Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s Secret Underground Sees Partiers Tunneling Into an Arty Bash With Visions of Berlin’s Club World

This CAMH Gala Keeps the Wildness on the Menu

BY // 05.04.22
photography Priscilla Dickson

Amid the rusting tin ruins of a country barn with strings of bare lightbulbs overhead, a colorful congress of artists, gallerists, collectors and interested parties gathered at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston for a night recalling the gritty subterranean club life of Berlin.

“Secret Underground” found the eclectic clutch arriving at CAMH through a downward tunnel and passing through the actual underground setting, where the after party would rave, to ascend to ground level for the main event.

Marcelo Saenz and Adrian Dueñas along with Carrie and Sverre Brandsberg-Dahl took the reins of CAMH’s annual gala and art auction with an international flourish embedded in their diverse heritages and reflecting the diversity of Houston as well as the varied forms of art in the auction.

Highlight of the live auction was the NFT donated by Houston-based entrepreneur Erick Calderon, who goes by the name “Snowfro” in art NFT circles. His iconic piece “Chromie Squiggle” of which there are only 10,000 minted iterations commanded $50,000, the top selling work of the night. Calderon is the founder of Art Blocks, which touts itself as largest and first company focused on generative art on the blockchain.

His was just one of the varied entertainments on this night. Los Angeles-based artist and filmmaker Mariah Garnett organized an operatic performance featuring tenor Christopher Craig and soprano Breanna Sinclairé in celebration of the artist’s upcoming exhibition Mariah Garnett: Dreamed This Gateway, which runs June 10 through August 28.

Outspoken Bean, Judy Nyquist, Scott Nyquist (Photo by Priscilla Dickson)
Outspoken Bean, Judy & Scott Nyquist at the CAMH ‘Secret Underground’ gala (Photo by Priscilla Dickson)

After the Jackson & Company dinner, guests descended from the tableau created by Rebekah Johnson to the “Secret Underground” after party where chair Adel Sadek of CIEL Restaurant + Lounge joined forces with BeDesign owners Saenz and Dueñas in adding an extra jolt of energy to the late night scene. It happened to be Sadek’s 32nd birthday for which his lady love Desiree Jacobs provided a surprise birthday cake.

PC Seen: CAMH director Hesse McGraw, Leigh and Reggie Smith, Beverly and Howard Robinson, Outspoken Bean, Judy and Scott Nyquist, Sarah and Edward Sudhoff, Dana and Patrick Calderal, John and Becca Cason Thrash, Ruth Dreesen and Tom Van Laan, Linda Briggs, Kevin Longe, Kat and Daniel Robinson, Patricia Restrepo, Kelly and Nick Silvers, Elia Gabbanelli, Rosangela Capobianco, Ashley and Craig Klaasmeyer, and Catherine and George Masterson.

Curated Collection