PaperCity Magazine

May 2013 - Houston

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Page 35 of 51

More Gala Tales from the Art Brigade Blaffer's Grand Opening Blast and Carnival Escapades for Art League Houston Tom Hair at Art League CATHERINE D. ANSPON HOBNOBS WITH THE VISUAL SET. PHOTOGRAPHY FULTON DAVENPORT. Randall Jamail at Art League Heidi Gerger at Art League Craig Wilson at Blaffer Lauren Garrow at Blaffer Michael Peranteau at Art League Tracey Baird at Art League Drew Baird at Art League ChaIrman Sarah Bray at Art League Leigh Smith at Art League Chairman Beverly Robinson at Blaffer Chairman Howard Robinson at Blaffer Chris West Jr. at Art League Erin McClarty at Art League Jim Furr at Blaffer Toasting a Reborn Museum I t was an elegant, over-the-top night when the Blaffer Art Museum reopened after a 27-month-long hiatus while NYC-based, internationally touted architecture firm WORKac worked their $2.5 million magic — adding square footage and a light-filled contemporary entrance to the existing footprint of the museum. So, they all came out to toast a reborn Blaffer, which weeks later would host an Karen important retrospective for acclaimed sculptor/installationist Farber at Blaffer Tony Feher. Chaired by collecting couple and long-time patrons Beverly and Howard Robinson, the black-tie art night honored Sallie Morian and Michael Clark, whose munificence funded a major part of the museum's breathtaking redux. On hand to usher in a new day at the Blaffer was its director/chief curator, Claudia Schmuckli, who's steered the institution into new waters, opening it Sarah up literally and figuratively while showcasing talents Nyquist such as Feher and the upcoming messy vitality of at Blaffer sculptor Andy Coolquitt (debuting Friday, May 17). But, back to our evening: Joining Schmuckli was a blockbuster coterie of collectors, artists and Honoree supporters, including dynamo Blaffer board chair Judy Nyquist Ryan Gordon, university prez Dr. Renu Khator with at Blaffer husband Suresh, committed Cougars Joanne and Welcome Wilson Sr., Selin and Sy Salerian, Jo and Jim Furr, UH Mitchell Center director Karen Farber, Kaleta Blaffer Johnson, Christine and Jan Spin, Laura and Will Robertson, Leslie and Mark Hull, Christiane and Kris Stuart, Lauren Garrow dishing Renu with Craig Wilson, Aynsley and Palmer Letzerich, Khator at Blaffer and MFAH man at the top Gary Tinterow, who showed up to offer congrats. After cocktail-hour perusing of the new interiors and galleries, a sumptuous seated dinner by A Fare Extraordinaire, entertainment by Men of Moores and the always remarkable silent auction headlined by works by Leonardo Drew, Tony Feher, Debra Barrera and more, this gala raised the roof on all previous Blaffer benefits. Jo Furr at Blaffer Claudia Schmuckli at Blaffer Penelope Marks at Art League Michael Monk at Blaffer Mark Hull at Blaffer Chairman Sarah Bray at Art League Jan Spin at Blaffer Christine Christine Spin Spin at Blaffer at Blaffer Jodie Eisenhardt at Art League Jose Solís at Blaffer Honoree Scott Nyquist at Blaffer Honoree Aaron Parazette at Art League Sharon Engelstein at Art League Gary Tinterow at Blaffer Lester Marks at Art League Ryan Gordon at Blaffer Salle WernerVaughn at Art League Palmer Letzerich at Blaffer Jonathon Glus at Art League Kris Stuart at Blaffer Selin Salerian at Blaffer Alton LaDay at Art League Christiane Stuart at Blaffer Suresh Khator at Blaffer Minnette Boesel at Art League Christy Karll at Art League Mary Beth Aspromonte at Vicki Art League Rizzo at Art League Cara Rudelson at Mike Art League Rudelson at Art League Honoree Michael Clark at Blaffer Connie Cooper at Art League Chairman Catherine D. Anspon at Art League Sy Salerian Sy Salerian at Blaffer at Blaffer Honoree Sallie Morian at Blaffer Tara Simon at Art League Mauri Mauri Oliver at Oliver at Art League Art League Jessica Phifer at Blaffer The Sultans of Cool A rt League Houston's Gala caught a wave of hip with its Carnival of Cool theme, a clever nod to the surfer-text canvases for which Aaron Parezette is best known. Parazette was anointed as Texas Artist of the Year at the high-voltage fête chaired by Sarah Bray and yours truly at Hotel ZaZa. Joining the UH art professor/ former Core Fellow on the dais was Judy Nyquist, along with husband Scott, receiving accolades as Texas Patrons of the Year. (Both Parazette's painting prowess and the Nyquists' collecting acumen were celebrated at concurrent exhibitions at the League.) Reinforcing the carnival motif, ZaZa chef Todd Ruiz crafted a seated dinner with lobster corn dogs, pretzel-crusted beef tenderloin, mini candy apples and funnel cake bites; cotton candy and popcorn balls (courtesy POParazzi) lined the tables, illuminated by banks of pink and blue lights, in keeping with the vibrant hues of the honoree's canvases. Musical stylings by Divisi Strings/Collide, plus highly competitive bidding on silent auction art lots donated by the likes of Bill Davenport, Emily Sloan, Beth Secor, Joseph Havel, McKay Otto, and Adela Andea, added to the vibe and the six-figure bottom line of this Rat Pack-cool art convergence. Bel-airs, aqua-velvets and curacaos: Tom Hair of Axiom, who donated the gala's attention-grabbing branding; most benevolent ones Randall Jamail and Leslie and Brad Bucher; chair mom Susan Bray, in from Chicago; newly minted ALH director Michael Peranteau and hard-working colleagues Jennie Ash and Jill Nepomnick; board prez Cara Rudelson and husband Mike, who went home with the Virgil Grotfeldt; gallerist Robert McClain, hosting a table in honor of the Artists of the Year, whom he represents; Cynthia Toles; Heidi and David Gerger; Jereann Chaney; brisk auction bidders Kelly and Nick Silvers; and next year's Patrons of the Year, Leigh and Reggie Smith, set to be honored with artists Rachel Hecker and Kermit Oliver in another big shindig at the ZaZa come Friday, October 18.

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