Before the holiday season came to a climax, Chelsea’s Emmanuel Fremin Gallery hosted the Art of Beauty Experience, an artwork auction and cocktail that benefited Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS) and Haiti’s Diakonos Orphanage. The various works of art sold on that mid-December night were created by orphans in Haiti and girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking in New York. All funds collected from the auction will support both organizations.
For starters at the The Art of Beauty soirée, charitable attendees noshed on hors d’œuvre, wine, and enjoyed a special musical performance by R&B/pop music recording star Shontelle (whose hit “Impossible” went RIAA platinum). She also performed her latest track, a Jay Levine song, “Reflection.”
As the bidding and merriment continued, DJ Twist spun beats, keeping the energy high. “Music is an important form of communication. Being able to contribute another layer of meaning to this already very meaningful event — the girls telling their stories of tragedy and triumph through art — it’s truly an honor,” commented Twist.
The Art of Beauty is the brainchild of activists, Ford model Monica Watkins (she has campaigns for Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, and Nivea beauty under her belt), and veteran makeup artist Leora Edut. Both came to the realization that the fashion and beauty industries had great potential to be a positive force in empowering young, at-risk women in the areas of self-esteem, creativity, diversity, and access to financial freedom: To discover their inner beauty and use it to improve their quality of life, as well as those around them. This has become the mission of the duo’s charity and The Art of Beauty Experience selected to champion the Diakonos Orphanage and its initiatives in Carrefour, Haiti, focusing on educational and artistic opportunities. Likewise, Watkins and Edut opted to support GEMS, which states that its specific objective is: “ending commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking of children by changing individual lives, transforming public perception, and revolutionizing the systems and policies that impact sexually exploited youth.”
Make-Up Forever, Lash Royalty, The Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, and artstrong sponsored the noble event.