Art of Elysium 20th Anniversary Celebration Draws Charlie Day, 'Mindy Project's' Beth Grant
Tom Franco, the brother of Elysium Bandini Studios co-founder James and actor Dave, orchestrated a live art installation at the event.
It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia actor Charlie Day and Mindy Project actress Beth Grant were among the stars who attended the Art of Elysium's 20th anniversary celebration Thursday night in Los Angeles.
The event was held at the recently opened There-There art gallery and commemorated the organization, founded by Jennifer Howell, which encourages actors, artists and musicians to voluntarily dedicate their time and talent to programs for hospitalized youth, special-needs education centers, homeless shelters, elder-care homes and hospice-care facilities. Champagne was flowing throughout the night as artists, celebs and potential bidders mingled amid the various works of art being sold (some for $20,000 or more).
"I think it's just so special to mark 20 years of people just giving their hearts and souls to the creative process for people who otherwise would not have anything to look forward to," Howell told The Hollywood Reporter.
Day and wife Mary Elizabeth Ellis were in attendance with the hopes of snatching up a few art pieces. Although the couple just recently began their involvement in Art of Elysium, their 5-year-old son inspired their interest in the organization.
"I think when you become a parent, it's your world and it feels unimaginable to have a sick child. So what little we can give back means a lot," said Day, who recently worked with Louis C.K. on the black-and-white film I Love You, Daddy premiering at the Toronto Film Festival.
"Our kid is so into art too!" added Ellis, who's currently working on the second season of Netflix's Santa Clarita Diet.
Grant became involved in the organization after meeting Howell on the set of James Franco's As I Lay Dying, in which Howell had a reluctant cameo.
"I've done like 20 movies with James," Grant said of Franco. "He's my favorite director because he lets the artist do their own work, and he just shapes it and works with you."
As for the upcoming, final season of The Mindy Project, Grant teased that her character, Beverly, "has a very exciting episode where we get to see more into her personal life."
The event also featured a brightly colored live art installation, complete with hanging pool noodles and melted crayons, orchestrated by Tom Franco, the brother of actors James and Dave Franco. James Franco also co-founded Elysium Bandini Studios, a philanthropic video streaming service.
The middle Franco brother, who oversees the visual arts components of Elysium Bandini Studios productions, held a blowtorch as he offered paper angel cutouts splattered with melted crayon wax to passersby. The artist claimed that the pool noodles were a product of a brainstorming process between Franco, the Art of Elysium team and Howell, in which they decided to mimic the Art of Elysium's mission to provide art to the community.
Dressed in a kimono, layered bead necklaces and a baseball cap made entirely out of Red Bull cans, Franco admitted he wouldn't wear such an outfit every day but said, "We're doing 1997 — 20 years ago!"