Society / Featured Parties

Inside the Weird, Wondrous Eye Ball, the Hottest Gala in Dallas

A Post-Apocalyptic Bodega, Sexy Mad Scientists, and More Moments for Art Fair Weekend

BY // 05.04.22

For international gallerists in town (who were dressed like international gallerists in oh-so avant-garde Japanese designers and voluminous noir frocks), local art collectors (dressing eerily similar to those international gallerists) and artists with studios in neighborhoods like Deep Ellum and the Cedars (with a patron that can help them score a ticket to the always oversold event) the Saturday night of the Dallas Art Fair means one thing — heading to The Eye Ball.

The chic party put on by Headington Companies has had many memorable years since its 2014 launch, but unfortunately, the past three have been sadly missed (a rainstorm clouded the event in 2019). I had forgotten what a spectacular spectacle was generally made of the green space in front of Tony Tasset’s monumental Eye. The key team behind the eyeful of an event was chief marketing officer of Headington Companies Jeny Bania (clapping emoji hands), Gro Design, and Jan Strimple. When I was chatting up Bania to rave about her fabulous party she was quick to chime in — “a lot of credit needs to go to the phenomenal Planet Productions. Working with them is an incredibly collaborative experience.”

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A time-obsessed scientist makes the rounds (Photo by Beckley & Co)

After a slight queue, we proceeded through a dilapidated and ominous tunnel that seemed straight from the set of a zombie film. Towards the end of the said entrance, a mad — and sexy — scientist handing out watches (a fun update on wristbands). Attached to each timepiece was a little slip of paper reminiscent of a fortune cookie message with: TIME HAS EXPANDED AND CONTRACTED—NO LONGER A RELIABLE MEASURE. NATURE, THOUGH, CONTINUED HER COURSE. RELICS AND RESOURCEFULNESS ARE ALL THAT IS LEFT. 

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Attendees were enveloped in fog at the apocalyptic-themed bash (Photo by Beckley & Co)

And it did not disappoint. Décor was a mash-up of tangled vines, abandoned televisions, and rambling brush. A small grove of trees with swings were staged that seemed reminiscent of Fragonard’s famous Rococo painting for those in need of an Instagram story. One might say it was Alice in Wonderland meets nuclear winter meets Kubrick mayhem. Throughout the night, we listened to performances by William Close and his Earth Harp (the world’s largest stringed instrument which extended from The Eye lawn to the rooftop of Forty Five Ten) and Grammy Award-winning Mark Giuliana.

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The bodega cashier was one of the party’s many characters (Photo by Beckley & Co)

A highlight for most that evening was shopping the EZ MART, a post-apocalyptic bodega filled with roadside convenience store fare: custom scratch-off tickets, children’s toys (I snagged a bottle of blowable bubbles), booze, and Eye Ball-branded snacks.

Susie Straubmueller, Nickki St. George, Nancy Rogers, Jeny Bania eye ball 2022
Susie Straubmueller, Nickki St. George, Nancy Rogers, Jeny Bania (Photo by Beckley & Co)

Spotted playing the night’s version of supermarket sweep in the faux bodega were Nancy Rogers; art advisor Ashley Tatum; our favorite boy about town Vito Cammisano; decorator world darling Doniphan Moore; Brian Bolke fresh off the success of his recent epic Dallas Museum of Art Art Ball with husband Faisal Halum; recent Seattle transplants Leigh Anne and Dave Clark, and Kristin Bray; Neiman Marcus’ Marjon Henderson; Meg Temple; Dallas Art Fair founder John Sughrue and his wife Marlene Sughrue; Kara Goss; Kristie Ramirez; Sheryl Maas; Keenan Walker; Christen and Derek WilsonTina CraigRand MasonNickki St. GeorgeSusie Staub MuellerForty Five Ten’s Dianna Miller, Kyle Branch, Robin Wilkes, and Jordan Jones (with her dashing husband Christian Munoz in tow).

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