What: Orange Show Center for Visionary Art Gala.
Where: Crowne Plaza at NRG.
Who: Chairs Lynn Mathre and Stewart O’Dell, joined by 400 folk-art fans, many outrageously costumed to sync with the night’s theme, Phantom Orange. Among the revelers: Orange Show founder and chairman of the board Marilyn Oshman (who’s also a celebrated collector); Don Mafrige Jr., resplendent in an entrance-making cape; Valerie and Lance Rosmarin, as superheroes; Marta Fredricks in an Orange is the New Black jumpsuit; artists Liza Littlefield, Ryan Geiger, Jesse Lott, Carter Ernst and Paul Kittelson, and Sharon Kopriva with husband, Gus, who owns Redbud Gallery; fellow gallerists Dan Allison, working the art auction tables; Barbara Davis, Deborah Colton, and Kirk Hopper, in from Dallas, in a wild Don King wig, who ended up as the high-bidder of a Bert Long Jr. mixed-media masterpiece; Vivie and Chris O’Sullivan; Harriet and Gil Gertner; John Jamail Jr. with mom, Shirlee Jamail; Orange Show executive director Lynette Wallace; Suzy Simons; Ige Johnson in a racy red off-the-shoulder gown; Beverley and John Berry; celebrated outsider-artist collector Stephanie Smither, one of the benefactors of the Orange Show’s Smither Park; art scribe Patricia Johnson; and Lester Marks, dressed as a gold-plated alien, with wife Penelope.
PC Moment: Our vote for best costume at this fabled gala always goes to J. Michael Soliz; this year he outdid himself attired as a drag queen with platform shoes, bustier, and fascinator adorned with butterflies and Hermès boxes. Then factor in rock ‘n’ roll legend Mickey Thomas of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship renown, and $500,000 later you have another over-the-very-top Orange Show Gala for the record books.