The Contemporary Austin Hosts Dinner Al Fresco At Waterfront Residence
By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Ben Porter

THE SETTING: The stunning mid-century style Lake Austin home of philanthropist Charles Attal was the recent setting of an al fresco dinner that raised funds for a very worthy cause. Over 120 of the city’s most notable art patrons and VIPs attended the event and were treated to great conversation, food, and musical performances.


THE STYLE: The Austin-chic crowd, wearing their best summery cocktail attire, were wowed the second they arrived at the Attal residence. Guests entered the garden overlooking Lake Austin and descended the staircase that perfectly complemented the beautiful grounds where cocktails and conversations awaited them. As attendees sipped on their libations, they toured the beautiful grounds while getting reacquainted with old friends and making new ones in the process.


Patrons then enjoyed a delectable buffet dinner where guests had their choice of dozens of al fresco bistro-style tables to savor the food and take in the fabulous water views. The festivities then moved to another area of the grounds where several colorful, artistic seating areas awaited them for the entertainment portion of the evening, all designed by Panacea Collective. Austin-born musician Calder Allen captivated the audience with a showstopping performance, capping off a phenomenal evening those fortunate enough to be a part of will not soon forget.


THE PURPOSE: The event raised funds for The Contemporary Austin museum. Proceeds from the event will go towards providing cutting-edge programs and art experiences serving tens of thousands of people in Austin, and beyond, each year.



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.

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The Contemporary Art Dinner Draws Colorful Art And Patrons

By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Whitney Arostegui and Brian Fitzsimmons



THE SETTING: Austin’s legendary Laguna Gloria venue was the perfect setting for the sixth annual Contemporary Art Dinner supporting The Contemporary Austin art museum. The evening, featuring 300 artists, philanthropists and community leaders, has become a must-attend event for top art patrons in Austin, Texas and beyond.

THE STYLE: Matching the beauty and the art on display during the VIP cocktail reception were the colorful ensembles worn by the partygoers, which perfectly complemented the pops of color that adorned the heritage trees throughout the majestic Laguna Gloria grounds. The fun continued inside Laguna’s Driscoll Villa where VIP’s rubbed elbows with artists while previewing the luxe array of art on display for the live auction later in the evening.

Guests took their seats for the evening’s program, dined on a delectable multi-course meal courtesy of Rosemary’s Catering, and were treated to a live auction conducted by Sotheby’s auctioneers Kevin Doyle and Christy Williams Coombs. The colorful theme of the evening was capped off by a paddles-up live auction, which raised over $550,000 to support permanent acquisition of the multi-colored Jim Hodge’s With Liberty and Justice for All installation. Located on The Contemporary Austin’s Moody Rooftop at the Jones Center on Congress Avenue, the installation has become an iconic image in the skyline of Texas’ capital city.

THE PURPOSE: The event, chaired by Val Armstrong, raised funds for The Contemporary Austin who seeks to reflect the range of contemporary art through commissions, education and exhibitions.


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