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July 07, 2014
By Ingrid Skjong | Events

Focused Tour of Collectible Design in Paris Artecase
Courtesy of La Musée des Arts Decoratifs

Collectible design and the inspirations of a fashion icon take center stage on September 12 in Paris with a daylong tour and an exploration of aesthetics hosted by collecting advisory Artecase.

“Each element of the day is fascinating,” says Susan Boullier of Artecase. “But when experienced together as components of our guided theme, Collectible Design in Paris Inspired by Jeanne Lanvin, participants will have an exceptional and coherent experience.”

The theme grew out of Artecase’s focus on thoughtful acquisition and coincides with Lanvin’s 125th anniversary this year. The first part of the day will focus on early-20th-century design, with a visit to the Biennale des Antiquaires (September 11–21) at the Grand Palais; the second will move into contemporary design at galleries like Kreo Galerie (a self-described “design laboratory”) in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

In a day filled with highlights, one that particularly stands out is a private tour of the Jeanne Lanvin rooms at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (pictured above), showcasing how the fashion icon’s personal style came through in her design decisions. The day will end with a VIP Champagne reception at the flagship Lanvin store on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and a viewing of the current couture collection.

While getting a dose of designer fashion is a chic way of bringing the day’s concepts around, gaining an understanding of the evolution of the collectible-design market is the ultimate goal. “Our aim in conceiving this very tailored program,” says Artecase's Elizabeth Chase, “is to give guests access to top design, people and experiences in Paris in order to inspire curiosity and interest in design objects.” To book a spot on the tour, call 33-6/47-25-09-66 or e-mail contact@arte-case.com; arte-case.com.

June 09, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Events

storm king summer solstice
Mark di Suvero, Beethoven’s Quartet, 2003. Steel, stainless steel, 24' 7? x 30' x 23' 3?. Loaned by the artist and Spacetime C.C., New York. Photograph by Don Pollard. Courtesy of Storm King Art Center.

If Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is any indication, the summer solstice is an opportunity for—among many things—a little magic. On June 14, Storm King Art Center, the Hudson Valley’s renowned sculpture park, honors the tradition with its own version of an evening romp in the forest: the third annual Summer Solstice Celebration.

Set to coincide roughly with the longest day of the year (June 21) and the full moon (June 13), the dinner event hosts guests on the museum’s sprawling, 500-acre grounds. In addition to private access to the park’s impressive collection—massive works by the likes of Alexander Calder, Claes Oldenburg and Richard Serra pepper the landscape—revelers have the chance to watch the sun set and the moon rise over the nearby mountains during the course of the evening.

In honor of the park’s newest exhibit, “Zhang Huan: Evoking Tradition” (through November 9), the foraged and farm-fresh menu—designed for the third time by Peter Hoffman of Back Forty and Shelley Boris of Fresh Company—will feature dishes inspired by Huan’s sculptures made of incense ash.

“Working with an artist who understands both the transience and the captivating power of fire is right up a cook’s alley,” Hoffman says. “Without fire we don't have civilization, without ash there is no evidence. I want to taste the process, the transformation.”

Needless to say, the Bard would approve. Tickets start at $150; 5 p.m.–10 p.m.; 1 Museum Rd.; 854-534-3115; stormking.org.

May 13, 2014
By Ingrid Skjong | Events

Lake Austin Spa Resort Gets Cooking
Courtesy of Lake Austin Spa Resort

Picturesque Lake Austin Spa Resort hosts its Culinary Experience program year-round, but this summer’s lineup of talented chefs, restaurateurs, authors and food personalities is particularly robust, thoughtfully assembled with Lake Austin’s singular dining in mind.

“We are serious about our food, and it’s one of the things our guests rave about the most,” says executive chef Stéphane Beaucamp (pictured above). “But I love seeing what the other chefs prepare, how they prepare it and their process in making their creation. It’s like getting a snapshot into their lives—where they came from and why they love to cook.”

The summer roster features food-writing team Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough (June 9–10), James Beard award–winning cookbook author and TV personality Joanne Weir (June 13), founding Food Network member Sara Moulton (June 14) and Southern-cooking expert Rebecca Lang (July 18).

