After three successful years of growth in Luxembourg, Art2Cure has expanded stateside.
Art2Cure is a non-for-profit organisation, founded in 2014, which marries art and science: artists get a platform for their work and half of the proceeds raised goes to biomedical research.
The sun was shining in Soho as Luxembourg's great and the good gathered in the Ronald Feldman Gallery to celebrate the launch of Art2Cure in New York.
Luxembourg royal family members Prince Guillaume and Princess Stéphanie were joined by Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, along with Jeanne Crauser, Luxembourg's consul general in New York, and Christian Braun, Luxembourg's ambassador and permanent representative to the UN and the other 250-300 people present. All were there to celebrate the work of thirteen artists, from Luxembourg and New York, but to also celebrate the union of two universities, Luxembourg and Columbia, in research.
Indeed even the wonderful sponsor of the arts, actress Kathleen Turner, came along to talk to the artists and highlight her love of art, plus her own personal experience that biomedical research is always needed, whoever we may be.
Lots of halves
With Art2Cure launching in New York, half of the artists come from New York, half from Luxembourg. Of the money raised, half will go to the artists and half will go to Parkinson’s disease research. Half of this research money will be used by Colombia University in New York, half by the University of Luxembourg.
Prof. Serge Przedboski from Columbia and Prof. Rejko Krüger from Luxembourg's university will collaborate and lead the research projects.
Philippe Lamesch, vice-president of Art2Cure, looked delighted at the turn-out and is thrilled by the prospect of accelerating research results, with the partnerships of Columbia and Luxembourg universities.
A union of culture and science above politics
The prime minister gave an elegant toast to the artists and all who had worked so hard to develop this partnership:
“It’s a great way to foster relations between our countries. Culture can help us to understand each other and should never be used for political reasons.”
Mr Bettel went on to describe the strong connection between a scientist and artist’s minds:
“Both need to be artists. You have to think about what you did and what you will do.”
Tom Finkelpearl, the commissioner for cultural affairs at the Mayor's Office in New York, made a poignant reference to his family’s experience of Parkinson’s disease:
“My Dad had Parkinson’s. The medication he had changed my family’s life”.
Artists expanding their reach to other communities
The artists present were extremely approachable and eager to share their passion for the project.
Amanda Dow Thompson, a British woman who's lived in New York for over a decade, had carved three fascinating sculptures within three long pieces of wood.
“You can see inside and outside at the same time," she said. "The outside is more than armour. It represents the different stages of a woman’s life; being pulled apart in all directions yet having this inner rod”.
Whilst Thompson is happy to explain her thinking in depth, it’s the opposite for fine artist Scott Hunt:
“I never tell the story of a picture," he said. "It’s private. I let the onlooker work out the story and it can be a different one every day.”
Roland Quetsch and Sergio Sardelli, both from Luxembourg, had striking sculptures on show.
Darryl Westly, born in Chicago but living in New York, produces powerful pop paintings. His current work, he explained, is about visual layering:
“The layers are like thoughts in our heads; different thoughts come to the fore at different times.”
The artists showing work are:
Jhemp Bastin, Amanda Dow Thompson, Joe Fyfe, Scott Hunt, Lauren Luloff, Martine Pinnel, Roland Quetsch, Sergio Sardelli, Stick, Joachim Van der Vlugt, Darryl Westly, Rachel Eulena Williams and Sydney Goldstein.
All can be found on social media or via their websites.