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On Saturday, more than 300 guests gathered at the Beverly Hills home of Beau and Laura Dunn the annual art auction benefiting The Art of Elysium. The annual fundraiser, Pieces of Heaven, helps to continue The Art of Elysium’s vital community services, which currently serve more than 2,500 artists a year in Los Angeles.
The nonprofit offers 110 art programs every month, serving more than 30,000 individuals per year. “What makes The Art of Elysium unique is the full-circle concept,” shares founder Jennifer Howell. “Artists inspire the communities they serve, and service inspires artists to create more meaningful work,” she added.
For over 21 years, The Art of Elysium has paired volunteer artists with communities in Los Angeles to support individuals in the midst of difficult emotional life challenges like illness, hospitalization, displacement, confinement and/or crisis.
The organization serves medically fragile children, teens, adults, seniors, those dealing with social, emotional and mental health issues, and the homeless.
Beau leads the organization’s Girl Talk program, which is an arts-based self-esteem workshop established by The Art of Elysium at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to help girls (six to 17 years of age) who are patients of plastic surgery to improve coping skills, as well as address social issues such as anxiety, self-esteem, communication, empowerment and positive self-image, will exemplify how and why artists become involved and inspired by the organization. She is preparing to launch the program with a group of girls Sept. 11.
At the start of the event, founder Jennifer Howell announced for the first time Michael Muller as the 2019 Visionary and artist Beau Dunn as the 2019 Spirit of Elysium recipient. Both will be honored during the annual Heaven event.
Beau shared, “With all proceeds from the auction going towards The Art of Elysium’s community programs, Pieces of Heaven is one of the most important fundraising events of the year for the organization.”
This year, Beau donated one of her Barbie Portraits to the annual auction, a series of themed paintings which she has come to be known for. Kylie Jenner, Beau tells The Hollywood Reporter, is one of her biggest clients along with her close friend Lily Collins, Claudia Schiffer, Rosie Huntington, and David Arquette, among others.
Past Spirit of Elysium recipient and Shameless actress Shanola Hampton was an attendee at the Art of Elysium auction and shared with THR her past involvement with the organization: “I’ve been working with Art of Elysium for about 16 years. Last year, I was honored to receive the Spirit of Elysium award,” Hampton continued “I love the fact that this charity, we just take all of our volunteer work and do something every single day of the week as opposed to just donations. You need the money but it’s really about giving your time, which I love and this is one of the best events because you get to help someone by putting beautiful art into your home, office space and art here is top-notch art and stuff you don’t really see [elsewhere]. The charity is about artists helping others and it really is in true form with the artists coming together with all their work and other artists buying the work and so this is a great spot to be.”
Pieces of Heaven’s auction featured artwork donated by Shepard Fairey, Delia Brown, Jack Coulter, Patrick Martinez, Vanessa Prager, Gregory Siff, Connor Tingley, and the evening’s host, Beau Dunn. All proceeds from the auction will go toward The Art of Elysium’s programs.
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