The experiences feature cooking demonstrations and an array of activities that could include a tour of the organic garden, a primer on olive oil, a tea workshop, instruction on composting and even a knife-skills class. Guests staying at the resort—a 40-room hideaway situated on the banks of Lake Austin (a reservoir of the Colorado River)—cook with the chefs, swap stories (and techniques, as Beaucamp says the pros often walk away with tips from their audience) and take home recipes and, when available, signed cookbooks. In other words, it’s a food lover’s dream. Rates start at $1,720 a person (three-night resort package, including meals and activities); 1705 S. Quinlan Park Rd.; 512-372-7300; lakeaustin.com.

April 30, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Events

A Grand Toast: The Nantucket Wine Festival
Courtesy of Nantucket Wine Festival

If there were ever a good excuse to eat and drink your way through the entirety of five days, the Nantucket Wine Festival (May 14–18) is it. Celebrating its 18th edition this year, the gathering will attract leading chefs, winemakers, industry experts and connoisseurs to the small New England island to experience more than 50 prestigious, palate-pleasing events.

“We wanted to show the world the density, quality and diversity of Nantucket’s restaurant scene,” explains festival founder Denis Toner. “Historically, Nantucket has always had the wherewithal to have fine restaurants, which in turn bring in great wine.”

Opportunities to indulge include the signature Harbor Gala and Grand Tastings, both hosted at the White Elephant hotel (50 Easton St.; 508-228-2500; whiteelephanthotel.com); a variety of food-and-wine seminars on subjects like oysters, cheese, rosé and charcuterie; and a day of cooking demonstrations by top chefs, including Gabe Thompson, of L’Artusi in New York; Michelle Bernstein, of Michy’s in Miami; and Kevin Williamson, of Ranch 616 in Austin. And with nearly 25 of the East Coast’s best sommeliers on hand, consider the festival as much an education as it is a treat. May 14–18; 617-527-9473; nantucketwinefestival.com.

April 16, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Events

Design Finds a Future in Detroit
David Stark

“The car industry aside, Detroit is one of the historic hotbeds of design in America,” says New York–based event producer and installation artist David Stark, in anticipation of Culture Lab Detroit (April 24–26), a program designed to inspire collaboration between leading international talent and their local counterparts. “We often don’t remember that Detroit was once one of the most affluent cities in America, but go there now—you feel how much important design history abounds.”

In honor of that past, the second annual intellectual gathering—founded by Jane Schulak, in collaboration with the Detroit Creative Corridor Center and the College for Creative Studies—welcomes presenters Stark, international architect David Adjaye (London), artist and innovator Theaster Gates (Chicago) and interior and furniture designers Humberto and Fernando Campana (Brazil) and the curious alike for a series of classes, talks, programming and events focused on urban regenerative design.

“Culture Lab Detroit is designed to showcase, connect and inspire problem solvers who find ways to respond to extreme conditions,” Schulak says. “It is hoped that these shared experiences and collaborations with national and international artists, designers and architects will increase awareness and the imprint of Detroit’s creative community around the globe.”

Based on this year’s group of return and first-time presenters, it would seem the Lab is already making waves. “Innovation and art-making are born out of necessity and sheer desire in the Detroit community,” Stark adds. “Installation art is being made in the streets out of detritus despite all kinds of odds, and being around that kind of passion reminds me why I make art in the first place.” culturelabdetroit.org.

April 11, 2014
By Ingrid Skjong | Events

Alyson Shotz Sculpture
Alyson Shotz, Untitled, hand folded aluminum with enamel paint, 2014 (Courtesy of the Artist and Derek Eller Gallery)

The Brooklyn Artists Ball, held this year on April 16 at the Brooklyn Museum, aims to champion both its home borough and the talent that lives and works there.

