Sara Macel, the coordinator of the event and a photographer herself, hosted the benefit at Meble Studios along Morgan Avenue, encouraging local artists to donate art prints that would be auctioned off with proceeds to benefit hurricane relief efforts.
"It's been very stressful for so many people," Macel, a resident of Brooklyn, said. "We didn't even lose power here in Williamsburg. I thought I should give something back."
Macel, who received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and Imaging from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 2003, and her Master of Fine Arts in Photography, Video and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts in 2011, has also received several awards, including the Tobias Award for her project titled Kiss & Tell and an award from the 2011 Magenta Foundation Flash Forward Competition.
Along with the help of other talented friends, such as Annick Sjoobakken and Jessica Bruah, who both received their masters from the School of Visual Arts in New York, Macel said the trio were able to pull something together just in time, showcasing some of the city's most savvy prints despite the recent hurricane.
“It seemed like the least I could do to try to help people and neighborhoods affected by the storm,” Sjoobakken said of her contribution to show.
Her work explores the impact of how consumption and waste impacts a community's daily life, as well as the environment.
“I live near the densest concentration of solid waste facilities in the city,” Sjoobakken said of her neighborhood in Brooklyn. “And I am constantly stepping over garbage, and plastic bags seem to be caught in every fence and tree.”
Considering the recent wreckage of Sandy and the nor'easter, Sjoobakken said she felt her prints were appropriate for the benefit.
And even with the damaging elements of the storms, residents of the areas hit hardest still made the effort to come out and display some of their works.
A resident of the Rockaways, Barbara Kalina said she wanted to donate something to the show, even though she just returned to her apartment complex. "We had to evacuate," Kalina said. "Seeing and realizing this is very upsetting. Coming back, it was a pretty drastic change."
Kalina said that much of her home was flooded and without power until just recently. "Repairs are still being made," she said. But even though Kalina said she has had a difficult time accessing a printer at her home or finding time to work, she wanted to contribute a piece to the event.
Kalina, who is also a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York, contributed a piece that she worked on from a former project titled “Dear Homeowner,” which discusses the aspect of foreclosure during economic recession.
“I feel like this is very relevant to the current crisis,” Kalina said, speaking of many of her friends who had completely lost their homes from the storm's devastation. “It deals with a different set of issues, but the idea is the same.”
Kalina was one of approximately 40 artists to come out that night, raising close to $1,300 with benefits going to the Occupy Sandy movement.
To see more of the artists works from the benefit, Macel has posted many of the prints on her website at saramacel.tumblr.com.