Svane Family Foundation Commissions 100 Artists for Unique Exhibit/Auction

WomenArts sends congratulations and thanks to the Svane Family Foundation for their bold and welcome investment of $1 million in the San Francisco Bay Area arts community. 

Amie Spitler, Executive Director, Svane Family Foundation

The Svane Family Foundation was launched in 2019 by Mikkel Svane, the Founder and CEO of Zendesk, and it is directed by Amie Spitler, a Bay Area artist who has worked with art collectors and served on several non-profit boards. 

Art about Survival and Rebirth

In response to the economic devastation of the arts community during the pandemic, the leaders of the Svane Family Foundation felt the urgent need to get cash directly to the artists.  They decided to commission a diverse group of 100 Bay Area artists for $10,000 each to create works for an exhibition that is at the San Francisco Art Institute this month.  Preview the works in the exhibition on the foundation’s website

The exhibit is especially powerful since the Svane Family Foundation encouraged all of the artists to create works on the theme of “The Ark.”  There are many ancient stories like the biblical one about Noah and the ark, where a vessel carrying the potential for rebirth survives some major disruptive event.  The artists have been excited about taking on the challenge of reflecting on survival and rebirth in the midst of a pandemic, a climate crisis, and so much political tension.
Artists discuss their participation in the Svane Family Foundation’s Art Exhibit in this 3-minute video. 

The works that were created through the commissions are on display through September 27 and will be sold through an online and in-person auction.  All of the auction proceeds will be donated to ArtSpan, a non-profit that provides a variety of services to artists in San Francisco.

  • Exhibition through September 27: The works that were created through the commissions are being  exhibited at the San Francisco Art Institute, Pier 2 at Fort Mason, 2 Marina Boulevard, San Francisco. 
  • Online Auction – September 16 – 30:  The works are being sold through an online auction at
  • In-Person Auction – September 18: There will be an in-person auction at the San Francisco Art Institute. 

For more information about attending the exhibit or bidding for artworks online, please visit the Svane Family Foundation website.