Honorees include artist/activist Ai Weiwei, conceptual artist Jenny Holzer and portraitist Kehinde Wiley (as well as David and Jane Walentas, instrumental figures in the development of the Brooklyn neighborhood Dumbo). But 16 featured artists—all based in the borough—will take center stage, each producing an installation on a 40-foot table: Oliver Clegg’s rotating circular seating setup, a crocheted creation by Olek inspired by still-life paintings, Jeremy Couillard’s 16 dioramas. An after party will follow cocktails and dinner; proceeds from the event will help support the museum’s educational programs and special exhibits.

Needless to say, creativity runs high. And select works by the artists (like the sculpture pictured here by Alyson Shotz) make up an online auction, which will be at the gala, hosted by the digital art platform Artsy. Bidders can bid through April 16.

“Our guests leave the ball knowing that [we are] deeply committed to Brooklyn-based artists, who are a driving force in keeping the museum on the leading edge of contemporary art,” says museum director Arnold Lehman. “As more artists make their way to Brooklyn…the arts community continues to converge here at the Brooklyn Museum.” Tickets start at $1,000; 200 Eastern Pkwy., Brooklyn; 718-501-6436; artsy.net.

March 26, 2014
By Sasha Levine | Events

Fabergé Hosts the World’s Largest Egg Hunt
Maverick Inman

After major success in London in 2012, raising more than $1.5 million for charity and setting two Guinness World Record titles, the Fabergé Big Egg Hunt (212-463-3776; thebigegghunt.org)—the largest egg hunt in the world—lands in New York starting April 1.

The cause-driven public-art event will put more than 260 two-and-a-half-foot-tall egg sculptures—each designed by world-renowned creatives like Tommy Hilfiger, Diane von Furstenberg, Peter Beard, Zaha Hadid, Olivier Theyskens, Ronnie Wood and Bruce Weber—on display throughout New York’s five boroughs. (Globemaker Bellerby & Co. created the one pictured here.) All eggs will move to Rockefeller Center on April 18 and remain there through the 25th.

“It’s very exciting to see such an explosion of creative talent coming together,” says Katharina Flohr, Fabergé’s managing and creative director. “Diversity is at the core of the exhibition,” adds philanthropist Mark Shand, who founded the event. “We work very hard to curate a broad collection, bringing artists, fashion designers, photographers, architects, celebrities and even chocolatiers from across the spectrum on board. Artists really enjoy working with the shape of the egg—I think everyone will be literally amazed by what they have created.”

The spectacle concludes with a Sotheby’s auction (April 26) of the sculptures to benefit two charities: Shand’s Elephant Family (elephantfamily.org), which works to protect the endangered Asian elephant, and Studio in a School (studioinaschool.org), a program founded by Agnes Gund that teaches visual arts to children in underserved schools.

Hunters who download the Big Egg Hunt smartphone app and use it during their search are automatically entered into a sweepstakes to win one of three Fabergé gemstone-egg-pendant prizes (combined retail price: more than $125,000) when they check in at the eggs. Once an egg is discovered, or “cracked,” its location becomes public on an interactive digital map. “This exhibition is really breaking new ground,” says Shand. “All that is left to say is, happy hunting, New York!” Through April 26.

March 06, 2014
By Maud Doyle | Events

The Saut Hermès at the Grand Palais in Paris
© Frédéric Chéhu

The Saut Hermès, a horse-jumping competition held beneath the vast glass nave of the Grand Palais in Paris from March 14 to March 16, blends tradition and sport. Hermès began its illustrious, scarf-wrapped reign over luxury 63 years prior to the Grand Palais’s completion in 1900 for the World’s Fair, creating the finest in leather equestrian goods. But the label’s annual return to its origins is a thoroughly modern nine-round Grand Prix event that attracts the world’s 35 best show jumpers, as well as the Talents Hermès class, which features 20 riders under the age of 25.

The competition is graded CSI 5*—the most difficult level of international jumping (some jumps reach more than five feet)—by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) and the Fédération Française d’Equitation (FFE). Now in its fifth year, the spectacular is hoped to, according to organizers, “revive and develop the tradition of equestrian competitions in the heart of Paris” and happens shortly before next month’s FEI World Cup in Lyon. Along with the contest, French horse trainer Bartabas will present a show called Metamorphosis, inspired by China and performed by riders from his Versailles Academy of Equestrian Arts.

