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Art with a conscience

City art sale has works of over 100 artists; proceeds to go to charity.

art and culture Updated: Oct 17, 2010 17:24 IST
Vidya Balachander

For most people, art is both an economic and emotional investment. When you buy a painting by a master, it is not just to add to your art portfolio, but also to adorn your wall for years to come. Art for Smiles, an art sale being conducted by Toofles Foundation, an NGO, hopes to mine precisely this emotional quotient attached to art.

The sale, which started on October 13, offers works of over 100 artists, including acclaimed masters as well as upcoming names. A percentage of the sale proceeds will be donated to charity.

Art for Smiles has a very wide range of works from renowned names such as SH Raza, Yusuf Arakkal, Anjolie Ela Menon, Bose Krishnamachari, FN Souza and Akbar Padamsee. At the same time, you’ll also find works by upcoming artists such as Vijay Shelar, Buwa Shete and Milburn Cherian.

Madhabi Puri Buch, founder of Toofles Foundation, the NGO that has facilitated the sale, says that the unique model followed in procuring the works of art ensures that while a significant portion of the proceeds go to charity, the artist, the gallery and the consumer benefit as well. “Normally, when there is a charity auction, the artist has to take a little bit of a cut in terms of his normal compensation,” she says. “But whether we have sourced the works from artists or the gallery, their compensation has been paid.”

In order to encourage more people to loosen their purse strings, they were contacted before the sale began, and asked to pledge that they would buy art worth a certain amount.

“Twenty people had already pledged to buy art before the exhibition began, without seeing a single work,” says Buch.

“That’s because even if you don’t like the work you see, we can keep showing you more works thanks to the variety we have.”

Approximately 25 per cent of the proceeds will go to charity. Apart from other NGOs, the money will be donated to the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, a residential institute for impoverished tribal children in Orissa. “For every Rs 1 lakh we raise, we’ll be to change one child’s life for 10 years,” says Buch. “Art is a good vehicle through which we hope to bring a smile on a child’s face.