“I always tease him like ‘I just put my dad’s name on my invitation so people will come,’” Bria Murphy joked to Variety. “Anytime I’ve thrown an art show, I’ve usually depended on my family. And this is the first time I’m doing it on my own.”
But the 30-year-old wasn’t totally on her own as both her father and her mother Nicole Murphy were on hand to celebrate the occasion.
“I’m very proud. I’m excited … I love that she’s using materials that are environmentally friendly and she’s thinking about other up and coming artists as well to expose them, so it’s great to see,” Nicole Murphy told Variety. “Just watching her, you know, from a little girl and just seeing as she had it in her. So, I would take her to like little [art] classes and make her do the little classes and stuff. She just stuck with it and it turned out that’s her passion now.”
Speaking of pride, Bria also shared how excited she is for her dad to make his return to standup comedy in 2020. “I’m anticipating it because I’m just as big of a fan as everybody else, so I can’t wait,” she said.
Though Bria hasn’t heard any of her father’s new material just yet, she says that nothing is “off limits” for him to talk about — at least, there won’t be any restrictions coming from her.
“Oddly enough, I’ve never felt embarrassed about my father. I know lots of kids, you know, they look at their parents and go, ‘Oh my God, they’re so embarrassing,” Bria explained. “My dad, I’ve never looked at him and [thought that]. So whatever he feels like he wants to talk about, I support it.”
Many of Eddie’s friends and former co-stars also supported the cause, including Arsenio Hall — who will reunite with the Oscar nominee onscreen in the upcoming “Coming 2 America” — and Cedric the Entertainer.
“Bria is a talented young artist,” Cedric said. “Late last year I was getting an award myself and they featured one of her big pieces and that was the first time I got to see what she was all about. … I just wanted to come down here and show some love and support and give that encouragement to that next generation.”
Alongside her fellow artists Jade Johnson and Kyle D. Jordan, Bria displayed more than a dozen works, including her “Ice Cream Ladies” series, which were also featured on t-shirts made available at the event. The event served a dual purpose with Bria Murphy and her crew promoting sustainability as a percentage of the proceeds donated to Waves for Water, a non-profit organization that promotes clean oceans.
Explaining why she focused on sustainability for the event, Bria said, “There’s so many other great causes out there, but at the end of the day, they mean nothing if we don’t have a planet.”
Jaden Smith accepted one of the event’s Take Action awards for his work as a young philanthropist, with older brother Trey Smith on hand to cheer him on. Also in attendance at the event were Cookie Johnson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Tina Knowles, Michelle Williams and NeNe Leakes.