East End artists auction works to raise money for Ukraine

A large collection of works by East End artists will go on sale in Sag Harbor this weekend – and every penny will go to charity to benefit Ukraine.

“Artists for Ukraine,” hosted by The Church, a Sag Harbor nonprofit creative hub, is offering an online auction and art exhibit from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday. Most of the work will hang in Madison Street Church. Additional work will be done at the Grenning Gallery, Keyes Art, Romany Kramoris Gallery and Sara Nightingale Gallery, all located in Sag Harbor.

Works start at 50% of market value and can be bid on by visiting app.galabid.com/artforukraine/items. All the money will go to the Manhattan-based charity Razom for Ukraine, which was founded in 2014 and says its mission is to build a prosperous Ukraine.

Artist interest was so strong that organizers had to limit registrations to 110 attendees due to space constraints, said April Gornik, event organizer and participating artist. More than $40,000 has already been pledged by bidders, according to the auction website.

ARTISTS FOR UKRAINE

WHAT: An art auction for the Ukrainian people. All the money goes to the association Razom for Ukraine. Visit app.galabid.com/artforukraine/items to make an offer.

WHEN: From 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday April 30

OR: The Church, Grenning Gallery, Keyes Art, Romany Kramoris Gallery and Sara Nightingale Gallery, all in Sag Harbor

“It’s very exciting,” said Gornik, co-founder of The Church and whose artist husband, Eric Fischl, is also on the show. “We are really looking forward to making a significant contribution [to Razom.]

Razom has received about $30 million since the Russian invasion in February and handed over about half to the Ukrainians, Razom spokeswoman Nonna Tsiganok said. Most of that sum went to medical and hospital supplies, she said. No donation is too small or too big, and donors can be sure that the money will benefit the people of Ukraine, she added.

“We are one of the few organizations that are on the ground in Ukraine, in sensitive areas,” Tsiganok said. “We have a network of trusted distributors and partners that we have had relationships with since 2014, since our inception, so we know them well and we know that help is coming to the right place.”

Other East End arts organizations have also raised tens of thousands of dollars to help the Ukrainian people.

The Suffolk Theater in Riverhead raised $35,000 with its “All for Ukraine” concert in March, according to a press release. And the William Ris Gallery in Jamesport will also host an exhibition from April 30, part of the proceeds of which will benefit Razom.

Sag Harbor artist Dan Rizzi, whose work for the exhibition at The Church depicts a bird sitting atop an olive branch imposed on the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag, said he had no no hesitation in participating even if he supports himself financially through his art. He said artists often intervene in times of crisis, adding that he was appalled by the bombing in March of a children’s hospital and a maternity ward in Mariupol.

“At a time like this, I mean, how can you not do something for these poor people,” Rizzi said. “It’s war crimes. It’s murder and it’s happening right in front of us.