The day after 28-year-old artist Hannah Beerman set up the Instagram account Artists for Humans, she woke up to more than 400 direct messages on the social-media platform. The new initiative, through which all proceeds from sales of artwork are directed to New York City–based nonprofits like Food Bank for New York City and Coalition for the Homeless, had caught on within a matter of hours.
Beerman, who herself makes assemblage paintings using a range of materials, said she wanted to find a way to “channel the sadness and rage” she was feeling in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. So she got to work on Artists for Humans by reaching out to her personal network within the art world.
“I like to think I’m providing a platform but that it’s all of us together,” Beerman told ARTnews. “And it gives me hope for the future.”
Since launching on March 14, the project has raised thousands of dollars for local organizations serving the homeless. And artists in and outside of Beerman’s immediate circle of connections have contributed works to the cause, among them Kathy Bradford, EJ Hauser, Haley Josephs, Eddie Martinez, Mark Thomas Gibson, Elizabeth Glaessner, Emma Kohlmann, and Ana Benaroya.
In the weeks to come, Beerman will choose other organizations to benefit from the sales. Though she admittedly “never had a plan” for the life span of something like Artists for Humans, Beerman—who has scheduled gallery shows with Kapp Kapp in Philadelphia and New York opening in May and September, respectively—said she could see the initiative continuing beyond the coronavirus crisis, likely maintaining its focus on New York City–based organizations.
“It’s growing exponentially and I feel like there’s a lot of momentum and energy going on,” she said. “I could see this growing forever. It’s also a way we can connect and build family during an isolated time.”