APLA Art Project

Where can you steal art?

At the APLA Art Project.


It’s true.   Saturday, September 17, 2016, a select audience of celebrities, artists and supporters attended a lavish party at Bonham’s Art Auction on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.  Under the diligent eyes of the guards,  patrons strolled alleys of fine art, jewelry, gift packages and sculpture.  It was astounding.  Despite the guards you could almost steal an artwork for a fraction of the value.  Works from famous artists such as Salvadore Dali, Peter Max, Marvel Comics, David Hockney, William Wegman, Cartier, and Keith Harding were auctioned to the highest bidder.  Los Angeles’ artists’, Todd Squires, Curtis Cox, Jennifer Bentson, Michael Becker, Keryl Kris Reinike,  Stacia Gates, and Christo displayed their artwork for auction as well.  The proceeds from this event will make a tremendous difference to the APLA Health organization.


Every year APLA hosts the Art Project at Bonham’s, an internationally renowned Auction House. Bonham’s hosts auctions of fine art, memorabilia, scripts, jewelry, estates, and fine furniture.  It only takes a credit card to register to buy an auction item.


Guests and artists were ready for an evening of life in Los Angeles with an altruistic meaning.  I met artist Curtis Cox, who specializes in neon art.  He was featured with his tribute called “Transgender” photographed here with me.

Curtis Cox has been an artist since he was a little kid.  His piece at the show embodied the cycle of life, from the multicolored column which represents all the different types of people, to the path of each individual through life.  He was inspired by his neighbor who faced the issues of Transgender.  This piece and Curtis were just one of elements of the APLA Art Party.


Shawnn Morris Slaughter created a wonderful iconic piece with a photo of Nancy Reagan.  He said that the name for this piece, “Miss Spoken”, came from an event.  Here is what Shawnn says about his piece:



(Mixed Media)

BY: Shawnn Morris Slaughter


When First Lady, Nancy Reagan, the wife of the 40th President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, died in March of 2016, Hillary Clinton, wife of 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, made some remarks about Mrs. Reagan in an interview.


HILLARY CLINTON: “And because of both President and Mrs. Reagan, in particular Mrs. Reagan, we started a national conversation, when before nobody would talk about it. Nobody wanted to do anything about it. And, you know, that too is something that I really appreciate with her very effective low-key advocacy, but it penetrated the public conscience and people began to say, hey, we have to do something about this too.”


The next day, Mrs. Clinton clarified her remarks about Mrs. Reagan.


HILLARY CLINTON: “While the Reagan’s were strong advocates for stem cell research and finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, I misspoke about their record on HIV and AIDS,”


In the artist’s mind, Mrs. Clinton’s comments conjured an image of an old, aging and crackling icon, in a huge cathedral, of Mrs. Reagan dressed in medieval garb, with a red ribbon on her tunic and an aura of red ribbons around her head, waving a rainbow flag. The piece was going to originally be titled, “Saint Nancy,” but given the Clinton remark, the actual title was found to be much more appropriate. The image in the artist’s head was a result of a misspoken remark. Thus, the image of the subject of the remark that the artist created is Miss Spoken!


The food from Wild Thyme was unbelievable.  I found items I had never seen before, grapes that looked elongated like tiny Japanese eggplants, Rambutans,

Long crispy things for the elegant cheeses, Kobe beef sliders, home grown basil on the bruschetta, and a really full bar. There was pumpkin enhanced Baileys, Napa Cabernet, Champagne, and any mixed drink that a parrot head would enjoy. If your spouse wasn’t interested in the art, the food and drinks were a must.




Stacia Gates is the hub of the Art Community.  Here she is with her painting, “No More Fear” which she has dedicated to her brother who passed away from HIV/AIDS.  Stacia not only paints but is the owner of Art Quench Magazine, which features artists from all over the world in print and on the internet.




Walid Khalaf finds painting a way to express and move through his experience as a survivor of 911. Walid said he lived in the area of the twin towers at the time of the bombing and remembers the horrific scenes of destruction.  In his painting “Weep No More” he dedicates the painting to his New York friends, David Magee and Larry Rodriguez.  The weeping tree is an internal symbol to the artist.





Next to Walid Khalaf is Eugene Huffman also known as liebeKunst.  The inspiration and dedication of this painting is to the brothers and sisters lost in Orlando, Florida this year.  Eugene Huffman (liebeKunst) exhibits his artwork throughout Los Angeles.





Olmo Rios is a new comer to the APLA Art Project.  He is a silkscreen artist who is pursuing a career in the arts.  This silkscreen print featured here is one of many in a series. It features the Lucha Libre figher, Santo, who stood for justice and the fight against evil.




APLA Health has a mission to achieve health care equity and promote well-being for the LGBT and other underserved communities and people living with and affected by HIV.  APLA provides support through groceries from eight food pantries, home health services, HIV prevention services, health education, dental and medical care.


The APLA Health Art Project is a great event and party for everyone involved.  I personally enjoyed the opportunity to speak with the artists and see their artwork.  Every artist present was a delight to meet and learn about their muse.  Yes, you could really steal some artwork. Considering that the check you write is a donation to APLA Health, this event is a win-win for everyone.  The artwork is fantastic, the folks are friendly and the food is tremendous.  All around this is a 5 star event.



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