Society / The Seen

San Miguel Comes to Houston For One Colorful, Arty Night

This High-Spirited Fiesta Raises Temperatures — and $395,000

BY // 05.15.19
photography Wilson Parish

Now about that docile burro that stood before a wall of paper flowers for pre-registration photo ops at the Glassell School of Art Benefit and Auction. Some of the 300 guests were stumped by the four-legged presence. Others, including Museum of Fine Arts, Houston director Gary Tinterow and Christopher Gardner, gamely stepped up for a commemorative photo.

The colorful mise en scène served as a warmup for the high-spirited fiesta that embraced a San Miguel de Allende theme as envisioned by benefit chairs Luz Garcini, a faculty scholar at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, and Marc Melcher, a wealth management advisor with Merrill Lynch.

Glassell School fans, artists and collectors were greeted by a band of mariachis as they entered the Steven Holl Architects structure where scores of artworks by Houston and national artists were on view and available for bidding. Results from the silent auction of artworks and ticket sales on this evening garnered $395,000 for the school’s operating budget.

The party action took place in a transparent tent on Brown Foundation Plaza where a blue and white theme, matching the chairs’ outfits, prevailed. Blue and white papel picados were strung overhead, while a blue and white “tiled” dance floor beckoned and blue and white Mexican pottery holding paper flowers centered the dinner tables. Garcini allowed that her blue and white dress with notes of sparkle and Melcher’s guayabera with accents of blue were hand painted in a special shop in San Miguel.

The City Kitchen buffet featuring beef short ribs, chicken in tomatillo sauce, spinach and queso Oaxaca, arroz Mexicana and more continued the South of the Border ambience. We will not soon forgive the caterer for the ridiculously delicious dessert — frozen mango and coconut parfait with passion fruit coulis.

With guests’ stomachs filled, Mango Punch lit up the night with its compelling Latin sounds, filling the dance floor.

PC Seen: Glassell School director Joseph Havel, collectors Leslie and Brad Bucher, Judy and Scott Nyquist, Leigh and Reggie Smith, Jerry Ann Chaney, Heidi Gerger; plus Alfred Glassell III and Marli Andrade, Clare Glassell, Bobbie Nau, Melanie Lawson and John Guess Jr., Anne Schlumberger, Marilyn Oshman, Yvonne and Scott Ziegler, Kathy and John Orton, Bettie Cartwright, Claire and Doug Ankenman, Mary and Bernie Arocha, Micheline and German Newall, Silvia Salle and Peter Wood, and Bridget and Patrick Wade.  

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