As a friend of his tells it, Sen. Edward Kennedy learned to paint the way the members of his family learned to do almost everything else--competitively.
Kennedy began painting in the early 1950s, when his brother Jack took it up as he was recuperating from back surgery. Day after day at the Palm Beach house, the two brothers would hold a painting contest--choose a subject, paint it and then have the family judge which painting was the better.
But when Ted Kennedy hands out serigraphs of one of his paintings at a party Nov. 20, it's no contest that the winner will be the Very Special Arts. That's the organization, spearheaded by his sister, Jean Kennedy Smith, that encourages participation by children and adults with disabilities. Founded in 1974, the Very Special Arts currently involves more than one million participating "artists," teachers and volunteers across the country.
The Kennedy artworks are part of a very special dinner hosted by Dr. Armand Hammer in his private gallery at Occidental Petroleum. One hundred couples will pay $1,000 to attend the evening event.
SILVER SCREENINGS--Movies are made in Hollywood--and almost as frequently, so are benefit premieres. In the mail this week are invites to "Cry Freedom" benefit UNICEF, set for Nov. 5 at the Cineplex Odeon University City Cinemas. Also, done up with a diaper pin is "Three Men and a Baby" benefiting the American Diabetes Assn., Nov. 23 and set for the AMC Century Cinemas, partying to follow at the Century Plaza. And, the Women's Guild of Cedars-Sinai hosts the world premiere of "Overboard," with partying following at the Century Plaza.
BACK ON RODEO--That will be Bob Mackie, who will be honored at the 10th Rodeo Drive International Gala Nov. 20. He, along with Sandra Moss, who is being honored as the Woman of the Year, will be the focal points in the Beverly Wilshire's Grand Ballroom, as the Rodeo Drive Committee does its thing. And don't expect any off-the-rack clothes at this party, darling. . . . The partying is silver, as Queen of the Valley Hospital hosts its "Silver Jubilee" party Nov. 14 at the Industry Hills and Sheraton Resort. Cruises, estate jewelry and lots of other goodies will be auctioned off--and it's all to benefit the Hospice and Children's Fund programs. . . . The partying is jewel-crusted, since Tallarico will be providing an 18-karat gold and diamond lipstick case for a lucky person at the Nov. 7 "Night Club Premiere" at the Beverly Hilton benefiting the United Hostesses. And it even includes a lipstick.
ROASTING ALAN--When the six remaining Democratic presidential candidates hit Los Angeles Dec. 5, it won't be for campaigning. Rather, they'll be roasting Senate Majority Whip Alan Cranston, all part of a fund-raiser for Independent Action (That's Mo Udall's political-action committee that supports liberal candidates). Mayor Tom Bradley is the honorary chair, and already signed up to help are super-agent Michael Ovitz, Disney's Michael Eisner and director Sydney Pollack.