Katherine Bradford, Gina Beavers, and 140 Other Artists Are Giving Away Their Work for Free to Donors Supporting Pandemic Relief Efforts

Artists for Humans has raised over $136,000 for a range of charities.

Clarity Haynes, Venus Altar Detail (study) (2020, left) and Erik Den Breejen, Purple Rain (After Prince) (2020). Courtesy of the artists.

Two months ago, as governors across the US began issuing shelter-in-place restrictions, New York artist Hannah Beerman, a recent graduate of the Hunter College MFA program, looked out the window of her Manhattan apartment and wondered what artists could do to support relief efforts.

Her solution was to launch Artists for Humans, an Instagram initiative in which artists give away artworks to those donating money to specified relief causes. 

“I didn’t have access to a lot of things, but I do have access to my relationships and my friends,” Beerman tells Artnet News. The goal was modest, the artist says. “If somebody had asked me how much I was hoping to raise, I would have said maybe $400 or $500.”

The day after Beerman launched the effort, she woke up to some 400 direct messages in her inbox from artists willing to contribute. 

To date, the project has raised over $136,000 for the homeless, the elderly, and others impacted by the health and economic crisis, and more than 140 artists have donated works, including Gina Beavers, Katherine Bradford, Jeffrey Gibson, Eddie Martinez, Vaughn Spann, and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, with many others in the queue. 

“I feel like right now, we can really radicalize anything,” Beerman says.

New artworks are posted to the Instagram account daily, the values of which are determined by the artists and revealed to donors directly. After the donor provides a receipt for a donation made to a specified charity, Beerman connects them with the artist to arrange shipping.

Donations range from $100 to $5,000, with most artworks handed over for below their market value, she says. (Some artists consult with their galleries to determine values.) 

“The point of the project is for everyone to feel good, to connect with each other, to connect to the city,” Beerman says.

Beerman will be presenting her own works at NADA’s new online fair, which goes live Monday. She will also mount a project at Essex Flowers this summer, and a solo show at Kapp Kapp in the fall.

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