It’s trying times for any business, especially those in the creative, dining, and cultural spaces. And one such institution, San Francisco’s lauded Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD), is struggling — with hopes that their online benefit auction will help support them in the weeks, perhaps months still to come.
The sidewalks around California Academy are quiet, absent of the usual tap-tap of footwear. The War Memorial Opera House? It now, ironically enough, exists as a vacuum of sound. Animals at the San Francisco Zoo have grown accustomed to a lack of visitors peering at them through glass pannels. MoAD, too, hasn’t had any art purveyors step foot inside their hallowed galleries for going on two months… so it goes without much saying that funds are tight for them.
But being in the age of smartphones and LTE (soon wide-spread 5G!), MoAD has opted to both showcase and auction works from local, national, and international artists in a literal bid to sequester some monetary respite.
Adia Millett, an Oakland-based artist whose work was included in multiple MoAD exhibitions— including Black Refractions: Highlights from the Studio Museum in Harlem (2019) and Where is Here (2016) — says in a press release that “this unexpected cultural transition is not a time to isolate, but a time to observe and listen to the wisdom of our creative voices.”
Millett’s point, too, can’t be stressed enough: “We must remember that it is art, which has not only taught us to see the beauty and the struggle of our past but the wisdom and hope of our future.”
Such included works featured in the auction, all of which will surely help move the needle forward for our collective futures, include pieces from over a dozen creatives — Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Roberts Projects, Goodman Gallery, etc. — and are viewable on artsy.net.
Opened in 2005 near Yerba Buena, MoAD celebrates black cultures, sparking challenging conversations and stimulating global study through a worldly lens of the African diaspora. MoAD is uniquely positioned as one of the few museums in the world focused exclusively on African diaspora culture; those curious to take a digital stroll through their exhibits (past, present, and future) and archives can do so via a scroll to their website.
// The benefit auction is slated to continue throughout this week on artsy.net and will end May 5 at 5 p.m. EDT; proceeds garnered by the event will go toward both artists and MoAD, which is recognized as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization; those who wish to contribute further critical support to the museum can do so here. Feature art courtesy of MoAD Benefit Auction; Courtesy of the artist and Jenkins Johnson Gallery, New York and San Francisco.