the sales will be given to NGOs working on the ground to provide food, clothing, medication and schooling for Syrian refugee children.
Syri-Arts is curated by Dr. Kathy Battista, Director of Contemporary Art at the prestitigious Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York, and is organised in collaboration with the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs, UNICEF, Save the Children, Action Against Hunger, SyriArt Paris, Institut du Monde Arabe, and the Beirut Exhibition Center.
You have until 8 November to get your hands on a masterpiece – don’t miss out!
To browse the artwork and bid, visit: www.paddle8.com/auctions/Syriarts