On Saturday, April 11, 2015 the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) hosted Art Ball 50: Self-Portrait, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Art Ball. The record-breaking evening brought in $2.4 million dollars with $438,000 contributed solely from the live auction. Proceeds from Art Ball directly affect the DMA’s commitment to providing free access to its collection and to a wide range of exhibitions and educational and public programs.
More than 550 guests arrived in black-tie attire at the Flora Street entrance of the DMA where on their way down the concourse they had the opportunity to shop a luxurious Forty Five Ten pop-up store. The limited edition anniversary collection was created by 15 internationally acclaimed designers and celebrated 15 years of Forty Five Ten. After guests shopped the collection, they moved into the tent for a cocktail reception. With the help of Todd Events, Art Ball Chairman Nancy Carlson brought her Self-Portrait theme to life by creating an ethereal and edgy atmosphere in the tented space through the use of mirror components, projections and bit map technology.
Curtains were lifted at the end of the cocktail reception as guests moved into the main dining room for dinner. Large white balloons hung from the ceiling with projections of blinking eyes and moving faces. The tables were adorned with large metal sculptures with tiny LED lights and colorful gazing balls. As guests took their seats, Kitty Carmichael and her five-piece band performed, mixing 1920s jazz and classic soul with modern beats.
The DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director, Maxwell L. Anderson, welcomed guests and thanked sponsors for their support and contributions before recognizing Art Ball Chair Nancy Carlson and the special host committee, which was comprised of an esteemed group of Art Ball Chairs from the last 50 years. He added how vital Art Ball is in supporting the Dallas Museum of Art’s mission to serve as a responsible steward of cultural heritage and a trusted advocate. The Self-Portrait inspired menu, created by Cassandra Fine Catering, started with an impressive first course. Celeriac panna cotta, slow-cooked quail egg, chive crema, American sturgeon caviar and celery chips were all placed under a glass cloche. The second course named “Still Life” included a pan-roasted wild turbot, fava-cumin puree, cauliflower couscous and spring vegetables. The third course, “Framed Game”, was Maple Leaf Farms duck confit with spring pea goat cheese ravioli.
As guests finished their dessert - chocolate tarts covered in thyme-cardamom berries and vanilla bean fromage blanc with apricot shortbread - auctioneer Hugh Edmeades of Christie’s Auction House got the bidding started for the luxury live auction packages. The top bid was for the Grange Hall party package, which included a private six-course meal paired with wine and champagne prepared by Dallas’ top chefs for 22 guests. In addition, it included a $10,000 shopping spree at Grange Hall. The package went to Georgina Hartland and Nancy Rogers, who were both able to take home the fabulous package for $100,000 each.
Later, the cocktail reception area inside the tent was transformed into the after party titled, “Selfie”, a riff on the selfie craze. Chaired by V.O.D. owner Jackie Bolin and supermodel Erin Wasson, after partygoers enjoyed cocktails from Belvedere and Ruinart Champagne in VIP lounges and munched on black truffle french fries, short rib sliders and fried chicken and waffles. Special guest DJ, Solange Knowles, kept the crowd dancing until 1 a.m. as she played music on top of a raised platform decorated with a colorful vinyl print of Mona Lisa. As guests left, they were given a tiny magnetic book created by Social Print Studio with photos from past Art Balls.
Art Ball 50 sponsors include:
Entertainment Sponsor ($200,000): Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers
Luxury Auction Sponsor ($100,000): Forty Five Ten
Dinner Sponsor ($50,000): Peggy and Carl Sewell/ Sewell Automotive Companies
Auction Sponsor ($50,000): Christie’s
After Party Sponsor ($50,000): Jennifer and John Eagle/ John Eagle Dealerships
Young Artist’s Program Sponsor ($50,000): The Gene and Jerry Jones Family
Financial Services Sponsor ($50,000): J.P. Morgan
Invitation Sponsor ($25,000): Chubb Personal Insurance; Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty; Ginger Nobles and Susan Baldwin
Announcement Party Sponsor ($25,000): Grange Hall
Art Fair Sponsor ($25,000): Dallas Art Fair
Red Carpet Sponsor ($25,000): Neiman Marcus
Security Sponsor ($25,000): Sidley Austin, LLP
Moving and Delivery Sponsor ($15,000): Delivery Limited, Inc.
In-Kind Sponsors Include: The Joule Hotel; Moët Hennessy USA/ Belvedere/ Ruinart; Todd Events; Pogo’s Wine & Spirits; Modern Luxury Dallas; MySweetCharity; Dallas Caramel Company; Southwest Limousines
Art Ball Underwriters include:
Dreamer ($100,000): Nancy and Clint Carlson
Builder ($50,000): Claire Dewar; The Eugene McDermott Foundation
Scholar ($35,000): Georgina Hartland/ Nasiba and Thomas Hartland Mackie; Catherine and Will Rose; Deedie and Rusty Rose
Obsessive ($25,000): AT&T; Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller; Mary Anne and Richard Cree; The Dedman Foundation; Heidi and William Dillon; Laura and Walter Elcock; Joyce Goss and Kenny Goss; Elisabeth and Richard Grant/ Gloria and Juan Ernesto Snead; Julie and Ed Hawes/ Ann and David Sutherland; Julie and Ken Hersh; Ann and Lee Hobson; Harry H. Lynch; Mary Kay Inc.; Margot and Ross Perot; Cindy and Howard Rachofsky; Connie and Marc Sigel
Insomniac ($15,000): Melanie and Tim Byrne; Ola and Randall Fojtasek; Gina and Scott Ginsburg; Jennifer and Tom Karol; Cynthia and Forrest Miller; Kelli and Allen Questrom; Gayle and Paul Stoffel