Nonprofit global collective ARTNOIR is holding an online fundraiser in an effort to help artists, curators and cultural workers of color. 

In partnership with Artsy, an online platform for discovering, buying and selling fine art, ARTNOIR announced the ARTNOIR From: Friends To: Friends Benefit Auction 2020. The auction features stunning pieces from nearly 30 artists including Tiffany Alfonseca, Ludovic Nkoth, John Rivas, Delphine Desane, Patrick Quarm and Flo Ngala. 

Funds raised from the auction, which began June 24, will go toward the ARTNOIR Jar of Love Fund, a microgrant initiative that will help support artists, curators and cultural workers of color.

"Proceeds raised from this auction will help empower, and fuel the lives of these grantees who are essential contributors to our creative ecosystem," the collective said on the Artsy website, adding that the money will "widen the net of support" for artists "who are often discredited before and after their trends have run their course."

"We aim to shift the power dynamics of culture in order to empower and fuel the lives of these grant recipients," ARTNOIR's statement said. 

On the Jar Of Love Fund website, the group explained that the coronavirus pandemic has had a damaging effect on artists.

Art galleries have had to close and art festivals and auction houses have had to shut down indefinitely or move online. The pandemic has had a particularly damaging effect on artists of color who traditionally lack the kind of institutional backing obtained by white artists. 

But the transition to online art sales has been difficult for artists who have spent years touring festivals and galleries in the spring and fall.

“I’m thinking really seriously about what the online experience is for our clients. In effect, we’ve been in the live theater business. Now we’re segueing into what is more like live streaming. The truth is, that revolution has been underway for some time,” Amy Cappellazzo, chairwoman of the fine art division of Sotheby’s, told The New York Times in April.

The Times noted that spring auctions are where most artists typically make the bulk of their profits. In five days last May, art houses Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips brought in a combined $2 billion.

A Philadelphia Inquirer feature spotlighted Black artists who spoke about lacking generational wealth, support and resources to survive in an unprecedented like this. 

YaYa Horne told the newspaper she had a huge art festival planned at Delaware River waterfront venues that was canceled and that she has now spent weeks applying for grants so that she can survive. 

“I’ve been driving Instacart, because I’m a single mom and I have to have something coming in. I worked in corporate for years and years, kind of took this leap to do my own thing. And all that work and years of experience and I’m delivering groceries. It’s really humbling,” Horne told the Inquirer.

The ARTNOIR From: Friends To: Friends Benefit Auction 2020 ends on July 8. You can register to bid here