Last weekend, SCOOP hosted its 4th annual Contemporary Art Sale. It was held at a swanky hotel in Ballsbridge, a nice area in Dublin just about a 20 minute walk from city centre. It was a showcase and sale of 50 extraordinary artworks from 50 extraordinary artists in order to raise funds to build a brand new, self-sufficient and environmentally friendly Educational Village for over 500 children living in Varanasi, India. I was in charge of registering people and assigning them paddle numbers as well as helping keeping track of what pieces sold, for how much, and to whom. I had never been to a live auction before, so it was interesting to see how all the behind the scene processes work. The morning of the auction we learned that the current village in Varanasi is set for demolition by the government within the next few years. This made the result of the auction more important than ever. We had online and phone bidding along with the live bidding, which allowed us to reach a broader audience. We also had some big ticket pieces from very well-established artists, as well as many from young up and coming artists. One of the big ticket pieces was a portrait by Mark Baker of Daniel Day-Lewis and Lincoln. A few days before the auction we were actually able to get the painting signed by Daniel Day-Lewis himself, as he lives just outside of the city near the Wicklow mountains. It was a long connection (a friend’s sister’s aunt’s brother…), but my boss somehow managed to secure the signature, adding immense value to the piece.
We had a relatively good turnout and a pretty successful sale. We have since sold some of the pieces that didn’t sell at the auction, which has helped boost our numbers. We still haven’t reached the goal for the campaign for the Varanasi school, but the auction definitely added a solid amount! We are now looking forward to our next event, the SCOOP Olympics, in August. It is a basically field day for adults and is taking place at Phoenix Park, one of the largest parks in Europe. It is just about 10 minutes from my office and is so beautiful! I was there for the first time last week for the Justin Timberlake concert–it is absolutely massive. My internship ends before the event, but hopefully we’ll have enough people signed up to participate and all of the details/events in order before I leave.
On the side, I have been continuing to work on my project with Katherine. I’m working on a Development Education Program to help link Irish schools with the school in Cambodia, particularly targeting transition year students, around age 15. We hope to lay to the foundation for a program to be launched in schools by 2014. We’re currently creating a curriculum with about three hands-on activities any teacher can lead his or her students through within the time span of a class period. Through these activities we aim to not only educate the Irish students about the children and issues specific to Cambodia but also give them a deeper understanding of global poverty and inequality on a larger scale. Thanks to Luke’s (a coordinator on the ground in Cambodia) cooperation, we will have video footage following the daily lives of two Cambodian students–one boy and one girl–to accompany one of the activities. Through this video, as well as some photos, the Irish students will be able to see many commonalities between their everyday lives but also highlight the differences, specifically differences in opportunities available to them. It is our hope that the Irish students will gain insight and knowledge about these overarching issues and be inspired to help organizations like the SCOOP help combat them. If successful, we hope the program will be able to be expanded to set up a pen-pal type program to allow the Irish students to communicate directly with the Cambodian students.
Besides work, I have been really enjoying the Irish heat wave that is currently happening. It has been 75-80 degrees for the past 2 weeks and all sun! I’ve never seen so many sunburned people in my life, and the Irish seem to be freaking out that it hasn’t rained in so long. My coworkers and other people I talk to say that they are skipping their holiday, or vacation, this year because the weather is so nice in Dublin. They can’t believe that I live in this kind of weather year round. I was in London this past weekend visiting my best friend from high school for her birthday, and the same heat wave is hitting them as well. I was only gone for a weekend, but I missed Dublin and the Irish so much! It made me dread the day I have to leave to come home. I love the Irish people and they have really lived up to their reputation–always so nice! They are very welcoming to Americans and have told me that the only physical way they can tell I’m American is my smile–apparently braces are not a thing here. Also, the Irish girls are all obsessed with their fake spray tans. They all walk around with their glowing orange faces thinking they have mastered the art of fake tanning. Little do they know it’s not the best look, but with rare sun I can’t really blame them.
My brother and his girlfriend are visiting this weekend, and I’m so excited to show them around to all my favorite spots! Until then, just enjoying the much needed sunshine!