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Spirit of Heaven

The Art of Elysium hosts an annual gala “HEAVEN,” an artistic visionary is elected to conceive their version of heaven on earth for the night, these visionaries decide every detail from decor, music, food, art, theme, invites and venue, each year this honor is given to someone who has made an incredible mark in their career and life. Each of the charities four disciplines – fashion, film, fine art and music are honored on rotation each Golden Globe weekend. Years past have included Jim Sheridan (film), Shepard Fairey (art), Mark Mothersbaugh (music), Cameron Silver (fashion), Colleen Atwood (film) and this year was Linda Perry (music).

Founder Jennifer Howell with past Heaven music Visionary Mark Mothersbaugh

Linda Perry, who many people may know from when she was the singer/writer of 4 Non Blonds and had the hit song, “What’s Up,” but her career  as a musician really took off when she started producing and running two record labels. She’s been responsible for composing and producing hit songs for several artists like PINK, whom she personally mentored and wrote the number one hit “Get The Party Started” with, Christina Aguilera for whom she wrote “Beautiful,” Gwen Stefani’s “What You Waiting For,”and Adam Lambert’s “A Loaded Smile.” Courtney Love, Kelly Osbourne , Robbie Williams, Gavin Rossdale, Jewel, Alicia Keys, Celeine Dion, Enrique Iglesias, Lisa Marie Presley, and Juliette & the Licks all have worked with Perry and she also represents James Blunt. She and PINK also co-wrote “Cry” for Faith Hill in 2002. Currently she also is part of the band Deep Dark Robot, and maintains her labels, studio and writing, so now you know why The Art of Elysium would chose to honor her for her work in music.

Atmosphere of 2014 Heaven & Custom Made “Speaker”

Struggling with addiction before she began to really focus on music lead her to become both more spiritual and vegan, so it was important to her to integrate a lot of both into the event. She lead an OMMM session (yes like yoga) whereby all guests were instructed to have one person at their table turn on the record players built into each wood table (which were auctioned off later in the night – fulfilling the fine art discipline of the charity). The sound came out of  a massive speaker hanging overhead  (above photo) which her team designed from her vision, Perry requested everyone close their eyes, get out of their heads, listen, feel, and appreciate what was about to be experienced.

Record Player Table

Her musical performances included herself playing piano, along with Evan Rachel Wood who blew everyone away and lead guests Johnny Depp and Amber Heard to start a standing ovation, followed by Rain Phoenix, local duo The Smokin Knights ( who Perry had met when volunteering in the hospital), Steven Tyler (who had another standing ovation) and the children’s LA choir.

The best video of Wood’s knockout  singing was captured by Refinery29 – her singing Perry’s song from 4 Non Blonds.

Its obvious Perry is indeed good at what she does, with a unique way of pushing artists, like asking one of the children to come re-do her solo because she was not projecting loud enough for everyone to hear how great she was. Like a loving mother she was able to encourage her to try again without making it seem like she had failed originally.  The song she sang was Perry’s “Beautiful,” which has been originally written for Christina Aguilera. In keeping with showcasing each category the charity specializes in, a short film was shown of many children and artists talking about what “beautiful” means to them, pretty much everyone was teary eyed after seeing how grateful these hospitalized children can be and what they think beauty really means. (non of them talked about external beauty)

Vegan Salad

Perrys six siblings: Jay, Solomon, Mark, Marcel, John and Sally, along with her mom were all in attendance and her brother (Chef Jay Perry) created the incredibly good looking vegan dishes everyone ate. Some guests were certainly surprised by the meal selection, but it was important to Perry that everyone experience her “heaven” exactly as she dreamt it.

 

Heaven is not just about the visionary though, each year The Art of Elysium honors an artist with a SPIRIT OF ELYSIUM award which recognizes their tireless volunteering to the hospitalized children, thus an example of the “spirit” of the charity. Past recipients have included Eva Mendes, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, David Arquette and this year for the first time it was a couple, Ali Larter & Hayes MacArthur who were brought on stage by charity founder Jennifer Howell after a touching speech as to why they were being honored. Hayes was hilarious more or less doing stand up comedy, joking everyone was in their “second best tonight” because of course the Golden Globes would require their “best” and that this award was incredible because its the only one being given this weekend you cannot buy. Ali took a more serious approach graciously thanking everyone and commending the staff of the charity Allison Beck (who handles Development) and Leslie Culp (in hospital programs and volunteers). The two of them could not have been more perfectly paired or fun to watch. Ali and her husband of four years took time out from being doting parents to their three-year-son Theodore to attend the black tie gala.

The Art of Elysium put together an incredible evening, curated by remarkable people and filled the room with appreciating guests who ended up raising over 1 million dollars by the nights end thanks to the assertive work of Perry, Chairman Ryan Kavanaugh and Allison Beck. Next years visionary has not yet been announced, but Amber Heard will be the Spirit of Elysium recipient, which means more Johnny Depp is possible, a person who was so distracting to Perry she actually stopped her speech to say “Holy F*ck thats Johnny!” then apologizing for being so starstruck and awkward. A moment of humility for the braizen artist who had no problem speaking another time!

www.theartofelysium.org

 

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Posted on: January 13, 2014