One of my very favorite venues in Dallas is The Nasher Sculpture Center, and it’s such an honor to have been asked to return to assist with The Nasher Prize! It’s always the best feeling to be asked back to assist with an event, much less something of this caliber (You can read about the first ever Prize event we participated in here)
So what exactly is The Nasher Prize? It is a $100,000 award to celebrate a living artist who has had a large impact on contemporary sculpture. The winner is selected from a jury of respected curators, artists, art historians and museum directors throughout the globe, who have expertise in the field and varying perspectives.
This year’s Laureate is the first American to have received the award, Theaster Gates, who hails from Chicago. I couldn’t have been more thrilled to be a part of an event that honored such a dynamic and passionate artist. One aspect of his work that resonates with me is his way of taking the discarded and chipping away at the rough edges until it transforms into something else completely. One example is his way of changing his community, is his work called the Dorchester Projects. In a nutshell, he bought and restored vacant properties (from townhomes, single-family units to a distribution plant) by transforming them into cultural centers, artist residences, performance spaces and more. More recently, a former bank was restored into a hybrid of library, gallery and community center. Aside from urban revivals, Gates also uses salvaged materials to create his artwork, some of which was displayed at The Nasher during Nasher Prize.
In another life, I was this close to attending art school. Art and art history was / is something I very much enjoy, and many hours were spent in on the subject in high school, where I was usually covered in chalk pastel, a favorite (and very forgiving) medium. Back then, I was nominated as a student representative to be a part of a group of kids from other schools who had an interest in art. We would then spend our Saturdays at the Crow Collection of Asian Art learning about topics from the curator there and seeing things work behind-the-scenes. The Nasher had just been constructed across the street and I would spend hours at the museums then.
Ultimately, life took me on another path and though it has been over a decade since I’ve touched chalk pastels, art has encompassed my work in other ways, like dreaming up designs for clients. Event planning was never something I intentionally sought out. Rather, it was what I had stumbled into. In a way it feels like things have come full circle, working events at The Nasher.
Our part at the Prize was to assist with logistics, planning and timelines. It’s always the best part seeing all the effort from everyone come to life from when the tent is erected all the way to the end of the night when take down happens. This tent and the following installations were a labor of love with it taking a week for everything to be brought in. Mother Nature did its part to scare too, with a torrential downpour the day before but that’s Dallas for you, with its bipolar weather. Black crossback chairs were paired with gold Louie chairs for a sultry, jazzy vibe. Black velvet linens were utilized throughout and paired with black granite silverware. This was topped off with custom made chandeliers wrapped in that same black velvet, which was then continued throughout the walls with both crushed blue and black (you guessed it) velvet.There was a prefunction cocktail area that was transformed with blue velvet (keeping in line with the theme here!) and post reception where guests were able to continue celebrating and dance the night away. I couldn’t be more thrilled with how Blake from A Sea of Love captured the day.