ART News | MoAD: Diaspora Unite! Artists of African Descent Benefit Auction 2020

From MoAD:

April 21 – May 05, 2020

(San Francisco, CA) – The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is launching its first benefit auction, as artists, donors, businesses, collectors, and individuals have banded together to ensure the vitality of this significant institution. During this critical need, the art world is in solidarity to support the institution as a foundational platform for artists of African descent in the Bay Area and throughout the world. Partnering with Artsy, the online auction will open on April 21st and close on May 5th, 2020. In creating an expansive, yet focused auction representing the infinite iterations of the African diaspora, MoAD presents works by artists who have close ties to the Museum in support of its mission and at a juncture in its survival.

The auction will consist of a collection of new and previously displayed works from artists across the world. The works, many of which were created to support this auction, represent signature pieces from the artists’ unique practices. Artists who have committed to contributing pieces to this important initiative include Otis Kwame Kye Oquaicoe, Amoako Boafo, Manuel Mathieu, Ferrari Sheppard, Wangari Mathenge, Andrea Chung, Cassi Namoda, William Cordova, Purvis Young, Adia Millett, Lava Thomas, Didier William, Raelis Vasquez, Alexandria Smith, Tiffany Alfonseca, February James, Whitfield Lovell, Peter Uka, Kwame Brathwaite, Manuel Mathieu, Ludovic Nkoth, Jerrell Gibbs, Dominic Chambers, Clotilde Jiménez, Rashaad Newsome, Todd Gray, Dewey Crumpler, Wesaam Al-Badry, Enrico Riley, and American Artist, with additional artists to be announced.

The auction will provide essential funding as MoAD makes every effort to open its doors once again. Like collegial institutions, MoAD is projecting extraordinary shortfalls in funding due to COVID-19 and, as cultural stewards, have a responsibility to protect and preserve the important institution. The auction is a critical piece in mobilizing all of MoAD’s communities to save the institution in this unprecedented time. Artists have been overwhelmingly generous in donating available works or making new pieces, to support the institution and invest in its sustainability, as a part of the global art community. The online auction format will provide new and experienced collectors the opportunity to bid on some of the same exciting names previously seen in the galleries of the San Francisco museum, while supporting MoAD with much needed funding as it strives to make up lost revenue.

Monetta White, MoAD Director, said, “It is so important especially right now when our worlds are so unsure, to remember that the work MoAD is doing as an arts community is vital, necessary, and life-affirming. Art, and access to art, is transformative and we have a responsibility to hold and create cultural spaces. In these times of extreme challenge and uncertainty, we must work together as a community, to collaboratively sustain our cultural institutions. We call on artists, donors, businesses, collectors, and individuals to support this institution as a foundational platform for artists of African descent in the Bay Area and throughout the world. Arts institutions are important now, more than ever, as artists continue to teach us new ways of existing.”

Adia Millett, an Oakland based artist whose work was included in multiple MoAD exhibitions including Black Refractions: Highlights from the Studio Museum in Harlem (2019) and Where is Here (2016) notes, “This unexpected cultural transition is not a time to isolate, but a time to observe and listen to the wisdom of our creative voices. We must remember that it is ART, which has not only taught us to see the beauty and the struggle of our past, but the wisdom and hope of our future.”

Artists and gallerists have come together to donate work including Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Roberts Projects, Goodman Gallery, James Fuentes Gallery, Traywick Contemporary, Klowden Mann, Koenig & Clinton, Sikkema Jenkins, Meliksetian Briggs, and Karen Jenkins Johnson Gallery, along with collectors Arthur Lewis, Hau Nguyen, and Ron Casentini.

Register for event:

The institution will be accepting donated artwork through April 21st. For further inquiry, please email

For more information about MoAD, visit The Museum’s website at

Credit: …Background from the exhibition Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite (MoAD, 2020) 

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