fresh stART Hosts 4th Annual Art Sale and Exhibition: Raises $129,000 to Benefit Local Artists, Arts-Related Therapies for At-Risk Children

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fresh stART, the McCall Family Foundation’s signature fund-raising event, hosted its fourth annual art sale and exhibition Saturday, February 12, 2005 at the Santa Monica Art Studios. Featuring artwork from some of the country’s most collectible established and emerging artists, the two-hour event grossed $129,000 in sales, up 150 percent from the previous annual sale. Fifty percent of the sales price of each artwork sold benefited Los Angeles children’s charities My Friend’s Place and A Window Between World’s, with the remaining 50 percent going to the artists. Honorary Committee Chair Brooke Shields attended, as well as other celebrities including Danny Federman, Rachael Harris, Jennifer Westfeldt, John Hamm, Emily Procter, Sunrise Ruffalo and Dana Gould, among others.

fresh stART, the McCall Family Foundation’s signature fund-raising event, hosted its fourth annual art sale and exhibition Saturday, February 12, 2005 at the Santa Monica Art Studios. Featuring artwork from some of the country’s most collectible established and emerging artists, the two-hour event grossed $129,000 in sales, up 150 percent from the previous annual sale. Fifty percent of the sales price of each artwork sold benefited Los Angeles children’s charities My Friend’s Place and A Window Between World’s, with the remaining 50 percent going to the artists.

“We’re immensely grateful for the tremendous support we’ve received over the years, and this year is no exception,” says Cris McCall, fresh stART founder, director and one of the show’s six curators. “A big thank you goes out to Brooke Shields, our honorary chairperson, our honorary committee members, organizers, sponsors, underwriters, artists, collectors, and the many friends of fresh stART.”

With wide support in the local arts and philanthropic communities, fresh stART brought together more than 1,000 hand-picked young professionals and collectors — from the areas of film, TV, art, architecture, design, politics, fashion, and culinary arts — and 150 of the country’s most collectible established and emerging contemporary artists. Designed to stimulate the arts in Los Angeles by providing potential collectors with a personal connection to selected artists, in addition to raising much needed funds for Los Angeles-based charities, the lively forum provided attendees a unique opportunity to view new contemporary works of art in a variety of media while meeting participating artists and discussing their work.

At the Saturday event, Emily Procter, Dana Gould, Jennifer Westfeldt and Jon Hamm were among celebrities who purchased art to support fresh stART. Sunrise Ruffalo came away with five pieces, including works by Yong Sin, Elizabeth O’Reilly and Kiel Johnson. Brooke Shields, this year’s honorary chair, her husband, Chris Henchy, and daughter, Rowan, attended as a family to support the young foundation whose 2005 beneficiaries included A Window Between Worlds and My Friend’s Place. Other celebrity supporters, past and present, include Sandra Bullock, Erick McCormack, Dan Federman, and Steven Webber. fresh stART committee members include Wendie Malick, Jamie Lee Curtis, Victor Garber, Jennifer Garner, Felicity Huffman, Donal Logue, Jesse Metcalfe, Janel Moloney, Ron Rifkin, Mark and Sunrise Ruffalo, Jennifer Westfeldt and Jon Hamm.

Attendees also snapped up pieces from Guest Curator, Andrea Feldman Falcione’s (Ovitz Family Collection) room including Ruby Osorio’s “Sanctuary,” Mark Grotjahn’s “Untitled (Tiger),” Kelly McLane’s “Untitled (Happy Camper)” and Helen Verhoeven’s “Sunday Best.” Other big sellers of the night include Bill Barminski, Kim McCarty, Kahn & Selesnick, Jo Jackson and Susan Arena. The invited artists, ranging from established names to younger artists whose work is beginning to receive notice, were amassed by fresh stART’s curatorial team. Among these artists were Marcos Alvarez, Lisa Bloomfield, Amelia Fleetwood (daughter of Mick Fleetwood), Dylan Chatain, Seonna Hong, Mala Iqbal, Gegam Kacherian, Bruce Kaplan, Martin Mull, Laura Ricci, Rachell Sumpter and Caroline Hwang. “From the beginning, the reception we’ve had from artists and art dealers has been generous and unfailingly supportive,” said Ashley McLean Emenegger, co-curator.

