MOCA Kicks Off 15th Anniversary With Surf-Themed Fund-Raiser

By Rebecca Wallwork February 23, 2011, 2:15 PM EST

Surf movies played on projectors. This room featured a "Night Beach Bonfire" installation by artist Jen Stark.

Photo: Juerg Schreiter fo

Museum of Contemporary Art's "Surf's Up" Fund-Raiser
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In the first of a series of events celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the Museum of Contemporary Art held its annual fund-raiser on Saturday night. “Surf’s Up” was the theme at the cocktail party, with the beach influence inspiring everything from the decor, entertainment, and food to the guests’ attire.
“So many of the artists I know surf,” said Bonnie Clearwater, director and chief curator at the museum. “So do the collectors and the dealers. So I thought it was a great theme. We worked with Quiksilver South Beach to keep it authentic.”
Surfboards and skateboards from the brand hung from the ceilings and walls of the MOCA galleries, while a skate ramp provided by Jays Ramps anchored the museum’s Paradise Courtyard.

The band Snakehole performed outside, while DJ Hottpants and Carlos Rigau spun classic surf and dance hits, as dancers Nicole Soden and the Modern Irrepressibles performed in retro bathing suits handmade by local artist Carol Adrianza.

Clearwater called upon Miami artists to round out the beach theme. Artist Kevin Arrow, for example, showcased projections evoking a beach sunset, while Jen Stark provided a “Night Beach Bonfire” installation. The Design Group and Ace Props provided the surf-inspired decor, which included beach chairs, surfboards, hammocks, and beach-themed signs.

Grey Goose Vodka served cocktails, while beer was available from Samuel Adams, and Touch Catering supplied a range of wines. Non-alcoholic beverages were provided by Café Bustelo, Fiji Water, Vita Coco, and Vitaminwater. Seafood dominated the range of hors d’oeuvres from Miami restaurants such as Asia de Cuba, Blue Door Fish, and SushiSamba, although classic beach snacks like Nathan’s Hot Dogs were also served. Stella’s Sweet Shopped filled a dessert table with mini cupcakes and popular brands of candy.

“All of the food was donated,” said Clearwater. “At MOCA, we have a philosophy: We don’t spend money to raise money.”

Proceeds from ticket sales and the event’s silent auction were still being tallied, but Clearwater expected the monies raised by the auction to exceed that of last year’s. More than 800 guests attended this year’s party, matching the attendance of previous years.

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