Salcedo Stories

Salcedo Auctions: Celebrating a Decade of Raising the Paddle for the Community

Salcedo Auctions: Celebrating a Decade of Raising the Paddle for the Community

  • 1 May 2020

Ten years ago, when Salcedo Auctions opened its doors, it did so mindful of its potential role within the community to provide a trusted venue for the sale and acquisition of fine art, jewelry, timepieces, furniture, and other valuable collectibles. A decade later, this tradition of harnessing auctions to build community has become one of the foremost pillars in all of the auction house’s undertakings.

“We have been immensely blessed,” says Chairman & Chief Specialist, Richie Lerma. “If society allows you to grow, you express gratitude meaningfully by giving back.”

And give back it has through the years, with the series of charitable sales Salcedo Auctions has mounted. In 2011, it donated the proceeds of its first September sale to help the Gawad Kalinga (GK) Hope Ball raise funds to build a sustainable community for 31 families in Sulu. Then came The Well-Appointed Life sale in 2012 to help local organizers of the Abilympics, a vocational skills international competition specifically designed for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), stage its annual competition to select members of the national team.

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David Medalla ‘Carving Tortoise Island’ 2011/12 mixed media, was sold to benefit Abilympics Philippines

This was followed by a line-up of unique pieces offered on behalf of various causes, such as the Cameleon Association, an NGO that protects and supports teenage victims of sexual violence, in 2013. Several artworks by important artists such as Roberto Chabet, National Artist BenCab, and Jose John Santos III were offered for the benefit of the Asian Cultural Council in 2014 that collectively raised over Php 7 million.

Proceeds from the sale of Olivia D’Aboville’s ‘Anemone’ were donated to the Cameleon Assocation; BenCab’s ‘Sweet Gaze’ (middle) and Elmer Borlongan’s ‘Girl on a Red Swing’ (bottom) were sold for the benefit of the Asian Cultural Council

The following year saw twenty pieces by the likes of National Artist Arturo Luz and Ramon Orlina offered to support Ballet Philippines at its marquee Important Philippine Art sale, and a donation of a David Medalla artwork that raised over Php 1 million for Operation Smile at the Philippine Tatler Ball. In 2016, the auction house again partnered with the publication by donating a Rodel Tapaya artwork to raise funds for the Child Protection Network and partnered with clothing giant H&M to auction off art on behalf of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The late Ito Curata, Elena Colome, and Robert Miller pose in front of the Rodel Tapaya artwork donated by Salcedo Auctions at the Philippine Tatler fundraiser for the Child Protection Network in 2016. Photo courtesy of Tatler Philippines

Ferdinand Cacnio’s ‘Ballerina in White’ along with National Artist Arturo Luz’s ‘Cities of the Past’ were offered for the benefit of Ballet Philippines

Through its subsidiary brand Gavel&Block, it held the first annual ‘benefit’ auction in 2018 in partnership with International School Manila (ISM) to raise funds for the Vicky SyCip Herrera (VSH) Scholarship Foundation. Featuring works by the likes of National Artist Ang Kiukok and Eduardo Castrillo as well as pieces by ISM graduates and students, the sale raised nearly Php 3.5 million for the foundation.

Romulo Olazo’s ‘Untitled #129’ was sold at the first ‘benefit’ auction for the VSH Scholarship Foundation

Karen Lerma, Salcedo Auctions Vice Chair & CFO and Richie Lerma, Chairman & Chief Specialist with Vicky SyCip Herrera and Vicky Zubiri at the vernissage of the Gavel&Block ‘benefit’ fundraising auction in May 2018 at The Peninsula Manila.

2019 saw Gavel&Block partner with the IWantToShare Foundation under Sheila Romero for the Pediatric Hematology & Oncology Department of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH). Both the art and celebrity world came out in full force to support the cause, with pieces donated by artists such as Daniel dela Cruz, as well as fashion designers Mark Bumgarner and Francis Libiran who donated made-to-measure ensembles for successful bidders.

I WantToShare Foundation members take a photo together with Richie Lerma, Salcedo Auctions Chairman & Chief Specialist at the end of their highly successful fundraiser in July 2019

The tremendous success of these fundraisers opened the eyes of Lerma’s 16-year old son, Joaquin, an 11th grade student at the International School Manila, to the power of art and design to bring people together for a good cause. “It got me thinking about what more we could do to make donating and helping more accessible to people outside the typical auction crowd.”

Enter Bid for the Future, a social enterprise that allows people to donate any amount of money in addition to organizing fundraising events for various arts, culture, and community initiatives. In November 2019, as part of the Gavel&Block ‘Under the Tree: The Holiday Sale’ auction, Bid for the Future was launched to raise awareness and donations for Escuela Taller, a non-profit organization dedicated to training underprivileged youth in the preservation of cultural heritage. In just three weeks, Bid for the Future turned over its first donation of Php100,000 to Escuela Taller. It continues to raise awareness and channel projects to the school.

Joaquin Lerma, Project Head, Bid for the Future, turns over the first donation check to Jose Capistrano, Jr., Chairman of Escuela Taller de Filipinas Foundation

In December 2019, renowned abstractionist Justin Nuyda, who had just been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, reached out to Bid for the Future through his daughter, Ayni Nuyda of the Search Mindscape Foundation, to donate four specially made paintings named after his doctors for the Kythe Foundation, a non-profit that seeks to improve the quality of life and the psychological well-being of children suffering from cancer and other chronic illnesses.

Justin Nuyda with Bid for the Future founder Joaquin Lerma at the artist’s residence and studio in January 2020

“I’ve been painting for fifty years, and I’m very grateful to have been given the opportunity to do what I’m passionate about…” Nuyda shares. “This is why I’m painting for Kythe Foundation, to provide hope to children with cancer…in seeking their passion, for them to live well.”

The artworks were sold at the Important Philippine Art sale last 14 March, and raised a staggering Php 7.75 million for Kythe.

“Art and giving back are integral to Salcedo’s identity,” reflects Lerma pater. “Because in good times or in bad, people turn to art for inspiration, healing, and joy. It’s a mission we don’t take lightly and we look forward to working with the community to benefit others.”

On May 23, Gavel&Block’s ‘benefit’ auction returns with a new format in keeping with the times as it launches its first online-only auction. The proceeds of the sale will go to Rise Against Hunger Philippines, the local chapter of an international hunger relief organization that distributes food and life-changing aid to our most vulnerable – a need that is especially acute given the economic challenges posed by Covid-19 lockdown to the vast majority of the population.

The ‘benefit’ online catalogue can be viewed here.

“We believe that now, more than ever, the art world needs to be able to bring people together,” says Managing Director, Victor Silvino. “And what better way today to continue to gather as a community and give back than by doing so online?”