Edward Bass goes Hardcover to Heaven, Johnny Depp goes to Marina Abramovic’s “Bed” with Ryan Kavanaugh

 Art of Elysium’s Jennifer Howell made it happen by making us all feel like a piece of Heaven. It was beyond what any event could imagine, as it was an experience. You entered with headsets, so no talking at a Hollywood party (!?!), communication only by sign language. Instead of a ballroom with candles, it was an esoteric experience with Marina Abramovic‘s beds and special trays.

Ryan Kavanaugh and Jennifer Howell, in the featured image above, sat with his girlfriend Jessica Roffey, a former Victoria Secret model with her own clothing line. She also gives part of the proceeds from her business through a nonprofit that provides dogs in shelters extended life by providing them with food that the shelters could otherwise not afford.

Everyone gave their time including Moby, who donated a private performance which was auctioned of by Art of Elysium’s chairman of the board Ryan Kavanaugh to himself!  Mark us down for two at that event.

Sara Von Kienegger, who hosted an event for Art of Elysium at Art Basel and is exhibiting her art work at the Art of Elysium Sundance event at Fedex Chairman and CEO’s Fred Smith’s home in Deer Valley, joined the cause by bidding and winning, right alongside Johnny Depp, $25,000 for one of the artistic beds on auction.

(l-r) Sara Von Kienegger, Edward Bass, and Johnny Depp

My favorite part of the evening was vicariously enjoying the feeling of pride that Johnny Depp felt during Amber Heard’s honor. When presented the award, she was so appreciative, knowing in her heart the great work Art of Elysium is involved with.

Amber Heard and Jennifer Howell

The Sundance event at Fred Smith’s will be hosted by his daughter Molly Smith whose Black Label Media honors the film ’71 and filmmaker Yann Demange with a private dinner in collaboration  the art installation from Sara Von Kiengger along with Freixenet champagne and the support from Gansevoort Hotel Group.   James Franco‘s will be in attendance as his is in Park City for his film, I AM MICHAEL as well as Franco’s  film with Henry Hopper, YOSEMITE (The premiere of which will wrap Slamdance) and from which Sara Von Kienegger is recreating a canvas “White on White” using  23 shades of white, working off of photo stills from the movie for her Sundance installation.

White-on-White-Painting Omar-Sharif-in-DR_-ZHIVAGO

David R. Shane, Relativity’s chief communication officer, also competed in the auction with a $25,000 bid for a bed. We will see him in Sundance with the gang. Bossman Kavanaugh matched all the bids so they were doubled! I was in the auctions first round which raised $500,000 including Ryan’s kind hearted winning bid. The charities funds will be used for their programs dedicated to building bridges between the professional arts community and children whose lives are constrained by illness.

It was almost a kind of film family reunion for me.  In attendance were Minnie Driver and Laura Prepon, who were in my film with Ashley Judd,  “COME EARLY MORNING”, my first Sundance Now selection. Our friend Usher with his new wife Grace joined in with their time to help bring wonderful emotions to the event.

We spent some time with Chris Brown, who proposed to his girlfriend Karreche at the event and who promised to meet up for breakfast. Elijah Wood, who acted in my film, BOBBY, was enjoying himself hitting the high notes at the DJ booth.

Elijah Wood DJing

Other attendees included Zach Braff, Joaquin Phoenix, and my friend and prior year honoree,  Eva Mendes.


Publicist Lynn Winter and Lena Gora

The event was also sponsored by supporters and partners such as SamsungDelta Air LinesGrey Goose VodkaRolls-RoyceTweezermanThe Hollywood RooseveltSBE Entertainment, and The Bazaar, aiding in providing experiences. The Art of Elysium’s Heaven Gala celebrated its eighth annual ceremony last Saturday at Hangar 8 in Santa Monica, California. The non-profit organization is a global charity-based association for artists committed to alleviating those in need. Its purpose is to provide an outlet for the creative community to give back to their organization of choice.

HEAVEN in Performance

Almost as heavenly was the Weinstein’s after Golden Globes party, with Model Blair Sinnot, along with Victorino Noval and Jean-Charles Boissett of the Boissett Family Wine Estates.

Victorino Noval and Vince Jolivette

Taylor Swift was at her best in a gorgeous yellow gown.


(l-r) Taylor Swift, Lorde, & Selena Gomez
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