Southwest School Of Art Celebrates The Spirit Of The 60s

By Jake Gaines     Photography by Jim Landers Photography

THE SETTING: Southwest School of Art welcomed guests back to the beautiful McNutt Gardens for a groovy celebration, rescheduled due to the pandemic, themed Imagine, inspired by the life and music of John Lennon and all the great artists of the 1960s. To begin the festivities, the Gale Art Sale enticed art lovers to collect new acquisitions in the Coates Chapel that included dy-no-mite pieces contributed by notable local, national, and international artists. Gala patrons were welcomed to the event and thanked for their generosity by SSA Board Chair Randy Cain and President Paula Owen. Co-chairs Sara and Jeremy Jessop gave special thanks to Stephanie Canales, the gala’s general manager.


THE STYLE: The attendees then proceeded to the main event. The tables, spaced with proper social distancing, were beautifully decorated in psychedelic colors for the sold-out event of almost 500 guests with linens by Illusions Rentals & Designs and flowers by Trinity Flowers & Events. Guests were treated to scrumptious passed hors d’oeuvres and a delectable dinner provided by Club Giraud. It featured a duet entrée of charbroiled medallion of tenderloin, topped with sautéed wild mushrooms and sautéed jumbo prawns with garlic caper beurre blanc on acini de pepe pomodoro served with a sautéed spring vegetable medley. The meal ended with a 60s favorite, a decadent Lemon Chiffon Pie with fresh blueberries & Lemon Sauce Anglaise. In keeping with a new tradition, the evening of fun, food, music, and art ended with an outta sight after party in the Frost Garden. Albert Steves’ band, Mothership, created a Studio 54-style atmosphere for guests to dance the night away, with more tempting food and libations as well.


THE PURPOSE: All proceeds benefited the Southwest School of Art, now accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and Texas’ only independent college of art. The mission of the Southwest School of Art is to teach and advance the visual arts for the benefit of students seeking higher education and for others seeking education and enrichment. 



San Antonio Gardenia Club Celebrates Queen’s Coronation And Court Presentation


By Jake Gaines   Photography by Jenna Beth Lyde

THE SETTING: Set amid the historical magnificence of the St. Anthony Hotel, the San Antonio Gardenia Club recently held its annual Queens’ Coronation and presentation of the Court. This memorable event, a grand Gardenia Club tradition, was patterned after the first Coronation held there in 1960.


THE STYLE: The hotel’s Peacock Alley, with Covid-19 safety measures in place, served as an elegant setting for cocktails and photography to begin the evening under the backdrop of French tapestries and crystal chandeliers. The splendid Anacacho room was the venue for the magical evening for the duchesses and their escorts as they were presented. The hall and ballroom, adorned in shades of lilac flowers, the Queen’s favorite color, was created by the renowned artistry and design of RTC floristry. The Mistress of Ceremonies, Siobhain Anders Buckley, introduced the Court and this year’s newly crowned Gardenia Queen, Chandler Suzanne Simpson. Chandler, a third-generation Gardenia Queen, is the daughter of Suzanne and Brad Simpson and the granddaughter of DeeAnn and Carlton Skinner Simpson.


THE PURPOSE: This year’s event chairs were DeeAnn Simpson and Kathleen Mayes. The purpose of the San Antonio Gardenia Club is to further interest in the fine arts by providing recognition to students within the San Antonio area, and the proceeds of the annual fundraiser raise funds for local fine arts students. The San Antonio Gardenia Club was founded in 1960, with the mission of providing fine arts scholarships to deserving students who graduate from Bexar County schools, enabling young scholars to continue their education at local colleges. The club also participates in the annual Fiesta Battle of Flowers, Texas Cavaliers River Parade, the Annual Holiday Parade, and the King William Parade.



The Museum of Fine Arts Houston Celebrates With Grand Gala

By Jennifer Roosth     Photography by Jenny Antill, Daniel Ortiz, and Wilson Parish

THE SETTING: Over 300 guests recently attended the Museum of Fine Arts Grand Gala Ball in the brand-new Nancy Rich Kinder Building of the MFAH. Art patrons walked into an event space, with pandemic safety protocol in place, that was brimming with brightly hued flowers…hot pink peonies and a cascading staircase garland of peonies, garden roses, bougainvillea, and orchids. It was an inspired design collaboration between the chairs and Richard Flowers of The Events Company.

THE STYLE: The evening was all about enjoying the atmosphere and the experience of dining in the new building, which will house the MFAH international collections of modern and contemporary art. City Kitchen prepared a three-course dinner, starting with baby Spanish artichokes with shaved parmesan, wild mushrooms, leeks, spring potatoes, and flowers. Guests were also served grilled sea bass with tomato confit and yuzu beurre blanc, creamy grilled corn polenta, heirloom baby carrots, and snap peas. For dessert, guests enjoyed amaretto cake with raspberry and cream cheese filling with raspberry coulis and raspberry sorbet. The cake, made by Sweet Nation, was modeled to look like the Kinder Building

THE PURPOSE: Phoebe and Bobby Tudor served as chairs for the event that raised over $1.7 million to support the Museum’s general operating budget. The Nancy and Rich Kinder Building, where the event was held, is the final addition to the Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus of the MFAH. Remarks of sentiment and excitement were made by the chairs, Director of the MFAH Gary Tinterow, Mayor Sylvester Turner, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MFAH, Rich Kinder.  



