The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's sixth biennial Latin American Experience Gala was nothing less than exhilarating with $747,000 earned from the auction of 24 artworks by Latin American contemporary artists and the unprecedented participation of 200 collectors, gallery owners and artists from around the world.
By night's end, the stellar evening, saturated with a rich Latin vibe, was nudging proceeds of $1.3 million.
The gala and auction evening, celebrating Colombian art in the museum's collection, was the culmination of the four-day event that included a kick-off celebration, gallery tours, private collection visits and a symposium.
The dynamic collection of artworks available in the auction attracted a number of notable gallerists including Elizabeth Esteve of London's Pace Gallery and, in from New York, Lawrence Luhring and Roland Augustine of Luhring Augustine Gallery and Cecilia de Torres of the gallery bearing her name.
Artists making the scene included Guillermo Kuitica, Tania Bruguera and Regina Silveira, whose works are featured in the new exhibition Contingent Beauty: Contemporary Art from Latin America.
Linda and George Kelly chaired the evening that featured the always entertaining live auction with James Niven, recently retired as chairman of Sotheby's, reprising his role as auctioneer.
A South American-flavored dinner by City Kitchen followed in Cullinan Hall where faux palm trees swayed in the breeze of the air system and where decor evoked a festive Latin party scene.
The brief program included an award presentation by museum director Gary Tinterow to Miguel Rafael López Méndez, Consul General of Columbia, and awards presented to the three auction advisors. Curator of Latin American Art Mari Carmen Ramirez did those honors saluting Brad Bucher, Mary Lile and Maria Ines Sicardi.
The night concluded with schmoozing and dancing to the sounds of Havana NRG with a lively throng that included Leslie Bucher, Mary and Bernie Arocha, Jereann Chaney, Carla Knobloch, Joanna and Rusty Wortham, Sofia Adrogué and Sten Gustafson, Carolina and Sergio Weitzman, Kathy and Marty Goossen, Celina Hellmund, Gail and Louis Adler, Aliyya Stude, Randall Jamail and Victoria and Marshal Lightman.