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Society / Featured Parties

Houston’s Bright Young Things Enjoy a Truly Surreal Party

When Young Professionals Go Wild at the Menil

BY // 12.22.17
photography Jenny Antill Clifton, Obi Grant

What: Menil Contemporaries Surreal Soirée

Where: Menil Collection

PC Moment: One week after the Menil Collection’s luminous 30th anniversary gala, the museum’s bright young things gathered for their own fête held inside the vaunted Renzo Piano designed-building. The theme Surreal Soirée was inspired by the legendary Surrealist Ball hosted by Baroness Marie-Hélène de Rothschild and her husband Guy at Chateau de Ferrière in 1972 (Salvador Dalí designed the costumes and Audrey Hepburn sported a birdcage hat). Chairs Saba Jawda, Sarah Jawda, and Olivia and Edward Persia instructed guests to dress in surrealist black tie.

The buzz amongst the city’s most creative young professionals in advance of the affair resulted in a sellout of the 350 tickets — and we know at least a few who purchased tickets the night before, opting to skip office holiday parties to avoid a serious case of FOMO. An impressive number of attendees incorporated avant-garde and whimsical elements into their attire (Magritte’s apples and butterflies and Dalí’s lobster all made various appearances).

Bergner and Johnson crafted the surrealist decor, which included a birdcage DJ booth with DJ Athenz ensconced inside spinning tunes and screens flashing abstract images. Jackson and Company served up hors d’oeuvres and specialty cocktails. Guests meandered in and out of the museum’s galleries, danced, stopped for face painting, and posed for pics in the photo booth.

The proceeds benefitted the Menil Contemporaries Fund, a crowdsourcing effort to establish a permanent, endowed fund that will support the development, maintenance, and preservation of the Menil’s green spaces.

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Who: Gillian Sarofim, Jessica Phifer, Brian and Karlson Salek, Lacey and Matthew Goossen, Kathleen and Scott Reynolds, Kathryn Keener and Scott Fortney, Katie and Johnny Forney, Paul Seifert, Grace and Aaron Byrd, Mitchell Baldridge, Jennifer Nelson, Payson Tucker, Susie Bowen, Claire Petratis, Reagan Corbett, Michael Mandola, Gin Braverman, Ina and Philip Riley, Winnie and Kevin Bonebrake, Tatiana and Guillermo Sierra, Kate and Holbrook Dorn, Alana and Greg Highberger, Melissa and Oliver Tuckerman, Kelly Barnhart, Liz and David Anders, Katharine Barthelme, Brayden Chiles, Elizabeth Gregory, Capera and Igor Norinsky, Wes Persia, Lexie and Chase Boudreaux and Jennifer and David Strauss.

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