New York, NY – February 9, 2023 – Last night, RxART hosted its annual gala the RxART PARTY, celebrating the work of exceptional collaborating artists, dedicated hospital partners, and respected major supporters. They honored Nina Chanel Abney and Derrick Adams with the RxART Inspiration Award, recognizing their brilliant creativity and recent RxART installations in the pediatric departments at NYC Health + Hospitals Elmhurst and Harlem, respectively. Joeonna Bellorado-Samuels, Director of Jack Shainman Gallery, presented the award to Abney and Jasmine Wahi, Co-Director and Founder of Project for Empty Space, presented to Adams. The fête, chaired by Chris Salgardo, brought together guests including Sarah Arison, David Breslin, Angela Goding, Deana Hagagg, Freja Harrell, Michi Jigarjian, Chandra and Jimmie Johnson, Toby Milstein Schulman, Alf and Clara Naman, and board members Neil Blumenthal, Glori Cohen, Michael Laven, David Lenhardt, Heather Hasson, and TJ Parker. RxART collaborating artists including Harold Ancart, Brian Donnelly (KAWS) and Julia Chiang, Tomokazu Matsuyama, Nicolas Party, and Mickalene Thomas were in attendance. Ewa Juszkiewicz – who created the 2023 PARTY limited edition print – flew in from Poland to join the joyous occasion.
The PARTY was hosted at Nine Orchard, with a family-style dinner by chef Ignacio Mattos accompanied by specialty negronis by spirit sponsor Doce Mezcal. RxART founder and president Diane Brown welcomed the chic “color-block” attired crowd before introducing Abney and Adams. Brown spoke about how impactful their RxART Projects have been, especially given their settings in two of the hardest hit hospitals during the pandemic, which annually provides care to over 30,000 young NYC patients. RxART Board Member Chris Salgardo, Founder of ATWATER, spoke about important new projects in the pipeline for SUNY Upstate Nappi Wellness Institute in Syracuse, NY. Through ATWATER, Salgardo has partnered with Ducati North America to release a limited-edition cleansing bar, the proceeds from which will support the commission of artist Tomokazu Matsuyama for the Nappi Wellness project. He thanked Ducati CEO Jason Chinnock who was in attendance for the partnership and also highlighted RxART’s major project in the works with artist Harold Ancart for Primary Children’s Hospital in Lehi, UT, and led an inspired call to action, encouraging the entire crowd to support over a dozen new RxART projects in the pipeline. The celebratory evening was topped off by a soulful musical performance by rising singer-songwriter Madison McFerrin and her band, in advance of releasing new music this spring. The RxART PARTY featured a step & repeat and customized printed materials inspired by the honorees – including tote bags, pennant flags above the tables, and event programs – all sponsored in-kind by printing partner VistaPrint. Nine Orchard graciously acted as the hospitality sponsor, hosting rooms for the honorees and McFerrin and her band. PlantShed provided beautiful pops of pink floral arrangements. Funds raised through the PARTY will support RxART’s ambitious growth and projects underway in hospitals across the nation.