Dr. Murad showing me the finished version of an installment of the “Joy” cycle, which we featured on page 34 of our November issue!

On the evening of October 27, I had the pleasure of mingling with art aficionados and philanthropists at the annual Art of Giving charity gala hosted by wellness pioneer and dermatologist Dr. Howard Murad, and held at Southern California’s Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. The event raised more than $26,000 for local and national charities—and allowed Murad to fully evince his dedication and passion for art.

Murad auctioned off 19 of his own original paintings (his signature style is playful, abstract and marked by liberal use of bright color!), with winning bids going to registered charities of each buyer’s choice; among them City of Hope, the Murad Family Foundation, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, the The Alzheimer’s Association and The Tree Musketeers.

In addition to benefiting the numerous charities selected by winning bidders, Dr. Murad specifically designated funds raised from the show’s centerpiece, “Hope”—a dreamy canvas featuring dense splashes of blue, purple and yellow—for City of Hope, a research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. He previously partnered with the organization earlier this year on “Hydrate for Hope” during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“This event gives me such immense joy,” Murad says. “Not only do I get to share my passion for creating art with the community, but I get to provide an opportunity for numerous deserving charities to raise funds, organize a fun night and do something positive for the world.”

Last year’s inaugural event raised $25,000. Free and open to the public, the gala lends Murad fans and the community an inspirational setting in which to unwind on a weeknight with ample food, wine and complimentary gift bags. (I was happy to nosh on hummus and chat with staff of the Murad Inclusive Health Spa, many of whom were there to show support for their boss.)

Here at DAYSPA, we’re already looking forward to 2012’s Art of Giving event! Dr. Murad had better get busy creating a whole new array of completed and polished paintings—because everything at this gala sold!—Katie O’Reilly

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