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How Artists, Designers & Art Institutions are Helping to Fight COVID-19


How Artists, Designers & Art Institutions are Helping to Fight COVID-19
Damien Hirst, Butterfly Rainbow, 2020 ©Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2020

In the wake of COVID-19, we see people, businesses and organisations from all over the world coming together to rally support for those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic. As many struggle during these precarious times, the art and design world have shown their resilience, with various artists, designers, arts institutions, and collectors joining forces in an effort to provide relief to those in need of support.  

In recent months, we've seen artist’s taking to their canvases to raise money for COVID-19 relief schemes; major art foundations pledging millions to support affected artists as well as arts institutions; galleries and auction houses hosting multiple sales and fundraisers, giving 100% or a percentage of the proceeds to various charities; and design companies allocating their resources to creating medical supplies and PPE equipment.

Take a look at how the art and design world has responded to the coronavirus outbreak, and what fundraisers as well as initiatives have been set-up to help those in need. If you are interested in donating or looking to do some good, take a look at the list the Artling have compiled below.

Rashid Johnson, Untitled Anxious Red Drawing, 2020.

Image courtesy of Rashid Johnson and Hauser & Wirth


Wolfgang Tillmans


With the help of over forty international artists including Marlene Dumas, Andreas Gursky and Christopher Wool, Tillmans’ newly launched 2020 Solidarity fundraising campaign aims to help cultural and music venues, and art spaces that risk going out of business as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. Artists taking part will be selling posters for $50 and donating proceeds to various different crowdfunding campaigns.

Damien Hirst

United Kingdom

Damien Hirst has created a new rainbow artwork to show support for the NHS in the current Coronavirus crisis. A limited edition of the work is also being produced which will be sold with all profits donated to the NHS. Further details will be announced on Damien Hirst's Instagram.

Jenny Holzer


As part of Hauser & Wirth’s #artforbetter initiative, Jenny Holzer will be donating the proceeds of sales of her print delicately interconnected to two causes: COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund For World Health Organisation, and Art for Acres. The print is currently on view on the gallery’s virtual reality viewing room.




On Instagram, KAWS announced that he would be releasing small editions of shaped prints to support different charities to help individuals struggling with the pandemic.

KAWS Instagram

Rashid Johnson


Showcasing on Hauser & Wirth’s is Rashid Johnson’s Untitled Anxious Red Drawings. The works come at a time when the world has come to a standstill. The artist will be donating 10% of his proceeds of the sale of works from this exhibition to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organisation.

Harley Weir

United Kingdom

Acclaimed London-born photographer and director Harley Weir will be auctioning her ceramics on her website to raise funds for Alzheimer’s; Those dealing with Covid-19 related issues and research to finding a cure.

Elmer Borlongan


Filipino artist Elmer Borlongan’s watercolour and gouache work ‘Deep Listening’ was up for auction on Art Rocks - a “by-invite-only” and philanthropic Viber group that raises money for hospitals and patients. All proceeds raised were used to purchase PPE and N95 masks for frontliners of the COVID-19 crisis.

Elmer Borlogan’s Instagram



Frank Chou's Sterilizing Lamp Design Concept for Create Cures

Image courtesy of Frank Chou


Designers & Studios

Nagami Design


Usually making objects such as 3-D printed chairs by Zaha Hadid Architects, Nagami Design have ceased furniture production to focus exclusively on the production of robotic 3D printed Covid-19 masks. Masks will be donated to local and global medical staff.

Rich Brilliant Willing

United States

In collaboration with iMakr, Rich Brilliant Willing will be supplying materials to complete assembly of 1000 face shields that will be distributed across 6 hospitals in the New York City area.

Raw Color

The Netherlands

Dutch design studio, Raw Color has designed an Elbow Sock, a handkerchief for your elbows to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Elbow Sock is a contribution for Create Cures, a public welfare activity initiated by a group of designers, aiming to promote the development of public health in a designer’s way.

Frank Chou


For Create Cures, Frank Chou, the initiator for this project designed a sterilising lamp, which combines an ultraviolet light with a tray for people to put their items in, such as mobile phones, keys or wallet. This would ideally be placed at the entrance of the home for people to sterilise their belongings.

Foster + Partners


To aid the fight against COVID-19, the architecture studio has designed a general purpose prototype face visor, suitable for cleaning and reuse. It is specifically aimed at fast mass production.



Aerial View of J. Paul Getty Museum

Image courtesy of Joel Muniz


Art Galleries, Institutions & Foundations

Andy Warhol Foundation

United States

In an effort to extend support to the art community’s most vulnerable populations first, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts have joined forces with its Regional Re-granting partners to make emergency grants to artists affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. (USD) $1.6 million will be distributed across 16 U.S. cities.

