Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Fundraising Exhibition of Louisiana Artists Responding to the Gulf Oil Spill

GULF AID ART: ARTISTS IN ACTION, A Fundraising Exhibition of Louisiana Artists Responding to the Gulf Oil Spill.

The benefit exhibition will take place from June 17-19th at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in located in the New Orleans Arts District. The exhibition will feature new works by over 25 well-known Louisiana artists reacting to the greatest environmental disaster in US history. Gallery owner Jonathan Ferrara and artist Dan Tague, both arts activists , conceived of the exhibition as a way for the visual arts community of New Orleans to respond to the disaster.

The exhibition will open on Thursday June 17th at 11am, with an artist reception from 6-9pm that night and will run for through Saturday June 19th at 5pm and continue online throughout the summer.

As this crisis has unfolded, citizens across the state have felt helpless in being able to respond the disaster.

What action can I take?
What can I do?
What is happening?
What is our future?
How can we help our fellow Louisianans who are being directly affected right now?

Inspired by actions taken by the musical community in organizing the recent Gulf Aid concert that featured musicians like Lenny Kravitz and Preservation Hall Jazz Band, visual artists are banding together to offer their creative talents in response to this disaster.

"Musicians have done their part and now visual artists are going to do their part as well to respond to this terrible disaster. We all are terrified, upset, anxious and damn mad about what has transpired and we have to use our creativity to speak up, comment, criticize and make our voices heard. We are all in this together and artists must take action!" - Jonathan Ferrara

Both Tague and Ferrara have a history of responding to disasters via artistic endeavors. In 2006, after Hurricane Katrina, Ferrara created New Orleans Artists In Exile, a travelling exhibition of artists affected by the hurricane. In 2006-7, Ferrara was instrumental in distributing over $40,000 in direct grants to artists in need recovering from Katrina. And in 2010, artist Dan Tague created a limited edition print (100), United For Haiti, which sold out in a week and immediately raised over $7500 for victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Those funds were donated to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

For GULF AID ART, each artist was challenged to create a new print edition with the only criteria that they respond / react to the current crisis affecting their home, health, happiness and economic futures. Each artist has created a limited edition print of 10 that will be sold both in the gallery during the limited run exhibition and online via the gallery's website. In an effort to make the work accessible to the general public and raise as much money as possible, the prices of the works will range between $100 and $500 with the potential to raise $80,000.

For this fundraiser, Ferrara will take down his current exhibition and install the 25+ works in the galley for a three-day fundraising exhibition. A to Z Framing of New Orleans, who is generously donating the framing, will frame the works in the exhibition.

In addition to the works in the gallery , British photojournalist Charlie Varley will exhibit a slide show of his photographs taken since the April 20th explosion documenting the spill and its aftermath. Varley's photos are regularly published around the world in Time magazine, Newsweek, The Times, The Wall Street Journal among others.

The exhibition will open on Thursday June 17th at 11am, with an artist reception from 6-9pm that night and it will run through Saturday June 19th at 5pm. Online sales continue through July 28th.

Image Shown:
Ron Bechet's Consequence of Choice. Serigraph with ink and motor oil, 14 x 17 inches.
"...We have been given the ability to make choices. In our current crisis, choices based on our greed and not necessarily our need, have changed the environment in which all living things exist. Making better choices in the future give hope for rebirth. Nature may adjust to our poor choices. The question is - will we?..."

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