MOLAA aims to recover lost revenue from COVID closure with online art auction

More than 160 works of art by Latin American and Latino artists are up for grabs through the Museum of Latin American Art’s first, fully online auction, the proceeds of which will go toward the MOLAA COVID-19 Recovery Fund.

After closing in mid-March due to the pandemic, and with its reopening for July 15 postponed after Governor Gavin Newsom recently ordered the re-closure of indoor service at restaurants, museums and other venues after an increase in infections across the state, MOLAA is aiming to recover its loss of revenue from months of having to keep its doors closed.

Governor orders closure of indoor operations at restaurants, museums for 3 weeks

“With the new orders from yesterday, MOLAA has decided to stop the reopening plans until further notice as a way to support the government’s and the community’s efforts to slow down the increased numbers we are seeing,” said Solimar Salas, vice president of content and programming.

The Recovery Fund supports MOLAA’s basic expenses, proper conservation of its permanent collection and loaned artworks, and ongoing operations. The fund also allows MOLAA to be flexible in creating new onsite and online programming, responding to changing guidelines.

Surmadalismo, 1970 by artist Rogelio Polesello. Courtesy MOLAA.

Those interested in bidding can do so by signing up with Invaluable, the world’s largest online live auction marketplace. MOLAA’s auction will run through July 19 (thanks in part to a donation from private collector Sammy Sayago) with works available from artists Leonardo Nierman, Francisco Toledo, Zaida del Rio, and others.

“The generous support artists and collectors give MOLAA through their donations for this online auction is key for MOLAA to continue to develop and execute its mission through this pandemic,” said Dr. Lourdes I. Ramos-Rivas, president and CEO of MOLAA, in a statement. “We have been able to expand our online programming to reach our audiences during our time of closure.”

To participate, visit

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

Asia Morris has been with the Long Beach Post for five years, specializing in coverage of the arts. Her parents gave her the name because they wanted her to be a world traveler and they got their wish. She has obliged by pursuing art, journalism and a second career as a competitive cyclist.