AUSTIN — Art lovers, Longhorns and artists alike gathered at the Blanton Museum of Art, named for the late Jack Blanton Sr. of Houston, for a night of elegance and glam. The colorfully named “Off the Wall” gala revealed the Blanton’s future endeavors, while honoring University of Texas President Bill Powers, who steps down from the post in June.
The evening began with a stellar cocktail hour full of photo ops, open bars and upbeat tunes on the Blanton’s main floor. Guests paraded from cocktail hour to dinner at the Bob Bullock Museum where attendees were transported into a setting as art-inspired as the exhibits themselves.
The UT president was met with a standing ovation as he took the podium to address the audience.
Hues of purple in the floral centerpieces and lighting made for a classy ambience, while a three-course dinner, prepared by Four Seasons Hotel chef Elmar Prambs, was full of fresh flavors and indulgent pairings. Among guests savoring the dinner was a contingent of Houstonians including Leslie and Jack Blanton Jr. and Kelli and Eddy Blanton, loyal supporters of the museum.
During dinner, director Simone Wicha and Michael Klein, chairman of the Blanton National Leadership Board, doted on the man of the hour. The UT president was met with a standing ovation as he took the podium to address the audience. “What a trajectory this museum is on,” Powers said. “Leading UT for these last nine years has been an honor. And having you as friends has been a truly wonderful blessing.”
The gala raised $850,000 for the future funding of new exhibits.
Following dinner, guests returned to the Blanton for the lively “Art on the Edge” after party. The main floor and mezzanine filled with partygoers dressed in their black tie best. Attendees danced to tunes by DJ Mel and the Memphis Train Revue. The after party was the perfect balance of art and edge –– hence its namesake –– where guests were able to sneak a peek at new exhibit “Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties” and “La linea continua: The Judy and Charles Tate Collection of Latin American Art,” strike a pose at the photo booth and grab a cocktail from bars sprinkled throughout the museum. Needless to say, the evening was certainly one to remember.
Among the notable guests spotted on the red carpet were Judy and Charles Tate, Carolyn Farb, Jessica and Jimmy Younger, Suzanne Deal Booth, Ross Moody, Yasmin and Steve Patterson, Lance Avery Morgan and Candice and Vince Young.