The Chelsea Hotel Grand Ballroom will be the scene of a grand evening of art in honor of legendary resident Storme DeLarverie. Stormé Delarverié is a 87-year-old former cross-dressing torch singer, gay rights activist and one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet. Here's how Storme told me her story. “I’ve got a story!” Stormé exclaimed, “I chopped off my hair, put on men’s clothes, and joined the Jewel Box Review!” The Jewel Box Review was a multi-racial drag revue that toured the country in the fifties, sixties and seventies. The only female member of the troupe, Stormé served as stage manager, musical arranger, emcee and “mother” of the troupe for fourteen years. (Portrait of Storme by Anthony Zito)
Chelsea Hotel artist Susan Olmetti, who organized the evening, along with other Chelsea Hotel residents and artists, is donating one of her vibrant whimsical paintings (5' x 5' acrylic on canvas), titled "Mr. Minkel", for sale at the art show with the proceeds to the non-profit Stonewall Veterans Association. Another painting, a specially commissioned tribute portrait of Storme is by acclaimed artist Anthony Zito. That intuitive painting is being presented as a gift to Storme. During the three-hour soiree, Zito will apply his artful mastery to paint his critically acclaimed 7-Minute Watercolor Portraits - a signature quick-draw style, of anyone who is willing. Portraits painted at the event will be available for sale that evening. Works by photographers Lisa Ackerman and Sam Bassett will also be on display. Music will be provided by Tsakwe Ibrahim.
Additionally, according to Ms. Olmetti, Stanley Bard will be presented with a portrait in appreciation of his support of the arts. The portrait was painted by Steven Fisher.
Stop by the Chelsea Hotel Grand Ballroom from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., Thursday, August 21.
The Chelsea Hotel is located at 222 West 23rd Street. The closest subway stops are the "1", "C", "E", "F" and "Q". Times are symbolic from "6" to "9" p.m. as in Stonewall '69. On display (shown below with Storme) will be the 1969 "Stonewall Car". To r.s.v.p., please telephone Storme's "Baby Boi" AnDre Christie at (212) 627-1969. Beverages will be provided by Drink Purple.