The Grand Charity Auction stands as Poland’s most prestigious charity event. Its purpose? Channelling funds to empower the education of children housed in Polish orphanages, Ukrainian youth, and the children of the streets in Ghana. This initiative is the brainchild of the Omenaa Foundation and OmenaArt Foundation, which collaborates with key business figures and art aficionados to endorse worthwhile causes and champion culture. The evening’s pièce de résistance is an auction featuring Polish art masterpieces, unique designs, and experiences within the Grand Emotions category.
Drawing attendees who share a deep commitment to philanthropy and art, the Grand Charity Auction forms a unique nexus between donors, bidders, and the luminaries of the art realm, all converging to script positive change in children’s lives.
This year, the ambiance of the auction was further enriched by its venue – the courtyard of the 17th-century Wilanów Palace, Poland’s unparalleled baroque marvel. A setting steeped in history, it perfectly complemented the prestige of the event.
The Grand Charity Auction was organised by the Omenaa Foundation and OmenaArt Foundation, working in tandem with Corporate Connections, the most dynamically developing organisation bringing together the Polish entrepreneurial elite. Making this event happen required an intensive 10-month preparation phase, drawing on the expertise of illustrious set designers and a dedicated 1,500-strong team.
Echoing the opulence of the Italian Baroque period, this year’s Grand Charity Auction immersed attendees in an era of unparalleled grandeur. Realising this vision was an expansive 2,500 m2 art installation, a portal to the 16th century.
At the heart of the event’s visual narrative was Art Director & Set Designer Katarzyna Konkowska. Attendees were treated to the sights of a meticulously crafted baroque garden and a luminous crystal chamber, housing an authentic carriage.
These artistic nuances ensured that the Grand Charity Auction wasn’t just a charitable endeavour but also a feast for the senses. With interiors radiating elegance, attention to minute details, and singular decorations, attendees were offered a brief sojourn into the splendours of the baroque epoch.
A distinguished alumnus of Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts, Katarzyna Konkowska wields formidable expertise as a creative director and set designer. Over a decade, she has helmed expansive projects in experimental design.
Katarzyna’s portfolio is a testament to her versatile brilliance: from crafting sets for Warner Bros television hits to spearheading pioneering designs for sectors like IT, automotive, and aviation. Her ingenuity has also breathed life into concert stages, immersive spaces, pop-up stores for giants like Samsung Electronics, and, notably, the artistic centrepiece of the Grand Charity Auction, an annual extravaganza by the Omenaa Foundation.
Each year, the proceeds from the auction are channelled into charitable endeavours. They primarily aid the education and welfare of Ukrainian children and facilitate the career pursuits of their mothers. Additionally, these funds are allocated to uplift the street children of Ghana and youngsters in Polish orphanages. These admirable endeavours have consistently enhanced the lives of these children over the years.
A notable outcome of the OmenaArt Foundation’s efforts is the restoration of precious murals in the south wing of King Jan III Sobieski’s Palace. This endeavour has brought these masterpieces back to life for the enjoyment of future generations.
Paweł Jaskanis, the director of the Museum of King Jan III Sobieski’s Palace in Wilanów, speaks about the profound collaboration with the OmenaaArt Foundation.
„What truly matters is the will to collaborate, a trait still rare in Poland. It’s particularly commendable when private initiatives bolster public institutions, which are often in need of extra support, especially to preserve our treasured national heritage, including King Jan III Sobieski’s Palace. The OmenaaArt Foundation aided the museum in conserving some of the exquisite murals by Michele Arcangelo Palloni. One such scene from the ‘Amor and Psyche’ series was renovated, capturing the poignant love story of the king and queen. It narrates a tale of conjugal love, pivotal to the legacy and architecture of the Wilanów Palace.”
In 2023, in collaboration with the Omenaa Foundation, the OmenaArt Foundation plans to set aside additional funds as scholarships for promising students from Poland’s Sculpture Departments at ASP. This scheme is designed to foster young artists and spotlight their brilliance.
Furthermore, the foundation, hand in hand with various Polish academic and cultural entities, envisions a partnership to conserve national heritages not just in Poland but also in Malta and Italy. This is to ensure that these invaluable cultural assets remain intact and cherished by generations to come.
The art pieces at the Grand Charity Auction TOP CHARITY were curated through extensive deliberations and collaborations among art aficionados and experts of the Artistic Council. The council is chaired by the eminent curator, Hanna Wróblewska, with Iwona Büchner-Grzesiak, Kamila Zboralska, Rafał Kamecki, and Omena Mensah being its esteemed members.
The auction boasts contributions from illustrious artists such as Angelika Markul, Maria Papa-Rostkowska, and many others. The auction also showcases pieces from Marek and Agnieszka Roefler’s collections, as well as artworks by Magdalena Abakanowicz and Igor Mitoraj, procured courtesy of individual collectors and affiliations in collaboration with Omenaa Mensah and her OmenaArt Foundation.
The crowning jewel of the Grand Charity Auction was Nikola Vudrag’s ‘Iron Maiden’ sculpture, fetching a whopping 3,200,000 PLN, marking a historical record for the nation’s art sales.
This year’s auction saw enthusiastic bidding for the “Grand Emotions” category. Attractions ranged from exclusive tours to private tennis lessons and even an upscale catamaran voyage in Dubai.
During the event, four philanthropists were recognised for their commendable altruism and were awarded the TOP CHARITY 2023 sculptures. These unique sculptures, crafted by the promising sculptor Tomek Górnicki, were created from recycled aluminium sourced from MUUD inhalers and refined by Geomar.
The auction showcased and auctioned artworks from prominent Polish artists such as Wilhelm Sasnal, Jarosław Modzelewski, Adam Myjak, Sylwester Ambroziak, Rafał Olbiński, Antoni Pastwa, and Tomasz Górnicki. In addition, pieces from renowned designers Tomasz Rygalik and Oskar Zięta were also featured.