Sizzling Soiree at Blaffer Brings in $175,000

Sizzling Soiree at Blaffer Brings in $175,000

Annual Benefit Gala, “HOT on H-TOWN,” Celebrates All Things Houston

HOUSTON, Texas — May 22, 2008 — Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston, was pleased to host its annual benefit gala on Thursday evening, May 15, 2008. HOT on H-TOWN, inspired by the current 2008 Houston Area Exhibition and in celebration of the museum’s 35th anniversary, was successful, raising roughly $175,000. The resources brought in will further Blaffer’s mission to present intellectually stimulating exhibitions that promote a spirit of investigation, collaboration and dialogue.

Two hundred eighty-five supporters attended HOT on H-TOWN. The evening began at Blaffer Gallery with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and a viewing of the 2008 Houston Area Exhibition and the concurrent exhibition Charles “Teenie” Harris: Rhapsody in Black and White. Later in the evening, guests were escorted to the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture atrium for an elegant seated dinner catered by City Kitchen. Corresponding to the “Houston” theme, City Kitchen served tender fried chicken topped with a sweet mango chutney sauce and capped the evening off with raspberry cobbler for dessert.

In addition to gala co-chairs Katy and Michael Casey and Meg and Nelson Murray, special guests included Dr. Renu Khator, the president of the University of Houston, and her husband Suresh; Dr. John Antel, the dean of the University of Houston’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, and his wife Susan; honoree Nancy Hixon, a recently retired, longtime staff member of Blaffer, and her husband Carter; honoree Morgan Dunn O’Connor, a former member of the UH System Board of Regents; Terrie Sultan, director of The Parrish Art Museum and former director of Blaffer Gallery, and her husband Christopher French; board chair Russell Sherrill and his wife Lisa; and a host of other art world luminaries.

The inspiration for this year’s theme, the 2008 Houston Area Exhibition, features 16 artists selected by Blaffer Gallery curator Claudia Schmuckli. The exhibition both introduces artists who are young or new to the Houston community and also offers more seasoned artists the opportunity to develop new work and be seen in a fresh light. Twelve of the participating artists attended the gala, and all 16 donated works for the silent auction. “The gala was a wonderful opportunity for donors and artists alike. Our museum patrons had a chance to interact with local artists and see what’s ‘hot’ in the Houston art scene. For the participating artists, the silent auction presented them with a new audience,” said Schmuckli. “From donors who purchased tables, tickets or artworks to artists who donated work to the silent auction, I am deeply appreciative of the generosity of all our guests who attended this year,” she added.

HOT on H-TOWN was sponsored by PaperCity Magazine.

The two summer exhibitions, the 2008 Houston Area Exhibition and Charles “Teenie” Harris: Rhapsody in Black and White, are on view through August 2.

About Blaffer Gallery:

Founded in 1973, Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston, was named in honor of the late Sarah Campbell Blaffer, a noted Houston arts patron and collector. Since its inception, the museum has been a vital force in the presentation and promotion of contemporary visual arts in Houston. Blaffer Gallery is located in the Fine Arts Building on the University of Houston’s central campus, entrance 16 off Cullen Boulevard. It is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., closed Sundays, Mondays and University holidays. The museum is ADA compliant. For general inquiries, please call 713.743.9530, or visit the museum online at To view this press release as a PDF, complete with images from the gala

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