In the highly anticipated lead up to the first-ever ArtBall event of its kind, Amref Health Africa in the U.S. is pleased to announce that artworks are now available online through Paddle 8, a first-class collecting destination presenting online auctions of extraordinary art, design, jewelry, watches and collectibles. The inaugural Amref Health Africa ArtBall is a premier contemporary African art auction and benefit event being held on Wednesday, 8th June, 2016 from 7-10PM at 159 Bleecker Street in New York City.
Members of the public are now invited to bid online for a limited time on unique, contemporary African artworks from across the continent. The auction officially launched on May 25 and closes on June 8 – the day of the ArtBall – where the live auction will take place. The benefit event – the first of its kind – features artists from various age groups and cultural backgrounds, who all work in a variety of mediums and styles. Curated by Atim Annette Oton, the ArtBall will honour acclaimed Kenyan artist, Wangechi Mutu with the Rees Humanitarian Award for her work celebrating and empowering African communities.
From Nigeria to Tanzania, over 30 African artists have rallied together to donate their generous artworks for the event, proving their belief in Amref Health Africa’s work and also, pride in their diverse cultural heritage. Some of these pieces speak directly to the work that Amref Health Africa supports, such as Ghanian artist Paa Joe’s miniature sculpture piece dedicated to healthcare workers who fought during the Ebola crisis.
The piece, Avoiding Ebola: Monument to Healthcare Workers, was commissioned by curator Atim Annette Oton.
Paa Joe is one of the most highly esteemed coffin-maker of his generation. Blurring the line between art and craft, each coffin is carefully constructed to reflect the ambition or trade of the client. They perfectly illustrate the Ghanaian approach to the theme of death: rather than being macabre objects of sorrow, they instead vibrantly affirm the subject’s life.
Since October 2014, Amref Health Africa has worked in communities throughout West Africa to tackle gaps in treatment, training, and prevention, with a direct focus on strengthening the capacity of frontline health workers to foster behavioral change and stop the spread of rumours within the community. Lack of education on disease contraction and prevention often comes with living in isolated communities. Often, local health facilities are understaffed and undersupplied, and a community member-turned-frontline health worker can be the difference between life and death. Paa Joe’s tribute to these selfless community health workers are a reminder of this.
Founded almost sixty years ago and headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, Amref Health Africa is the largest African-based health development non-profit in the world, creating and strengthening health systems at the grassroots level. Proceeds from the ArtBall will help raise funds for Amref Health Africa’s innovative programmes that span across thirty-five countries and build the health systems of thousands of communities. To view and bid on artworks available for auction, visit https://paddle8.com/auction/amref/. For more information and tickets about the ArtBall, visit www.amrefusa.org/artball.