Paintings support cancer


Pragya Bhatnagar’s Being Together is the story of a real life brave hearted child and her mother.

Muscat: Art aficionados supported the cause of cancer by picking 73 paintings at the Art 100x100 exhibition held at the Bait Al Zubair Museum. The exhibition, which raised more than OMR7,000 for the Oman Cancer Association, was about "tributes of struggles, tributes of survival, and tributes to those who have passed away" because of cancer.

Artist Ibrahim Gailani who conceptaulised the event where 100 pieces of art was sold at RO100 to raise funds 100 per cent funds for OCA said he feels, "humbled with gratitude".

Post the event, Gailani said, "I'm grateful for the support of the art community and to the Cancer Association for allowing me to do this event for them.  In addition to gratitude what I really feel is humility; I'm humbled by the love, support of artists and families who were moved by the cause and came out in full force to support this event. I remember standing at the opening night, a lady came and said, my nine-year-old daughter died of cancer, and I've just come to thank you for doing this event. In that moment I realised what we both were able to achieve, it was a sense of healing."

On making this an annual event, Gailani said, "to make "Art 100x100" an annual event has been a much suggested request.  Considering the success on a personal level, I feel it should be done again. Besides, we've learnt from our mistakes and we will be able to incorporate improvements to the whole event. I feel the success of this event will also encourage more artists to submit their work."

Talking of the challenges in organising the event, he said, "securing the sponsors for funding the event was challenging. Some big corporates didn't have a point of reference as it was an unknown event at the time and was being done by a relatively new artist in Oman. I made presentations to many corporate on the event. Although they were interested, they didn't think I could pull it off as I was not from an event management company but an artist doing volunteer work for OCA.  I am thankful to Sonia Bodour of Oman Arab Bank for believing in this cause. They trusted the vision and provided the much needed funding for the event opening and the corresponding materials such as brochures, invitation cards
and posters."

Gailani added, "finalising the venue became our biggest challenge as most of the galleries and fine-art society venues are over-booked months in advance, so we kept moving the dates till Bait Al Zubair Foundation signed up to support this initiative. In fact, at one point we had artists submitting work but the final date and the venue were a question mark, shaking the confidence of a few artists on whether the event would actually see the light of day. I must say I am grateful to Sarah White for her belief in this project."

"From the artist point of view one of the key challenges was to produce something on the theme and for the price of OMR100.
"Besides many artist had their own exhibitions and solo shows planned so getting them to commit to this project was difficult but in the end we had some of the senior most and top artists lend their support. In the end it was a huge success," Gailani said.


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