100 ARTISTS FOR THE ORCHID FOUNDATION: AN ART INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT COVID-AFFECTED BLACK COMMUNITIES IN NYC

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100 Artists for The Orchid Foundation
The Orchid Foundation College Fund Virtual Fundraiser 2020
Wednesday, September 9th – Sunday, September 13th on VU
A very special charity event with 100% of the proceeds to go to a college fund for the New York City girls, mentored by Nichole Galicia.
Hosted by Nichole Galicia, Jamie Barash, Matt Barash, Indira Cesarine, Nicole Franchy, Clara Galperin, Matthew Goldstein, Debora Hirsh, Therese Hoarty, Anne Huntington, Brandon E. Lawrence, Ty-Ron Mayes, Nina Mdivani, Grace Morton, Frank Pulice, Emily Sachar, Beatrice Scaccia, Susanna Temkin, Virginia Inés Vergara, Josh Wexler  

In this extremely difficult year for the whole world, the COVID-19 emergency has underlined the systemic inequality that is still endemic to American society. Black communities have been hit hardest on every front: health, financial safety, and social stability. 100 Artists for the Orchid Foundation is an initiative that supports 8 girls from those New York City’s communities to achieve their academic goals. When visual artist Virginia Inés Vergara learned that The Orchid Foundation was forced to cancel their annual fundraiser to comply with NYC shutdown orders, she set out to organize a team of artists willing to donate their works to help provide relief for the Orchids that she had come to love.

Art by Becky Brown

100 Artists for The Orchid Foundation was born. The Orchid Foundation is a mentoring program devoted to teenage girls from low-income families who excel in their academic and/or extracurricular activities. As founder Nichole Galicia explained: “The girls mentored by our program have not been exempted from the severe impacts of the pandemic. Some are coronavirus survivors themselves; others have lost family members and friends to the disease; some have parents unemployed due to COVID-19 or called to duty as essential workers”. Through an online fundraiser event, 100 Artists for the Orchid Foundation will support a college fund for the girls from The Orchid Foundation. Works by tens of renowned artists will be introduced on the new art sales platform, VU as its launch event. There will be a five days window (from Wednesday September 9th to Sunday September 13th) in which people interested in helping the Orchid Foundation will be able to purchase/bid on a chosen piece.

Virginia Inés Vergara and visual artist Beatrice Scaccia (whose pieces will also be donated at the fundraiser) have worked tirelessly to organize and recruit artists, bringing in names like Leonardo Drew, Kim Dingle, Liliana Porter, Graciela Iturbide, Marnie Weber, Elaine Reichek, Alfredo Jaar, Manolo Valdés. Nichole Galicia and Orchid Alison took over the backend logistics, while Nicole Franchy and Clara Galperin are networking superwomen.

The artists span three generations (with the youngest one being 16 years old Orchid Madison), are culturally diverse, and are based both in New York City and across the world. Consistent with this project is the artists’ commitment to social change. Despite the globe’s struggles, with many emerging artists collecting unemployment, unable to sell or work, artists have still found away to help, to give back.

Art by Man Bartlett

Creating a pathway for a group of brilliant but underserved teenagers to get the education they deserve is a step toward a better world. The works donated to the Orchid Foundation are diverse; from the intimate, intelligent works on paper like the ones by Polly Apfelbaum, Chie Fueki, John Newman, Luisa Rabbia, Sharmistha Ray, Stephen Talaskin to large scale photographic works such as Karina Aguilera Skvirsky’s performative self-portrait taken in Ecuador, Virginia Inés Vergara’s meditations on nature and humans’ manipulation of it, Indira Cesarine’s transformative “Papiliones” butterfly series celebrating nature and rebirth, and Lauren Orchowski’s night sky in a one of a kind photo that attempts to capture complete darkness. Moving from the natural environments to the explorations of the city, we see some printmakers investigating culture and their roots. Glendalys Medina creates a unique language that merges the Taino alphabet with Bronx hip-hop culture from the 1980’s.

Art by Chie Fueki

Michael Kelly Williams sets his woodcut print in his home of over 50 years, Harlem. It shows a musician that has left a bar after performing; the city around him abstracted. Vladimir Cybil Charlier created a pantheon of Black heroes, appropriating the tarot card format: we see Malcolm X mounted on a horse. Tatiana Arocha, who grew up studying ecology in Columbia explores the flora and fauna of her homeland, while Pepe Coronado looks at borders, specifically the separation between Haiti and his home, The Dominican Republic. Playfulness, interconnectedness, anthropomorphism, but also vulnerability of identities, gender, race are the gravitating themes behind the vibrant works by Alison Blickle, Becky Brown, Maria Calandra, Lisa Corinne Davis, Emily Lambert, Lucia Love, Beatrice Scaccia, David Shrobe, Marnie Weber. In ceramic-3d works: Chippy Coates, an Oxford trained ecologist, explores the science behind the medium; while Francesco Simeti and Toshiaki Noda investigate an ideal and vulnerable representation of nature and nature-like forms.

Artwork by Indira Cesarine

ABOUT  THE ORCHID FOUNDATION
The Orchid Foundation is a mentoring program, founded by actress Nichole Galicia. The foundation chooses at-risk teenage girls who excel in their academic and/or extracurricular activities and supports them. The mission is to fill the resource gap presented by their socioeconomic backgrounds, acting with the conviction that these girls deserve the same opportunities as the top ten percent.
You can learn more about The Orchid Foundation here.

VU is a new art sales platform dedicated to giving back and making impactful change. It was founded by Tim Malyk, former senior specialist of Post War and Contemporary Art at Phillips, together with Justin Anderson and Warren A. Bruleigh.
You can explore VU here.

Behind the event 100 Artists for The Orchid Foundation is a dream team of women from Chile, Italy, Argentina and The United States, all based in NYC and bonded by their passion for social equality and art.

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