Gallery MAR facilitates auction to benefit earthquake-relief efforts in Nepal
May 8, 2015
On April 25, a devastating earthquake hit Nepal, killing at least 7,500 people and injuring more than 15,000.
While those numbers continue to rise, hundreds of disaster-relief groups and volunteers have either converged on the area or are sending donations of money or relief supplies to the area.
In Park City, Gallery MAR and artist Shawna Moore are holding a month-long auction that will raise money for one of the nonprofit organizations — Children of Nepal, a nonprofit organization dedicated to offering culturally-appropriate education to local children in a positive, nurturing and stimulating environment — that is also helping with relief efforts.
Gallery owner Maren Mullin said the idea for the Auction to Benefit Nepal Earthquake Relief was instigated by Moore.
"When a crisis like this happens overseas, we feel like there is not a lot we can do," Mullin said during an interview with The Park Record. "Yes, we can write a check or send your friends well wishes, but there is so much sadness, loss and destruction for the people who are in the midst of the disaster.
"So, when Shawna came to me, I knew this was something I couldn’t refuse," she said. "This was a great thing to do."
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Moore donated her work "Khata" to the auction. The 60-inch, by 20-inch by 2-inch encaustic piece was inspired by a ceremonial silk Tibetan scarf called a khata, which was originally going to be part of bigger exhibit.
"We’re doing a show for Shawna that will premiere in July and she put together a group of works, because she always shows works in series," Mullin explained. "This one particular work was completed before rest of the series, which was rare for her."
"Khata," which will officially be on display at Gallery MAR next week, was inspired when Moore visited Nepal five years ago. She finished the work three weeks before the earthquake hit last month.
"I was introduced to the concept of khata while on this trip," Moore said in a statement. "The khata symbolizes purity and compassion and are worn or presented with incense at many ceremonial occasions, including births, weddings, funerals, graduations and the arrival or departure of guests, and are usually made of silk."
Tibetan khatas are usually white, symbolizing the pure heart of the giver, according to Moore.
"[The] khata is less of an object and more of a feeling," she said. "The painting is divided into two parts, which symbolizes both the giver and the receiver. The dark banding at the bottom of the piece reflects the tendency of the cloth to unravel, expressing the temporary nature of things in our physical world."
"To have this work finished before her other pieces felt like it was meant to be," Mullin said. "It felt like this was too much to be just an accident and Shawna wanted to move forward to raise some money for the charity called Children of Nepal, because she has some friends working for that charity who are in Nepal now".
The auction will run until the end of the month and bids can be made by calling 435-649-3001.
"We have a real-time update on Shawna’s artist page on our website (http://www.gallerymar.com ) that will show bidders the current auction price," Mullin said. "We started bidding at $3,500 and the retail price is $7,250."
Bid will be made in $200 increments and the gallery will donate its commission of this piece as well, along with a portion of the sales of any other works by Moore in the gallery, according to Mullin.
"Also, if someone wants to make a donation and ‘Khata’ isn’t the right one for them, they can choose another one of Shawna’s pieces to purchase," she said. "We are donating a portion of the money from any of Shawna’s works to Children of Nepal."
Also, bidders can bypass the auction process and purchase the piece outright for $8,750, Mullin said.
"The auction will give people an opportunity to do something more than just purchase art for their enjoyment," she said. "It’s a way for them to make an impact and help people in need."
Moore wanted to help with the earthquake relief because of the bond she made with the local residents during her trip.
"Beyond the commotion of Kathmandu the splendor of the high-elevation Himal and the exposure to spiritual practice in nearly every corner, I was most touched by the kindness of our Sherpa guides," she said. "We spoke in broken English, played cards, hiked together, took care of each other when fatigue or sickness arose and cried when departing a land so far away from our own.
"Anyone who has visited that part of the world has seen how difficult and marginal life is for most of the people," she said. "It is hard to imagine now, with this devastating earthquake, that even the most simple needs of water, food and shelter are not available for so many. My heart breaks for my friends there, both American and Nepali. It seems a fitting offering to send its energy back to the people who befriended, inspired and cared for me on my journey. Namaste."
The Gallery MAR auction of Shawna Moore’s "Khata," which will benefit Children of Nepal, a nonprofit organization that is helping with earthquake-relief efforts in Kathmandu, will run through the end of May. Bids can be made by calling 435-649-3001. For more information, visit http://www.galleryMAR.com.