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Wynwood auction to help fund Haitian school

Artists from around the world will donate pieces to be auctioned off at a Wynwood gallery on Wednesday; the auction’s proceeds will help fund a school in Haiti.

By Rodolfo Roman
Special to The Miami Herald
International artists have come to the aid of Haiti’s earthquake victims.

Forty seven artists from around the world will donate their pieces in an auction, with the proceeds going toward operating a school in Port-au-Prince. The free auction will be Wednesday at the Ideobox Artspace in Wynwood.

The auction is the final step to the Base Paint Project, which started last February, slightly more than a year after the Haitian earthquake. The artists in the project helped create 10 artistic tents, which will function as classrooms, a library and workshops in Port-au-Prince.

They will be installed in the summer and will be part of a secondary school on the property of L’Athletique d’Haiti, a not-for-profit youth development program started by human rights activist and Haitian soccer star Robert Duval. Non-profit organizations Manos del Sur and Step by Step Foundation also collaborated in the project.

Paulina Montes, executive director of Manos del Sur, said art and education are important for Haiti.

“We wanted to give a gift of art to the Haitian children and a safe haven where they can get an education,” she said in a phone interview.

Antuan Rodriguez, an artist and curator of the Base Paint Project, said the effort will benefit children who were left parentless.

“Kids concern me,” said Rodriguez. “The kids can’t help each other. There are 3,000 kids who lost their parents in the earthquake.”

The massive earthquake hit Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, killing more than 200,000 and leaving more than a million homeless.

Money raised from the auction will help pay for the school’s operating costs. There will be over 50 artworks up for auction. The artworks will be up for exhibition till the end of June at Ideobox Artspace.

The tents, which were exhibited at Art Basel, were painted by artists, who flew into South Florida from various countries. They volunteered to create the design and paint the 20-feet-long by 15-feet wide tents using sem paint, which is used on the interior of airplanes and can withstand extreme conditions. The tents have eight windows and two doors. The removable tents were shipped in April and are being stored in a container. Each tent represents a Haitian social issue such as education and the environment.

“I believe art is more than just hanging it on the wall; it opens doors,” said Rodriguez.

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