A CHARITY auction will be held on April 21 at the opening of the Ara Gallery at the sidelines of its inaugural exhibition, ‘Through the Eyes of Africa’s Children.’

All the money raised from the auction will be donated to Habitat for Humanity’s Orphans and Vulnerable Children programme in Lesotho.  All artwork purchased from this exhibition will see 2.5 per cent of the retail price donated, in line with Zakat, to the charity.

The gallery will hold the opening ceremony at Residences 2, Shop S-08 in Downtown Dubai, on Burj Khalifa Lake. A ‘concept’ gallery founded by Moza Mohammed Al Abbar, the gallery aims to  expose young and aspiring artists from around the Arab world.

The inaugural exhibition’s concept also focuses on Al Abbar’s philanthropic interests and was formed around the idea to aid underprivileged children while featuring up-and-coming Arab artists. Photographs representing ‘happiness’ taken by the children of Lesotho have inspired the artworks exhibited at Through the Eyes of Africa’s Children.

The exhibition, curated by Janet Bellotto, showcases six Emirati artists who were chosen after an open call for artists was sent around the UAE in September 2010.  The artists, working in mediums from photography to painting include: Alia Al Shamsi, Maryam Al Sayegh, Maryam Al Qassimi, Khawla Al Marri, Saeed Al Madani and Saeed Khalifa.

The opening event and the Christie’s-lead auction is open to the public. The exhibit will continue till May 21.

Habitat for Humanity International is a global non-governmental organisation that is dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing and it was chosen as the beneficiary to the exhibition after months of research. The organisation was instrumental in coordinating the children and photography in Lesotho to help bring inspiration to the artists here in the UAE.

Kodak donated 150 Kodak single-use cameras, which were shipped to Lesotho to be used by the children to photograph their impressions of ‘happiness’.  This resulted in more than 1,400 photographs that Kodak offered to print for the artists’ use.