THE ST VINCENT and the Grenadines Conservation Fund (SVGCF) partnered with local artists this week in hopes of raising thousands of dollars to aid in the country’s post volcanic eruption recovery.
The not-for-profit organisation, alongside Jones Group Inc, launched a ‘Post Volcano Recovery Auction’ on Monday August 23, to sell at auction, three local paintings from artists Calvert Jones and Cheyenne Slater. “The SVGCF will act as a conduit for the funds generated from the auction. A generous portion of funds derived from the auction will go to the SVGCF to help for volcano recovery efforts and conservation efforts to help restore the ravaged ecosystem… destroyed by the eruption,” Vanburn Harry, SVGCF’s Chief Executive Officer said at the launch, which was held at the Carnegie Building in Kingstown.
Harry also noted that a percentage of the funds will go to the family of a little boy who was displaced during the volcanic eruptions and whose image is depicted in one of the three paintings.
Both artists have incorporated the use of volcanic ash as part of the paint medium to depict the devastation of the eruption, the suffering, and prayers of the Vincentian people.
It is expected that the auction, which is being hosted on the international online auctioning platform Charity Buzz, will run for two weeks.
Calvert Jones, who spearheads the Jones Group Inc, said “one of the things that stood out and that was captured by myself and Cheyenne Slater was the hope that we need to have and the faith that we need to have in the face of any sort of tragedy or natural disaster…” When people take a look at the paintings, the artist said, they will get a true essence of what this visually feels like.
He added that the paintings not only have volcanic ash incorporated into them but depict “very intense emotions and [have] a relevancy to what it means to be Vincentian and who we are as a society…” Jones mentioned a number of other activities that will accompany the launch of the auction.
He said that Digicel is on board and will be extensively promoting this fund-raising effort.
According to the auction information hosted on Charity Buzz, the paintings are valued between US$27,000 and US$45,000 with the starting bids ranging from US$5500 to US$9000.
‘Our Faith Will See Us Through’ by Calvert Jones, was inspired by a photo originally taken by local photographer, Edson ‘Tequila’ Reece, of a little boy holding his fist in the air.
Jones, while commenting on his other piece, ‘Prayers of Spring’ said it was particularly special to him because the Day of Prayer in SVG coincided with the last eruption that was recorded. On that day, he noticed the poui tree in bloom in the yard of the Kingstown Anglican Cathedral.
The third painting, ‘HAIROUNA’ by Cheyenne Slater, features numerous elements synonymous with the Vincentian experience, including the volcano, petroglyphs, Garifuna and the most recent eruption.
The link to the online auction can be accessed via the SVGCF website; www. svgcf.org