Coronavirus News: Art exhibit raises money for NYC restaurant, hospital workers

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The owner of an art gallery in Manhattan is hosting a benefit exhibition to raise money for an initiative that supports local restaurants, their employees, and New York City healthcare workers.

Monica King owns Monica King Contemporary, an art gallery in Tribeca, which, like many other local businesses, is temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"I've been speaking to a lot of my artists and artist friends," she said. "And there was a general sense that we all felt a little helpless."

So in response, King has curated an exhibition including work from nearly 50 artists that she's calling "Spring to Action."

She says 25% of each sale will go directly to Feed the Frontlines NYC.

"Right now, I would feel awkward just trying to encourage people to acquire things," King said. "This gives people a way to do it with 25% going to a cause that is really so helpful."

Luca Di Pietro, owner of the Tarallucci e Vino restaurant group, launched Feed the Frontlines NYC in mid-March.

He says the goal was two fold: first, to keep some of his restaurant staff employed, and to nourish those caring for the sick.

For a $25 donation on the Feed the Frontlines NYC website, a warm meal is delivered to a doctor, nurse, or other hospital worker throughout the city.

So far, more than 23,000 meals have been delivered.

"To know that the art world is also supporting this, we are all in this together," Di Pietro said. "We've had people reaching out to us because everyone wants to help. It makes us all feel better."

Some of the work in the sale is even inspired by the new norm of social distancing.

The sale features pieces that start at $125 and go as high as $10,000.

To see the art in the exhibition, go to Monica King Contemporary's website.

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