Tribeca Ball Honors Amy Sherald

After attending the Tribeca Ball for more than a decade, longtime New York Academy of Art supporter Naomi Watts noted that she was running out of wall space to display new acquisitions.

“I like to shop here and celebrate emerging artists,” said Watts from the school’s lobby on Tuesday night. “I brought a friend who’s looking to shop as well tonight — she’s just moving into her new house. I don’t really have that much wall space left.”

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The annual gala fundraiser, sponsored by Van Cleef & Arpels, kicked off with an extended cocktail hour, during which NYAA artists’ studios were open to the VIP crowd. Nearly all of the work on view was for sale, offering guests including Kate Capshaw, Nicole Miller, Cynthia Rowley, Bob Colacello, and Zani Gugelmann an opportunity to interact with and support artists early in their careers.

“For some of the artists, this is the first time they’re having a chance to sell any of their art,” said NYAA board member and Tribeca Ball veteran Brooke Shields.

“[This event] is such a celebration of very beautifully diverse talent, and the culmination of so much hard work,” added Shields, who attended with her husband Chris Henchy and their teenage daughter. “There’s an authenticity to it; it’s not prohibitive and too highbrow. You don’t feel intimated if you’re not a thespian of art. Everybody is welcome, and individual taste is celebrated.”

The evening also honored established figurative painter Amy Sherald, whose work — not for sale — was displayed in the school’s foyer. During dinner, NYAA founder Eileen Guggenheim and school president David Kratz presented Sherald with an honorary doctorate. They also unveiled the creation of a scholarship named in honor of her former art professor and mentor Arturo Lindsay.

“I have a confession,” Sherald told the crowd, “I’ve always wanted to say thank you to the academy. So: thank you to the academy. This is my first Tribeca Ball, and it’s pretty exciting.”

Cynthia Rowley and Amy Sherald at the 2023 Tribeca Ball on April 04, 2023 in New York, New York.
Cynthia Rowley and Amy Sherald at the 2023 Tribeca Ball.

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