Turkish artists sell artwork to benefit COVID-19-related causes

Five Turkish artists told Anadolu Agency (AA) on Sunday that they will donate the proceeds from the sale of their artworks to COVID-19-related causes after holding their first in-person show in Istanbul since pandemic restrictions in the country were eased.

“Our ‘Give to Corona Art Show’ is an in-person art show held at Pinelo Art Gallery in Istanbul featuring 20 paintings by five artists,” Selva Özelli, one of the artists taking part in the show, told AA.

“The artists will donate the sale proceeds from their artwork to coronavirus-related causes. This is an opportunity for art lovers to purchase award-winning artwork and also donate to a cause,” she said.

The exhibit is open through June 17.

“For the past pandemic year, after holding digital art shows at numerous U.N. events and other leading platforms around the world that spread awareness of climate change, artists Semine Hazar, Fatma Kadir, Selva Özelli, Ilhan Sayın, and Ismail Soysal are holding their first in-person art show,” she added.

In addition to the in-person Istanbul exhibition, the artists are also participating in several digital art shows accompanying U.N. events, including World Environment Day on June 6, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD.Int) Digital Art Shows, World Oceans Day on June 8, the Oceanic Global Art Show and World Desertification and Drought Day on June 17, she said.

‘Green recovery from pandemic’

“We are a group of artists who set out to raise awareness of a green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic through our artwork,” Özelli explained.

“A sustainable green recovery plan from the pandemic necessitates understanding the links between climate change, health, biodiversity, and inequality, and implementing ambitious climate change policies, which align with the (2015) Paris Agreement,” she said, referring to the landmark treaty to fight global climate change.

The agreement came into force in 2016 and has been adopted by over 190 parties, aiming to curb global warming compared to pre-industrial levels to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“The U.N. 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are a call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. More important than ever, these goals provide a critical framework for a COVID-19 green recovery,” Özelli said.

The 17 art shows curated by Özelli for the “Decade of Restoration” campaign reflect these themes. These art shows contain paintings that were acknowledged in numerous U.N. art competitions and have been exhibited at U.N. events and conferences around the world, she added.