If you’re a philanthropist and an art collector, then Friday is the perfect day for you to open your heart and wallet.
Dallas art gallery RO2 Art will host an online art auction, with over 90 works by 50 different artists, and all proceeds will benefit the North Texas Food Bank.
Jordan Roth, who owns RO2 with his mother, Susan Roth Romans, established the fine art contemporary gallery in 2010. It has been named "Best Art Gallery" by the Dallas Observer and is a favorite hub for critics and art lovers.
“The idea came about a couple of weeks ago when my mother and I were talking about the food shortages,” the gallerist explains. “And earlier we'd discussed how an artist asked if we were planning any fundraisers to support a cause related to COVID-19 crisis — so, it just clicked.”
Roth says he got in touch with the development officer at the North Texas Food Bank, “and she was all for it.” The entire amount earned through the auction will be donated to the NTFB.
The NTFB, like other charitable institutions, has seen an increase in demand in the past two months as unemployment levels continue to rise. Roth didn’t get much time to organize the event, as they needed help “the sooner the better,” as Roth says they told him.
“So we placed a call for art on an internal Facebook group shared by all of the artists who've shown at Ro2 Art group exhibitions and the response was immediate and overwhelming,” Roth says.
The works in the auction are recent — the oldest dating to 2014 — and range from prints to porcelain vases and oil paintings. Roth calculates that two-thirds of the contributing artists are local, including Erica Stephens and Jeanne Neal, who donated the works in full, despite the fact that the art scene was one of the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
"Artists are often asked to donate for different causes, and I'm generally happy to contribute," says Brian Scott, from art duo Chuck & George, who are participating in the auction. "Here is an organization that's doing good things — they don't discriminate, they don't judge you for your point of view when you come in. ... If you are in need they will help you. That's sort of my philosophy as well. I mean, really, we have only so many days on Earth, can you enjoy them knowing so many people are wanting?“
"We didn't even really have to nudge anyone" Roth says of the artists who responded "graciously" to his call to help those less fortunate, as they all believed in the cause.
“For every dollar raised, the NTFB is able to serve three meals,” Roth says. “That's powerful."