Contemporary Artists Unite to Help African Children, and a Black Art Treasure is Found

Contemporary Artists Unite to Help African Children, and a Black Art Treasure is Found

Two wonderful things that respectively benefit African children, and the world of African-American art, are occurring.

Published July 6, 2011

Artist Shinique Smith (Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Two wonderful things that benefit African children and the world of African-American artisanship are occurring.


This fall, a sparkling array of art donated by top American, African-American and African contemporary artists will be offered at the Art for Africa Auction, which will be held at Sotheby’s New York on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011. The auction is on behalf of the Africa Foundation, a non-profit organization with American and British components that works to empower “communities that are the key to wilderness preservation” in Africa.


The funds raised, the foundation says, will be used to support programs to assist orphaned and vulnerable children living in some of the poorest rural communities in South and Eastern Africa.


African-American artists include Shinique Smith, Jeff Sonhouse and Hank Willis Thomas. The African artists include Peterson Kamwathi and Mary Sibande. Work has also been pledged to the exhibit by other American artists including Peter Beard, Alexander Calder and Nick Cave. In September 2009, the first Art for Africa Auction was held at Sotheby’s in London.  


In Delaware, a different kind of awareness is being raised as preservationists restore a 1942 painting by Aaron Douglas. He was a key member of the Harlem Renaissance and known for his use of African and Black themes in his work. The work was found in a deserted building in Wilmington.


A article says that the mural, “with its shades of yellow, brown, blue and red, depicts Haitian women going to market, a man working in a field, foliage and an iconographic African sculpture.”

Written by Frank McCoy


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