Arts / Galleries

Fresh Arts’ Builds Buzz for Its Wonder Ball — Going Down a Houston Rabbit Hole

When Whimsical Fairy Tales and Art Fantasies Come to Life

BY // 01.16.24

On the heels of a triumphant Thunder Ball last year, Fresh Arts is getting ready to come back with its annual costume gala on Saturday, February 17 at Silver Street Studios. Themed Wonder Ball, the evening promises to take Houstonians down a rabbit hole and into a wonderland of creativity and imagination. 

Emily Schreiber, Tamar Mendelssohn, Alene Coggin, Austin Thomas (Fresh Arts board member) at Fresh Arts Thunder Ball (Photo by Viva La Marx Photography)
Emily Schreiber, Tamar Mendelssohn, Alene Coggin, Austin Thomas (Fresh Arts board member) at Fresh Arts Thunder Ball (Photo by Viva La Marx Photography)

This year, the gala introduces a new event offering: the Wonder Ball Dinner Party, featuring dishes from Hungry’s to commemorate the restaurant’s 45th birthday. This themed and seated dinner will include live entertainment, an exclusive live auction and early building access to the gala’s silent art auction. 

The Dinner Party is available to underwriters, sponsors and Individual Dinner Party ticket holders. Seats are limited.

“The annual Fresh Arts Ball is an ever-evolving event with changing themes, but this year we’re excited for the opportunity to turn it up a notch with the Wonder Ball Dinner Party,” Fresh Arts’ executive director Angela Carranza says. “Since curiosity plays into our theme this year, it is really the perfect time for us to explore a new aspect of the gala that will only add to such an otherworldly, storybook experience.”

Charles Ward, Carolin Farb, Michael Pearce, Matt Burrus at 2016's The Paint Ball (Photo by Morris Malakoff)
Charles Ward, Carolin Farb, Michael Pearce, Matt Burrus at 2016’s The Paint Ball (Photo by Morris Malakoff)

Fresh Arts is also partnering with Art is Bond gallery curator and director Janice Bond to fuel the art auction with affordable pieces that represent Houston’s incredible range if talent.  

Event chairs Eva Sagisaka and Morgan Holleman, Erika Mei Chua Holum, Rachelle Maldonado, Matt Manalo, and Merry and Palmer Schooley are excited to honor Ruby Rivera, the founder of Texas Salsa Congress, and Houston-based commissioner Theresa W. Chang of the Texas commission on the Arts. 

Marci & Stuart Dallas at The Cineball in 2017 (Photo by Morris Malakoff)
Marci & Stuart Dallas at The Cineball in 2017 (Photo by Morris Malakoff)

A defining feature of a Fresh Arts gala is its out-of-this-world costumes, which revolve around a different theme each year. For this year’s ball, expect costumes inspired by whimsical fairy tales and fantasies that evoke a sense of wonder. Alice in Wonderland is just the beginning.

With extravagant outfits, eccentric signature cocktails, an outlandish atmosphere and live entertainment, this gala should have partygoers saying, “We’re all mad here!” 

Wonder Ball is set to take place Saturday, February 17, from 8:30 pm to 11:30 pm at Silver Street Studios (2000 Edwards Street). The Wonder Ball Dinner Party takes place 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm and is exclusive to underwriters, sponsors and Dinner Party ticket holders. Learn more information and get tickets here.  

Scroll through the photo gallery above this story to see the most eclectic and eccentric costumes from past Fresh Arts galas.

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