At the Free Arts NYC 8th Annual Art Auction Benefit at the Milk Gallery on Monday, April 23, stars discussed the power of the arts with the Transom.
“Well, just always to encourage someone to seek a creative life is wonderful,” said a glowing Naomi Watts, whose dress, by Australian designer Stephanie Conley, gracefully draped her burgeoning pregnant belly. The 38-year-old actress added that she appreciates Live Arts for helping those “struggling with problems.” Then she sent someone to fetch her boyfriend, Liev Schreiber–beelining for the bar–so that they could take off early.
“I grew up in a household with a lot of music, and I know that Free Arts isn’t necessarily about music, but that was a huge thing for me in my life,” said the radiant actress Liv Tyler, 29, who co-chaired the event with Scarlett Johanssen (a no-show). “And creativity in general, especially with my son”–Milo!–“you know, we paint or we draw and we play with Play-Doh and we dance and sing and perform things, and it’s such a big part of a child’s expression, and there’s a lot of children in the city, even in the schools, there’s no access to that whatsoever.”
Does the brunette beauty have a favorite artist? “I don’t! I’m terrible!” Ms. Tyler said. “I don’t know that much about art, I mean, I’m very in awe of it. I mean, I love Van Gogh, I really always have, but my husband knows a lot about art and he shows me things.”
In complete contrast to Ms. Tyler’s delicate whisper, the stylist Rachel Zoe, 35, was practically vibrating as she hollered at friends standing at the far end of the bar.
“I grew up with it,” she said of Art. “My parents are collectors, so I came up with it since I came out of the womb. It’s important on every level-for education, for culture, for understanding pop culture, it’s history, I mean, it’s everything, it’s a huge influence.”
Perhaps not so much on socialite Tinsley Mortimer, flying solo in a white dress, who chatted for a bit with Derek Blasberg and his mini-me pal, former Vogue-temp Lyle Maltz, before making like Ms. Watts and leaving (Liev-ing?). Ms. Mortimer said that she was not giving any interviews “tonight.”
How about tomorrow, then?