More than a dozen UNT alumni and students have joined forces for an ongoing virtual art auction to raise money for COVID-19 relief and racial justice.
Alums Mariah Tyler (’14), Jake Dockins (’20) and Melissa Brito ('15) organized a group of artists back in May and launched the North Texas Artist Auction on June 19.
So far, 21 local artists have joined the effort, most with UNT connections. Sales from the art, which ranges from photography to paintings, will be donated to nonprofits Color of Change, Mothers Against Police Brutality and North Texas Mutual Aid. As of Sept. 4, the auction had netted $1,300.
Tyler, a 2014 studio art and anthropology grad who works as a photo editor for “Travel + Leisure,” said she was inspired to team up with Dockins and Brito on the auction after seeing similar efforts spring up in New York City. Tyler was living in NYC as coronavirus infection rates soared in the city but is currently in North Texas. When Black Lives Matter protests erupted across America following the death of George Floyd, they were both called to do their part to make a difference for racial justice as well as pandemic relief.
“There is always something we can get involved in doing to create change in our communities,” Tyler said. “We don’t have the money to give to these worthy causes, but our art has value that can be used to make change.”
Tyler said she hopes the auction also shines a light on the talented local artists in Dallas-Fort Worth. To help, the group has developed an email newsletter sharing stories of the artists behind the work featured in the auction.
To view art in the auction, visit @northtexasartists on Instagram. Transactions are handled through direct messages on the account.