Yesterday, an online charity auction went live in support of the Sandy Hook Promise (SHP). Members of the Newtown, CT community after the traumatic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on December 14, 2012, composed this nonprofit organization.
Contemporary artist Enoc Perez offered his help alongside Paddle8 to host the auction of eight donated artworks by Richard Dupont, Carlos Rolon, Rashid Johnson, BP Laval, Angel Otero, Ryan McGinness, Marcel Dzama, and his own.
Perez met SHP’s co-founder and managing director Nicole Hockley, who lost her son Dylan Hockley. “Her story made me think of my own two boys and her presence made the pain very real,” said Perez. “Nobody should experience such tragedy. The only option is to act.”
“I asked Nicole if she had asked other artists to donate work and she said that they did not know any artists. As a matter of fact, I believe that she came to my studio without a clear idea of how I could help. Donating a piece was my suggestion,” he told us. “So I volunteered to organize an auction since I know that this was not her area of expertise, coincidentally organizing auctions is not my area of expertise either, but I know some artists,” continued the artist.
Perez’s studio and his studio manager Thompson Harris organized the auction. The whole experience brought together many talented and dedicated people to looking to increase education nationwide on gun violence and prevention. Hockley’s expectations are positive for the auction and ultimately SHP’s mission.
“I hope that we generate interest in Sandy Hook Promise’s work from a new audience and to inspire other artists to want to work with us in the future, so that more students and adults can receive our free training,” said Hockley.
“Approximately $0.75 of every dollar raised funds our programs, so the auction proceeds will immediately go to helping prevent gun violence. We’ve already trained over 865,000 students and adults in 1200 schools from 48 states, but we have so many more schools and communities to help,” continued Hockley.
The programs of SHP include procedures on identifying, intervening, and helping children and teens in mental crises or displaying at-risk behaviors. Hockley hopes that this auction is the first of many.
“I would love to do this annually and expand to include more artists, who are extraordinary interpreters of our culture,” said Hockley, “I’m sure we would have some incredible pieces if we asked artists to create something specific to our cause.”
The auction remains live with the eight donated paintings and printed works through Monday August 1, at 5pm EST.
“One thing for sure is that I want to do more to help their cause, a lot more,” said Perez, “This is a huge problem in this country and so far it does not look like it’s going to be solved by our politicians, so this is on us.”