The Wonder Ball Benefits a Storied Texas Private School’s Community Cause — An Inside Look at The Kinkaid School’s Art + Design Auction

Unique Collector Items From Major Artists and Designers Showcased

BY // 03.02.22
photography Kennon Evett

It’s in the stars: The Kinkaid School’s art and design auction returns this month — a collecting opportunity that also does good, funding a new student wellness center and a community cause, the Engineering Math Science Institute summer program for underserved youth.

This spring’s edition, set for this Saturday, March 5 at The Kinkaid School, is titled The Wonder Ball, themed “A Marvelous Night for a Moondance.” The Art Project component is part of a grand evening of auction packages and offerings.

Eighteen talents in art, fashion and design have mined magic from 17.25 inch-diameter poly resin-and-stone spheres. PaperCity publisher Monica Bailey Bickers co-chairs The Wonder Ball Art Project along with Alex Stillwell and Katie Wynn.

Best of all, this elite private school auction is open to the public via an online link. Bidders need not attend the gala itself to vie for an artwork offered during this signature event that only happens every three years. Something for collectors to take note of.

A little history: The inaugural Kinkaid School Art + Design Auction in 2019 was spun around a Surrealist motif, and asked visual talents and interior designers to transform apples into artworks. Read about the fabulous creations brought forth then here.

Enchanting Orbs to Collect Now

Kelly Wearstler’s “Graffito,” 2022
L.A. designer Kelly Wearstler’s Graffito, 2022, is one of 18 speheres up for acquisition at The Kinkaid School’s Art Project Auction during The Wonder Ball benefit set for this Saturday, March 5. (Photo by Kennon Evett)

The Wonder spheres are being finalized, including orbs designed by de Gournay, Katsumi Hayakawa,  Kelly Wearstler, Field Kallop, Marian McEvoy, Dmitri Koustov, Joe Mancuso, Libbie Masterson, Ann Wolf, Julie Neill, André DeJean of Reagan & André Architecture, Lele Sadoughi, Schumacher, Jan Showers, Cameron Silver, Courtnay Tartt Elias and the just confirmed McKay Otto and Anthony Suber, the latter a Kinkaid teacher and artist.

Introducing Pêche

  • Bering's Gift's May 2024
  • Bering's Gift's May 2024
  • Bering's Gift's May 2024
  • Bering's Gift's May 2024
  • Bering's Gift's May 2024
  • Bering's Gift's May 2024

The resulting orbs are studies in imagination and creative art and design inspiration.

Ann Wolf’s “The Divine Proportion,” 2022
Houston designer Ann Wolf’s The Divine Proportion, 2022, takes inspiration from Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci, and is a masterful study in the wonders of trompe l’oeil. (Photo by Kennon Evett)

They range from the ethereal and romantic — Julie Neill’s Ball of Love envisioned by the designer to be “a giant kissing ball composed of a series of fantasy flowers hand-finished in plaster” — to Wonder spheres rooted in art history like Houston designer Ann Wolf’s The Divine Proportion, an ode in trompe l’oeil evoking the polyhedra marquetry patterns from Leonardo da Vinci’s 1509 volume of the same name.
Houston designer Ann Wolf’s The Divine Proportion, 2022, takes inspiration from Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci, and is a masterful study in the wonders of trompe l’oeil. (Photo by Kennon Evett)

There’s even a lamp from noted Dallas designer Jan Showers, who transforms an orb into illumination, and Wonder Ball-shaped pillows ornament a bench brought forth by Houston designer Courtnay Tartt Elias of Creative Tonic. Adding another note of functionality is Houston artist Libbie Masterson’s collaboration with Evangeline Atkinson, creative manager of jewelry brand Mariquita Masterson. The duo craft an elegant bar, drolly titled For the Absinthe Minded.

Libbie Masterson and Evangeline Atkinson’s “For the Absinthe-minded,” 2022 (Photo by Kennon Evett )
Libbie Masterson and Evangeline Atkinson’s inventive For the Absinthe-Minded, 2022, packs a bar into a Wonder Ball. (Photo by Kennon Evett )

Nature and the sublime also get nods in these creations including Wonder works from Houston artist Joe Mancuso (Bouquet), the iconic Marian McEvoy (Spring), fabled wallpaper firm de Gournay (The Gilded Cage), opulent design house Schumacher (Sea Garden), and international painter Katsumi Hayakawa (Day and Night).

Fashion participants include Dallas-based Lele Sadoughi of the luxurious headbands and Los Angeles vintage retailer for red carpet Hollywood, Cameron Silver of Decades.

An interest in the geometric, abstraction, and the graphic are topics shared by a few Wonder Ball participants, represented by lifestyle brand Kelly Wearstler’s Graffito, New York City based artist Field Kallop’s Bound and Infinite, Houston artist and Kinkaid Upper School Visual Arts teacher Anthony Suber’s Ascension, Texas artist Dmitri Koustov’s The CosmoChess Queen, and the vaporous imagery of artist McKay Otto, based in Wimberley, Texas.

McKay Otto's "Ever an Orb Ever," 2022
McKay Otto’s Ever an Orb Ever, 2022, “embodies infinity as well as its paradox of imperfection with mystical aspects,” says the artist.

Finally, activism and human rights are highlighted by Houston architecture firm Reagan & André’s triumphant Year of the Tiger!, designed by principal André DeJean.

Peruse the Wonder Collection benefiting The Kinkaid School and bid here through this Saturday, March 5 at midnight. Scroll through the slide show above and below this article for the entire Wonder Ball 2022 Collection.


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