Christie’s is pleased to present its first collaborative exhibition and silent auction to benefit City College Center for the Arts (CCCA) entitled 100 YEARS OF HARLEM: Resonating Around the World. The exhibit celebrates Harlem as teacher and muse for diverse artists across time, with works by visual artists from Harlem and across the country. The online sale, powered by Givergy, will be open for bidding from March 26 to April 4, 2022, and works from the auction will be exhibited at Christie’s New York concurrently. A percentage of the proceeds will go to the contributing artists with the remainder earmarked for the City College Center for the Arts’ Youth Arts Empowerment Program, which each year provides free art workshops, performances and lectures to more than 8,000 underserved youth in the Harlem community.
The auction is curated by Omo Misha, a Detroit native who has built her practice serving galleries, cultural institutions and artists throughout Harlem, Greater New York and the Tri-State area. She has worked with City College Center for the Arts as curator for the Windows on Amsterdam Community Gallery since 2015 and newly operates the Irwin House of Global Art Center and Gallery in Detroit. Her focus now involves connecting these two great, creatively historic communities.
The sale presents thirty works by artists by twenty-four celebrated artists including internationally acclaimed painters like New Orleans native Julio Mejia, an artist of Latin and European descent who holds the title of longest solo exhibition at CCCA; abstract expressionist Danny Simmons, who has been exhibited and collected worldwide and famously uses his art and voice to strengthen artist enclaves in his native New York as well as Philadelphia; and, Donovan Nelson, a master portraitist whose Ibo Landing renderings tell the story of one of the largest-known revolts of enslaved Africans. Best known for transforming his decaying Detroit neighborhood, is international artist, Tyree Guyton, who reimagined a two-block stretch of Heidelberg Street into an art-filled treasure, attracting an estimated 200,000 visitors each year from all over the world and adding more than $3 million annually to the local economy. Japanese born and internationally exhibited YUKAKO‘s paintings evoke the spontaneity of jazz, the harmony of lyric poetry and the naturalism of dance; and 91-year-old Faith Ringgold, a celebrated artist, activist, and City College of New York alumna best known for her fiber-art compositions, bearing witness to her life and times in Harlem.
Investors Bank is serving as the Corporate Presenting Partner Sponsor for the event, which will assist City College Center for the Arts’ ability to strengthen its commitment to artists and the youth program. Kevin Cummings, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Investors Bank, remarks: “We are grateful to participate in this creative and innovative event that serves our youth. One of the focus points of our philanthropy is arts and culture for young people, and Investors Bank has always been a long-time supporter in this area. Investors Bank actively supports a wide range of nonprofit organizations that make the arts accessible, and our experience has been that the children are always curious, responsive and enthusiastic. We know these programs build interests and individual talent, but more importantly, they ultimately become the foundation of a lifelong appreciation for the arts.”
Leah Kuttruff, Christie’s, Chairman, CSR Employee Initiative, remarks: “Our Corporate Social Responsibility program here at Christie’s believes in the power of art. We aim to enhance the communities in which we live and work, and leave a positive enduring impact on society. As we know, the last few years have not been the kindest to artists and art institutions, and we are thrilled to partner with such an incredible local university, and to ensure that all proceeds benefit CCCA and the participating artists directly.”
Gregory Shanck Managing Director, City College Center for the Arts, remarks: “Over the years City College Center for the Arts has exhibited the works of countless visual artists in our Aaron Davis Hall Gallery and Windows on Amsterdam Community Gallery. Some of these artists are well established and have exhibited worldwide, while others are emerging and reflect a promising future. Many of these artists are represented in this exceptional exhibition and auction and I thank them for their participation. I’m also grateful to Christie’s and our Corporate Sponsor Investor Bank for providing this shot that means so much to these artists and the CCCA community.”