2013-03-08 / Community

Coast To Coast Art Auction

Artists And Surfers Look To Raise $$ For Rockaway

It has been over four months since Hurricane Sandy hit, and while things seem to be back to normal in Manhattan and elsewhere along the coast, the storm-struck Rockaway Peninsula is still grappling with the massive scope of Sandy’s destruction.

Many Rockaway residents still remain homeless. The families most affected are some of this country’s most vulnerable and many are still struggling to rebuild their lives with limited or no public assistance.

For this reason art advisor Sarah Belden and artist Lynn Grayson, both surfers from Manhattan who used to surf at Beach 94th Street in Rockaway, founded Rockaway to BK to LA: Artists and Surfers for Sandy Relief. Comprised of artists and surfers from Rockaway, Brooklyn, Manhattan and L.A. their mission is to raise money to help rebuild the coastal community of Rockaway, Queens with two silent auction benefits held in New York and in L.A. this March.

Organized by Sarah Belden Fine Art Advisory, the auctions will feature contemporary artwork from emerging artists based in New York, L.A., Madrid, Berlin, Toronto, Oslo and elsewhere. “It is imperative that we provide further assistance to the most vulnerable victims of the storm,” said Sarah Belden, “especially in Rockaway, which seems to have been completely neglected.”

“This is a relatively low income area that was just burgeoning as a creative community. It was a haven for artists and surfers, but Sandy has destroyed all of that. Since FEMA and Red Cross have done so little to help, the relief has come from the residents themselves, neighbors helping neighbors and grassroots organizations like the Graybeards- they are the ones rebuilding the community, one brick at a time. I was in Toronto visiting family when Sandy struck and I was horrified when I saw the media reports and the damage. I didn’t want to see the same thing happen that happened in New Orleans post-hurricane Katrina and I thought there must be something I can do.”

While Sarah Belden and Lynn Grayson are no longer New York residents, they wanted to do something to help remotely, so they teamed up to organize these two bi-coastal art events. “The auction features photographs, collage, works on paper and sculpture by some of the finest emerging artists working today. There are some wonderful pieces and the prices start low, so first time art buyers should definitely take a look.”

Belden added, “Rockaway is an inspiration for me because these people have taken charge of their own future and have started to rebuild the community themselves. We hope with this grass roots endeavor we can raise money and awareness about environmental and political issues through art and bring some relief to those in Rockaway who have lost everything.”

Benefit auction New York City, Thursday March 14th 6-9 p.m.

Hamburg Kennedy Photographs

514 West 25th Street

Benefit Auction, Los Angeles,

March 21st, 6-9 p.m.

RG CLUB

2536 Lincoln Blvd

Venice, Ca.

All works are available for viewing at PADDLE 8 http://www.paddle8.com/ auctions/rockawaytobktola

Please contact Sarah Belden at sarah@sarahbeldenartadvisory.com or go to: http://rktobktola.org/ for more information.

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