Today, 60 percent of New York City public school children do not have access to arts education—which is where Free Arts NYC comes in. Since 1997, the organization has helped over 31,000 at-risk children and parents gain access to arts education. With a mission to provide underserved children with educational art and mentoring programs, Free Arts assists children in realizing their fullest potential, with the help of contributing artists like Dustin Yellin, Larry Clark, Petra Collins, Tali Lennox, and Jean-Baptiste Bernadet.
Tucked away in the Surrogates Courthouse at 31 Chambers Street last week was a feel-good happening for Free Arts that was not-to-be-missed—the Free Arts NYC Annual Art Auction. Artist Richard Prince played host to an event celebrating art and fashion icon Glenn O’Brien. The night began with a silent auction and a cocktail reception by Don Julio and Ketel One, with light bites by Casa Lever, The Fat Radish, Felice, and Sant Ambroeus. Paddle8 auctioneer Alexander Gilkes led the live auction that preceded the seated dinner presented by Fendi, with tables delicately dressed in flower arrangements by L’Olivier Floral Atelier.
Tony Shafrazi got ahold of a Prince piece, and another guest picked up a Jonas Wood work for $57,000. After a toast of Perrier-Jouët champagne, a picture taken onsite by Sante D’Orazio’s 20×24 camera (there are only three like it in the world!), music by DJ Graham Craig, and an enjoyable performance by The Onyx Collective, guests grabbed Rizzoli gift bags on the way out, which included O’Brien’s book How to Be a Man.