Hermann Park Celebrates With Gala

By Jennifer Roosth    Photography by Priscilla Dickson

THE SETTING: Due to Covid-19 safety measures, this year’s Evening in The Park for the Hermann Park Conservancy looked a little different than in the past. But this year’s event made up for lost time due to 2020’s gala cancellation. Instead of dinner, dancing, and the program under one big tent, the event was socially distanced and progressive. Dinner was served in tented “pods” placed along the Mary Gibbs and Jesse H. Jones Reflection Pool.

THE STYLE: Guests started with welcome cocktails and photographs in Lindsey Plaza. Then, to add an element of fun, many guests opted to take the Hermann Park Railroad from Lindsey Plaza to the Molly Ann Smith Plaza passing through the beautiful native plants and grounds of the upcoming Commons site. At Molly Ann Smith Plaza, guests heard from Kristy Bradshaw, Conservancy Board Chair, who shared about the organization’s endeavors, including play spaces, natural habitats and plantings, public art installations, gathering areas, and the McWilliams Dog Park, which was the focus of this year’s gala celebration and one of the most requested features by the community. Next was dinner, when each party headed to their respective “pod” to enjoy a meal from City Kitchen. Afterward, tunes were provided by DJ Mav at the Pioneer Obelisk, as guests indulged themselves with a bit of spirited dancing to celebrate an event that was two years in the making.

THE PURPOSE: The event’s co-chairs, Jo and Jim Furr, and Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell and Derrick Mitchell, worked tirelessly to ensure guests had a fun and safe night. This year’s event surpassed its goal and raised $650,000 for the care and improvement of Hermann Park. That was in addition to the generous $1 million gift toward the Dog Park’s capital campaign from Laura and Brad McWilliams, this year’s honorees. Marley Lott, the honoree of 2020’s canceled Evening in the Park, was also in attendance and recognized.



The Family Place’s ReuNight Celebrates With Gala Among Art

By Cynthia Smoot    Photography by Tamytha Cameron and Celeste Cameron Smith

THE SETTING: It was an unforgettable evening at the annual ReuNight fundraiser benefiting Dallas-based family violence agency, The Family Place. The verdant Nasher Sculpture Center Garden was the site of this exclusive soiree, where a limited 150 guests gathered amidst exquisite art.

THE STYLE: The outdoor affair, with Covid-19 safety measures in place, kicked off with passed hors d’oeuvres and HALL Wines, all catered by Wolfgang Puck Catering. The Dallas String Quartet serenaded guests as they meandered throughout the gardens and relaxed on the chic lounge furniture. 

For dinner, also served by Wolfgang Puck Catering, the guests were led into the elegant outdoor dining setting that included architectural and chic floral arrangements and place settings by Bryan Long of Grey Gardens Florist, complementing the modern art on display throughout the garden. Paige Flink, CEO of The Family Place, and the event co-chairs greeted guests warmly before dinner. Each course was paired with superb wines from HALL Wines. A spirited live auction was held during dessert, and the evening concluded with an energetic paddle raise, enhanced with a matching gift by an anonymous donor. 

THE PURPOSE: Kristen Sanger and Lisa Singleton served as ReuNight’s co-chairs, mixed and mingled with the attendees. At the same time, Honorary Chairs Kristy and Patrick Sands and their family enjoyed the GeneIQ sponsored Step & Repeat designed by Bryan Long. Proceeds from the evening went to benefit The Family Place, the largest family violence service provider in Texas, with three emergency shelters providing 177 shelter beds each night, including the state’s only shelter for men and children and three counseling centers. 



33rd Annual Mad Hatter’s Tea Benefits The Dallas Arboretum And Botanical Garden


By Cynthia Smoot       Photography by Danny Campbell and Rob Wythe

THE SETTING: The Women’s Council of Dallas recently celebrated the spring season and A Woman’s Garden with a sold-out crowd at the 33rd Annual Mad Hatter’s Tea, among the glorious floral displays at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. This year’s theme was Out of Africa Into The Garden.

THE STYLE: Guests, WITH PANDEMCE with pandemic protocol in place, donned in their finery and plenty an enviable chapeau, enjoyed a champagne reception in the Scott K. Ginsburg Family Plaza. They paraded before the hat judges on the green carpet walkway, vying for the coveted prizes. Once the program began, winners were bestowed awards in various categories. A lovely, seated afternoon tea followed on the Plaza featuring a spring fashion promenade expertly produced by Jan Strimple with fashions from Tootsies.


THE PURPOSE: Jolie Humphrey chaired the Mad Hatter’s Tea this year, along with Kay Weeks, president of the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Carole Ann Brown served as honorary chair. Since 1986 the primary goal of the Women’s Council has been the design, construction, funding, and endowment of A Woman’s Garden, the only public garden in the United States conceived by women, funded by the efforts of women, and dedicated to the spirit of women. The support of over 500 members of the Women’s Council makes possible the continued expansion and development of A Woman’s Garden.