Like most independently owned businesses, art galleries are grappling with the fallout from the global pandemic, the canceled exhibitions and indefinite closures wreaking havoc on their finances and that of their artists. Nevertheless, many galleries are adapting to the times with initiatives intended to simultaneously keep their own businesses afloat and aid those in most urgent need of support during the crisis.
Up-and-coming gallerists are joining the effort as well—and sometimes giving even more. Tribeca dealer Monica King, a veteran of both Pace and Kasmin galleries, had only been open under her own name for less than a year when the pandemic hit. Her “Spring to Action” initiative on her website will donate 25 percent of a work’s total proceeds to Feed the Frontlines, an organization providing meals to hospital workers around New York City (with King and the artist each giving 12.5 percent).
“I spent quite some time in my early ‘quarantine days’ deciding which organization was a good fit,” King told Artnet News in an email. “I liked that Feed the Frontlines wasn’t a traditional charity, as they aren’t a 501(c)(3) charity per se. This isn’t about tax deductions—far from it.” Instead, King calls the organization “a true grassroots movement started by a local business owner who was looking to make a heartfelt and direct difference during an immensely difficult time in the world.”
As of April 21, the auction had sold 14 works by nine artists. New works and artists are being added daily to the initiative, which currently features 100 works by 46 artists.