By Taylor Dafoe
More than 150 prominent American photographers and artists have teamed up for a five-day print sale benefiting groups fighting voter suppression in five swing states. Dawoud Bey, Nan Goldin, Sally Mann, Catherine Opie, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Stephen Shore, and Alec Soth are among those participating in the flash fundraiser, called States of Change, which is live now through October 18.
Prints are $150 each, with proceeds going toward 42 community-based organizations in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—battleground states poised to decide the fate of next month’s US presidential election.
The sale was conceived by a group of artists and arts professionals, including photographers Jim Goldberg and Gregory Halpern, who partnered with the nonprofit Movement Voter Project to identify local organizations in need of support. “Pictures for Elmhurst,” a similar mutual aid effort launched in April which raised $1.38 million for a hospital in Queens, New York that was struggling to keep up with the virus, was the inspiration—and several coordinators from that previous effort served as advisors for the new one.
“We’ve all felt a growing concern about the state of democracy in this country for some time now. At a certain point in the leadup to this election that feeling reached a boiling point, and we felt that we had to make ourselves useful with the resources we have,” the organizers of the benefit jointly told Artnet News. “What began as a phone call between Greg and Jim quickly expanded to include a whole team, including Alessandra Sanguinetti and Matthew Booth and several other friends who wanted to help make a difference.
A couple weeks of hard work—and a lot of generosity from our community of artists—later, and here we are,” the sale’s organizers added. “[We’re] so proud of what we’ve built and thrilled to be offering a way to acquire unbelievable artworks while giving much-needed support to grassroots organizations at the same time.”