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WrestleManiArt brightens Houston
Art with an attitude hit Houston Wednesday night. Several Superstars and Divas showed off their artistic talents at the 2nd annual WrestleManiArt event, stylishly kicking off WrestleMania week in Space City. (Red Carpet Photos | Event Photos)
After a press-filled red carpet to remember, Houstonian artists and benefactors joined Houston Mayor Bill White, as well as WWE CEO Linda McMahon, at the Julia Ideson Building in downtown Houston to celebrate the artistic talents of the WWE Superstars and Divas, who mingled with the crowd of several hundred throughout the historic building. Works of art, including paintings, mixed media collages and cartoons, were auctioned off to benefit the Houston Public Library Foundation.
"This particular room in Houston has seen quite a bit in its 10 years of service -- it's one of our greatest historic buildings. But I think this is a first where we have the Superstars and Divas of WrestleMania along with library philanthropists and fans of libraries and WrestleMania," smiled Mayor White.
Artworks were donated by Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Eve, Nikki & Brie Bella, Natalya, World Tag Team Champion The Miz, JTG, Santino Marella, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Vickie Guerrero, Kung Fu Naki, Mr. Kennedy, Hornswoggle, and WWE Hall of Famers Tony Atlas and Jerry "The King" Lawler. Throughout the evening, the Superstars and Divas mingled with the crowd, posed for photos and conversed with members of the WWE Universe. Eve and Marella were even spotted drawing with a few young WWE fans.
"This is a really fun event tonight here. I look at our wonderful Superstars and undoubtedly you've been able to see the different paths and the different sides of these multi-talented men and women who are a part of WWE," said McMahon. "They've created their own special artwork for tonight which they're donating which will be auctioned and all the proceeds will go to benefit the Houston Public Library. It is part of their own personal philanthropy to do this."
Highlights included Phoenix's "Female Legends of Wrestling" painting depicting Sensational Sherri, Fabulous Moolah and Miss Elizabeth; Kung Fu Naki's "Happy WrestleMania" rice paper art; and Hornswoggle's "Hornswoggle's World" WWE Superstars sketch which included autographs by John Cena, Rey Mysterio and CM Punk, to name a few. These works, and many more, fetched hundreds of dollars each at auction.
During WrestleManiArt, Lawler sketched a superhero-like, black-and-white drawing of WWE Champion Triple H, which went for $550 during the auction. WrestleManiArt-goers were also treated to live painting display by Jeff Hardy. At the end of the evening, his giant face painting was auctioned for $1350 to one lucky member of the WWE Universe.
"The regular thing I do is faces -- abstract faces. I was a little uncomfortable not having spray paint, because I usually spray paint something that big. I had to use brushes and sponges and acrylic paint. So I'm not super satisfied with it, but $1350's not bad. The canvas probably cost $150 so I'm pretty satisfied!" Jeff Hardy told WWE.com.
What was his inspiration for the colorful piece?
"Imagination is pretty much it. It's basically just in my mind and I bring it to life on canvas."