Photos courtesy of the Orange County Museum of Art
The Orange County Museum of Art’s Art of Dining, the museum’s major annual gala and the premier event celebrating creativity and artistic excellence in our community, was held Saturday, June 2nd at Montage Laguna Beach. The event raised funds to support the museum’s critically acclaimed exhibition program as well as its school programs, which bring in more than 6,000 students free each year for in-depth experiences that include classroom preparation, an exhibition tour, and a hands-on art project.
Each year, Art of Dining honors an individual of international acclaim who has made an important impact in the art world and this year the museum recognized legendary Ferus Gallery director and co-owner Irving Blum. As the museum celebrates its 50th anniversary, Blum is the perfect recipient of this honor as the Ferus Gallery was one of the most influential institutions in the early 60s, around the same time the Pavilion Gallery (now the Orange County Museum of Art) was opening its doors. The two institutions shared a similar focus within the art world, championing many the same artists including John Altoon, Craig Kauffman, Edward Moses, and Robert Irwin, to name just a few; and in 1976, the museum organized an exhibition celebrating the extraordinary impact of the Ferus Gallery.
“To be able to honor Irving Blum this year, the year of our 50th anniversary, couldn’t be more exciting or more appropriate,” said OCMA Director Dennis Szakacs. “Irving represented some of the most forward thinking artists—individuals who were changing the very definition of art. The artists were on top of the world and Irving Blum made it all happen. He personified cool then and continues to do so now.”
At the event, guests enjoyed a courtyard reception at the Montage Laguna Beach, during which guests marveled at the stunning Cartier jewelry being modeled; each a work of art. Dinner followed with a menu created by the hotel’s renowned Executive Chef Rob Wilson. All courses were paired with specially selected wines provided by Hundred Acre Wine Group.
Irving Blum joins a long list of Art of Dining honorees who have contributed substantially to the art and design world. Recent honorees include Chris Burden, Sidney B. Felsen, Mary Heilmann, Thom Mayne, Richard Serra, Bill Viola, and Robert Wilson.
The 50th Anniversary Executive Host Committee was made of supporters including Marsha Anderson, Inga Beder, Susan Etchandy, Michelle Janavs, Moira Kamgar, Twyla Reed Martin, Irene Martino, Lilly Merage, Jennifer Segerstrom and Jennifer Van Bergh, with assistance from an impressive list of Host Committee members.
The Orange County Museum of Art is the premier visual arts museum in Orange County, California. The museum’s program of dynamic solo exhibitions and landmark group shows links modern and contemporary art and ideas, bridges local and global perspectives, and embraces a diverse array of cultural activities and media. The museum is dedicated enriching the lives through modern and contemporary art.