A recently created online marketplace that sells artwork created by homeless or disadvantaged artists will be selling select pieces at the Harvard-Yale football game this weekend. The marketplace, Artlifting.com, has already helped individuals earn several thousand dollars.
“I have been working with homeless individuals in the Cambridge area for the past eight years,” Elizabeth Powers ’10, who founded the marketplace with her brother Spencer, wrote in an email to The Crimson. The two had been running community art groups and an annual one-day art show called City Heart for the past four years.
The pair said they wanted to extend the reach of City Heart.
“We wanted to help customers empower artists every single day of the year,” Powers wrote. After much deliberation, the siblings decided to create ArtLifting last December. According to Powers, ArtLifting has made it possible for her to “expand beyond Boston and connect with the thousands of existing art groups in homeless shelters and disability centers.”
ArtLifting’s art curator, Stephanie Wright, commented on the curation process. “In deciding which pieces of art to accept onto the ArtLifting platform, I rigorously evaluate each piece based on my perception of its technical intricacy and saleability,” Wright wrote in an email to The Crimson.
In this process, Wright said she uses the exhibition curation skills she learned in her graduate studies and tries to obtain a large variety of art styles.
Powers mentioned the unique nature of each piece of artwork in the program, which sets them apart from the kinds of art that one might find in an art store.
“ArtLifting artwork is unique because each piece comes with an inspiring story,” Powers wrote. “Our artists have faced countless challenges, but they continue to uplift themselves. Each piece of work is a symbol of hope.”
The majority of the profits from each sale goes directly back to the artist who created the piece. “55 percent of the proceeds from every sale goes directly back to the artist, whether we are talking about an original piece or an iPhone case,” Wright wrote. The price of each print can range from $35 to $1000.
This weekend, students will have the opportunity to see and purchase some of the artwork in the ArtLifting program. The ArtLifting booth will be located on Winthrop Street this Saturday. According to Wright, they will also have a book with pictures of sample pieces of artwork to showcase the kind of work ArtLifting does.
“The thousands of Harvard and Yale fans will get a chance to see our iPhone cases, cards, and artwork in person,” Powers wrote.