solidarity art
"Inhabited Golden Center" (2020), Laura Gorski. Photo: 300 drawings publicity

It's been just over two months since the ministries of Health, Justice and Public Security defined, on March 17, the criteria for mandatory quarantine and isolation. As soon as the text was published in the “Official Journal of the Union”, the art market was forced to rethink methods and plan new strategies to reach its audience, regardless of face-to-face visitation – at least so far –, a fundamental aspect of the exhibitions. in galleries and cultural institutions. The crisis paradigm led to a search for virtual territory, lives and online visitation rooms, among other web resources.

Among the adaptations made by the market, some initiatives with a solidary nature were also created by gallery owners, curators and artists. Projects such as 300 Desenhos, OÁ Solidária and Quarantine managed to make the impact of art during the crisis more palpable, as well as, of course, always being a panacea. Learn more about these three projects:

Solidarity OA

Series “Homage to Dionísio Del Santo” by Rick Rodrigues. Photo: Disclosure

It was one of the first projects with a social nature to emerge during the forties. The initiative took shape following the proposal of Rafael Vicente, one of the artists represented by Galeria OÁ in Vitória, to make 100% of the sale of his works available to the gallery. The action was the trigger for director Thais Hilal to put into practice her desire to make the gallery more active within her community. Initially, the artists represented by the gallery were invited to participate, while works from the collection itself were also included in this phase of the endeavor. After the launch of OÁ Solidária, Hilal says that she continues to receive messages from artists who “have become sensitive to the project and want to participate”, commenting that the team is open to new contributions.

The works donated so far are available on an exclusive Instagram (access this link). All sales will go to SECRI – São Benedito Community Engagement Service, which has existed in Vitória for 31 years. Its work with families in the São Benedito neighborhood includes around 270 young people aged between 6 and 20 in socially vulnerable situations. In addition to the work performed by SECRI, the fact that it is in the same neighborhood as OÁ also contributed to his choice of Hilal, adding to his desire to integrate the gallery more into its surroundings: “I believe that if we work allied with local initiatives, we will be closer to the global transformations we so desperately need”. 


Quarantine emerged as an alternative sales model amid the pandemic. Its proposal grew with the idea of ​​collaboration and reimagining the way sales are made, usually carried out by artists on their own or through a gallery. For each work sold in the Quarantine, all participating artists – around forty-five – win, forming a kind of artists' cooperative. 

Coming soon, Quarantine
Project presentation image. Photo: Disclosure

For Cristiana Tejo, one of the organizers of the project, adding an extra quota for an entity with social action was a natural reasoning: “We wanted to help as many people as possible, but the priority was for xs artists, because donations of works are always asked for to artists in solidarity actions, but almost no one asks if artists also need financial help”.

Thus, the entity chosen by the creators of Quarantine was Casa Chama, in São Paulo, which works as a civil and cultural organization, arising from the need to create more spaces for research, discussion and action for trans people. One of the reasons for choosing the House is the connection between three of the artists participating in the Quarantine: Manauara Clandestina, Diran Castro and Cinthia Marcelle. Tejo explains that the entity will receive “the same amount as each of the participants in the Quarantine project. In other words, the amount collected from the sales of the works will be divided equally between xs 45 artists (including Lais Myhrra and Marilá Dardot who are also coordinators of the initiative), Julia Morelli, Cristiana Tejo and Casa Chama”. 

300 Drawings

300 drawings LENGUAJE LOST by Augusto Ballardo
LANGUAGE LOST, by Augusto Ballardo. Photo: Disclosure

The idea for 300 Desenhos came from a conversation between two of the campaign's organizers, Erika Verzutti and Fernanda Brenner. The project was then structured by a group of volunteers made up of artists, curators, producers, managers and gallery owners.

It works like this: by contributing a single quota of R$ 1000, project supporters are directed to the website, where you can view the donated works and find out which one will be yours. An interesting point is that the work is not chosen by the supporter, but by an algorithm of the initiative itself. Thus, each drawing is, in a way, assigned to its owner as if the work chose the supporter. There is no limit on collaborations, however.

With the project ready, the group mobilized its networks and contacts to raise funds for three organizations, APIB, CUFA and Habitat (check out more about each one in this link). Taking national action and acting with emergency protection and assistance actions for the most vulnerable groups were the organizations' choice criteria. 

For the future

Cultural manager Paula Signoreli, also creator of 300 Desenhos, says that the results are already visible: “We had the adhesion of 368 artists, the first to mobilize, exceeding our initial expectations. In the end, we received the support of 273 donors, who participated with different quotas, some of them even giving up the 'reward' (design selected randomly by the system created by the project)”. 

In addition to the quick financial results, the initiative has already been replicated in Peru, for example, in an articulation coordinated by the Peruvian curator Miguel Lopez, which resulted in the Dibujos por la Amazonia project. According to Signoreli, the Brazilian team collaborated with information about the structuring of the campaign, including the raffle algorithm used by 300 Desenhos, provided by programmer Ariel Tonglet. The manager adds that the group continues to receive consultations and contacts from professionals from other countries who plan to create projects with similar characteristics.

For Cristiana Tejo, from Quarantine, in the future “the agents of the art world should ask themselves about what should change in their postures and actions”, adding that she hopes that the project – a model that can be replicated by anyone – will help to question: “How to bring about structural changes that benefit more people and the planet?”. 

The speech of Thais Hilal, from OÁ, goes against it. She believes that it is necessary, even more now, to think more deeply about the social function of art: “We can no longer continue as we were. This crisis that is there shows us that life is what we have of greatest value and if art is aggregating and transforming, it needs to truly fulfill this role. Bertold Brecht has a very interesting phrase about it: 'All the arts contribute to the greatest of all arts, the art of living'”.


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