By Chelsea Martell, Events Coordinator
LA Modernism Opening Night, taking place on Friday, April 25th of this year, is an exciting event for our organization because it is an opportunity for our supporters to experience the innovation and creativity that art has to offer, all while raising money for our nationally recognized arts education programs. Our Design Committee is an integral part of this annual fundraiser, as they serve as ambassadors for art and our compelling cause. They are firm believers that every child should have the chance to experience art, regardless of circumstance. P.S. ARTS is incredibly appreciative to have our Design Committee’s support in our mission to improve children’s lives through arts education.
As a thank you, we wanted to include a special feature about the designers who are a part of this year’s show, as well as share why arts education is so important to them. We are grateful for their work and for being a part of LA Modernism Opening Night 2014!
Elizabeth Barondes and Kelly Morris of Barondes Morris Design
The Barondes Morris Design team creates inviting interiors in a distinctive range of styles. Influenced by Elizabeth’s interest in contemporary architecture and Kelly’s passion for European antiquities, the firm’s unique approach fuses a variety of inspirations to achieve timeless, sophisticated spaces with unexpected twists.
“We feel exposure to the arts is a vital part of any well-rounded curriculum encouraging experimentation, imagination, and self-expression. It is an honor for us to support P.S. ARTS’ mission to improve the lives of children in underserved communities by providing arts education year after year.“
Stephen Block of Inner Gardens
Stephen Block, the owner of Inner Gardens, has been designing and furnishing beautiful residential gardens in Los Angeles and the western states for the last 20 years. In addition to design, Inner Gardens offers one of the largest collections of vintage, modern, and antique garden planters, objects, and furnishings in the country, to both the trade and the public.
“I support arts education because humanity desperately needs the arts to help us maintain a civilized society.”
Lisa Bowles of Roark modern
Roark modern is a luxury level showroom in the heart of Manhattan’s design district. On the sixth floor of a loft building near the East river, we have a mixture of 18th & 19th century antiques and mid-century modern furniture, collected mostly in Europe. Roark has maintained a strong presence on 1st dibs for the past 11 years.
“With a B.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University, the curriculum was far more demanding than I imagined as young woman planning a career in Interior Design. My instructors inspired me to educate myself beyond the classroom and to continue my investigation of art and design throughout my life. This is, in my opinion, the most important quality of arts education. P.S. ARTS is a leader in this field.”
Kristen Buckingham of Kristen Buckingham LLC
Kristen Buckingham LLC brings a distinctly modern and fresh take to designing interiors, putting tasteful personality back into the home and imparting a more comfortable sense of scale to even the largest of spaces. Often looking to the past for inspiration, Kristen’s artisan approach to interior design is apparent in every project. While each space looks effortlessly chic, each room has been carefully composed, fusing modern and traditional elements – creating a timeless and harmonious balance.
“Art education is not a luxury, it is a right. The ability to express oneself creatively is essential and informs us of who we are.”
Martyn Lawrence Bullard of Martyn Lawrence Bullard Design
Martyn Lawrence Bullard is a multi-award-winning Los Angeles-based interior designer and is renowned for his broad range of styles and eclectic, yet sophisticated and always inviting, interiors. Martyn’s extraordinary attention to detail and commitment to quality have won him international acclaim. His work has appeared in over 4000 publications worldwide including Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, House & Garden, Interior Design, W, Vogue, House Beautiful, both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, and many more. His projects are currently featured in 10 coffee table books. Martyn’s first book exclusively covering his work was released by Rizzoli last year. Live, Love, & Decorate gives us a window into the glamorous world of Martyn Lawrence Bullard Design, featuring his dramatic spaces and exquisite eye for detail.
“Art classes of all shapes and form are extremely important to helping create kids’ futures, expand their minds, open up the possibilities of the world, and allow a creative outlet that is our right as humans to exploit, expand, and nurture. Without arts education, America and the world will suffer, and our future generations will lose an understanding and practice that for centuries has been taken for granted. We must support the arts and especially the education process for our children. It is not an option, it is a must! Art not only feeds the imagination – it also feeds the soul.”
Betsy Burnham of Burnham Design
Bringing a traditional east coast pedigree, a savvy eye for color, and an adventurous sense of style, Betsy Burnham curates interiors that are sophisticated, livable, timeless, and always personalized to her clients and their lives. From their Los Angeles studio, the team at Burnham Design continues to create world-class spaces for clients that appreciate a style that is a little bit country club and a little bit rock-and-roll.
“I truly believe that art is an essential part of a well-rounded education. When you engage kids creatively, you spark new ways for them to look at the world around them. Art not only enriches their lives but also encourages freedom of expression and individuality. P.S. ARTS brings art to kids who would not have had this opportunity. Bravo!”
Jamie Bush of Jamie Bush & Co.
