As I have mentioned to some of you, I have decided to organize a small, benefit auction in support of disaster relief for Japan. I don’t like being in a position where I know I could do something if I was motivated enough, and don’t, so I figured I would see just what I could do, and started organizing an auction.
I think as a population, we are not limited by our abilities or inabilities but rather by our motivation and desire to see something done. It is pretty amazing what a small group of motivated individuals can do once they set their collective minds to a task. And that is one reason I wanted to do this. The photographers of Portland are all a capable lot, capable of quite a bit, and I wanted to tap into that a bit and turn our talents with cameras into a result greater than the occasional images we make.
So quickly, here is the time and location:
724 SW Washington
One night only
May 5th, 6-9 pm
So, what I need in terms of help, because I can do this on my own, but the result and the effects will be much greater the more help I can get. At this point, I need donations of artwork.
In terms of the art, I am looking for smallish pieces, say 8×10. Larger or smaller pieces than that are certainly welcome though. The work can be bare prints, it can be matted, it can even be framed. I want to stress though that these pieces are going to sell inexpensively. Do not donate something valuable with the expectation of it meeting that price.
Ideally, I want to put up a number of pieces with very low, buy-it-now prices of around $25-50. Other pieces, particularly framed ones, can go through a silent auction process, but I want firm prices on many of the pieces so as to be able to tap into the walk-through crowd that would not hang around until a bid was finished. I will also tell you, based on a heck of a lot of experience, that in order to sell work in Portland, it needs to be inexpensive. Portlanders, especially after the recession, do not spend a lot of money on art. Hence why I want to put low price tags on the work, and I want anyone donating to be aware of that upfront. I have not settled on a price structure just yet, but I will be in touch with everyone who donates when I do. The cutoff for donating pieces is the last Thursday in April, so one week before the opening. Of course I will still take donations after that, but if they can be in before that, it will make my job of organizing all this easier.
Donations can be dropped off at Blue Moon Camera in St. Johns where I work. Please include your name, phone number or e-mail with your pieces. Alternately you can e-mail me to make other arrangements for getting your work to me. If you are out of town, state or country, you are still more than invited to donate work, just mail it to Blue Moon Camera. If you need that address, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An alternate idea for getting prints to me for those of you far away, is through Quick Stop Photo, which is Blue Moon’s outlab for digital printing. You can upload, order and pay for prints through their website which is www.picturepreview.com. I think an 8×10 costs all of $1.99. Then in the final instructions for your order, just instruct them to send the finished print to Blue Moon and to my attention. Make sure you leave your name in the order comments as well, and contact info too please.
The second group of people I need help from are those willing to show up the night of, bring friends, hang out, and buy work. I don’t expect to have a problem with people willing to donate, I don’t even expect to have a problem with getting people to show up, but folks, this will not be an art show, but an art sale, so it is important to get people willing to contribute small amounts and get to go home with a print under their arm.
100% of the bids will go to charity, at this point, it appears Mercy Corp. I plan on having a laptop right there so that winning bidders can make their donation on the spot and no paper money has to trade hands or even be involved. Alternately, and I still need to confirm this, people could make donations before coming to the show, and bring a printout of the receipt for their donation and use that as a voucher for bidding. I will accept that too. The important thing is to just make sure the money gets to Mercy Corp some way or another.
Alright, there are still other details to iron out, but this gives you all enough concrete information to start making your own arrangements. I don’t need to tell you this is for a good cause, you already know that. Nor do I need to remind you what a disaster Japan is at the moment, our media barrage, as clumsy as it is, has made that point too. What I will remind you of is that we are all capable of making a difference here, it may be small, but it will matter. And the more motivated we become, the more intent on our purpose, the greater the effect we will have. So don’t write yourself off as being insignificant, don’t use that as an excuse to do nothing at all. I know you all have prints just laying around out there, and you all have abilities with a camera, lets translate that into something, that on a certain scale will be a big thing.