It’s become an annual staple in the fund-raising efforts of the SCOOP Foundation, the time of year in which they auction off a raft of artworks kindly donated to their cause. There’s the giddy pulse of the bidding war, the keenly spotting something undervalued and the joy of owning an original work by a talent in our midst. Calvin Sweeney from SCOOP tells us more about it and how the charity has been coping and operating during the pandemic.
What lessons have you learned from previous auctions?
We’ve learned to focus more on the online element to our auctions. Like any event it’s susceptible to the weather or if people want to leave their house! Since introducing the online aspect four years ago it has become more integral to the success of the event and since Covid landed this is our 2nd fully online show.
Have you embraced the world of NFTs for this one?
We’re actually waiting to hear back from one artist regarding our first potential NRT so check the website in a few days! This year it has expanded across three days with a record number of lots – can you tell us a bit about what went into bringing it all together? Due to demand this year we’ve actually expanded it over four days! As you can imagine pulling a 350+ lot auction is a phenomenal amount of work. We have artists who have supported us through every auction and we’ve built on that number every year. This year we have the help of curator David Archbold and with newer artists learning about SCOOP and our mission and wanting to get involved everything is coming together very nicely!
How important is the support of artists for your work?
The support of artists is massively integral to our work. Our annual auction is the backbone fundraiser of the organisation and we can safely say that without the support of so many artists there would be no SCOOP. Since our first auction we’ve built 3 schools in Asia, educating thousands of children, supported hospitals and emergency services in Syria and Yemen and currently run programmes in IT, music, art and mindfulness for young refugees both in the Middle East and Direct Provision in Ireland. None of this would be happening without the generosity of the Irish arts community. This year we are offering a 50/50 split with the artists on the hammer price as the past year hasn’t been kind to them either.
“Our annual auction is the backbone fundraiser of the organisation and we can safely say that without the support of so many artists there would be no SCOOP.”
What’s the highest amount ever raised for a single artwork?
Last year a double canvas by the amazing Emmalene Blake went for e4,800. A few years ago a Conor Harrington went for a similar figure. A painting from the same series went for six figures in Paris later that year!
What are the priorities for SCOOP in 2021? How has the pandemic changed your operations and priorities?
We plan to keep delivering PPE and essential items to Direct Provision and homeless services in Ireland, to expand on our music, mindfulness and IT projects both home and abroad and to get the ball rolling on our documentary.
The SCOOP Art Auction 2021 takes place live and online from the Copper House Gallery from Friday April 23 to Monday April 26. You can view all lots online now and register a bid.
2021 featuring Artists Aches, Emmalene Blake aka ESTR, Maser, Helen Steele, Leah Hewson, Ciana Fitzgerald, Kathrina Rupit, DUDA, Morgan, Threadstories, Signs of Power, Jim Fitzpatrick, Chris Haughton, EOIN, ADW, Gavin Matador, Claire Prouvost, Derick Smyth, Domino Whisker, GrÃ¡inne Nagle, Guggi, James Kirwan, Shane Berkery, Dragana Jurisic, Mark Baker, Miriam Fitzgerald Juskova, Oona Doherty, Eoin McCormack, Niall Leavy, Michael Mulcahy + 100’s more!
Lot 62: Matthew Coll – City Abstraction, Est: €200 – €400, on sale Friday April 26
Lot 53: Ronnie Hughes – Vibrato 5, Est: €1,200 – €1,500, on sale Saturday April 27
Lot 12: Rachel Clarke – Docile, Est: €150 – €300, on sale April 25
Lot 47: Christina Geoghegan – Pluie noire, Est: €300 – €600, on sale April 26