For their first-ever fundraiser, organizers of the Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND) doubled up for success by staging back-to-back shindigs, raising an estimated $250,000 toward their mission of bringing contemporary art to public places.
Eugenio Lopez started the festivities by hosting a July 14 dinner at his art-filled Beverly Hills home, where nearly 200 guests partied beside contemporary treasures by such artists as Maurizio Cattelan, Tracey Emin, Richard Prince and more, before settling down to dinner beside a candlelit swimming pool and yellow "Elephant" by Jeff Koons. Lopez, heir to Mexico's leading juice producer, is the founder of La Coleccion Jumex near Mexico City, reportedly the largest private contemporary art collection in Latin America.
Sharon Stone stopped by to join Lopez and benefit co-chairs Liz Goldwyn and Lori DeWolfe; board members including President Lisa Anastos, LACMA curator Christine Kim, former Whitney curator Shamim Momin and art adviser Esthella Provas; and guests Peter Morton, Eugene Sadovoy, Wendy Stark Morrissey, Jennifer and Stephen Maguire, Michael Govan and Katherine Ross, Caroline Jones, Becca Thrash, Zeta Graff, Sarah Watson, Joaquin Phoenix, Eva Longoria and Rose McGowan, among others.
"We're a museum without walls," Anastos said, pointing to LAND's latest project, "The Secret (Still) Knows," which will remain on South La Cienega Boulevard until Aug. 16.
Rain Phoenix completed the party agenda by performing with the Gift Horse Project, a rotation of artists, which she co-founded with A.J. Mason and described as "artists reaching out to artists."
For LAND's second fund-raiser, a July 15 cocktail party at the Sunset Tower Hotel, Eva Mendes joined in the rotation, providing back-up by humming along tunefully as Phoenix sang.
As evening drifted into Hollywood on July 17, an estimated 1,000 supporters of the Saban Free Clinic descended on the Sunset Gower Studios for "An Extravaganza for the Senses." If the locale looked familiar, it's because "Dexter" and "Entourage" are among films and TV shows shot there, said studio Vice President Terri Melkonian.
For sensory extravagance as advertised, there were 40 participating restaurants, 80 wineries, two spas providing mini-massages; mystics giving chakra, palm, tarot and other psychic readings; a photo booth and cooking demonstrations by "Top Chef Masters" contestant Suzanne Tracht of Jar.
John Heilman, a law school professor and mayor of West Hollywood, said he zeroed in on the vegetarian specialties. Meat-eaters also found choices plentiful with the Palm, Lawry's and Boa Steakhouse among restaurants offering samples. Sweets abounded, and in gourmet varieties, such as the mint ice cream and macaron sandwiches, which Bret Thompson of Milk called "grasshoppers."
Credit for corralling the winemakers went to William Knight, president of L.A.'s Wine House. "Ten years ago, I came and complained about the wine." Knight said. "They said, 'Well, what can you do?' And, I've been responsible for organizing the wine ever since."
Originally known as the Free Clinic of Los Angeles, the Saban Free Clinic provides healthcare to the homeless, uninsured and working poor. Co-Chief Executive Abbe Land said that Cheryl and Haim Saban had long supported the organization. For its 40th anniversary, "they wanted to do something special," and so contributed a $10-million endowment. It was considered special enough to rename the clinic in their honor in 2008. Haim Saban produced the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers."
Guests also included Daniele Beasley, Abbe Benson, Wendy Tuttle and Svitlana Sangary.