Arts / Museums

70-Million-Year-Old Turtle, a Beautiful Memorial Mansion and Beetle Mania Makes This Anything But Just Another Night

Partying Under a Warhol for CAMH

BY // 11.30.18
photography Daniel Ortiz

Flora and fauna added an unexpected touch, as did the appearance of 70-million-year-old fossil of a turtle, to make this year’s iteration of Another Great Night in November — the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s annual femmes-only fundraiser — among the most memorable in a tradition that began in 1990. (The museum itself, a temple of the avant-garde, celebrates its 70th this year, making CAMH the second oldest institution of its kind in America.)

A crowd of several hundred couture-clad swans descended upon the beautiful Memorial-area manse for an evening hosted by Kelli Weinzierl. (The hostess and her oil-and-gas husband, John Weinzierl, are into contemporary art and nature, reflected in their home’s decor scheme, overseen by designer Lucinda Loya and art consultant Lea Weingarten, who incorporated the family’s passion for rocks and fossils alongside cutting-edge work like a room divider formed from Irish seaweed encased in resin and a wall installation reflecting beetle-mania.

These artworks, respectively by Irish talent Sasha Sykes and University of Wisconsin professor Jennifer Angus, were highlighted in the new edition of AGN’s trivia contest, changed from a quiz to be more democratic, and rebranded as Art Hunt. (Everyone who completed their art passports was entered in the night’s luxury drawing.)

Sparkly host Miz Weinzierl and co-chairs Lindley Arnoldy and Valerie Palmquist Dieterich — a dynamic trio attired respectively in looks by Tom and Linda Platt from Tootsies, Isabel Marant paired with A.L.C., and Dolce & Gabbana — reigned over an evening that unfolded in three acts.

This ultimate art party segued from tours throughout the lavish, and cleverly appointed, home, to a seated dinner crafted by A Fare Extraordinaire in an inspired Moroccan mode, staged in a tent devised by party designer Rebekah Johnson where light projections mimicked the home’s jaunty painted sunroom walls.

The finale was an After Party enacted by DJ John Tran spinning in the bar where an edgy Warhol screen print of an electric chair looked on.

All guests lefts winners, receiving a chic deck of Tiffany playing cards and CAMH exhibition catalogs. One lucky lady, Emma Hart in from Sotheby’s New York — went home with the grand loot — a Tiffany & Co. diamond watch. Second-place winner Trini Mendenhall scored Post Oak Motor Cars’ prize of 24 hours riding in style in a Bentley Bentayga.

Stats: 200 guests, $200,000 plus later, this was one for the party books.

Social Canvas: CAMH interim director Christina Brungardt and gallerist/board member Kerry Inman, both contributing remarks; collector types Leigh Smith, Susanne Pritchard, Gail Adler, Marita Fairbanks, Candace Baggett, Bridget Wade, Susie Criner, Sissy KempnerHeidi Gerger, and Jereann Chaney (who serves as board chair); Post Oak Motor Cars’ Diane Caplan (whose company also underwrote the valet); gallerists Nancy Littlejohn and Bryn Larsen; Tiffany & Co.’s Kim Wilson and Stella Yuan (the iconic American brand the evening’s luxury retail sponsor); CAMH curators Patricia Restrepo and new hire from MOCA L.A., Rebecca Matalon.

Also basking in the art: Becca Cason Thrash; architect Lauren Rottet; Gerry Fehn; MFAH curator Dena Woodall; Lawndale Art Center director Stephanie Mitchell; art advisor and CAMH board member Liz Anders and sister, PaperCity‘s Meredith Chastang; PaperCity publisher Monica Bickers; Allie Fields; Stephanie Cockrell; Estela Cockrell; Blakely Griggs; Sotheby’s Aliyya Stude; Sarah Jawda, whose firm, Jawda and Jawda, designed the evening’s invite; Cabrina Owsley; Cece FowlerJulie Bergeron and sister, PC mag photog Jenny Antill Clifton; Tenenbaum Jewelers’ Christina Stith; PaperCity design editor Anne Lee Phillips; art adviser and board member Melissa Kepke GrobmyerLisa Oren; Holly Radom; Catherine Masterson; Caroline Finkelstein; Brittany Cassin; Katie Arnoldy; Mary D’Andrea; and CAMH 2019 Gala co-chairs Haydeh Davoudi and Jordan Seff. (Save the date: Friday, April 12, at the museum, for an evening that will cap, and celebrate, CAMH’s seven decades of provocative programming.)

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