Shelby's Social Diary
Even without the performance artist slamming a 500-pound tractor tire around the main gallery of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Friday night, the energy at the "Fresh Tread" gala was palpable. Of course, the monster tire contributed its own special vibe.
Then there were the used tires, lighted from within, that were suspended overhead with decorative cut-outs in the rubber. And the high-performance tires from Ferrari and BMW that served as bases for the glass-topped dinner tables. We think that no one was having more fun at this black-tie gala than designer Rebekah Johnson, who seems to have a talent for rubber.
Actually, Susman Godfrey partner Vineet Bhatia tipped the scales on ebullience with his high-energy antics during the live auction, which was in the able hands of auctioneer Steven Zick in from Christie's in Chicago. Bhatia and wife Laura Bhatia went home with two contemporary works. But the big auction winners of the night were Sissy and Denny Kempner, who bid into five figures to secure the Jim Hodges work. The auction raised $68,000, bringing the night's total proceeds to more than $415,000.
An indicator of any gala's energy is the time it takes to get partygoers seated for dinner. In this case, it seemed impossible with the enthusiastic crowd including Kelli and Eddy Blanton, Heidi and David Gerger, Fred Smith, Nancy and Franco Valobra and Cabrina and Steven Owsley among the many simply ignoring the dinner chimes.
It was a happy night for chairs Judith Oudt and Brittney and Max Tribble, also a Susman Godfrey partner, who ended up dancing the night away to the sounds of Skyrocket, out of Austin.
Finally sitting down to a commendable dinner by Jackson & Co. were CAMH director Bill Arning, Leigh and Reggie Smith, Lauren Rottet, Monsour Taghdisi, Becca Cason Thrash, Mickey Rosmarin, Susie and Sanford Criner, Kristi and John Schiller, Molly Gochman, Cristina Girard and Wayne Gilbert. For the record, that handsome guy hauling around the massive tractor tire was Francis Giampietro.