American tennis player Venus Williams is organising a charity auction with conceptual artist Adam Pendleton. The aim of the initiative is to raise funds to rebuild the childhood home of legendary singer Nina Simone. According to Hypebeast, the initiative will be supported by the African American Heritage Action Fund (AACHAF), Sotheby’s auction house and Pace Gallery.
“Art revolutionaries like Nina Simone remind us that art in all its forms has an extraordinary power. Throughout her life her music has resonated across continents and generations. She continues to stir and inspire people from all walks of life with her beauty, sincerity and sheer audacity,” said Pendleton.
The auction will feature works by contemporary artists who will donate their works for free. Among them are Ethiopian-born artist Julie Meretu, the author of the drama Son of America Rashid Johnson, Californian abstractionist Mary Weatherford, director of the cyberpunk classic Johnny Mnemonic Robert Longo and many others.
The artist said the project to preserve Simone’s childhood home was a “powerful reminder of her enduring legacy”. Money to restore the building in North Carolina will be raised not only at an auction May 12-22 but also at a gala in New York at the Pace Gallery.
Nina Simone was born in Tryon, on the southwest border of North Carolina, in 1933. It was there that the young star started making music. In her autobiography, the artist said that in her childhood home the desire to make people feel on a deep level was born in her. This is what Simone has dedicated her life to. During her career she released more than 40 albums which included hits such as “I Put a Spell on You” and “Feeling Good”. She passed away in 2003 at the age of 70.