Spring Cheers Socialites!

There's art and then there is A-R-T! Mighty, Outrageous, Significant announcements of expression and beauty. This issue celebrates that spirit with our Gala-Gram from Luminescence - The ARTrageous Gala for Scottsdale Arts and a birthday party in the valley for Vincent van Gogh (169 years) with Carefree Spirits Distillery and CHAKRA Vodka. Meet artist Alexandra Houx Grounds as she talks about her inspiration from watching Gossip Girl and her latest NFT collection. Julian Schnabel returns with his latest velvet paintings and a peek into artists' studios imagined by artist Damian Elwes and a glimpse of artistic expression in the desert with Harry.



Scottsdale, Arizona

LUMINESCENCE The ARTrageous Gala for Scottsdale Arts has returned and this year the event was held at Scottsdale Stadium while Scottsdale Civic Center is undergoing renovations. Gala co-chairs, Oscar De las salas and Anita Lang greeted guests at the end of a very long red carpet that welcomed attendees with Quixotic Fusion, an innovative performance art collective that provided brilliant interactive art displays, fantastical creatures and cirque-style performances throughout the evening. The ARTrageous Gala benefits dynamic and diverse performances, exhibitions and arts education and outreach programs presented by Scottsdale Arts through its four branches - Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Musuem of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation - and two signature events: Scottsdale Arts Festival & Canal Convergence.

Julian Schnabel's Latest Velvet Paintings

Pace LA gallery, Los Angeles

photos from Los Angeles Magazine

Julian Schnabel's first velvet surface paintings appeared in the 1980s in a series of black velvet depictions of fellow artists Andy Warhol, Joe Glasco and Stavros Niarchos. At age 70 today - Julian Schnable's star-studded opening inaugurates Pace LA gallery with his latest ethereal velvet paintings "For ESME’ - with Love & Squalor".

Famous Artists' Studios
by Damian Elwes

left to right: Gauguin, Calder, Haring, Monet, Matisse, Hockney, Picasso, Miro and Kahlo

Paintings of famous artists' studios by acclaimed British artist Damian Elwes created over the course of many years have recently been made available as limited-edition prints. Elwes states "My paintings peer into private spaces where artists have used their creativity and imagination to change the way we perceive the world."

Alexandra Houx Grounds
Portraits as large as her message

photography by David Lee - Paparazzo Film

all images courtesy of Alexandra Houx Grounds

Artist Alexandra Houx Grounds has taken large-scale portraiture oil painting into new realms of representation. As a young female artist, she embraces empowerment while maintaining her expression of femininity. Alexandra describes her style as a mixture between photorealism, surrealism, and pop art. “I'm very inspired by the strong women around me, which is the theme of most of my work. I also paint female icons that speak to me.” Alexandra’s work is currently displayed at the World Trade Center in NYC, at Castello Di Ugento Museum in Italy, as well as exhibitions in multiple galleries nationally. Currently, Alexandra lives in New York City and attends Columbia University where she is finishing her last semester as a visual arts major. “Honestly, being in New York City can be very distracting as a student because of so many opportunities going on all over the place, especially in the art world. I took a semester off halfway through because I had a big solo show in New York. I’m ready to graduate and just dive in and focus on my work.”

It was Alexandra’s sophomore year of high school when she somewhat randomly discovered her passion while watching the TV show Gossip Girl. The show had humongous oil paintings all over the walls of the set and she became obsessed with them. Alexandra researched the artist of these paintings, Richard Phillips, and convinced her art teacher to allow her to create a 6-by-8-foot painting of Grace Kelly even though she wasn’t a real painter yet. “I just kind of went for it and it ended up being something I fell in love with. This first painting is one of my most well-known pieces.” From there Alexandra took as many art classes as she could and ended her senior year with a show at Exeter in their gallery. She attached a photo of her painting and sent it to Richard Phillips. “I was like, I am your biggest fan. I discovered your work on Gossip Girl and I just want you to know that you've inspired me to create large paintings and find my passion.” She invited him to Exeter with no expectation of a response but within a couple of days, he replied that he would love to come to her school and meet her. “It was just like a dream come true. He gave a big presentation of his work and then he came to the Art Department to meet with the art students.” Alexandra ended up working for Richard Phillips in New York, taking a year off before college to concentrate on painting, which led to gallery shows in NYC and the art world opening up for her.

Alexandra currently has two new projects - an NFT collection called the “Tongue Tied Society” which is a generative collection of 1,040 editions of her artwork of which she describes, “I hand-painted about 120 different layers and when people go to buy them, they are randomly generated so you don’t know what card you will draw." The goal is to create the strongest community of creatives in Web3, and she is well on her way. She also had a successful launch in New York of her new fashion brand based on her artwork HOUX Art-à-Porter – leather jackets she created with her paintings on the back. “I have three styles. One of them is silver and has my astronaut painting on the back, which is my favorite, and then [there are] two different black ones. I love the idea of bringing my artwork to other mediums instead of just canvas. I'm always trying to do something new.”

Thank You Alexandra! website:

HOUX Art-à-Porter NFT project:

Russ Lyon Sotheby's and Life in Paradise Valley magazine

We celebrated what would have been Vincent van Gogh's (169th birthday) with CHAKRA VODKA from www.Carefree Spirits Distillery

Harry Styles
"As It Was" -Coachella 2022
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