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Gala Lumière The 2011 Blanton Museum Gala: Celebrating the Sublime Vision of Robert Wilson
01/29/2011 - By Austin, Texas

On Saturday, January 29, the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin hosted “Gala Lumière.”

The evening celebrated the vital role that The Blanton plays in the cultural landscape of Austin, and honored avant-garde master and former University of Texas at Austin student, Robert Wilson. The event raised $500,000 to provide essential funding in support of The Blanton’s wide range of programs for students, children, and adults. Speaking on behalf of her fellow gala co-chairs, Janet Allen and Jeanne Klein, Kelli Blanton remarked, “It was truly an honor to play a part in such an extraordinary evening. Seeing so many generous supporters come together to celebrate the importance of The Blanton to the community was as special as the recognition of the life and work of the masterful Bob Wilson.”

The black-tie event was attended by over 300 guests from Texas and across the country, including: Liz Lambert and Amy Cook, Stephen and Johnna Jones, Clayton and Andrew Maebius, Dorothy and Sam Winters, Joanne and Jack Crosby, Melissa Jones, Alice Carrington Foultz and Eric Foultz and Lynn and Tom Meredith (Austin); Bill Arning and Mark McCray, Kathryn and James Ketelsen, Judy and Charles Tate, and the Blanton and Wareing families (Houston); Kay and Lyndon Olson (Waco); Watermill Foundation director Jorn Weisbrodt, and Warren Weitman of Sotheby’s (New York) and esteemed former and current University of Texas presidents Larry Faulkner and William Powers and UT Board of Regents member Gene Powell and his wife, Blanton Museum Council member, Dana Powell.

The evening began with a VIP cocktail reception in The Blanton’s Klein Gallery, where guests mingled with Mr. Wilson and were treated to a special viewing of five of the artist’s acclaimed video portraits placed throughout the museum. (The videos will remain on view in an exclusive two-week presentation at The Blanton, February 1- 16.) Guests were then seated in the museum’s first floor galleries - transformed by Strong Productions and David Kurio Designs - for dinner catered by the Four Seasons, and a program emceed by Texas Tribune CEO and editor-in-chief Evan Smith. Following a video tribute to the honoree produced by Shiny Object, and a dynamic piano performance by Austin-based composer Graham Reynolds, Mr. Wilson took the podium and remarked that the state of Texas could be found in all of his work. UT President Powers presented Wilson with a gift on behalf of the University, and gala co-chairs Janet Allen, Kelli Blanton, and Jeanne Klein presented him with a pair of official UT cowboy boots. After dinner, guests enjoyed a musical and visual performance by Black Book Angel and music from DJ El john Selector.

Photos: Benjamin Sklar

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