What do you get when you combine sneakers, artwork and celebrities in the same room? You get Project Canvas, (CAN Visually Achieve Success), an organization that gives young adults the opportunity to paint their artwork on blank sneakers, customizing each pair and making them especially unique.
On Friday (May 11), Project Canvas held an auction in lower Manhattan’s Opera Gallery. The creative collective had many custom kicks on display designed by some of the hottest celebrities in the entertainment industry. Hosted by the multi-talented Nick Cannon, who also had his own version of Canvas kicks, the event brought out the hipsters, socialites, fashion designers and rappers like Big KRIT and Peter Gunz, to list a few.
Special prize packages were auctioned off exclusively for party attendees. Nick Cannon won the highest bid at $21,000 for an Audemars Piguet Diver’s watch along with its own custom Project Canvas shoe. Another item up for grabs was Mariah Carey with Crystal Icing’s blinged out sneaker which sold for $2,ooo. Carey also appeared in person to support her hubby Nick.
Aside from the celebrities in the room, there were many aspiring art students who also participated in the project. XXL asked one artist, Philadelphia’s Bariq Cobbs, what some of the highlights of the affair were for him and he said, “When Nick and Mariah walked in.” He adds, “Also painting the skateboard and sneakers. The dopest sneakers were MY SNEAKS, Mr.Brainwash.”
100% of the proceeds from the Project Canvas auction will go to the Urban Arts Partnership, an organization that helps troubled youth through art programs attending Title 1 schools in New York City. The public will also have a chance to bid in a week long online auction for shoes designed by their favorite celebs like Ellen DeGeneres and Sponge Bob, among others, during a week long auction. —Chanel Clark