Widely admired for his relevant and keen understanding of architecture and design, Jamie approaches each new commission with a discerning and insightful point of view. Growing up in a family of renowned designers, photographers, and artists in New York propelled him to study architecture and design in New Orleans and in Italy. After receiving his Masters in Architecture from Tulane University, Jamie headed west to practice architecture in Los Angeles and founded his own interior design firm in 2002.
He is recognized for his ability to mix period and contemporary furnishings with a fresh and discriminating eye. Layering rich colors and textures with exotic and organic elements transforms each of his spaces into an inviting, modern, and unexpected environment. Jamie’s highly regarded designs have been featured in over 40 publications world wide including Architectural Digest, Interior Design, Casa Vogue, Dwell, Los Angeles Times, as well as several coffee table books.
“The arts in early education is VITALLY important, more now than ever. I can’t imagine going to school today without the opportunity to get lost and ‘make things’ in art class. Young artistic minds require a nurturing, creative outlet; we have to support P.S. ARTS for making arts education their number one priority in Los Angeles.”
Melanie Charlton of Clos-ette
President and Creative Director Melanie Charlton is considered the founding mother of high-end custom closets. Since launching Clos-ette ten years ago, she has worked with over 5,000 clients worldwide to design, build, and organize the most beautiful bespoke closets around. To her, closets and their accessories aren’t just a place to park your wardrobe. They’re her life’s work.
“The simplest answer for me is: Art is good for you. It is good for transforming individuals, communities, and economies. Every person we encounter, every day, whether family or stranger, has a story worth sharing. And those expressions in paint or words or music are our legacy. I support P.S. ARTS because their organization helps ensure our heritage is rich in voice.”
Patrick Dragonette of Dragonette Ltd
Patrick Dragonette established his eponymous showroom in Los Angeles in 1997. Dragonette Ltd has become one of the country’s top resources for high-end mid 20th century design, and has made a name for itself as a go-to source for designers across the country.
“Having grown up at a time when arts programs were never in question, I can’t imagine an education that excludes something that was so vital to my experience.”
Peter Dunham of Hollywood at Home and Peter Dunham Textiles
“[Arts education is meaningful to me because] art is at the root of so much creation and innovation. For that alone it is truly vital to nurture and support the development of artists and artistic exploration. [I support P.S. ARTS because] for us to thrive and evolve as a society we need to study both the humanities as well the sciences. Our public institutions have cut back almost all the funding for arts education. It’s only through the extraordinary efforts of organizations like P.S. ARTS that a generation of children have been exposed to a whole universe outside the barebones school curricula.”
Oliver M. Furth
Native Los Angelino and fourth generation Californian, Interior Designer Oliver M. Furth is a fixture in his city’s design and cultural communities. In addition to his design practice, Furth consults for The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and is the Chair of their Decorative Arts and Design Council. Furth’s design projects and philanthropic work for the design community have received accolades from across his field, including in The Wall Street Journal, Elle Décor, House & Garden, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, The Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post, and C Magazine.
“Art is what pushes society forward. What better place to start pushing than with the youth in our community?”
Trip Haenisch of Trip Haenisch & Associates
Possessing an extraordinary eye for detail and unwavering commitment to style, Trip Haenisch is an award-winning interior designer. Renowned for combining refined creativity with the unexpected, Trip’s signature design aesthetic consists of sophisticated, collected spaces with a laid-back twist that embodies quintessential California living.
“I believe everything begins with education. Arts education is especially important because it gives people an outlet for creativity, self-expression, and communication. The arts have become greatly undervalued in recent years, so it’s really important that we support this area of study.”
Lavin’s interest in design was piqued at a young age, when he would visit the Pacific Palisades home of his grandfather, Richard Irvine, Chief Operating Officer of the Walt Disney Company. Irvine’s creative interests extended to his house, where, among other things, he covered an entire room in silver tea paper and brought over an artist from Japan to paint orientalist scenes on the walls. Forever fascinated by his grandfather’s magical abode, Lavin graduated from UCLA with a degree in art history.
In 1995, he launched a career in showroom sales at the Pacific Design Center. Recognizing that there were many manufacturers of fine residential furnishings that had no showroom representation, Lavin decided that a boutique showplace representing little-known design talents would be favorably received in Los Angeles and he opened his eponymous showroom in 2000 on Beverly Boulevard, at the crossroads of the Avenues of Art & Design. Moving to an 11,000-square-foot showroom in the Pacific Design Center five years later, he now represents a finely edited assortment of furniture, lighting, textiles, and accessories from 60 manufacturers.
Lavin serves on the board of Outfest and supports design community events such as the LA Antiques Show and DIFFA’s Dining by Design.
Regarded by the press as a style maker, he is an avid traveler, reader, and connoisseur of art and fashion.
“Art is to children as breathing is to us all. I believe that children need to exercise their creativity in the arts in order to experience themselves in a profound way; it allows them to express their lives in a way that is not possible otherwise. In a time when society does not support art, it is incumbent upon those of us who can support it to do so. A society without art cannot be fully realized.”
