On Monday, November 14, 2022, beginning at 5:30 pm, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) will hold its annual MAD Ball gala at the Museum’s home at 2 Columbus Circle, New York.
The benefit will honor renowned multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson and esteemed New York gallerist Cristina Grajales while celebrating the institution’s mission to champion contemporary makers across creative fields.
The gala dinner will be hosted by New York comedian, beloved cabaret performer, and actor Murray Hill, and the celebration will spill into all of the Museum’s spaces and galleries, where guests may view current exhibitions. Highlights of the evening will include a conversation between MAD Windgate Research Curator Christian Larsen and Cristina Grajales in The Theater at MAD; cocktails in the Luminaries Lounge, specially designed with items from the Shantell Martin x HOEK limited-edition collab and featuring music by DJ Timo Weiland; open galleries with art-making activities; and dinner at Robert restaurant.
In September of this year, the Brooklyn-based sustainable furniture company Hoek Home launched a new artist collaboration program by debuting a limited-edition line with renowned artist Shantell Martin in an interactive exhibit at MAD. The Shantell Martin x HOEK collaboration is returning to the Museum to design the Luminaries Lounge, which will feature exclusive pieces that combine Martin’s signature black and white abstract lines and Hoek’s innovative assembly technology to challenge how consumers use space.
During dinner at MAD’s Robert restaurant, Jeffrey Gibson and Cristina Grajales will be presented with awards by Colleen Keegan, Art Business Advisor of the TED Fellows program and Partner in Keegan Fowler Companies, and the celebrated American art collector, patron, curator, and philanthropist Beth Rudin DeWoody, respectively.
The awards will take the form of one-of-a-kind sashes, made by artist Beau McCall in his signature style, using hand-sewn decorative buttons of various materials such as rhinestone, wood, and mother-of-pearl to create wearable visual artworks, each customized to reflect the honoree’s affinities and interests. Sashes are often worn to mark ceremonial occasions, and this choice of body ornament will complement the event’s festive atmosphere as MAD honors two outstanding figures in the art world. Additionally, the gala will feature a special in memoriam tribute to Jerome A. Chazen, Chairman Emeritus, who passed away on February 6.
MAD Ball’s online auction, powered by Artsy and going live on Tuesday, November 1, will feature artwork and jewelry by a host of talented artists, including Lindsey Adelman, Paul Arnhold, Giulia Boccafogli, Oliver Clegg, Orly Cogan, Liz Collins, Mercedes Castro Corbat, Rachelle Dang, Jocelyn DeSisto, Ben Dory, Octavia Elizabeth, Andrew Erdos, Jeffrey Gibson, Paula Giecco, Danielle Gori-Montanelli, Rebecca Hannon, Paula Hayes, Marge Hinge, Joan Hornig, Lauren Kalman, Eileen Keane, Heechan Kim, Chao-Hsien Kuo, Mariko Kusumoto, Peter Lane, Jessica Lichtenstein, Cannupa Hanska Luger, MoAnA Luu, Francesca Marcenaro, Shantell Martin x Hoek, Issey Miyake, Margo Morrison, Nick Moss, Jolie Ngo, Of Rare Origin, Richard Orlinski, Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz, Faith Ringgold, Dame Zandra Rhodes and Andrew Logan, Roche Bobois, Chris Schanck, Kiki Smith, Carmen Tapia, Deborah Tseng, Claire Webb, Lorraine West, Diana Weymer, Kazumi Yoshida, and David Yurman.
Tickets for MAD Ball 2022 start at $300, a portion of which is tax deductible, and are available for purchase at thestore.madmuseum.org/collections/mad-ball-2022-tickets.
Jeffrey Gibson was born in 1972, in Colorado, and he currently lives and works in the Hudson Valley, New York. Gibson’s work fuses his Choctaw-Cherokee heritage and experience of living in Europe, Asia, and the United States with references that span club culture, queer theory, fashion, politics, literature, and art history. The artist’s multifaceted practice incorporates painting, performance, sculpture, textiles, and video, characterized by vibrant color and pattern.
Gibson combines intricate Indigenous artisanal handcraft—such as beadwork, leatherwork, and quilting—with narratives of contemporary resistance in the form of protest slogans and song lyrics. This “blend of confrontation and pageantry” is reinforced by what the art critic Felicia Feaster describes as a “sense of movement and performance as if these objects … are costumes waiting for a dancer to inhabit them.” The artist harnesses the power of such materials and techniques to activate overlooked narratives, while embracing the presence of historically marginalized identities.
Gibson acknowledges music as a key element in his experience of life as an artist: musicians became his elders, and lyrics became his mantras. Pop music remains one of the primary points of reference in his practice. Recent paintings synthesize geometric patterns inspired by Indigenous American artifacts with the lyrics and psychedelic palette of disco music.
Gibson’s works can be found in the collections of the Denver Art Museum; Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Seattle Art Museum; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others. Gibson has received numerous awards, notably a MacArthur Fellowship (2019), a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant (2015), and a Creative Capital Award (2005).
As the design field has grown from a specialized niche for a handful of collectors into a vital form of contemporary expression, Cristina Grajales has championed authenticity, artisanship, and innovation in the work she represents, contributing to greater understanding and interest worldwide.
Born in Colombia, Grajales came to the United States as a student in the late 1970s. Following an early job at a SoHo art gallery, she spent a decade as Director of 1950 Gallery, New York’s preeminent source for postwar European design, where she introduced a new generation of collectors to masterworks by Jean Prouvé, Charlotte Perriand, Serge Mouille, and Pierre Jeanneret, among others. In 2001, Grajales opened her eponymous gallery and design advisory business, which celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year.
