Museum of Contemporary Art Kicks-Off 15th Anniversary Year

"Surf’s Up" Pays Homage to 50's Surf Culture

Surf's Up Chairs Janice Lipton, Alan & Diane Lieberman with MOCA Director Bonnie Clearwater
The MOCA Bash Surf’s Up fundraiser was a perfect kick-off to the Museum of Contemporary Art’s 15th Anniversary Year celebration. Since opening its Joan Lehman Building in 1996, MOCA has not only been known for its sensational exhibitions and programs, but also for its fantastic fundraisers that support its programs. This awesome surfing-inspired evening was no exception.

Chairs Barbara Herzberg, Alan and Diane Lieberman, Janice Lipton and Ray Ellen Yarkin, and Honorary Chair Belkys Nerey, led a dynamic group of volunteers who organized the evening. With the support of sponsors Audi and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney North Miami Beach office, Barbara Herzberg , Alan and Diane Lieberman, Janice Lipton and Ray Ellen and Allan Yarkin, proceeds will benefit the museum’s cutting edge exhibitions, innovative education programs and world class permanent collection.

Guests began the evening with GREY GOOSE Vodka’s specialty cocktails “Step into Liquid”, “Ulluwata” and “Paddlepus”, Samuel Adams beer and wine courtesy of Touch Catering.

The elegant and intriguing look of the evening was due to the collaboration between Jean Augustin and Dionne Anderson of The Design Group who provided décor, and the creative vision of Miami artists Kevin Arrow, Bhakti Baxter, Alvaro Ilzerbe and Jen Stark.

Jon Kolody, Area Sales Manager South Florida, Audi , with wife Dora
Vivid films of neon-colored living coral from Coral Morphological, a marine-biological based art endeavor and sunset color studies courtesy of All Access Video and Lighting were dramatically projected on gallery walls alongside 14-foot high vintage surf films. Surfboards provided by Gary Kessler of Quiksilver South Beach and the Quiksilver pop-up shop reminded patrons of the adventure and thrill of the sport. The mini Miami Surf Archives display, also organized by Gary Kessler, recalled the early years of surfing on Miami Beach.

Spinning great dance tunes from a lifeguard stand, DJ Hottpants kept the inside crowd rocking. MOCA’s Paradise Courtyard recalled a beachside jam with the band Snakehole playing live and DJ Carlos RIGAU. Captivating performers clad in 1950s-style bathing suits designed by Carol Adrianza, green screen photos where guest posed with tropical backgrounds of their choice, and henna tattoo artists kept the evening edgy and fun.

Miami restaurants Adriana, Asia de Cuba, Blue Door Fish, China Grill, L.A. Café, Meat Market, Sushi Samba and Shiraz Events andCatering provided sophisticated tropical hors d’oeuvres while Mo’s Bagels and Deli, Nathan’s Hot Dogs, Woody’s Steak Sandwiches and Stella Sweet Shoppe served up casual beach fare.

Surf's Up Honorary Chair Belkys Nerey & Mario Vegel
The silent auction was far-out with original artwork by Rita Ackermann, Daniel Arsham and Roe Etheridge and surf-inspired prints by Russell Crotty and Raymond Pettibon. Patrons bid on 8-night stay in Taj Hotels in India, a Butterfield & Robinson bike tour, surfing safaris in Hawaii and Costa Rica, a tour of Wynwood galleries with MOCA Executive Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater, among other luxury items and experiences. One lucky ticket holder won a 7-day cruise on Norwegian Cruise Line’s new ship EPIC.

Looking far-out in their beach chic attire were MOCA Executive Director and Chief Curator Bonnie Clearwater, Surf’s Up Honorary Chair Belkys Nerey, artist Rita Ackermann, MOCA Board Chair Michael Collins and wife Sandy, MOCA Trustees Carlos Arrizureta, Francine Birbragher-Rozencwaig and Leslie Rozencwaig Kira Flanzraich, Joanne Katz, Jan Lewis and husband Dan, Beena Nagpal and husband Naresh, Hal Philipps, Evan Reed and Peter Robbins and wife Jody, Dora and Jon Kolody of Audi, Haley and Jason Binn, Aaron Glickman, and Channing Norton. Miami artists Kevin Arrow, Bhakti Baxter, Sam Borkson, Jim Drain, Bert Rodriguez, Jorge Pantoja and Alvaro Ilizerbe added their own creative vibe to the evening.

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