It is fitting that Hermès holds the affair at the Grand Palais. The first Paris Air Show (Salon de la Locomotion Aérienne), held at the glass-and-steel pavilion in 1909, hosted transportation fantasies of the future, with zeppelins, airplanes and hot-air balloons. Saut Hermès celebrates a transportation tradition of the past, showcasing the right measure of skill, sophistication and fantasy to be transportive in its own right. 21 Av. Franklin Delano Roosevelt; for tickets, visit sauthermes.com.

February 11, 2014
By Lesley McKenzie | Design, Events

Palm Springs Modernism Week Kicks Off
Courtesy of Palm Springs Modernism Show

Design buffs are descending upon Palm Springs for the desert oasis’s annual Modernism Week (February 13–23). Celebrating the city’s roots in midcentury architecture, design and culture, the 11-day extravaganza features more than a hundred events ranging from a twilight tour and wine reception at the Edris House (February 20), a private home built in 1953 that is impressively integrated into its rocky surrounds, to a sneak peek at the Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center (psmuseum.org), which is set to open this fall.

This year’s docket includes a slew of architectural tours by double-decker bus, offering a glimpse of the Southern California design destination’s 20th-century architectural gems, including the Neutra Kaufmann Desert House and the homes of Elvis and Frank Sinatra. And those in the know have already scored tickets to the Palm Springs Modernism Show & Sale (February 14–17), now in its 14th year. Held at the Palm Springs Convention Center, the event features more than 85 world-renowned exhibitors, including well-known midcentury design dealers Mark McDonald of New York, Southern California–based Off the Wall and (new this year) Alexandre Huygevelde of Paris. (Exhibitor Timeless Modernism’s Barcelona chairs and Tugendhat table by Mies van der Rohe of Metallwerkstätten Berlin are pictured above.)

But for perhaps the ultimate ode to the 20th-century movement, head to the city’s first Modernism Week show house, dubbed the Christopher Kennedy Compound after the locally based designer who spearheaded the project. Here, his talents and those of his contemporaries like Celerie Kemble, Thomas Lavin and Trina Turk converge under one roof to create a stunning homage to California glamour and the laid-back vibe of Palm Springs. The house goes on the market following this year’s festivities so you, too, will have the opportunity to own a slice of modernist heaven. 760-799-9477; modernismweek.com.

February 05, 2014
By Ingrid Skjong | Events

Philip Glass, Patti Smith and More Play for Tibet House
Steve Pyke

The annual Tibet House benefit concert at Carnegie Hall is a music-filled affair looked forward to by both fans and the artists who take the stage alike. This year’s installment (March 11), which, as always, supports the work of the nonprofit, is no exception.

“Every year we are very fortunate to have the finest performers, from legendary artists to the most exciting emerging musicians,” says event artistic director Philip Glass (pictured above), an original Tibet House founder. “Collaborations are always part of the concert, and every year I'm amazed at the chemistry the evening produces.”

This year’s lineup, which promises more than a few sparks, includes Iggy Pop; Patti Smith & Her Band; Matt Berninger, Aaron Dessner and Bryce Dessner of The National; American composer Nico Muhly; and Tibetan folk singer Techung. And performance poet Mike Garry will pair up with British composer Joe Duddell on a musical version of Saint Anthony, a poem by Garry about Anthony H. Wilson, the late owner of the now defunct British indie record label Factory Records. The new rendition is inspired by the song "Your Silent Face" by New Order, which was one of the bands Wilson signed; New Order's Bernard Sumner will help perform the work.

An organization with a sole mission to preserve Tibetan culture, Tibet House began in 1987 as a direct request from the Dalai Lama. Headquartered in New York, it continues to garner support, celebrity (Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard and Chuck Close are this year’s honorary chairs) and otherwise—proving a good cause never goes out of style.

“The Tibetan culture is a priceless treasure,” says Glass, “and one worth saving.” Tickets for the show and the dinner reception start at $500; 881 Seventh Ave.; 212-807-0563; boomset.com.

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