An art gallery based in the capital has been auctioning pieces online in order to raise money for underprivileged families and for artists who may be struggling in the wake of the lockdown.

Gallery6 began auctioning paintings online on Sunday, April 5. Every day, one piece is auctioned with a base price that is almost a fifth of its original gallery price. So far, the auction has raised Rs110,000, which is enough for two weeks of rations for 25 families.

On Monday, Arjumand Faisel’s painting of a woman and her daughter in oil pastels on paper fetched Rs14,000 against the offered price of Rs6,500. On Tuesday, calligrapher Wasil Shahid’s work ‘Allah Hoo’ done in original gold on a black sheet was auctioned for Rs23,000.

On Wednesday, Riaz Rafi’s figurative painting in oil on canvas fetched Rs18,000 against the gallery price of Rs35,000. Javed Qamar’s painting in mixed media on canvas was put on auction on Thursday at Rs6,500 against its gallery price of Rs45,000. The painting fetched Rs60,000.

The curator of Gallery6, Dr Faisel, who is also a trustee of Horizon International Trust, toldDawnthat the trust had identified over 1,000 families in urgent need of support.

During the last week, he said, the trust has raised funds to provide two weeks of rations or Rs3,000 cash to 500 of these families.

Dr Faisel said he was looking for more ways to raise funds and decided to launch the auction his paintings at very low prices through the platform of the gallery.

“This is atwo-pronged approach that would not only help us collect money for people in need but also provide an opportunity for art lovers to acquire paintings at substantially lower prices, even lower than the price at which artists give it to the gallery,” he explained.

— Dawn
— Dawn

Dr Faisel said: “As I floated first my own painting, I started getting calls from several artists that they would also like to donate their paintings for the cause.”

During the last three days, they have received several offers and have a good collection to offer every day for a few weeks, he added.

He also said that Mr Shahid, an Islamabad-based calligrapher, offered to conduct online calligraphy classes from his home and donate all fees to people in need.

This news was circulated through the gallery’s email service and Facebook page, and received a good response within 24 hours from Pakistan and abroad.

“Through these two efforts, the gallery not only intends to provide support to the listed 1,000 plus families but also to some of those white-collar artists who are financially constrained and are not in a position to even ask for help,” he said.

A painting by Kanwal Zafar in acrylic on canvas, titled ‘We Are All Connected’ has been put on auction with a base line price of Rs20,000 compared to the gallery price of Rs90,000. Bidding will close today (Friday) at 5pm. Paintings auctioned by the gallery will be delivered to the successful bidder for free after the lockdown has ended.

Originally published in Dawn, April 10th, 2020