Caledonia “Swoon” Curry has always taken an interdisciplinary, humanist approach to her creations, and her latest project is no different. The street-art darling’s nonprofit, the Heliotrope Foundation, has tapped more than 95 artists to create affordable fine-art prints for a fundraising initiative conceived to help communities recover from natural disasters and social crises.
One hundred percent of proceeds from the hand-numbered, limited edition “Heliotrope Prints,” which go for $50 a pop and feature work by Kenny Scharf, Jean Jullien, Molly Crabapple, Shepard Fairey, Ricky Powell, Olek, Swoon and others, benefit post-earthquake Haiti, New Orleans and the Rust Belt town of Braddock, Pennsylvania.
Swoon, a Brooklyn-based mixed media artist and Jeffrey Deitch mentee, helped elevate street art to new levels of technique and originality by peppering New York City with intricate life-size paper cuts and hand-pulled block prints of people she knows. She released the first installment of the prints in 2012 as an extension of the arts-based community relationships she’s cultivated throughout her career.
Swoon says the response from her contemporaries was unexpectedly positive. “Lots of artists started coming out of the woodwork offering to contribute in some way,” she says. “It made me understand that the same impulse that urged me to create this kind of project in the first place was very much alive in my fellow artists, no matter their medium or methodology.”
The response was so positive, in fact, that Swoon needed an entire nonprofit to streamline and finance her various creative philanthropic efforts. “Our work in Haiti, New Orleans and Braddock evolved to a scale where we had structured goals that needed major fundraising,” she explains. “That moment was the basis of the Heliotrope Foundation’s inception.”
Heliotrope’s artist roster has grown exponentially ever since, and now the whimsical wheat-paster best known for populating public spaces with imaginary worlds of paper people is using art to benefit real people on a global scale.
The impact has been multifaceted. “Heliotrope Prints has become a platform where artists can contribute to meaningful outcomes of Heliotrope Foundation projects,” says Swoon. At the same time, she adds, “the community has uniquely affordable access to appreciate these artists’ work on their walls.”
This year’s batch of exclusive prints, curated by Molly Krause and out this month, features Rashaad Newsome, Ebony G. Patterson, Kenny Scharf, Aidan Koch, Emilio Perez and Anne Spalter.
Check out a handful of the prints below. To view the complete collection, go here.