Despite the hard deadlines, the burying amount of minutia and detail management and sometimes seemingly insurmountable stresses it can bring, event designing and planning has been a real joy in my life; one that I didn’t expect when I got into the field long ago. The creative outlet it provides me everyday is something that I try to never take for granted. Planning for the San Diego Museum of Art is a dream come true as it combines two of my great loves in life…art and this city of mine. Getting to help bring people together with art, make memories and in some way add to the art commentary in San Diego is so fulfilling. When I heard that an unparalleled collection of Modern Lain America Art was coming to be shown here and that we would host a celebration dinner my wheels immediately begun to turn. Modern Art is one of my favorite genres, but I haven’t been well acquainted with the Latin masters apart from Frida and Diego. Even while just looking at the thumbnail imagery while the show was being planned I was already impressed.
Planning an event around such big commentary and important artists is not something I take lightly. I aim to celebrate and take inspiration from without being trite and without reducing the art and artists to stereotypes or a “theme” in the gross sense. Its not always easy to do this and requires a delicate hand, especially when your attendees will be well versed on art and in this specific genre. The event Noche de las Estrellas was born out of this dinner we would host alfresco under the stars as well as the spectacular luminaries of Latin American art we would be celebrating.
My ultimate direction on design I decided on was to focus on traditional decorative motifs from all over Latin America and break those down into a modernized version of their pattern and colors. I was inspired mostly by the patterns and colors of traditional Mexican serapes and Peruvian alpaca blankets, but also some of the more indigenous motifs of the Aztec and Maya. I knew renting a linen was not going to make the statement I wanted and it was beyond my time limits to create the tabletops myself, so I enlisted an artist friend I have collaborated with before that works with tape as his main medium. Dominic Fontana of Taped Metal Canvas was up for the task and we set out on 5 months of planning. He came to town the week before the event and worked at the warehouse of our friends at PEP Creative to cover their custom wrapped dining tables with 11 unique taped designs. The results were spectacular and beyond my wildest dreams.
With designer tabletop additions from Casa de Perrin and over the top tablescaping by Green Fresh Florals, it came together as an over the top color fantasy. All of my vendor pals pulled out all the stops for me and I’m oh so in awe of their talent.
I am always known to plan my outfits way too far in advance and make sure they match the event somehow, but I had a bit of a snafu in this department. I had selected a black and white stripe princess cut gown to contest with the lines of the table design, but both unfortunately and luckily I tried the dress on one more time the night before the event. As the zipper went over the waist seam the zipper busted beyond repair on such short notice. I had a mini panic meltdown. Then I decided that with zero time for emergency shopping with a 9 am set up time, I was going to have to shop my own closet. Deep inside I found a random BCBG gown I had purchased on a whim on sale at Bloomingdales months ago. I never buy a long formal dress without an event in mind, but there it was and it fit perfectly. I guess it was meant to be. I thought the colors worked well with the event decor and the design was was light and fresh looking. The dramatic open back is a little more skin than I would normally show for a donor event, but it wasn’t vulgar. I also took the star necklace that matched the neckline of the other dress and turned it into a jeweled headband. This was a real make it work moment.
Other than my dress fiasco, there were no other major fires to put out and the event really went off without a hitch. The attendees had a blast and we raised a lot of money for the Modern Masters from Latin America exhibition. Thank you to everyone who helped make this night unforgettable…you know who you are. And come see this gorgeous exhibition open now to the public.
Until the next event!