PaperCity Magazine

July / August 2016 - Houston

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BLAFFER BLAST : SPACY ODYSSEY GALA SALUTES FOUNDING FAMILY. Emma Miller Michael Ann Young Kaleta Blaffer Johnson Kathryn Hamilton Swain Natalie Boerder CATHERINE D. ANSPON REPORTS. PHOTOGRAPHY PRISCILLA DICKSON. JULY/AUGUST | PAGE 17 | 2016 LIFT OFF! The black tie went out in favor of cocktail attire, and an otherworldly sci-fi theme provided the edge as the Blaffer Art Museum catapulted its guests into gala orbit via a clever Odyssey theme. Party planners Matt Johns and Alecia Harris of Matter devised the motif and decor for this notable night at the museum, which had one collector — Lester Marks, with wife/physician Penelope Marks — trying to acquire the foil-wrapped faux meteorite suspended above the space- age tablescapes. "They really should be auctioning these," Marks said. A Fare Extraordinaire devised the seated dinner whose epicenter was roasted red snapper, paired with perfect wines, and segueing into a bounty of desserts. Post remarks and speeches, DJ John Tran got revelers going in a gallery transformed into a nightclub worthy of a disco on Pluto. WHO WAS THERE Collector heavy-hitters Jereann Chaney (scoring the Julia Brown photographic diptych from the silent auction; her work will be featured at the museum come 2017), Leigh and Reggie Smith, Judy Nyquist, Beverly and Howard Robinson, Kelly and Nicholas Silvers, Leslie Ballard Hull and Mark Hull, Sir Mark Haukohl (who has a penchant for Old Masters), and Mary and Bernie Arocha; Diane and Harry Gendel (whose daughter is NYC-based artist Jackie Gendel); decorator Catherine Giuffre and husband Dean; gallerists Betty Moody with Galveston Arts Center curator Clint Willour, Arturo Palacios, Barbara Davis, and Cindy Lisica; design man Steven Hempel; Gensler's Jim Furr and wife Jo; artists Gabriel Martinez, Elise Weber and Pablo Gimenez Zapiola, all hitting the dance floor; and more than a dozen extended members of the Blaffer family including Annie Owen and Hal Pontez, Lynne and Joe Hudson, Christina Girard, and Wirt Blaffer squiring Nina Delano (herself a descendant of FDR). THE STATS • Chairmen John Blaffer Royall and Bridget and Patrick Wade • Honorees Erik Arneberg, Ingrid Arneberg and, posthumously, their mother, Jane Dale Owen, who chaired the first Blaffer Gala in 1997, was the granddaughter of namesake patron Sarah Campbell Blaffer and recently left a munificent $1 million bequest to the university museum • Around 300 guests • A near-record $265,000 raised • 20 silent auction lots by Houston, national and international artists, all past or future exhibition headliners, selected by Blaffer director and chief curator Claudia Schmuckli. Jo Furr Claudia Schmuckli Ryan Gordon Richard Taittinger Elodie Taittinger Reggie Smith Leigh Smith Steve Putnam Blakey Griggs Leslie Ballard Hull Kelly Silvers Nicholas Silvers Wirt Blaffer Nina Delano Andrew McFarland Gretchen McFarland Winnie Scheuer Bonebrake Kevin Bonebrake Barbara Poliak Smith Kyle Smith Honoree Ingrid Arneberg Honoree Erik Arneberg Chair Patrick Wade Chair Bridget Wade Clint Willour Betty Moody Mary Arocha Kris Stuart Christiane Stuart Bernie Arocha Harry Gendel Catherine Giuffre Dean Giuffre Mary Van Pelt Travis Hedemann Meredith Hedemann Janet Phelps Gabriel Martinez Diane Gendel Chair John Blaffer Royall Kate Bellin Ashley Putnam Annie Owen

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