Artist G.D. Garner teams with Ruth’s Chris and Silver for fundraiser
November 11, 2014
Well-renowned writer and artist G.D. Garner has experienced more than many people do in two lifetimes.
Among his adventures, Garner has hiked Mount Everest, experienced the heat of Death Valley, stalked big prey (with a camera) in Africa and visited the ancient Mayan ruins in South America.
A few years ago, he stopped his travels long enough to visit Park City during the Sundance Film Festival. After that, he relocated to Los Angeles, California, and worked as an artist-in-residence for a couple of clothing companies.
All of this is chronicled in his self-published book called "Through the Eyes of Madness," which is available on amazon.com. Proceeds from the book will help educate underprivileged children in the areas he has lived in the world.
After Garner moved to Park City 4½ months ago, he decided he wanted to give something back to the town.
So he has teamed with Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Silver Restaurant for an event on Saturday, Nov. 15, to raise funds for the Egyptian Theatre’s Save Our Banksy campaign, which will benefit its YouTheatre program.
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The idea sprouted when Garner began doodling on Ruth’s Chris and Silver menus.
"Everything I draw or create, I do in public," Garner told The Park Record. "I would sit in bars, on buses or in pubs, whatever, and doodle in my journals.
"Since I had been crazy busy lately, I haven’t been carrying my journals around lately and I started minimizing things," he said. "I would put two or three pens and a piece of paper in my pocket, but then I realized I didn’t really need that. I would go to a restaurant and ask for a print of a menu and a pen and just start drawing."
In doing this, Garner made friends with the bartenders at Ruth’s Chris and Silver.
"This guy I worked with, Brent Beckett, came up with an idea of introducing me to Park City and I said if we can do something charitable, I would do it," Garner said.
The artist, who has spent most of his career involved in promoting children’s education, heard about the YouTheatre program.
"We found out the rehearsal area that was located at the basement of the Park City Mall that was torn down," Garner said. "I thought it was a cool cause. So, we decided to raise money for that through the Save Our Banksy project."
Garner and Beckett decided to find a place where Garner could auction some prints and unique works off to raise money.
"We will do a lunchtime showing during the day at Ruth’s Chris from 1 p.m. to about 3 p.m., and then head up to Silver for a cocktail party and at 5 p.m., we’ll auction a piece off. And sell some cheaper prints."
Peter Marcy, assistant manager at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, said Garner was a regular and became friends with the bartenders over the past few months.
"He started drawing on our menus and we got to know him and realized how big an artist he was," Marcy said.
The afternoon event, which will serve as an artist reception at Ruth’s Chris, works out because the restaurant began serving lunch in March.
"This will give G.D. the chance to introduce himself and showcase his art," Marcy said. "It will also be a great time for people to pick his brain, because he has a lot going on up there, and it will give people a sense of his art and what it’s about."
The restaurant will offer a special two-for-one lunch promotion and will donate one dollar for every lunch served to the fundraiser, according to Marcy.
"Our bartenders have also come up with a special cocktail in G.D.’s honor that will be served as well," he said.
"The cocktail is a vodka cocktail with cucumber and jalapeno and a little simple syrup and a splash of soda," Marcy said. "We haven’t come up with a name for it, yet, but it’s something they’ve put together and I think it’s awesome."
After the afternoon festivities, the party will head up to Silver, said Willie Rosenthal, the restaurant’s assistant general manager.
Rosenthal met Garner in a similar way Marcy did.
"G.D. has come in regularly to our lounge and he and the bartenders became friends," Rosenthal said. "G.D. came to us about the fundraiser because he felt we would be a good place to facilitate the auction."
In addition to the auction, Silver’s Executive Chef Serge Smith will prepare four special, fast apps, or hors d’oeuvres.
"One will be a fresh salad made with Belgian endives, which is like a cup you can pick up," Smith said. "It will feature Bartlett pears, peas, fermented red beets and a vinaigrette sauce with Meyer lemon."
Afterwards, the chef will serve sliders made with short ribs, pimenton barbecue sauce, pickled onion and Muenster cheese.
"We’ll follow that with miniature pot pies made with goat, curry spices and a puff pastry," Smith said. "Then we’ll serve a fish dish, baccala mantecato, which is more of a traditional preservation technique with cod. It will be whipped into a mousse with a boiled potato, crostini and wasabi green."
Since the event at Silver is a cocktail party, the mixologists have come up with two specialties, named in the spirit of art, Rosenthal said.
"The cocktails are called The Scribbler and Paint Numbers," he said.
Adding some flair to the cocktail party, DJ J-Pan, Silver’s house DJ, will perform. "He is also doing his part to donate his time to the event," Rosenthal said.
Both Ruth’s Chris and Silver know the importance of getting involved with the community and this split fundraiser is the perfect way to give something back.
"We like to be a part of anything that gives back to the community, particularly something as iconic as the Egyptian Theatre," Rosenthal said.
"This is something our way of giving back to the town who have shown their support to us," Marcy said.
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Silver Restaurant will host artist G.D. Garner in a split fundraiser on Saturday, Nov. 15. The artist reception and art viewing will be held from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. at Ruth’s Chris and the auction and cocktail party will be held at Silver from 5 p.m. until close. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/ruthschrissteakhouseparkcity , http://www.silverrestaurant.com and http://www.gdgarner.com.
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