100 Pieces art show at Deutsch’s Steelhead Studios raises $70,000 for Safe Place for Youth

By Christina Campodonico

100 Pieces founders Amy and Pete Favat, Melissa Ross and Chris Buzzell (top left) assembled an eclectic array of artworks by established and emerging artists to benefit SPY
Photos by ZsuZsi Steiner

Local artists and ad agency creatives came together at Deutsch’s Steelhead Studios on Nov. 30 for the third annual 100 Pieces charity art show and silent auction. This year’s event displayed 204 donated works of art and raised $70,000 for Venice-based homeless services nonprofit Safe Place for Youth (SPY).

As beer and wine flowed, prospective art buyers could make bids from their smartphones and mingle amid artworks by big names like Shepard Fairey as well as emerging local artists.

Deutsch Chief Creative Officer Pete Favat, his wife Amy, talent manager Melissa Ross and designer Chris Buzzell started 100 Pieces three years ago and partnered with SPY — where Amy volunteers and serves on the board of directors — as a way to showcase hidden artistic talent within local ad agencies and harness it for a good cause.

“A lot of the creatives in advertising and production went to art school, and they went to journalism school. They went there to be artists, and they went to be writers and painters and graphic designers. But then, when you get a job in the business, you get overwhelmed because there’s so much work you have to do professionally that you kind of give up your side art — your passion,” Pete Favat said. “We wanted to bring that talent out into the open.

“The other thing is, all these agencies, we all compete against each other, and we wanted to create a night where there is no competition, where everyone comes together for a great cause,” he said.

The name “100 Pieces” stems from the four founders’ ambitious goal to assemble 100 pieces of art in just two weeks for the silent auction’s inaugural show three years ago.

“We thought we’d get 100 people [involved] and maybe 100 pieces of art,” Pete Favat said. “We got about 300 people and 150 pieces.”

Deutsch employee and photographer Benjmain Morris, who also happens to volunteer with SPY, was excited to donate one of his photographs to this year’s benefit.

“When I heard that they were having an event here, and I work here, my worlds just collided and I was like, ‘Well, I have to be involved,’” Morris said.

Over the years, the Favats, Ross and Buzzell have not only recruited artists and collectors from within local ad agencies to contribute to 100 Pieces, they have also invited artists from all over the Westside, Los Angeles and even Instagram to participate.

Todd Westphal, a photographer based in Mar Vista (or “East Venice,” as he likes to call it), contributed a pastel-hued, aerial photograph of the Santa Monica Pier to this year’s show. Seeing homelessness abound on Rose and Pacific avenues in Venice, as well as volunteering with SPY, compelled him to donate his piece.

“SPY is a pretty awesome thing. They’ve been growing and doing some really amazing things for the community,” Westphal said. “The idea of having my piece in somebody’s house that they enjoy, that’s butter on top of all of it.”