The Lunchbox Fund (www.thelunchboxfund.org
), a non-profit organization dedicated to providing a daily meal for impoverished and at-risk students in South African township high schools, recently held its inaugural bookfair fundraiser, auctioning off unique, one-of-a-kind books, prints and book objects, hand created by a collection of artists, celebrities and newsmakers at Del Posto Ristorante in New York City. The auction continues online at lunchboxfundbookfair.com
through March 31st, and includes a contribution from Sting!
Event lead sponsor was Dr. Nicholas Perricone, world-renowned healthy aging expert and one of the country’s leading dermatologists and nutritionists. In attendance at Del Posto were event co-hosts Michael Stipe and Salman Rushdie, as well as Maggie Betts, Jennifer Carpenter, David Chang, Helena Christensen, Chuck Close, Alan Cumming, Mike D and Tamra Davis, John Demsey, Todd Diciurcio, Ann Dexter-Jones, Paul Du Toit, Philip Glass, Bob Gruen, Zani Gugelman, Paul Haggis, Jay McInerney, Anouk Lepere, Courtney Love, Piper Perabo, Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Parker Posey, Rain Phoenix, Mick Rock, Mickey Sumner and more.
Alan Cumming graced the crowd with a short set with help from his musical director Lance Horne on the piano. Additional event sponsors included Belvedere Vodka, Moét & Chandon, vegan snack Pure Bar, and global advertising agency Tribal DDB.
Lunchbox Fund founder, Topaz Page-Green brought together more than a dozen well-known artists and individuals to create the handmade books and book objects for the first of its kind auction, which it hopes to continue annually.
Each book is unique in terms of its format, size, structure and content. Contributors and collaborators include:
• Sir Ben Kingsley
• Photographer Bob Gruen and Yoko Ono
• Chuck Close
• Deepak Chopra
• Archbishop Desmond Tutu illustrated by Paul Du Toit
• Hugh Masekela
• Mario Batali with linocuts by Jim Dine
• Michael Stipe
• Dr. Nicholas Perricone, M.D.
• An original score by Philip Glass
• Salman Rushdie short story with illustrations by Francesco Clemente
• Tony and Kelsey Bennett
• Photographer Mick Rock and Shepard Fairey
The books, prints and book objects, combine various forms of mixed media. In every case, each book or book object was created from scratch with the artist collaborating with Ruth Lingen, noted print and book maker and a veteran of Pace Prints (www.paceprints.com) at her studio in Brooklyn.
The books include: a limited edition cookbook with recipes by Chef Mario Batali and linocuts created by artist Jim Dine; a photo album of prints of John Lennon and Yoko Ono by rock photographer Bob Gruen, handpicked and individually inscribed by Ono; an original short story by Salman Rushdie with illustrations by Francesco Clemente; an original photo series by Chuck Close; a collection of his favorite film quotes by Sir Ben Kingsley; a handwritten score by composer Philip Glass; handwritten text and drawings from Hugh Masekela; handwritten meditations by Deepak Chopra, handwritten quotes from Archbishop Desmond Tutu illustrated by South African artist Paul Du Toit; a series of photos and prints of David Bowie, Joey Ramone and Joan Jett by photographer Mick Rock and artist Shepard Fairey and a vellum cylinder with hand inscribed lyrics by Sting; a photo box created by Tony and Kelsey Bennett and more.
“The books are great, The Lunchbox Fund is great, the people are great, the artists are great,” said event co-host Michael Stipe. “This is mind-blowing to see all of these great talents collaborate for such a great cause.”
"I'm grateful for the time, energy, creativity and effort each artist has brought to the project to further the mission of The Lunchbox Fund,” said Topaz Page-Green, Director and Founder of The Lunchbox Fund. “It has been so wonderful to work with each creator as they all understand that they are truly making a difference in each of these children's lives, and for the students to know that they can aspire to be one of the next leading artist, musician or chef.”
“It was an honor for me to be a part of this event and to be among so many esteemed and talented colleagues, who have taken time out of their busy lives to support this extraordinary outreach. I would also like to congratulate Topaz for her outstanding commitment and success with The Lunchbox Fund. Both are living proof that one inspired and dedicated person can sow the seeds of change and help an increasingly hungry world,” said Dr. Nicholas Perricone, Board Certified Dermatologist and Certified Nutrition Specialist.
Three books were a part of the event's live auction directed by noted auctioneer Lydia Fenet of Christies. The Chuck Close book fetched $110,000. The original short by Salman Rushdie with illustrations by Francesco Clemente netted $17,000 and the book by Archbishop Desmond Tutu with illustrations by South African artist Paul Du Toit sold for $11,000. The Bookfair auction will continue up to and including March 31st online at lunchboxfundbookfair.com. Kraig Jarrett Johnson and Julie Panebianco are credited for the concept of the book fair.
Proceeds from the auction will go towards providing daily meals for school children in South Africa with the help of Pure Bar, a brand passionate about creating delicious products made with simple and, wholesome ingredients. Many of these children are AIDS orphans running child-headed households, who have to make a choice to either eat or go to school. Often, this is their only meal of the day. Founded in 2005 by South African native Topaz Page-Green, The Lunchbox Fund is committed to providing students with access to nutrition, and is passionate about what food can do to lift people out of poverty, while keeping a keen eye on sustainability and a green environment.