The Contemporary Museum Art Dinner Raises Over $1.7 Million

By Rob Giardinelli         Photography by Brian Fitzsimmons

THE SETTING: A picture-perfect autumn evening at Austin’s Laguna Gloria was the scene featuring a night of fun and philanthropy. The 360 patrons, sociables, and VIPs on hand for the 8th Annual Contemporary Art Dinner were treated to a dazzling evening that those fortunate enough to attend will not soon forget.

 

THE STYLE: From the moment the patrons walked up to the gates of Laguna Gloria in their finest cocktail attire, guests knew they were in for a magical evening. The festivities began with a cocktail hour where partygoers gathered with friends on the beautiful Laguna Gloria grounds. Meanwhile, art collectors could be seen heading to the villa to preview works of art from internationally known artists in advance of the live auction.

 

Revelers then proceeded onto the central lawn for dinner al fresco and the main program. While attendees dined on a delectable, multi-course meal, they were treated to words from the event and organization’s leaders celebrating what was for many their first gala in Austin since the pandemic began. The action then turned to the main event…the live auction. Christy Williams Coombs, of Sotheby’s, headlined the auction for a seventh consecutive year. Included were works by Loie Hollowell and Adam Pendleton that each fetched over six figures. In addition, the paddles-up giving opportunity raised over $250,000 to bring a temporary and permanent outdoor installation for the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria. The festivities were capped off with an after-party where the crowd danced the night away to songs performed by Riders Against the Storm.

 

THE PURPOSE: The event, co-chaired by Kristin Gish and Kathleen Loughlin, raised over $1.7 million for The Contemporary Austin, with the museum giving back $345,000 to artists from the live and silent auction proceeds. In addition, funds raised from the evening’s event will go towards The Contemporary Austin’s exhibition programs.