Out of this world

This $650,000-plus gala transports partygoers to an alternate reality: Wild performance art, metal dress wow

This arty $650,000 gala transports partygoers to an alternate reality

33 Michael and Lisa Holthouse, from left, and Lucinda and Javier Loya at the CAMH Gala March 2015
CAM gala chairs Michael and Lisa Holthouse, left, with Lucinda and Javier Loya. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
6 Entertainer at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Opera singer/performance artist Amanda Gregory as an otherworldly being. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
17 Gil Bruvel, from left, Laura Rathe and Dean Daderko at the CAMH Gala March 2015.
Gil Bruvel, left, Laura Rathe and CAMH curator Dean Daderko. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
11 Andrew McFarlan, left, and Bill Arning at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Andrew McFarland, left, and CAM executive director Bill Arning. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
19 Gracie Cavnar, from left, Mickey Rosmarin and Isabel David at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Gracie Cavnar, left, Mickey Rosmarin and Isabel David. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
36 Patrick Renner, left, and Oscar Rene Cornejo at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Patrick Renner, left, and Oscar Rene Cornejo. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
35 Milton Townsend and Rebekah Johnson at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Milton Townsend and Rebekah Johnson, who created the "four seasons" party setting. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
27 Jonathon Glus, left, and Alton LaDay at the CAMH Gala March 2015.
Jonathon Glus, left, and Alton LaDay. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
38 Tom and Liz Glanville, left, with Shafik Rifaat at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Tom and Liz Glanville, left, with Shafik Rifaat. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
26 Jim and Jo Furr, left, and Mack and Cece Fowler at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Jim and Jo Furr, left, with Mack and Cece Fowler. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
32 Mark Sullivan and Diane Lokey Farb at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Mark Sullivan and Diane Lokey Farb. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
37 Russell Handy, from left, Lisa Hubbard, Karen Berry Jordan, Julia Acosta and Raphael Arias at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Russell Handy, from left, Lisa Hubbard, Karen Berry Jordan, Julia Acosta and Raphael Arias. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
31 Marcus Sloan, left, and Jim Thorp at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Marcus Sloan, left, and Jim Thorp. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
13 Bill Goldberg, from left, Louise Jamal, Capera Ryan and Russell Hammond at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Bill Goldberg, from left, Louise Jamal, Capera Ryan and Russell Hammond. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
24 Jessica Phifer, left, with Cynthia and Tony Petrello at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Jessica Phifer, left, with Cynthia and Tony Petrello. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
21 Hunter Martin and Caroline Starry LeBlanc at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Hunter Martin and Caroline Starry LeBlanc. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
20 Henley Siegrist, from left, David Restrepo, Candace Baggett and Jamal Cyrus at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Henley Siegrist, from left, David Restrepo, Candace Baggett and Jamal Cyrus. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
15 Craig Lidji and Delise Ward at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Craig Lidji and Delise Ward. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
14 Bob Bickham and Martha Finger at the CAMH Gala March 2015
Bob Bickham and Martha Finger. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
12 Barry Young, from left,  Elisabeth McCabe and Shannon Hall.
Barry Young, left, Elisabeth McCabe and Shannon Hall. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
7 Server at the CAMH Gala March 2015
During the visual rainy "winter" season, several servers carried umbrellas and appetizers were covered in tiny paper umbrellas. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
8 The crowd at the CAMH Gala March 2015
The Contemporary Arts Museum transformed by Rebekah Johnson into a surreal four seasons environment. Photo by © Morris Malakoff
33 Michael and Lisa Holthouse, from left, and Lucinda and Javier Loya at the CAMH Gala March 2015
6 Entertainer at the CAMH Gala March 2015
17 Gil Bruvel, from left, Laura Rathe and Dean Daderko at the CAMH Gala March 2015.
11 Andrew McFarlan, left, and Bill Arning at the CAMH Gala March 2015
19 Gracie Cavnar, from left, Mickey Rosmarin and Isabel David at the CAMH Gala March 2015
36 Patrick Renner, left, and Oscar Rene Cornejo at the CAMH Gala March 2015
35 Milton Townsend and Rebekah Johnson at the CAMH Gala March 2015
27 Jonathon Glus, left, and Alton LaDay at the CAMH Gala March 2015.
38 Tom and Liz Glanville, left, with Shafik Rifaat at the CAMH Gala March 2015
26 Jim and Jo Furr, left, and Mack and Cece Fowler at the CAMH Gala March 2015
32 Mark Sullivan and Diane Lokey Farb at the CAMH Gala March 2015
37 Russell Handy, from left, Lisa Hubbard, Karen Berry Jordan, Julia Acosta and Raphael Arias at the CAMH Gala March 2015
31 Marcus Sloan, left, and Jim Thorp at the CAMH Gala March 2015
13 Bill Goldberg, from left, Louise Jamal, Capera Ryan and Russell Hammond at the CAMH Gala March 2015
24 Jessica Phifer, left, with Cynthia and Tony Petrello at the CAMH Gala March 2015
21 Hunter Martin and Caroline Starry LeBlanc at the CAMH Gala March 2015
20 Henley Siegrist, from left, David Restrepo, Candace Baggett and Jamal Cyrus at the CAMH Gala March 2015
15 Craig Lidji and Delise Ward at the CAMH Gala March 2015
14 Bob Bickham and Martha Finger at the CAMH Gala March 2015
12 Barry Young, from left,  Elisabeth McCabe and Shannon Hall.
7 Server at the CAMH Gala March 2015
8 The crowd at the CAMH Gala March 2015

