The Olana State Historic Site is the renowned home, studio, farm and landscape designed by talented Hudson River School painter Frederic E. Church, who died in 1900. It houses several of Church’s paintings as well as numerous objects he collected over time, and is an aesthetic beauty on its own, with its distinct and unique landscape designed by Church himself.
Aside from sheltering Church’s works and collections, Olana runs programs which foster creativity and encourage the exploration of art, architecture, language arts and the environment. Olana has also set up the Olana Partnership, which is the non-profit branch of the Olana State Historic Site that aims to conserve and restore the Olana site and its works.
On Thursday May 23, 2013, 262 guests, including restaurateur Danny Meyer, screenwriter Tony Gilroy and other well known figures such as Liv Rockefeller and Maurice Berger gathered as the Olana Partnership held the Frederic E. Church Award Gala, a celebration of art, landscape and culture. This year’s Gala commemorated the Extraordinary American Landscape and honored two remarkable individuals: Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and Stephen Hannock, an eminent contemporary landscape painter for their contributions to transforming perceptions of American art.
The Gala was held at the New York Public Library and was catered by Union Square Events. English rock legend,
philanthropist and art collector Sting, spoke fondly about his close friend Mr. Hannock and presented his award. Illustrious Bulgarian artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff (more commonly known as Christo) was also in attendance and he delivered remarks about Ms. Broun and presented her award.
In addition to the awards, the Gala consisted of a Benefit Auction led by Sotheby’s Vice Chairman, David Redden. Stephen Hannock’s polished acrylic painting Niagara Falls, was among one of the auctioned pieces and the event helped to raise almost $800,000 for the Olana Partnership, paving the way for the continued success of the Olana Partnership in its efforts to conserve the Olana State Historic Site and cultivate creativity in the arts.