YEP Half and Half Appeal: Household names contribute artwork for special festival fundraiser

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Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby....

Leeds’ own Ruby hitmakers Kaiser Chiefs and a stellar line-up of other household names have drawn up plans to celebrate the 40th anniversary of St Gemma’s Hospice with a unique art fundraiser.

The rock superstars along with comedian John Bishop, Prime Minister Theresa May, artist Ashley Jackson and many more have all contributed postcard-sized artworks for The Secret Art Project.

The identity of who created which exhibit will be top secret until after the online eBay auction, which will run from October 23 to November 2.

All the art will be displayed as part of a 40th Anniversary Arts Festival, supported by Progeny, at The Grammar School at Leeds, from Wednesday to Sunday, October 24 to 28. Entry is £3 per person.

The festival will also feature 40 Faces of St Gemma’s Hospice, an exhibition of photographs taken by Olivia Hemingway, which aims to show the diverse mix of people who experience the hospice every day and the reality of hospice care.

They have been photographed in places of significance to them, including in their own homes as their personal stories are told alongside the pictures, demonstrating strong feelings of hope, love, humour and bravery.

It is all part of an annual Art and Photography Exhibition and Sale, which celebrates local talent and will include a hospice donation from every sale. There will also be an arts café selling homemade cakes, coffee and teas.

St Gemma’s bosses are hoping the Festival could raise £40,000 towards the annual £10m cost of running the hospice, which prides itself on offering the best possible care and quality of life for local people with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses – both at the hospice and in the community.

Pete Watson, senior events fundraiser for the Hospice, said: “The Arts Festival is a wonderful celebration of art showcasing the fantastic talents of our local artists.

“It is also an important fundraiser for St Gemma’s, as a percentage of every exhibit sold is donated to the hospice, helping us raise vital funds.

“It will cost over £10m this year to keep the doors of the hospice open.

“We want people to take a look at work in the Secret Art Project and bid on their favourite art, or the piece they think a celebrity has created!

“Contributors’ names will be used to promote the project but who created which individual piece of artwork will be a secret.

“So it’s all down to the bidding for what might be a high-value postcard, which is what makes this project so exciting!”

For a link to the online auction visit events.st-gemma.co.uk/events/the-secret-art-project.

The YEP has been supporting both of Leeds’ hospices - St Gemma’s and Sue Ryder Wheatfields – since 1982 through our Half and Half Appeal.

The appeal is thought to be the longest-running newspaper charity campaign in the country and splits proceeds 50/50 – or Half and Half – between the two institutions.

The original target of £250,000 was reached within two years. Dnations passed the £1m mark in 1990 and £2m by 2003.

In 2014, the YEP launched a bid to top the £3m mark with ‘Project £3m’ and we are edging ever-closer to the major milestone.

To donate visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/YEPHalfandHalfAppeal

Or send a cheque, payable to ‘The Yorkshire Evening Post Half & Half Appeal’ to The Editor’s Secretary, Yorkshire Evening Post, No 1 Leeds, 26 Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS12 1BE in an envelope marked ‘Half and Half’.

An acknowledgment – with any messages left with the donations – will be printed in the paper.