Local Artists Craft Decor For Brooklyn Museum's Annual Ball

By Anna Sekula April 29, 2011, 2:35 PM EDT

Photo: Ronnie Andren for BizBash

Brooklyn Museum's "Brooklyn Artists Ball"
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After last year's interactive feast, the Brooklyn Museum turned the tables on the Brooklyn Ball again by bringing in local artists to design an engaging environment through site-specific installations and tabletop centerpieces. The art institution's annual gala, which furnished the museum's Great Hall and Beaux-Arts Court with fabric canopies, large-scale video projections, x-ray prints, and other curious objects, gathered more than 600 guests, including honorary co-chairs Sarah Jessica Parker and Liv Tyler, designer Cynthia Rowley, and retiring Brooklyn Museum chair Norman M. Feinberg.

For the cocktail reception in the Great Hall, Situ Studio looked to alter the shape and perception of scale by creating an architectural installation shaped around existing columns. Fabric canopies lit from within and fashioned around enormous metal rings formed mushroom-like structures that towered overhead and made the space feel more intimate. The piece, which was titled “reOrder: An Architectural Environment,” also included curved wooden structures that sat at the base and middle of the columns, providing seating and cocktail tables for guests.

The dinner environment inside the Beaux-Arts Court was just as immersive, with table decorations created by 16 different artists. The settings ranged in size and scope, from Justin Cooper's simple design of 40 15-inch garden hoses placed upright in two rows and Jason Miller's bundles of bread to Bo Joseph's display of colorful x-rays on bottle-drying racks and Vadis Turner's ornate arrangement of papier mâché balloons, ribbon-wrapped cast of her body, and jewel-encrusted eggshells.

Catering for the affair was handled by Restaurant Associates. During the reception, waiters served a menu of passed hors d'oeuvres such as miniature New England lobster rolls with saffron aioli, fried truffle mac 'n' cheese cubes, spiced chicken samosas with a cilantro yogurt dip, and Belgian endives with beets, apples, and Gorgonzola. Dinner consisted of chopped vegetable timbale with layers of avocado, quinoa, and chopped spring vegetables, grilled hanger steak accompanied by blue cheese butter, roasted fingerling and purple Peruvian potatoes, and sautéed baby spring spinach, and a variety of miniature sweets, like key lime tartlets, red velvet whoopie pies, and s'mores.

In total, the event raised $575,000 for the Brooklyn Museum.

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