That’s a wrap on Free Arts NYC’s 18th Annual Art Auction honoring Taryn Simon! The night was a beautiful and timely reminder of the transformative power of art and the critical programs Free Arts provides for thousands of New York City’s underserved children.
The evening would not have been possible without our presenting sponsor, Marni, whose exquisite clothes were worn by many notable guests, including Maggie Gyllenhaal, Emmy Rossum, Zoe Buckman and Cleo Wade. The Shulman Family Foundation showed their deep commitment to Free Arts by sponsoring the evening, as they have been for over a decade, along with Perrier-Jouët and The Cultivist.
The party echoed to the sounds of Onyx Collective while guests enjoyed food from Casa Lever and Sant Ambroeus, champagne from the iconic Perrier-Jouët, vino from Skurnik Wines, brews from Peroni and cocktails from Tequila Avion and Tito’s Vodka paired with Morris Kitchen mixers. Celebrated illustrator Justin Teodoro created custom portraits of attendees sitting in bespoke
Jessica Lichtenstein chairs.
A special part of our evening was our teens walking guests through the debut exhibition of their Picture-Collection-inspired project with Taryn. Teens Adonai and Raven gave heartfelt speeches that were a powerful testament to the impact of access to arts education, and presented Taryn with her award.
We closed the evening with a star studded art auction which included works from Christopher Wool and Cecily Brown, and studio visits with Rashid Johnson and Marilyn Minter. None of this would have been possible without the instrumental support of our sponsors Crozier Fine Arts and Downing Frames.
In April 2017, Taryn Simon conducted workshops with 12 teens from Free Arts NYC’s Portfolio Mentorship, Creative Career Exploration, and Museum and Studio Visit Program. Participating teens created their very own body of work inspired by Simon’s original
The first component of the project was a tour of Simon’s studio. The teens learned about Simon’s inspirations, her process, and details about The Picture Collection project. Collaboratively, and with guidance from Simon, the teens began their own Picture Collection project drawing on their own unique life experiences and influences.
Each student chose a term and began the process of selecting images to assemble their own visual library.
The 18 terms chosen collectively were: Empowerment, Culture, Addiction, Mental disorder, Admiration, Expressions, Androgyny, Terms, Ignorance, Memes, Tranquility, Equality, Beauty, Confidence, Ownership, America, Balance, Supercalifragilisticexpialidoc
Later, Simon met with the students to view and discuss their work at The New York Public Library’s original Picture Collection Library. Billy Parrott, Associate Director of The New York Public Library, joined Simon and the teens to give a special historical overview of The Picture Collection.
The Teen Arts Program (TAP) develops essential career skills within underserved teens, ranging in age from 13 to 19, who share an interest in exploring the arts academically and/or professionally, but lack the resources needed to pursue an arts education or career in the creative industry.
TAP participants are diverse, low-income teens, living in high-risk areas of the Bronx and Manhattan that struggle daily with economic and educational disadvantages. Their communities lack the mentors, arts educators, and dedicated spaces to support youth interested in the arts. As a result, creative disciplines like visual art, with its associated materials costs, are particularly inaccessible.
Thank you to our contributing artists, for generosity that is equal to their talent
Forward is always the right way. I am proud to talk to all these wonderful grown ups who made their dreams come true, and one day I am going to be one of them.
Thank you to our Benefit Committee for being a part of an amazing night that will truly make a difference
Almine Rech Gallery
Benjamin Bashein & Christian Langbein
Francesca Bodini & Zack Sherman
Kate Bolduan & Michael Gershenson
The Brant Foundation
Rafael de Cardenas
Delphine de Causans
Laura de Gunzburg
Nathalie de Gunzburg
Mary Gail Doerhoefer
Christine & Sandy Heller
Michelle Hellman Cohen & Adam Cohen
Sheree Hovesepian & Rashid Johnson
BFA Images Matter
Michael K Chen Architecture
Taryn Simon Projects
King Street Capital Management, L.P.
Partner, Business Finance & Restructuring, Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Managing Partner, Tenfore Holdings
Partner, PwC Transactions Services
CEO, Van Wagner Communications
Managing Director, Regional Head of Jacksonville and Cary, Deutsche Bank
Co-Founder, Orchard Street Ventures
Taylor Art Advisory
Matthew B. Taylor
Managing Partner, Kortright Capital Partners LP
Marlies Verhoeven Reijtenbagh
CEO and Co-Founder, The Cultivist
Jordan C. Zaken
Founder and CO-CIO, Gamut Capital
Michelle Hellman Cohen & Adam Cohen
Art Advisory Board