Bettina's Take: 18th Annual Artwalk New York Benefiting Coalition For The Homeless

Photo: Patrick McMullan
Waris Ahluwaria and Coco Rocha.

New Yorkers are a resilient bunch. "Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night" could easily have been applied to the chic, civic-minded art lovers at the 18th annual ARTWALK NY, an auction benefiting the Coalition for the Homeless, a most timely event considering the ravages that Sandy and the Nor'easter left in their paths. Artist Honoree Jack Pierson and Philanthropic Honoree Patrick McMullan were certainly big draws at this always fun event, but the wrath of the snowstorm made it impossible for Co-Chairs Carey Lowell and Richard Gere to get into the city.

Held at 82 Mercer, the evening attracted art collectors and art fans alike. Co-Chair Coco Rocha, Waris Ahluwalia, Vincent Freemont, Casey Freemont, Hannah Bronfman, Co-Chair Peter Davis, Co-chair Kyle De Woody, Maggie Betts, and Genevieve Bahrenburg, came to browse the silent auction and bid on works by Olaf Breuning, Shepary Fairey, Robert Longo, Yoko Ono, Raymond Pettibon, Lisa Yuskavage, and Pat Steir. If shopping made them hungry, there was plenty of great food at the tasting stations to choose from, including Macao Trading Company’s Macanese chili shrimp cocktail with sweet honey BBQ, The Odeon’s Spicy chicken dumplings and David Burke Kitchen’s Bacon and Pecan Sticky Rolls for dessert.

The live auction followed, and included works by Wade Guyton, Cindy Sherman, Jenny Holzer, Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, and McMullan. Fendi, the evening's supporter, generously offered to donate 20% of each purchase in the next week to the Coalition For The Homeless, when the customer mentions ARTWALK. Later, the inimitable Donna D'Cruz kept the energy up in the room as guests continued their silent auction bids. The evening raised a record amount despite the weather.

"Over the years ARTWALK NY has raised more than $10,000,000 for Coalition for the Homeless—the nation’s oldest advocacy group and direct service organization for homeless men, women and children," said the evening's Co-Chair Bettina Prentice. "Of all the charities that I am involved with, I am most passionate about Coalition because you can actually see the impact that their programs have on individuals in our community every day. Each night in New York more than 50,000 people -- including 19,000 children—experience homelessness. A staggering figure in what could be called one of the wealthiest cities on the planet! For many, their situations are the result of bad luck or an event that compounded an already delicate situation, it is the Coalition’s emergency food programs, eviction prevention, job training and other services that provide a light at the end of the tunnel for so many. I’m proud that the art community bands together in support of Coalition every year and I’m honored to have been acting as a co-chair for the event for the past four years."