ORT, one of the world’s largest non-government education and training organizations, announces its first annual O/ART and the City Atlanta event from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1, which will take place virtually.
Note that this event was initially slated for March 15, 2020, at The Stave Room, and co-chair Delilah Cohen one year ago touted, “Photographers, painters and artists of other mediums were hand-selected by local art advisors and challenged to create an original masterpiece centered around the specific theme, ‘Inspiration by Education.’” Being mid-March 2020, this was one of the first pandemic postponements, as it was all meticulously set for food stations built around countries where ORT schools are located alongside a wine tasting featuring wines from Argentina, France and Spain.
By pivoting in 2021 to stand strong, Rachel Miller, director of ORT America, Atlanta region, said, “We are very excited to offer O/Art and the City virtually. COVID didn’t stop us! View 40 artists work from the comfort of your own sofa and at the same time know that you are helping 300,000 ORT students around the world!”
This new format will be an online art auction, featuring one-of-a-kind art created by emerging and nationally recognized Atlanta artists, individually selected and sponsored by local art collectors. The theme of this year’s art challenge remains “Inspiration by Education,” as ORT’s mission is to inspire students through education leading to job opportunities in the 21st century.
Participating artists were challenged to produce an original piece, reflecting on what is important, influential, central, or vital to them with the theme in mind. Artists were sent a video about ORT, around which to build their submissions. Some familiar artists’ names are Adam Podber, Susan Proctor, Judy Robkin, Patricia Silbiger, Donna Sherman, and Columbian-born artist Esteban Patino. The latter is in the rotating collection at Atlanta’s High Museum, and is known for his use of symbols, manipulation with language, and speech bubbles. “Art is an incredible connector, a gift that unites people from different ages, backgrounds, races. The ORT video reminded me of the opportunities I’ve had while engaging with young minds.”
In addition to the art, there will also be several special items up for auction, such as highly sought-after theater tickets, intimate dinners, a cooking demonstration while dining on the home-delivered food.
As background, ORT was originally founded in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1880 with a mission to provide the impoverished Jewish community with marketable skills, the organization reported in a press release. ORT’s educational and vocational programs provide its students with the educational preparation, social services assistance and financial support to remain in school and break the cycle of poverty, the release stated.
To date, ORT reports it reaches 300,000 people per year and has impacted the lives of millions of students – regardless of their backgrounds or religious beliefs – equipping them with the skills and education needed to become productive members of their communities and the world.
ORT also strives to break through social and economic barriers to transform lives. The organization believes that when students from underserved communities have access to high-quality education, they are better positioned to enter the job market with viable skills, become leaders in their own right, and invest back into their communities.
The O/ART and the City Atlanta online auction will begin at 10 a.m. Jan. 25. Bidding will close at 10 p.m. Feb. 1, with winners immediately notified. Online viewing will be available beginning Jan. 22. For more information, visit ortamerica.org or call the ORT Atlanta office at 404-327-5266.