In a season of spectacular functions, Bespoke at the Dallas Contemporary stands out. Not just because patrons fly in from all over the U.S. for this fresh and flashy fundraiser, but because local art powerhouses turn up to show their unwavering support for a not-for-profit institution.
The likes of Circuit 12 Contemporary, Goss-Michael Foundation, Cris Worley Fine Arts and Barry Whistler Gallery all donated art to the Bespoke auction. Worley, Whistler and Goss-Michael associate director Ariel Saldivar were on hand for the festivities.
Local fashionistas were also thrilled to be involved. Said Clutts Agency founder John Clutts on the way into the silent auction, “I’m lucky because I’m on the board. The amazing thing is the Contemporary would have been half the size if it weren’t for [director] Peter Doroshenko. He pushed us, and now we’re one of the largest contemporary museums in the world. And we’re a non-collecting museum, so events like tonight help pay for the art that’s exhibited.”
Rebranded two years ago from the Contemporary’s Wish! Auction, Bespoke offers a more curated approach to both the live and silent auctions. Canadian designer Jeremy Laing, who donated a geometric dress to the auction, agreed with V.O.D. owner Jackie Bolin that this year’s event “is even bigger and better” than before.
Guests sipped champagne while watching a modernist dance performance by Danielle Georgiou and the DGDG Dance Group between silent bids on art by the likes of Shepard Fairey, Kevin Todora and Faile. Futuristic floral arrangements by Grange Hall dressed up the second half of the space, where attendees enjoyed a dinner by TK Culinary while learning what crucial programs their generous donations will fund.
Doroshenko’s opening remarks touched on the Contemporary’s DCU, a series of lectures featuring North Texas college professors, and the Renaissance Programme, which targets emerging museum professionals, allowing them to develop their curatorial skills.
The inaugural Bespoke raised more than $450,000, and this year’s edition surpassed that, at more than $500,000 — thanks in no small part to the fast-and-furious, five-figure bids for jaunts to Art Basel Miami and the Fiac Art Fair in Paris and works by Inez and Vinoodh and Patrick Martinez.
Other onsite celebrants included Barbara Buzzell, Brian Bolke, Jeffrey Lee, Muffin and John Lemak, Niven Morgan, Nini Nguyen, Brad Oldham, Christy Coltrin, Rajan Patel, Susan Posnick, Allison V. Smith, Nancy Rogers, Maxine Trowbridge, Barbara and Don Daseke, Jessica Olsson Nowitzki, Erin Wasson, and Dee Wyly.