Lahore – The Citizens Foundation (TCF) and Italian Friends of the Citizens Foundation (IFTCF) officially inaugurated its fundraising project “Art for Education” in Lahore. The project aims at highlighting through the universal language of art, TCFs focus on quality education for the less privileged and generating funds for its mission of educating underprivileged children in Pakistan.
The exhibition Art for Education: Contemporary Artists from Pakistan, opening in October at the Museo Diocesano of Milan, will encompass a series of activities and initiatives alongside the show curated by the Pakistani artist, critic and intellectual Salima Hashmi and Rosa Maria Falvo, an Italian-Australian independent writer and curator specializing in Asia-Pacific and Middle Eastern contemporary art.
The Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo along with his wife Lidia Ravera and commercial attaché Roberto Puddu were the chief guests at the launch event that took place at Rohtas 2 Gallery. Moreover, experts connected with the project Quddus Mirza and Murtaza Jafri together with the Lahore-based artists who each donated a work for the initiative joined Marina Bastianello, Gretchen Romig Crosti and Laura Notaro from IFTCF and numerous TCF staff and supporters from Lahore and Islamabad.
Hashmi, the chief curator of the project, believes, “The contemporary artist symbolizes a strong hope for the future of Pakistan. Those who gain a foothold into the international art discourse serve as a conduit, inviting an opportunity to engage with those inside – a conversation that may startle, beguile, enlighten, and hopefully enrich.” During the launch event, Hashmi spoke at length about her association with TCF. The artist recounted the days when her vote was sought for the nascent project and went on to appreciate the efforts of the organization in producing positive outcomes in the less privileged communities. She further thanked the many artists for their contribution and support.
Moreover, Pontecorvo shared his experience of visiting TCF School Bhangali Campus earlier that day. Speaking about his visit, the Italian Ambassador said, “I was extremely impressed by the atmosphere at the school; it was very evident that the children are very happy to be in school… they are in a wonderful environment, and they are also studying with a lot of passion. This speaks volumes about the quality of what TCF is carrying forward in Pakistan.”
Furthermore, Gretchen Romig Crosti, president of IFTCF highlighted how the Milanese public will be enriched by opportunity to experience Pakistan’s rich and lively contemporary art culture first-hand. She said, “An impressive array of emerging artists from Pakistan have generously donated their work to benefit the TCF schools; Art for Education gives us the opportunity to introduce these works to an enthusiastic and curious European public, promoting dialogue and mutual understanding. It is an honor to be part of a project that is changing so many kids’ lives for the better.”
More than sixty artists from Pakistan have donated their work for the exhibition and auction that will take place in Milan. A globally accessible auction process will allow users to bid for the works online, while a live auction on the evening of the event will be conducted by an international auction house. All proceeds from the sale of all the artworks will be donated to TCF to support the schools of The Citizens Foundation in Pakistan.
“Art for Education” enjoys the patronage of the Embassy of Pakistan in Rome, the Italian Embassy in Islamabad and local authorities in Milan. Project partners include the Fondazione Sant’Ambrogio, Lahore Biennale Foundation (LBF), ArtNOW, Vasl Artists’ Association, with a fine arts catalogue published by Skira editori.
The Citizens Foundation since 2013. www.italianfriends-tcf.org.