Art Stars Shine at MOCA’s 15th Anniversary Celebration

Benefiting the Museum of Contemporary Art

Mercedes Abramo of Cartier, Norman and Irma Braman

The Museum of Contemporary Art celebrated its 15th Anniversary with a extraordinary dinner and after-party, followed by a captivating afternoon of artists in conversation the next day. The milestone weekend attracted some of the biggest names in the art world. Leading collectors and arts patrons were joined by many of the renowned artists who are part of MOCA’s history, among them: Frank Stella, Tracey Emin, David Salle, Richard Artschwager, Malcolm Morley, Isaac Julien, Matthew Ritchie, Enoc Perez, Richard Phillips, Jack Pierson, Shinique Smith and Roberto Juarez. With the support of lead sponsor Cartier and additional funds from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, it was an unforgettable event. Proceeds benefited museum exhibitions and programs.

Upon arriving Saturday evening, guests were wowed by the transformation of MOCA galleries which were covered floor to ceiling with a neon-colored spectrum of 20,000 images culled from the museum’s print history, cleverly paying tribute to its many accomplishments. A chic night club setting was created in the outdoor art courtyard, where guests sipped Cartier champagne and Ketel One vodka. Artists mingled with the 500 guests who included international art world figures such as collectors Beth DeWoody, Christine and Andy Hall, Marguerite Hoffman, Douglas Cramer, Aaron Fleischman; art dealers Bob Monk, director of Gagosian Gallery, Roland Augustine, Lawrence Luhring, Douglas Baxter and Andrew Kreps; British architect David Adjaye; and Frances Morris, Curator, Tate Modern, London.

Tracey Emin and Kira Flanzraich

At dinner, MOCA Board Chair Emeritus Irma Braman, who along with husband Norman served as Honorary Chairmen of the Celebration, honored Alberto Ibargüen and The Knight Foundation for its outstanding support of the museum’s exhibitions and education programs. MOCA Executive Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater announced the formation of the 15th Anniversary Collection of over 20 new works including Mark Handforth’s Electric Tree, on view in North Miami’s Griffing Park. Award-winning Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson delighted guests with a new performance piece “Du Holde Kunst” especially created for the occasion that featured Schubert, showgirls and a showering of confetti. The party continued late into the night with dessert and dancing to music courtesy of DJ Hottpants.

Many of the partygoers returned to MOCA the following day for Artist to Artist, a fascinating series of conversations with the artists, which was sponsored by Sotheby’s. Painters Malcolm Morley, Richard Phillips and David Salle discussed different art movements in art history, followed by Enoc Perez, Shinique Smith and Matthew Ritchie who spoke about art education and their early influences. Tracey Emin, Isaac Julien and Jack Pierson recounted the process of making their art and Daniel Arsham, Naomi Fisher, Dara Friedman, Mark Handforth and Jorge Pantoja spoke about the evolution of the art scene in Miami. The program concluded with banter between Icelandic artists Ragnar Kjartansson and Magnus Sigurdson.

Enoc Perez, Diane and Alan Lieberman

Among those attending the Saturday celebration and Sunday art talks were Mercedes Abramo of Cartier and Jerome Kerr-Jarrett of Cartier and his wife Nadine; Knight Foundation President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen and wife Susana, Dennis Scholl, Vice President Arts, Knight Foundation and wife Debra; MOCA Board Members Michael Collins (Chair) and wife Sandy, 15th Anniversary Committee, and 15th Anniversary Chairs Dr. Kira Flanzraich (MOCA Board Vice-Chair) and husband Neil, Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz, Barbara Herzberg, Joanne Katz, Dr. Shulamit and Chaim Katzman, Jan and Daniel Lewis, Diane and Alan Lieberman;15th Anniversary Vice-Chairs Sandra and Stephen Muss and Ray Ellen (MOCA Board President) and Allan Yarkin, 15th Anniversary Committee members Janice and Allan Lipton, Hal Philipps, and 15th Anniversary International Committee Chairs Christine and Andy Hall; City of North Miami Mayor Andre D. Pierre; collectors Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz and Constance and Marty Margulies, Adam R. Rose and Peter R. McQuillan and Princess Firyal of Jordan, and actor Christian Slater.

Photos by Manny Hernandez, John Parra/Wire Images, Meg Pukel

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