Hauser & Wirth

Zurich, London, New York, Somerset, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Gstaad

As part of Hauser & Wirth’s #artforbetter initiative, they have pledged to donate 10% of all online sales profits to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Goodman Gallery

Johannesburg, Cape Town, London

Goodman Gallery will be selling a series of limited-edition blankets designed by gallery artists: Ghada Amer & Reza Farkhondeh, Broomberg & Chanarin, Nolan Oswald Dennis and Samson Kambalu. All proceeds will be donated to their charity partner, Witkoppen Health and Welfare Clinic.

Goodman Gallery Instagram

Vermilion Art


Bridging Hope Charity Foundation and Vermilion Art are presenting Love, Unmasked, a combined online auction and exhibition by Australian and Chinese artists. Proceeds will go towards UNICEF Australia for the emergency response to the COVID-19 outbreak in the East Asia and Pacific region.

Ode To Art


Ode To Art have donated artworks for charity bidding on their online auction. All proceeds will go to support low income families in Singapore impacted by COVID-19

BlindArte Milano


BlindeArt Milano will be holding ART to STOP COVID-19, a charity auction to help healthcare institutes in Lombardy and Naples in Italy. Artists, galleries, and collectors will be donating works to the auction.

Delhi Art Gallery (DAG)


Delhi Art Gallery will be hosting a fundraiser sale of 51 works from the DAG collection, including works by master artists. All proceeds from the sale will be donated to the PM CARES Fund, as well as the Lt. Governor / Chief Minister Relief Fund, Delhi.

Smith Davidson Gallery

Amsterdam, Miami

Smith Davidson Gallery have decided to contribute to the WHO Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund by donating 10% of all sales from the months March, April, and May to the fund.

Helen Frankenthaler Foundation

United States

In response to Covid-19, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation has announced a $5 million commitment to relief funding over the next three years. This multilayer initiative marks the Foundation’s largest commitment of funding to date in support of a single cause.

HOW Art Museum


Shanghai’s HOW museum organised Stand Together Through Thick and Thin, a charity online auction co-sponsored by Yitao, Modern Media, Art021, as well as other major arts institutions. Over 280 artworks will be presented at auction, including works by Cai Guo-Qiang, and Yue Minjun. Proceeds will be donated to Shanghai Soong Ching Ling Foundation.



Christie’s will be presenting Andy Warhol: Better Days, an online sale of photographs from the Andy Warhol Foundation. Proceeds will go towards proficing emergency relief to artists affected by Covid-19. Bidding will be open from 28 April – 6 May 2020.



Sotheby’s have partnered with Google to support the International Rescue Committee with a unique fundraising effort to support those impacted hardest by the spread of COVID-19. The MAYDAY Covid-19 Charity Auction will take place. This online auction will enable winning bidders to virtually converse with some of the most influential figures in politics, scient, culture, music, and sport.



Bonham’s BLUE Auction will be held in aid of the NHS Charities Covid-19 Urgent Appeal. The three-week not-for-profit online auction includes pledges generously donated by the UK’s leading actors, musicians, artists and sportspeople.

J. Paul Getty Trust

Los Angeles

The J. Paul Getty Trust has initiated the LA Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund—a $10 million fund to support Los Angeles-based non-profit museums and visual arts organisations. The fund is providing both emergency operating support and recovery grants to eligible small and mid-sized organizations in Los Angeles County.

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Westlake


The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Westlake, a private collection in Hangzhou, have teamed up with the Power of Children, Beijing Huachen Auctions and the Beijing Association of Auctioneers to help fight the novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP) outbreak. Artists in Action Against the Virus is a series of online charity auctions, that aims to raise funds for medical workers and hospitals in Wuhan and Huanggang, the two cities hit hardest by NCP, in Central China’s Hubei Province.

JD Malat Gallery


JD Malay Gallery and artist Henrik Aa. Uldalen will be donating all sales made from an original series of paintings made during the isolation period. The donationsl will support the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts

United States

The FCA have created a temporary fund to meet the needs of experimental artists who have been impacted by the economic fallout from postponed or canceled performances and exhibitions. The fund has been supported by several artists and foundations, including: The Willem de Kooning Foundation, Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, The David Rockefeller Fund, and much more.

Maddox Gallery


Maddox Gallery has organised The #ArtForHeroes Campaign, which aims to raise funds for HEROES, a charitable organisation founded by doctors, nurses and healthcare workers. Thirty of Maddox’s artists have donated artwork to support the campaign, with all proceeds donated to HEROES. To date, they have raised £966,164.


Heard of any initiatives we haven't listed? Please send us an email to

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