The Bombay Sapphire East House was jumping last night as friends and supporters joined Danny and Russell Simmons, The RUSH Philanthropic Foundation and RUSH Arts Gallery as they celebrated turning 15 during the annual Gold Rush Awards!
With special honors going to art collector and fellow philanthropist Sherry Bronfman, RUSH feted their work with arts education, community building, philanthropy and artists of color.
The evening began with a cocktail reception and two exhibitions at Artist Space in Greenwich Village, NYC. On view was "15X15," an art exhibition featuring the works of 15 artists who had shown at RUSH Arts Gallery over the last decade and a half.
A limited edition boxed set of prints of the works, featuring artists such as Michael Paul Britto, Ayana M. Jackson, Renee Cox and Sol Sax, was curated by Ingrid LeFleur and available for purchase on site with proceeds to benefit RUSH Philanthropic, whose programs have educated over 2000 kids in art to date. Work from Bombay Sapphire's artisan series was also on view.
After the reception, guests headed next door to Imagination House, a cool space owned and managed by Bombay Sapphire, where art and education lovers sampled an array of finger foods, alcohol and deserts, before Bronfman was recognized by the Brothers Simmons for her philanthropy, guidance and effort in helping artists of color into institutions like the MoMa.
"I met somebody who was really working hard in the arts and that woman was Sherry Bronfman," Danny Simmons said as he introduced Bronfman to the sizeable crowd. "She's been around from the beginning. There was nobody better to honor than Sherry," Simmons continued.
"Sherry has been there from the beginning," echoed Russell Simmons. "When the Foundation was taking shape, she was there to give us direction and inspiration! She's been a great supporter of us and artists everywhere. Almost no artist comes and says thank you to me that doesn't already owe thanks to Sherry. She is there to support emerging artists whether it's at the MoMA or the Schomburg!"
While accepting her award, Bronfman recounted meeting Danny & Russell for the first time 15 years ago.
"I was working on a project in Harlem celebrating Ralph Ellison and we were putting together a fundraiser to fund a statue by Elizabeth Catelet in the park at 150th and Riverside Drive. It was that benefit that brought us together on a very solid footing," the mother of three, former actress and Chicago native explained. "It was like family from the beginning!"
See more images from the chic event in the accompanying gallery!