On Saturday, March 9, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) welcomed nearly 500 cultural philanthropists, artists, civic leaders, and arts supporters for the fifth annual Art of the Party presented by Valentino. PAMM’s biggest fundraiser event of the year honored renowned artist Christo and philanthropists Dorothy and Aaron Podhurst, who have been longtime supporters of PAMM since its inception 35 years ago. The event raised over $1 million, with all funds directly supporting the museum’s arts education program, the largest program of its kind outside the Miami-Dade County school system.
During the celebration, PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans announced Christina Quarles as the first recipient of the Pérez Prize by Jorge and Darlene Pérez, a new annual, unrestricted award of $50,000, which honors Quarles’ outstanding achievements and impact on the current art historical narrative. The selection was made by PAMM’s curatorial team in collaboration with The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation and honors experimentation, creativity and promise. It is also a symbol of PAMM’s mission to be a leader in the presentation, study and interpretation of international modern and contemporary art. Going forward, the Pérez Prize will be announced annually at PAMM’s Art of the Party.
“This year is a special one for us, as our institution is celebrating our 35th anniversary,” said PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans. “We are grateful for all who attended Art of the Party and supported PAMM’s vital arts education program that touches thousands of lives throughout the Miami community.”
The evening featured three unique guest experiences conceptualized by Lee Brian Schrager, as well as culinary collaborations by Miami-based, James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Norman Van Aken and Constellation Culinary Group.
At Chef’s Table, PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans celebrated critically-acclaimed artist Christo, one of the most admired and influential living artists in the world, whose monumental exhibitionSurrounded Islands, was on view at PAMM this past year, celebrating the project’s 35th anniversary and the lasting mark that it left on Miami’s cultural history. The evening also celebrated philanthropists Dorothy and Aaron Podhurst, who were among the visionary founders and leaders whose generosity and unwavering commitment helped PAMM grow from its inception as the Center for the Fine Arts into a world-class cultural destination.
Following Chef’s Table, guests were treated to the Supper Club dinner lounge, a one-of-a-kind al fresco dining experience on the picturesque waterfront promenade. Guests danced to music by Phaxas and enjoyed artful activations.
The evening’s events culminated with the Remix after party, where the Supper Club dinner lounge was transformed into a vibrant dance club featuring music by Danny Stern. Guests danced under the stars on the waterfront promenade, and enjoyed cocktails, and decadent desserts.
Bringing together art patrons, cultural ambassadors, philanthropic leaders, and social tastemakers, Art of the Party showcased the best of Miami as well as the world-class museum’s unique architecture and position as Miami’s flagship art museum.
Notable guests included musicians Marc Anthony, Alejandro Sanz, model Devon Windsor, film director Aaron Lieber, chef Norman Van Aken, Judge Cecilia Altonaga, Nadine Asin, Caroline Vreeland, stylist Elysze Held, fashion designer Naeem Khan, PAMM Director Franklin Sirmans, philanthropists Dorothy and Aaron Podhurst, Jorgé and Darlene Pérez, Maria Bechily, Mitchell A. Bierman, Adrienne Bon Haes and Marvin Friedman, Wayne and Arlene Chaplin, Sebastian and Natalie Echavarria, Alberto and Susana Ibargüen, Deryl McKissack, Gregory and Leslie Ferrero, Mireille Chancy Gonzalez, Rose Ellen Greene, Diane Grob, Jeff Krinsky, Luke Palacio, Patrick and Jaleh Peyton, Oti Roberts, Raj and Tanvi Vattikuti, and Susie and Walid Wahab, PAMM Chief Development Officer Doug Evans, PAMM Chief Curator Tobias Ostrander, entrepreneur Lee Brian Schrager, lawyer and philanthropist Alexa Wolman, Vice President of the Knight Foundation Victoria Rogers, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez, City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, Director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs Michael Spring, and Miami Herald Business and Visual Arts Editor Jane Wooldridge.
Photo Credit: John Parra/Getty Images and WorldRedEye.com