On Thursday, March 14, the Lebanese organization Happy Childhood Foundation, which helps the poorest children, organized the third edition of its contemporary art charity auction. Artworks by internationally renowned and local artists were on sale and raised more than half a million dollars.
A contemporary auction
The event took place on Thursday, March 14 at the Museum of Minerals (MIM) in Beirut, an opportunity to mix contemporary art and natural sciences. The auction, led by Martin Klosterfelde, Senior Auction Director at Sotheby’s, included 21 paintings, offered by the artists themselves and by the partner galleries based in New York, London, Paris, Brussels and the Middle East.
Once again, the foundation raised the bar by selling works from both world-renowned artists and promising Lebanese artists. The curation included American painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel with a canvas estimated between $ 175,000 and $ 250,000. Contemporary painters Brian Calvin and Katherine Bernhardt were also among the stars of this auction with paintings ranging from $ 40,000 to $ 50,000. The participants were also presented with Lebanese artists such as sculptor Nadim Karam and photographer Lara Baladi, with works valued between $ 45,000 and $ 60,000.
“We were able to reach national and international artists through the support of our partners who also attracted an international audience, not just Lebanese.” Carole Nader, board member of HCF.
The Swiss International Bank UBS Switzerland was the exclusive sponsor of the sale this year. Among the artistic partners, the nonprofit organization was able to count on the support of the famous London auction house Sotheby's but also on many international galleries including Vito Schnabel, Almine Rech and Lehmann Maupin in the United States, Xavier Hufkens in Europe and Tanit and Mashrabia galleries in the Middle East. Moreover, about one hundred Lebanese and world personalities accepted the invitation of the Happy Childhood Foundation.
A real success
"Happiness is a right for all children to enjoy." Teddy Georges Hatem, President of the Happy Childhood Foundation.
The Happy Childhood Foundation raised $ 823,500 during the evening. Thanks to previous editions, the organization has already helped thousands of children in Lebanon. All the proceeds of this year will be used to fund the rehabilitation program for children at the Laeticia Hatem Rehabilitation Center (LHRC) in Beirut. The LHRC center serves three main purposes: to raise awareness around existing solutions for all types of disabilities, to establish a state-of-the-art rehabilitation center that offer physical, occupational and speech therapy and finally to provide quality care to give to children the opportunity to recover health, autonomy, dignity and hope as much as possible.
The date of the next edition of their charity auction has not been announced yet, but fans of contemporary art will most probably have to wait for 2021, the event taking place every two years.