On April 7th, a variety of pieces are to be showcased at the Fourth Annual Silent Art Auction to fund the non-profit Young New Yorkers. Hosted at A+E Studios, located at 160 West Broadway in New York, the auction will celebrate the art and activism of Shepard Fairey. Shepard Fairey, well-known for the famous Obama “HOPE” posters that circulated during the President’s first election, will have a few selected works at the auction. Shepard Fairey’s longstanding focus on the street art culture and graffiti movement have defined his work. The auction will also have pieces by 80 other socially-conscious artists, including Swoon, Gaia, and Ben Eline.
The annual auction funds art programs for the Young New Yorkers non-profit. Young New Yorkers provides art diversion programs to 16 and 17 year olds who are being prosecuted as adults in New York. Of the organization, Shepard Fairey has said, “I wholeheartedly support Young New Yorkers; not only is an art program a constructive alternative to teens being incarcerated, but it is also highly therapeutic and builds problem solving skills that can boost self confidence and allow participants to feel more empowered to pursue their dreams as well as deal with their realities.” The criminal court gives eligible 16 and 17-year-olds the option to participate in a Young New Yorkers program, rather than spend jail time or other criminal justice sanctions. When successfully completed, a participants case is dismissed and sealed allowing them to avoid lifelong criminal records for a mistake made when they were young. Young New Yorkers boasts a 100% success rate, allowing for participants to become empowered through their creative voices.
Executive Director and Founder of Young New Yorkers, Rachel Barnard, is excited to host Shepard Fairey’s work at the auction, stating, “The transformational nature of his work and life is an inspiration to many young New Yorkers.” It is sure to be an auction filled with inspiring art to empower both the viewers and the Young New Yorkers participants whom the funds help.