Alicia Underlee Nelson
In 1976, a gallon of gas cost 59 cents, The Wings hit “Silly Love Songs” topped the Billboard music charts, Gerald Ford was in the White House and the Plains Art Museum burst on to the Fargo-Moorhead art scene. Now, 40 years later, the museum is celebrating with a throwback party of epic proportions.
The annual Plains Art Museum Spring Gala is always one of the hottest parties of the season, a glittering gathering of artists, art lovers and party people who take over all three levels of the museum for a night of art, drinks, food and music. This year’s theme -- “1976” -- honors the museum’s past while looking to the future.
Some of the revelers who will arrive at this year’s Spring Gala on Saturday, May 7 weren’t even born in 1976, but that won’t stop them from embracing the theme and donning leisure suits and platform shoes or playing with a little disco sparkle and Studio 54-era glam. More casual ensembles and modern cocktail attire are always appropriate too, but the Spring Gala is an event where attendees can be as wild and creative as they want to be.
“While museums are often thought of as serious places, the Spring Gala is all about fun,” said Andy J. Maus, Plains Art Museum Director and CEO. “The Gala is enormous, full of a variety of people -- young and old, conservative and liberal, black and white, singles and couples. It’s a really great party where everyone can feel welcome and our audiences definitely reflect that.”
“The event is always a great time,” agreed Moorhead artist Karman Rheault. “Lots of people dress to the theme, which adds to the fun and creative atmosphere. The dance floor is always packed, the food is fantastic and the wine tasting is a great way to sample some great wines.”
The savory spread catered by Mosaic Foods and the tempting array of decadent desserts from Nichole’s Fine Pastry are crowd favorites, while the popular wine and beer tasting conducted by Happy Harry’s Bottle Shops keeps the place buzzing – in more ways than one.
“This year's atmosphere will be celebratory in recognition of our 40th anniversary, but will have a nostalgic, vintage feel,” said Maus. The fête will feature live music from R&B, jazz, funk, neo-soul, pop, blues and reggae band Heart & Soul, as well as a ‘70s photo booth and a light show by Livewire, the same production company that produced installations for Alley Fair and TEDx Fargo.
But the Spring Gala is more than just a great party. It also packs a serious fundraising punch. The silent art auction at the event makes the Spring Gala the museum’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
This year, patrons will bid on original art from 67 regional artists. In most cases, 50% of the proceeds will go to the artist and 50% will benefit the museum’s educational programs, although some artists do elect to donate more. For the artists, the silent auction is about so much more than a simple sale.
“It’s a great place for…Read more...