Donna Livingston of Donna Livingston Design
Donna Livingston has paved the way in the Interior Design field for over 30 years with Donna Livingston Design. With timeless, sophisticated taste, Donna’s design style is classy, inviting, and also incredibly detail-oriented. Her ability to transform both residential homes and commercial projects by layering rich textures, colors, and fabrics has placed her on Architectural Digest’s Top 100 Designer List four times.
“Art Is an alternative way to express imagination, creativity, and emotions. Especially when children are young, their language is limited to their artistic abilities as a form of expression. Imagination brings joy to our hearts both young and old.”
Jeffrey Alan Marks of JAM Inc.
Jeffrey Alan Marks is a California-based interior designer and furniture designer who is best known for starring on Bravo TV’s hit show Million Dollar Decorators and for his newly published book, The Meaning of Home. Named one of “the town’s most-wanted decorators” by The Hollywood Reporter, Marks believes in fun and creativity, influences of which can be found in both his work and his own personal style. Marks originally started his career while studying design at the Inchbald School of Design in England. He later lived in Milan and Paris, where he still draws inspiration today. Marks started his own firm, JAM Inc., based in Santa Monica, focusing on both luxury homes and commercial projects. Marks is celebrated internationally by his devoted clientele.
“My parents both worked in public education. From a very early age I was surrounded by the arts, and was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in fine art, photography, and interior design in school, as well as track, soccer, and swimming. All of these things were equally important to me, and helped form me into the designer I am today.”
Alex K. Mason and Brian Ferrick established the Los Angeles-based home interior textile collection Ferrick Mason in 2008. Ferrick Mason is based on the original artwork of Alex K. Mason, whose paintings have been placed in hotels from the Four Seasons in Mexico City to the Atlantis in Dubai. Ferrick Mason is sold throughout the United States and in London, Singapore, Germany, and New Zealand. Ferrick Mason designs appear in House Beautiful, Town & Country, World of Interiors, Luxe Magazine, and many other magazines.
“Visual and performing arts should be an integral part of every child’s education. I fell in love with art in elementary school, and it is the one subject that kept me truly engaged. I can’t imagine my educational experience without the arts. P.S. ARTS means that no matter what your social economic background is, you have a chance to express yourself, explore the arts, and maybe even become an artist!”
Mary McDonald of Mary McDonald Inc.
A celebrated interior designer and one of the stars of Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Decorators and Property Envy. Mary McDonald’s iconic style combines old-world elegance with a bold, modern sensibility. Projects range from the refurbishing of Buster Keaton’s legendary villa to the redesign of Bel Air’s Luxe Hotel to the bold overhaul of the Monika Chiang boutique in Soho. Her first book, Mary McDonald: Interiors: The Allure of Style (2010, Rizzoli), is in its fifth printing with a follow-up due in 2015. Her licensed products range from fabric with F.Schumacher & Co. to furniture with Chaddock Home, lighting with Robert Abbey, and rugs with Patterson Flynn.
“The people of P.S. ARTS are true freedom fighters. They fight to open the door to artistic expression in places that have had it slammed shut. Their work results in better people, better communities, and a better world.”
Lindsay Pennington, a Los Angeles-based decorator, was born and raised in the South. She moved to California nearly a decade ago, where she began cultivating her particular brand of classically designed and comfortable spaces. A former corporate lawyer, Lindsay provides her clients the highest levels of attention to detail and professionalism. Her creative blend of colors, textures, finishes, and details attract a clientele ranging from Los Angeles to New York City.
“Arts education is critical for young minds to build confidence in their ability to express a unique point of view. Being comfortable with openly sharing artistic and creative perspective is necessary for success in so many fields, from architecture, fashion, and interior design to technology, filmmaking, and entrepreneurial business. More importantly, arts education sets the foundation for children to manifest their individuality anywhere and everywhere. I’m proud to support P.S. ARTS in its important mission to provide all children with access to high-quality arts instruction.”
Windsor Smith is an internationally celebrated, Los Angeles-based interior designer known for her innovative approach and bold vision. Windsor’s signature layering style – bringing together the classic with the unexpected – is reflective of her unconventional approach to life and design.
“I am such a strong supporter of P.S. ARTS’ mission. There is nothing more important than creating opportunities to channel the dreams, curiosities, and aspirations of children into art and creativity. They are things that have played such an important role in my own life and particularly in my work. This is especially true for children who may not otherwise have the opportunity and resources to become involved in the arts.“
Jonathan Winslow of Jonathan Winslow Design
Jonathan Winslow Design is an established national residential interior design firm with completed projects across Greater Los Angeles, New York, and Texas.
“’I made that!’ Children exposed to arts education helps promote personal creativity and the confidence of accomplishment. This is then carried throughout their life.”
If you’d like to purchase tickets to LA Modernism Opening Night on April 25th, please click here.