After much stretching and turning of ideas in my head, I have decided to hold a cumulative auction for Charlie Spear’s Falling Down Man.
I am not sure whether there is such thing as a cumulative auction. As a relative outsider to both the art and fundraising worlds, I don’t know the range of events that people hold in order to mix money and art. It wouldn’t surprise me much were a cumulative auction to have been held and for the words ‘cumulative auction’ to have a fixed meaning already. But just to make sure that people understand what I intend to do, here is what I mean by ‘cumulative auction’.
A cumulative auction gives people a chance people to do two things at once: (1) donate money to a cause; and (2) help express their sense of how much a painting is worth.
In this case, the cause is ArtWorks945, an art gallery for the homeless in Charlotte; and the painting, as should be clear by now, is Falling Down Man.
When you ‘bid’ on Charlie’s painting, you need not bid as if you were trying to buy the painting. Rather, you will add to the total that has already been bid. Any money bid will go to ArtWorks945. So you can think of your bid as a donation if you like. But you can also see it as a way to express your opinion that Charlie’s painting is worth more than what has already been bid.
And where will Charlie’s painting go at the end of the auction?
Well, it seems to me that there are two possibilities. It could go to the person who has put in the most money toward the cumulative total. I think that this is an attractive option, since it would retain some of the feel of a regular auction. People who wanted to own the painting outright would obviously have an incentive to put in a larger amount of money than anyone else.
I think I would have chosen that possibility if there weren’t in this particular case another obvious and it seems to me deserving recipient of the painting. Tyler Helfrich, the director of ArtWorks945, has told me that they intend to start a permanent collection of art. As of yet, they have no paintings in their collection. When I discussed the possibility of a cumulative auction with Tyler, we agreed that Charlie’s painting would be a wonderful first piece in their collection.
So Charlie’s painting will go to ArtWorks 945.
To ‘bid’ on Charlie’s painting, you need to do three things.
(1) Click on the following link, which will take you to the UrbanMinistry donation page.
(UrbanMinistry is the homeless shelter to which ArtWorks945 is connected. Here is a link to its website: http://www.urbanministrycenter.org/)
(2) Follow the instructions that will allow you to donate however much money you want to donate. In other words, ‘bid’ on Charlie’s painting.
(3) Write the following words in the Comments Box that appears after you enter your information: ArtWorks donation for the Van Gogh Project.
This last step is particularly important -- it is the only way the money will be designated for ArtWorks945; and it is the only way I’ll know how much money has been bid for Charlie’s painting.
And that’s it. I’ll let the auction run for two months.
I can’t wait to see what happens.