LA Artist Gets the Red Carpet Treatment

A chance encounter transforms this artist's life and makes his dreams come true.

LA Artist Gets the Red Carpet Treatment | A chance encounter transforms this artist's life and makes his dreams come true.

Life can change in an instant. For Richard Hutchins, a random encounter turned his life around. Hutchins met a stranger outside a grocery store who asked him to describe his vision, then helped him make his dream a reality.

This incredible story happened outside ‘Rock and Roll’ Ralphs on Sunset Boulevard, according to CBS Los Angeles. Hutchins, who was homeless and had been living in Skid Row, was sitting there atop a shopping cart when a jeep pulled into the parking lot. “Hey, nephew,” he called out. “Let me drive that car!”

This comment initiated a conversation that turned his life around in an instant. The driver behind the wheel of the jeep was none other than Charlie “Rocket” Jabaley.  A Grammy and Emmy-award winning hip-hop artist, Jabaley also built up stars including rapper 2Chainz and hip hopper Travis Porter.

Jabaley had decided to dedicate his life to helping others, founding a non-profit organization called the Dream Machine Foundation. So when Jabaley asked Hutchins to describe his personal dream, he replied that he wanted to be a successful artist and make the world happy. “I want to see somebody look at my art and be inspired,” Hutchins told CBS.

That was all Jabaley needed to hear. He bought him art supplies so he could start painting and built him the Richard Hutchins Studio website to promote his work.

It turns out that Hutchins was once a famous painter, selling his work to the stars. His work hung on the walls of Burt Reynolds, Marvin Gaye, Muhammed Ali, Richard Pryor, Robert De Nero, and Halle Berry, according to the CBS video. After Hutchins ran into hard times and then his studio burned to the ground, he found himself homeless.

With canvas, paints, and renewed inspiration, Hutchins set to work painting. Meanwhile, Jabaley continued to reestablish Hutchins in the art world. On June 24, 2021, he held a Red Carpet art exhibit that was attended by hundreds of guests at the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills.

When Jabaley first unveiled the sign publicizing this gala event in front of Hutchins, the artist was teary-eyed, deeply touched by the heart-felt kindness giving him a new lease on life. The gala drew 500 people, excitedly taking photos of him and shouting his name in encouragement as he arrived, according to The Guardian.

As Hutchins’ art was posted on the new website, it sold instantly. He made $50,000 in sales in the first four hours and $100,000 in the first five days, according to Dream Machine.

Oprah Winfrey was one of the purchasers, explaining to Hutchins that he was not charging enough, according to CBS. Winfrey said to Hutchins on a zoom call, “I saw something, like an Angela Davis portrait, it’s like $150. Listen, I’m gonna pay $1,500 for that, because it needs to be at least ten times what you’re asking for.”

The art sales have brought him off the street, however he will never forget where he came from. He wants to bring awareness to all of those who are living in Skid Row, many of whom once had regular lives and have fallen into hard times.

“I feel fantastic!” Hutchins said on the video. He is already planning on paying it forward and is setting up a foundation to help the homeless in LA, according to The Guardian. He plans to call it the Jess Hutchins Foundation after his late mother. “I need to carry the torch so much needs to be done and I’m going to use my art to do it,” he said.

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