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The Wonderfully OTT Art Production Fund Gala Made A Splash & Raised $850,000

By newadmin / Published on Saturday, 16 Mar 2024 13:52 PM / No Comments


Give art, fashion, and design-obsessed New Yorkers an assignment and you can bet your bottom dollar they’re going to ace it. Such is the case every March at the annual fun-filled Art Production Fund Gala—now in its 14th year—which sees generous guests take the latest theme and run with it. Last night’s ‘Cruise’ extravaganza gave reason to dig out lifesaver-shaped handbags from Chanel, metallic mussel accessories by Area, and Schiaparelli’s jewel-encrusted shell earrings, and those were just the subtler nods to the vibe.

Hosted at Midtown’s ultra special landmark Seagram Building, the highly-anticipated event welcomed over 300 attendees. The gala supports the organization’s mission to produce ambitious public art projects (think: the oft-photographed famed Prada Marfa installation, and Sanford Biggers’ Oracle at Rockefeller Center) and thanks to widespread support from the art and fashion worlds, over $850,000 was raised in the room.

After posing at the sail-esque Saks x Art Production Fund step and repeat upon arrival, folks headed upstairs to The Grill for Champagne Lallier and Piña Coladas (I guess we were all not not on vacation!) as they gathered around an oyster and Champagne installation created for the event by the artist Laila Gohar.

Laila Gohar, Casey Fremont Crowe, Kathleen Lynch

APF Board member Sarah Hoover had once again curated this year’s menu, bringing together crowd-pleasers like shrimp cocktail, personal smoked salmon platters, a very moreish French onion dip, crudité, and Carbone’s signature lobster ravioli, followed by boozy frozen mudslide milkshakes.

The evening saw a performance piece by artist Shikeith, titled Visiting House, which saw dancers pays tribute to how the Hudson River piers became a haven for queer people during the 1960s and 1970s. As attendees tucked into their dinners and tried out their personalized embroidered windbreakers for size, APF’s would-be cruise captains, executive director Casey Fremont and director of operations Kathleen Lynch, gave an overview of what’s to come from the non-profit organization this year.

Sara Friedlander, deputy chairman of Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s, also led a live auction supported by UOVO, which saw a painting by Maia Ruth Lee fetch $30,000 and a work by Dominique Fung go for $70,000. A portrait commission by Hiba Schahbaz came under the hammer at $30,000, while Joel Mesler’s Cruise-emblazoned piece went for a staggering $120,000.

Among the high-spirited room enjoying the scene and comparing notes on the ‘Overboard’ dress code were Olivia Wilde, Drew Barrymore, Diana Agron, Huma Abedin, Diana Louise Bartlett, Stacey Bendet, Vanessa Riding Bonami and Francesco Bonami, Isolde Brielmaier, Sophia Bush, Phoebe Tonkin, Hannah Bronfman, Donna de Salvo, Sai De Silva, Nell Diamond, Jennifer Fisher, Ivy Getty, Serena Goh, Wes Gordon, Paul Arnhold, Cassandra Grey, Charlotte Groeneveld, Ashlyn Harris, Debbie Harry, Ubah Hassan, Stephanie Horton, Jill Kargman, Moana Luu, Eileen Kelly, Princess Deena Aljuhani Abdulaziz, Rachelle Macpherson, Lizzie Grover Rad, Dex Robinson, Indre Rockefeller, Cynthia Rowley, Jen Rubio, Priya Shukla, and Hannah Traore, along with Art Production Fund co-founders Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen, artists Derrick Adams, Harold Ancart, Zoe Buckman, Brendan Fernandes, Derek Fordjour, Jenna Gribbon, Carrie Mae Weems, Joel Mesler, Anna Park, Mario Sorrenti, Cynthia Talmadge, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, Alok Vaid-Menon, Leo Villareal, Anna Weyant, Chloe Wise, and Kennedy Yanko, and many many more.

Images: BFA

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