One of the most exciting annual art auctions — to benefit a fine cause — occurs during the Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s O What a Night! Most recently, the on-premises partying honored as Opus Award recipients Coleman E. Adler II, CEO of Adler’s Jewelry and an Ogden board member, and internationally recognized artist John Alexander, whose South-inspired work is in the Ogden’s permanent collection. Ogden board Chairman Charles Urstadt and David Bernard and Christa and Matt Schwartz served as event chairmen; Robbie Gordy of Christie’s was the auctioneer for the 22 lots; Ware M. Porter, Ware & Co., did the décor; and Justin Devillier, executive chef and owner of La Petite Grocery and Balise, and Kristen Essig and Michael Stoltzfus of Coquette, teamed to feed the flock. The former did the dinner and the latter two, the patron party. The glam gallivanting is described as “an unparalleled celebration of Southern art, culture and cuisine.” Yep!
Two days prior to “O What a Night!,” the Patron Party Preview unfolded at the Troy Scroggins and Keith Malvitz residence.
The evening of the bash, guests gathered at 6 p.m. for cocktails and the silent auction sponsored by New Orleans Auction Galleries. After that initial round of shoulder-rubbing, it was on to huge tent and the presentation of the Opus Awards and appropriate tributes, dinner (tomato braised beef short ribs and Parmesan rice grits figured prominently), the live auction and entertainment by D Play Band and Jeremy Davenport.The top donors, Underwriters, were La Petite Grocery and Balise, as well as the above “Night!” Co-Chairmen Urstadt and Bernard. Listed in the Sponsors category were Coleman Adler II, Coquette, Goldring Family Foundation, Gregory Holt and Lucy Burnett, The New Orleans Advocate, New Orleans Auction Galleries, Roger Ogden and Ken Barnes and Sazerac, Inc.
Among the fab features were the Tricentennial-themed décor with powder blue chromatics; Ogden Museum lapel pins from Adler’s; centerpieces by Pick-a-Petal; and more music by Trandafilka. Relishing all the activity were Simon and Shelly Gunning, Bill Goldring, David Kerstein (The Helis Foundation) and Geneva, James Surls, Matthew B. Moreland, Kevin Kelly, Pat and Henry Shane, Allison Kendrick, Anna Beth Goodman, Alexa Georges and Jerry Armatis, Parker Roy, Karen Solomon, Gregory Saunders and a host of others. William Pittman Andrews is the museum’s executive director.
Up for the auction were works by L. Kasimu Harris, Doyle Gertjejansen, Susan Worsham, Jim Blanchard, George Dunbar, Elizabeth Bick, Ed Whiteman, Eudora Welty, Raine Bedsole, Ashley Pridmore, Fritz Bultman, Aron Belka, Birney Imes, Mallory Page, David Gamble, James Surls, James Flynn, Margaret Evangeline, Gregory B. Saunders, Michael J. Deas and Betsy Eby. The 22nd lot was a support-package for research and scholarship.
The lots produced lot$! The auctions raised over $300,000.