To Buy Haitian Art and Help Haiti

November 5, 2009

Once again, collectors, gallery owners and museum curators with money in their pockets and budgets have a fabulous opportunity to go bargain-hunting for Haitian art. The occasion: the fall two-day Slotin Folk Art Auction in Buford, Georgia. which takes place this weekend. It begins on Saturday, November 7th at 10 a.m., followed by a continuation on Sunday, November 8th at 12 noon. Photos of all items, mostly American folk art, can be found on the website There are no reserve prices, which means the estimates are just that — if there are no bidders at the expected opening prices, buyers can bid lower and walk away with some real treasures.

Along with the great paintings by folk art masters like Bill Traylor, Howard Finster and Clementine Hunter, among many others, there is a choice sampling of art from Haiti. A Sully Obin painting “Soldier” is estimated at an impossibly low $200 to $300. Also under-estimated at $200 to $400 is “Yellow Face with Snakes,” an outstanding framed painting by Prospere Pierre-Louis measuring 23.5 inches by 27.5 inches. A central sun with four balanced pale yellow flowers in the composition makes it especially serene and pleasing. There is even a rare painting called “Woman” by Louisianne Saint Fleurant, estimated at between $800 and $1,200. Complete charm is exuded by Gerard Paul’s “Boat Concert,” estimated at $200 to $400. A stellar Pierre Joseph Valcin “Dancing in the Garden” is estimated at between $300 and $400.

Vodou bottles with more painting and collage elements than beading, metal sculptures of powerful dimension by Murat Brierre, and an other-wroldly “Yellow Man” painting by Lony, a name unknown to me, round out this small, superb selection of art for auction. There is some great stuff here so good luck to all the bidders in securing these special pieces. To email the auction house, write to To telephone, dial 1-770-532-1115.

Helping Haiti is the point of another event. “Rebuild Haiti: Mission Possible!” is the name of a fundraiser to be held Friday, November 13th at the Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 De Soto Boulevard in Coral Gables, Florida (across from the Biltmore Hotel) from 7 to 10 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to R.S.V.P. by November 10th. There will be a silent auction, wine reception, entertainment and display of Haitian crafts. The special guest is Edwidge Danticat, the famed Haitian-American author and 2009 recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award. All money generated will go to Haitian development programs that promote sustainability. For more information or to R.S.V.P., telephone 1-305/448-7421.

–Candice Russell