Adds McCall: “Thanks to the overwhelming success of this year’s show, by year’s end we’ll have made a significant positive impact on the lives of at risk youth.”

After three years of gifting proceeds to a single beneficiary, this year fresh stART selected two distinct beneficiaries to share in what turned out to be its largest donation year since the organization’s inception in 2001. The first, A Window Between Worlds, was established in 1991 to provide art programs at domestic abuse shelters helping thousands of children each year. Their Children’s Windows Program uses art-therapy to enable children to tell their stories, express their feelings, and rebuild self-esteem. fresh stART donations will support these programs in 30 Los Angeles County shelters.    

The second beneficiary, My Friend’s Place, is a drop-in resource center for homeless teens based in Hollywood. Established in 1988, My Friend’s Place assists and inspires homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives. fresh stART’s contribution will fund a year’s worth of weekend art workshops for My Friend’s Place, which has become the only drop-in resource center to provide a seven day continuum of care for homeless youth in Southern California.

Cris McCall was inspired to begin fresh stART after she heard a segment on National Public Radio about the effectiveness of arts therapy-related programs in producing dramatically positive results in the lives of abused youth. She was compelled to assist, to the greatest extent possible, in this important work. Along with this altruistic motivation, she realized as well that she had “a wide circle of friends who were ready to take the step into collecting art, but had no idea where to begin. By organizing a thoughtfully curated, well-priced art show, we could tap into a willing audience who would be even more receptive because of the beneficiaries.”

fresh stART owes part of its success to its unique approach to fundraising. The organization produces its signature annual sale and exhibition on a modest budget and covers expenses through generous underwriting from sponsors. This year’s event was underwritten through the generous support of individuals and corporations including: Wolf Films; Lisa Alden; Barnes Morris Klein Mark Yorn Barnes & Levine; Jeannie Brown; Nancy and Jason Cahill; Creative Artists Agency; Audrey and Paul Hanneman; The Horchow Family Charitable Trust; Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy; Maya Iwanaga

Pinkner and Jeff Pinkner; Tiffiny Lendrum and Adam Eastwood; Meschures, Campeas, Thompson, Snyder & Pariser, LLP; Rockfish Films, Inc.; Murray Smith and Kit Boss; Warner Bros. Television; and Wintner Artist Management, among others. The evening’s bar was hosted by Grey Goose Vodka and Southern Starz Vineyards; music and tasty hors d'oeuvres were provided by "Weekend Becomes Eclectic" d.j. Anne Litt and Très L.A., respectively.

About fresh stART

Founded in 2001, fresh stART (http://www.freshstartweb.org), the annual fundraising event of the McCall Family Foundation, is a one-night art exhibition and sale with two distinct goals. Its primary goal is to fund programs that provide arts-related therapies to children designated "at-risk." Secondly, fresh stART strives to stimulate the arts in Los Angeles by providing potential collectors with a personal connection to both established and emerging artists. The McCall Family Foundation is a 501(c)(3). Sources of funding include the benefit exhibition and private and corporate donations. fresh stART operates wholly through the efforts of volunteers.

About A Window Between Worlds

A Window Between Worlds was founded in 1991 in Venice, California, and is a non-profit organization dedicated to using art to help end domestic violence. AWBW is the only organization offering comprehensive training and ongoing support to domestic violence programs wishing to use art as a healing tool for battered women and children. Their Children’s Windows Program provides art workshops for thousands of children each year. The program supports healing by providing children with opportunities to tell their stories, express their feelings, and rebuild their self-esteem. Additional information can be found at http://www.awbw.org.

About My Friend’s Place

My Friend’s Place, based in Hollywood, California, is a drop-in resource center established in 1988 to assist and inspire homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives. With hundreds of homeless kids visiting their center every week, they serve more teenagers and young adults than any other facility in Southern California. With the introduction of art related therapeutic workshops in 1990, My Friend’s Place has shown a marked increase in success with homeless youth motivation to enter case-management, the first and most crucial step to ending their homelessness. Additional information can be found at http://www.myfriendsplace.org.

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Note to editors: Color images available upon request, including shots of celebrities, event organizers and participating charities.

Contact:

Etienne Hernandez-Medina

H & M Communications

Phone (310) 849-3663

Fax (310) 360-6213

etienne@hm-com.com

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