It rained and stormed in the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston on Friday night.

But by the time the black-tie gala crowd was about to send home for rain gear, things changed. The four seasons played out on video screens around the dining area so that while guests supped on a menu based on the seasons, the backdrop galloped through the year. And that was just the beginning of the black and white ball that still has guests talking about the most unusual, captivating entertainment imaginable.

With creative chairs Lucinda and Javier Loya and Lisa and Michael Holthouse at the helm of CAMH's annual gala, one would expect the extraordinary. The couples did not disappoint. The event surpassed its fundraising goal, leaping past the $6500,000 mark. And then there was "Xenoglossia."

Houstonian Amanda Gregory introduced her performance art in a spectacular presentation that had the black-tie crowd in awe. A trained opera singer, Gregory best describes the experience, as "an ensemble of shape-shifting matrix transplants utilizing light, sound, color and symbols to transport you into a holographic reality."

(To see her presentation, click on the video below.)

" The fact that it's inside the museum really helps us get to people who might not know about contemporary art and know that we have such a vibrant scene in the city."

In actuality, sound and video artist Jonathan Jindra, tech artist Bradley Muñoz and musician Zárate Zaaló combined their talents with a kaleidoscopic video projection that morphed as Gregory sang. Even her prismatic hair changed colors, in keeping with her vocal frequencies. For her chanting and serenading, Gregory wore a 10-foot high metal dress, sculpted by artist Patrick Renner.

As a backdrop to this otherworldly experience, Rebekah Johnson of Bergner & Johnson created the decor that included the seasonal videos and centerpiece stretches of grass speckled with cake pops. Jackson and Co. waiters, carrying umbrellas during the winter season, served the whimsical yet tasty meal that included a summery fried chicken and potato salad course, a wintry roasted rack of pork and a s'more tart served with Mexican hot chocolate.

Christie's Sara Friedlander served as auctioneer for the always exuberant live auction and DJ Kalkutta, in from New York, kept the night rocking until the wee hours. None could have been happier with the proceedings than CAMH executive director Bill Arning and CAMH board chair Bill Goldberg.

"The gala is really one of our best fundraisers," Arning said. "But it's also one of our best community events in that it's a time when the Houston community comes together in support of contemporary art . . . The fact that it's inside the museum really helps us get to people who might not know about contemporary art and know that we have such a vibrant scene in the city."

CAMH fans making the scene included Marita and J.B. Fairbanks, Liz and Tom Glanville, Louise Jamail, Gretchen and Andrew McFarland, Cabrina and Steve Owsley, Susie and Sanford Criner, Marci and Steve Alvis, Diane Lokey Farb, Stacey and Casey Crenshaw, Cynthia Petrello, Sue and Lester Smith, Dillon Kyle and Sam Lasseter.

ADVERTISEMENT