By Lauren K. Terry Posted November 16, 2011, 3:56 PM EST
BOSTON Blue, green, and yellow paint splotches marbled the floor of the studio-turned-dining hall at Artists for Humanity's “Have a Seat” benefit at the Artists for Humanity EpiCenter on Friday. The second-floor studio is brightened by work from the nonprofit's student artists and mentors, and it proved a fitting venue for the evening’s program, which engaged guests in the organization’s work by encouraging their own art stewardship. The event, held in conjunction with Artists for Humanity's 20th anniversary, raised $350,000.
“The most rewarding aspect of the event is most definitely the one-of-a-kind chairs that were created by the teen artists,” said Shane Hassey, lead designer of Elements Event Design and Production, in the days before the function. “All of the guests that attend the dinner will receive one of the chairs as a gift. [After the event], these chairs will be seen all over the city in the homes or offices of Artists for Humanity supporters.”
The event's design was intended to showcase the teen artists’ work. “The one-of-a-kind chairs will be the focal point of the room during dinner,“ Hassey said. “The rest of the decor in the room will be very simple and clean to allow the seats to really stand out.” The 200 guests got to test their newly acquired art pieces by sitting in them for a three-course dinner and wine pairing created by chef Lydia Shire.
Echoing the gallery-inspired feel of the one-time event, the cocktail hour was held on the first floor amid an installation of chairs donated by furniture retailers such as M2L, Ligne Roset, Pierre Paulin, and Emeco. Guests were allowed to touch and sit on the designer pieces, many of which were limited editions, and bid on their favorites in a silent auction.
After dinner, guests headed back to the first floor to mingle with new arrivals: an additional 400 Artists for Humanity supporters purchased $100 tickets to attend only the after-party (tickets for the dinner went for $2,500 a pop). The crowd sampled Gourmet Caterers’ desserts, including chocolate bonbons and mini-strawberry cheesecakes, at PBD Events' long black tables inlaid with gnarled wood. Clusters of low-hanging light bulbs lent an intimate feel to the reception space and highlighted Winston Flowers' arrangements of pitcher plants and white and purple calla lilies. Guests closed out the night by dancing to blues and rock from the Love Dogs.