party watch

Artful Houstonians pack River Oaks District gallery for beloved autism group's big opening

Houstonians pack River Oaks District gallery for autism group's open

KnowAutism River Oaks District 2021 As I Am Lilac Guzman, Stephanie Perkins , Jennifer Rousth
Lilac Guzman, Stephanie Perkins, and Jennifer Roosth. Photo by Daniel Ortiz

What: “As I Am” opening exhibition 

Where: KNOWAutism’s at River Oaks District

The scoop: The tony River Oaks District now has a colorful new resident with a mission to assist families impacted by autism. Beloved nonprofit organization KNOWAutism unveiled its first-ever art exhibition, a curated collection of pieces from its recently launched “As I Am” art project.

For the works, KNOWAutism provided client families, local schools, and nonprofit partners with art kits throughout the pandemic.

Artful and community-minded visitors can catch the free exhibit — housed in the district’s central plaza adjacent to luxury retailer, Dior — through September 12.

At the opening, the foundation’s supporters and leaders gathered for a stylish evening filled with live music performances, decadent catering, and remarks from KNOWAutism board members Sherri Zucker, Amy Pierce, and Marian McClendon.

A big draw was a limited edition print by famed autistic artist, Stephen Wiltshire, who donated a piece from his London gallery. Meanwhile, guests enjoyed a musical medley featuring a piano concert from Julia Nguyen, daughter of Wayne and Tammy Nguyen; a violin solo from Vivian Ye; and a lively number from Baylor College of Medicine’s, “Docapella.”   

Guests noshed on bites from upscale district French eatery, Toulouse Café & Bar, including hand-passed canapés including tempura shrimp in a spicy toasted pepper sauce; chicken skewers with apple caramel chutney; New York strip with baked artichokes, and ahi tuna tacos with avocado and passion fruit mousse. Meanwhile, champagne sips came courtesy of posh district restaurant Ouzo Bay.

Proceeds from the gallery will benefit KNOWAutism’s mission of helping families navigate the process of diagnostics, treatment, intervention, and education. 

Who: Sherri Zucker, Amy Pierce, Marian McClendon, Dr. Alice Mao Brams, Ruchi MukerjeeTammy Ngyuen, Paul-David Van Atta, Jennifer RoosthKelly Anzilotti, Keri Jo McCrory, Anna Regar, and Stephanie Perkins.