Friday, 17 April 2020

'Emergency grants' from Art: An Essential Need for artists in Africa


To rescue the creative industry from the economic shocks of covid-19, a project described as virtual connection against the physical walls of isolation, has been announced to raise
funds to support artists in Africa.

Conceptualised by Art And About Africa, the project themed Art: An Essential Need include a process that asks participating artists to share their thoughts and artworks virtually.  The contents collected, according to the conveners, will be used in creatiing "an eBook available on a Crowdfunding platform together with limited edition prints and original works from guest artists."  The guideline explained that the money collected in exchange for the eBook, limited edition prints and original works from guest artists, will create the Emergency Grants. All participating artists, the organisers assured, will benefit equally.from the process and proceeds.

"Despite the feeling of impotence in the face of a deadly invisible virus, and the needed self-enclosure to fight it, we believe it is necessary to engage in something concrete and take the actions we can, even in an unclear future," stated co-founder, Lidija Khachatourian. "At Art And About Africa, we find it really important — now more than ever — to be highly receptive and invest the majority of our efforts into transforming, for the better, the radical economic situation that is rapidly changing our society."   
 Khachatourian, a gallery owner with quite an experience, specializing in promotion of artists in Africa, noted that as a global lockdown spreads, affecting the world economy, the African communities are more vulnerable, specifically, in the areas of rising cost of living. Art and artists, she warned, cannot be insulated from the global reality.

 "As the platform which aims to provide as much information on contemporary art from the
African continent as possible, we decided to launch #ArtEssentialNeed, the Emergency Grants," Khachatourian announced.

"Art in all its forms such as music, movies, visuals, and much more, has been helping us all during our time in quarantine." She asked: "But, Who is helping the Artist?"  Khachatourian explained that with contribution, in exchange for the publication and the artworks, it is possible to empower artists using their art to sustain them now as well as endure into the future.

"Together, we can support the artists living in Africa to overcome this challenging moment, as art fairs
have been postponed, galleries temporarily closed and public exhibitions cancelled, just as the artists' opportunities to sell their artworks keep vanishing."

Listed among the goals of the project is "to show to the artists’ communities that we care about them and we got their backs so that they can continue producing art, the same art that has always been so essential in our lives."

 Also, the project hopes for a deep involvement from all people, a collective call to action for Art: To Artists - to speak out and re-think the role of Art against the alienating effects of Covid-19, presenting words and works to be collected in the eBook.

The convenersappealed to everyone for contribution by buying the eBook, so that proceeds raised can help the artists to continue creating art today. Going forward, a physical exhibition has been planned for the project after the global situation improves for business friendly activities. The date and venue of the exhibition will be decided ahead.   

"Art And About Africa is an online platform which gives voice and supports the art scene on the African continent, a place where artists, arts organizations and art lovers can easily connect.

"We aim to provide the most comprehensive overview of the African Art scene facilitating where to go, what to see and who to engage with. 

"Art And About Africa is a free, easy-to-use platform that allows its users to discover the vibrant art scene and connect directly with its makers and players, through an interactive map and create unique and bespoke country-specific art itineraries.

"It is designed to be easily accessible to everyone, to enhance connections, empower local artists, unleash local art scene potential and inspire International audience support for Art from Africa. 

"Whether an art space representative, a collector, an artist or simply an art lover, Art And About Africa is the right platform to start a fresh new exciting journey of discovery of emerging and established artists."

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