The Gordon Parks Foundation, dedicated to preserving the work and legacy of Gordon Parks and other photographers, filmmakers and artists, held its Awards Dinner and Auction Tuesday, June 2, at Cipriani Wall Street in downtown Manhattan. The event honored individuals who have dedicated their lives to the arts.
Attendees included Swizz Beatz, Usher, Janelle Monáe, Alex Wek, Kehinde Wiley, Gayle King, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert De Niro, Grace Hightower De Niro, JR, Hill Harper, Soledad O’Brien, and Ronald Perelman, among many others.
Honorees of the awards included Grammy-winning artist/entertainer Usher Raymond IV, introduced by Ronald Perelman; photographer and artist known for his public art JR, introduced by Swizz Beatz; influential visual artist Thornton Dial, introduced by Hill Harper; and head of Kering Americas Laurent Claquin, introduced by Aimee Mullins. Whoopi Goldberg also presented Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower De Niro with the second annual Gordon Parks Patron of the Arts Award. The evening’s co-chairs included Alicia Keys, Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander Soros and Kaseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean.
“[The gala] was a true testament to the legacy of Mr. Parks and his long lasting impact on the art world and the next generation of artists,” said Peter Kunhardt Jr., executive director of the Gordon Parks Foundation.
The evening commenced with a performance of several songs by Pharrell Williams. The evening also included a live auction, featuring photographs by Gordon Parks by Hugh Hildesley, Sotheby’s.