At a series of striking downtown locations, Grajales mounted early, career-defining shows for the artists José Parla and Mira Nakashima, among others, and invited reappraisal of long-established voices, including Sheila Hicks, Robert Wilson, and Doug and Mike Starn. She has a particular passion for textiles and for metalwork, both of which she has championed among curators and connoisseurs, keeping the gallery and its artists at the forefront of the design conversation.
Grajales continues to advise global collectors on acquisitions and sales. Highlights include the 2003 private sale of Isamu Noguchi’s Goodyear Table, now considered to be one of the seminal works of furniture in private hands, designed in 1939 for the home of Museum of Modern Art Chairman A. Conger Goodyear; and the 2005 purchase for a client of Carlo Mollino’s 1949 glass-topped trestle table at Christie’s, which established a new benchmark for collectible furniture. Beyond her work at Cristina Grajales Gallery, she sits on the board of the arts organization Creative Time and is founder of the ongoing “Dialogues with Design Legends” lecture series at the 92nd Street Y.
Shantell Martin’s art is exhibited and sought after by many top museums, galleries, and art spaces, such as the Whitney Museum shop, New York; the Oculus, World Trade Center, New York; Governors Island, New York; and the Denver Art Museum. Her practice extends to a collaboration with the Pulitzer Prize–winning musician Kendrick Lamar. She has worked with brands as varied as Google Creative Lab, the North Face, and B&B Italia.
Hoek Home brings joy to the home through innovative, quick-assembly furniture that gives consumers the power to transform their space in seconds with its revolutionary patented snap-lock technology. All products are designed and built in the company’s Brooklyn, New York, warehouse utilizing the very best materials. Encompassing dining tables, desks, side tables, and more, products are not only high-quality and made to last, but also fully sustainable and vegan.
This prominent, knowledgeable, and passionate group helps MAD provide a platform for new, undiscovered, and underrepresented artists. Through MAD Luminaries, young art enthusiasts connect with artists of our time, prominent collectors, and leading figures in the art world. They interact with artists newly discovered by MAD—often before the artists are known to general audiences.
Colleen Keegan is the Art Business Advisor of the TED Fellows program, Co-Chair of the TED Fellows ART Committee, creator of Creative Capital’s Strategic Planning Program for Artists, and Executor of the Theo Westenberger Estate.
She is Partner in Keegan Fowler Companies, an equity investment and consulting firm that specializes in providing strategic planning and business affairs services to companies in the communications and entertainment industries. Keegan worked as a producer for MTV Networks, WETA, and Showtime. She co-chairs the Endowment Committee at Creative Capital and has served on numerous boards, including for the American Refugee Committee, the MS Foundation, the Texas Film Commission, Emily’s List, the NOW Legal Defense Fund, and Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Advisory Council.
Beth Rudin DeWoody
Beth Rudin DeWoody, art collector and curator, resides between Los Angeles, New York, and West Palm Beach. She is President of the Rudin Family Foundations and Executive Vice President of Rudin Management. Her board afﬁliations include the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Hammer Museum, the New School, the Glass House, Empowers Africa, New Yorkers For Children, and the New York City Police Foundation. She is an Honorary Trustee of the Brooklyn Academy of Music and serves on the Photography Steering Committee at the Norton Museum of Art, in West Palm Beach. DeWoody has curated numerous exhibitions, and the Collection has been the subject of exhibitions featured at the Rebuild Foundation, Chicago; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; Parrish Museum, Southampton, New York; and Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia, among other institutions.
Beau McCall began his career after arriving in Harlem in the 1980s from his native Philadelphia. Applying his mastery of the button to visual art, McCall has been enthusiastically proclaimed by American Craft magazine as the “Button Man.” His visual and wearable art has been included in exhibitions at the Museum at FIT, New York; Nordstrom, New York; the African American Museum in Philadelphia; the Houston Museum of African American Culture; the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit; the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Memphis; the Langston Hughes House in partnership with the inaugural Columbia University Wallach Art Gallery Uptown Triennial and StoryCorps, New York; and Rush Arts Gallery, New York.
McCall’s work is held in the permanent collections of public institutions and by private individuals, including the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Museum at FIT, New York; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York; Amistad Research Center, New Orleans; the Museum of Modern Art Library, New York; the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York; the Stonewall National Museum & Archives, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Library; Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Residence, New York; and Debbie Harry of Blondie. McCall has been featured in the New York Times, the Associated Press, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, and other outlets. In addition, he has served as a teaching artist at the Newark Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, and Harlem Arts Alliance.
McCall has also created a wearable art line called Triple T-Shirts. For each piece, he upcycles three T-shirts, combining them into one flowing garment that can be worn in six different ways. In 2021, he released his debut artist’s book, REWIND: MEMORIES ON REPEAT, commissioned and published by SHINE Portrait Studio, Express Newark (Rutgers University–Newark). The book honors the legacy of ten of McCall’s deceased friends through collages composed of archival photos and images from his button artwork. The collages capture the late 1970s to the mid-1980s in cities from Philadelphia to New York, during the LGBTQ+ rights movement, the height of disco music, and the AIDS crisis.
In 2024, McCall will debut his first-ever retrospective, titled Beau McCall: Buttons On! at Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton, Massachusetts.
The Museum of Arts and Design
The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields and presents the work of artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill. Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving twenty-first-century innovation, and fosters a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design. For more information, visit madmuseum.org.
Photo credit: Beau-McCall-Billie art 961.