When curators and friends Luna Goldberg and Laura Novoa saw the havoc that the COVID-19-related shutdown was causing within the arts community, they had to take action.
Inspired by the efforts of fellow curator Pia Singh in Chicago, who created the By & For online art auction to benefit artists, the two teamed up to co-curate a Miami edition.
Titled “By & For Ed. 2 | Miami,” the local auction will take place on Instagram from 5 p.m. Friday, May 29, through 5 p.m. Sunday, May 31.
“It was conceived of as an artist-relief fundraiser to help support artists who have lost opportunities because of the pandemic,” says Goldberg, who also works as education manager at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. “The concept behind it is that in bringing different artists together, coming from different backgrounds, both emerging and recognized, resources can be pooled to really support the entire arts community.”
“Both of us are really trying to support the community that we work with and deal with every day,” adds Novoa, who is the curatorial and public programs associate at Miami’s Bakehouse Art Complex. “Some of us can feel a little bit like we’re not doing enough during this time, so this was a great opportunity for us to work together and do our part in supporting artists.”
Here’s how it will work: Bids must be placed in increments of $50, and be made either through the comment section of each post or via direct message on the social-media platform. Funds raised will be split equally between participating artists.
With opening bids as low as $150, it’s an opportunity for art lovers to build their collections while supporting a community of artists.
“Instagram is a very democratic platform,” Novoa says. “Anyone can bid on an artwork and participate in this event, and in a process that’s usually unreachable and unattainable if you’re not of a certain social-economic standing. I think that’s an exciting part of it — making this more democratic, and making this a collective shared experience that is meant to be a fun way of supporting local artists.”
The auction will feature the works of 16 Miami-based artists, including Jen Lynn Clay, Lucia Del Sanchez, Philip Lique, and Mateo Nava.
To create the auction, the two curators reached out to their networks, looking for a diverse group of artists who worked across mediums.
“We’ve gotten such positive responses from the artists themselves,” Goldberg says. “You can really see this camaraderie around the community and this excitement around supporting one another, and that’s been really lovely.
“Many of the participating artists have works and practices that are in conversation with one another,” she adds. “They contribute to the city’s local arts scene and practice alongside one another in institutions like the Bakehouse Art Complex, Oolite Arts, the Deering Estate, among others.”
The Miami edition of “By & For” will include works in a variety of mediums such as painting, printmaking, ceramic, and soft sculpture textile works, Goldberg says.
“We are hopeful that by providing such a diverse grouping of artworks, individuals with different aesthetic tastes will be able to connect to one or multiple works,” she says. “We hope that it’ll be something that people respond to and that we will have multiple people over the weekend interested in pieces, placing bids.”
As curators and educators, Goldberg and Novoa see the auction as an opportunity to amplify the community of artists in South Florida and to recognize the role art plays in our daily lives, particularly during the pandemic.
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“Artists usually bring with them more than just their artwork or their creativity,” Novoa says. “They really do think in very creative ways about the ‘we.’ The socially engaged nature of artists and artwork is so important, and not only in times like this, but all the time.
“Having the ability to think creatively is what’s going to get us through many crises, not just COVID-19, but also the climate change crisis and beyond. Artists and creative, in general, are the ones that really bring change to our world, so for us it’s important to give them this platform.”
By & For Ed. 2 | Miami. 5 p.m. Friday, May 29, through 5 p.m. Sunday, May 31, via instagram.com/by.and.for.
— Rebekah Lanae Lengel, ArtburstMiami.com