On Saturday, July 23, LongHouse Reserve—the not-for-profit arboretum, art museum, sculpture garden, and educational organization founded by legendary textile designer Jack Lenor Larsen—hosted its 2016 Jubilee Year Summer Benefit, SERIOUS MOONLIGHT. The gala, which took place on LongHouse Reserve’s beautiful 16-acre East Hampton grounds, celebrated the foundation’s 25th anniversary and honored sisters Molly Chappellet and Luanne Wells with the LongHouse Arts Patron Award, presented to them by Martha Stewart, making her third appearance at LongHouse this year. The glamorous garden affair netted $500,000 for the organization.
Guests who arrived in dark shades of night and glittering silvers included a mix of artists, performers, curators, and cultural movers and shakers: Robert Wilson, Cindy Sherman, Fred Savage and his wife Lynn, Alice Aycock, Nicole Miller, Mary Jane Marcasiano, Ralph Pucci, Sherri Donghia, Ralph Gibson, Larry Warsh, interior designer Alex Papachristidis and Scott Nelson, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Elizabeth Strong-Cuevas, Veronica Atkins, April Gornik and Eric Fischl, Emilia Kabakov, Lucy Winton and Bryan Hunt, Lynda Benglis, Mary Heilmann, Lana Jokel, Alexandra Munroe, Bridget Fleming, Bonnie Comley and Stewart Lane, Ron Guttman, dancer Jonah Bokaer, Terri Sultan of the Parrish Museum and Andrea Grover of Guild Hall.
Partygoers entered through a leafy “Walking Through Time” tunnel that transported them into a magical universe of sounds, movement and art. Guests were treated to a surprise serenade by the cool contemporary classical music composer, Nico Muhly, who performed his pieces “Quiet Music” and “A Hudson Cycle”. Muhly is the youngest composer ever commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera and has received additional commissions from Carnegie Hall, the Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Library of Congress.
Undaunted by the heat, dancers from NYU, led by LongHouse Creative Scholarship award winner and NYU graduate Em Watson, greeted guests with a performance amongst the sculpture gardens.
Other guests who celebrated this milestone 25th year included artists and supporters Dr. Andre Goy and Jeffrey Ornstein, Kiki Spensieri and Scott Kilgour, Elizabeth and Mark Levine, Steve Miller, Ted Hartley, Johnny Swing, Peter Dayton, Ryan McGinness, Sandy and Stephen Perlbinder, Katja Goldman and Michael Sonnenfeld, Dr.Vincent Covello, Jo Ann and Lee Skolnick, Fern and Lenard Tessler, Edwina von Gal, Marcia Wilson and Herb Hellman, Alison Mazzola, Sylvia Mazzola, Dr. Young Yang Chung, Jack Youngerman, Alison Mazzola, Sylvia Mazzola, and Barbara and Mark Zand.
The festivities continued beneath the stars with a grand dinner of sheep’s milk ricotta raviolis and roasted Long Island striped bass, a menu curated by Alice Waters. The delicious meal was punctuated by Molly Chappellet and Luanne Well’s awards, as well as a surprise award presented to LongHouse Reserve President, Dianne Benson. An exciting montage of video messages from past honorees, including Laurie Anderson, Ai Weiwei and Dale Chihuly, who were unable to attend the 25th anniversary celebration was screened, and guests were treated to a sneak preview of the forthcoming LongHouse documentary. The evening also focused on the importance of encouraging the creative thinking of children, with an introduction to the first-ever three LongHouse Reserve Creative Scholarship winners, and live bidding to raise funds for LongHouse Reserve’s esteemed educational programs.
Following the scrumptious feast, techno-pop diva Nona Hendryx took to the stage with a special sound, light and music tribute to David Bowie, prompting guests to kick off their shoes and move along to tunes like “Let’s Dance.” The dessert and dance party then continued into the night with music from the inimitable DJ Donna D’Cruz.
SERIOUS MOONLIGHT was organized by LongHouse Reserve President Dianne Benson, the LongHouse Reserve Board of Trustees and LongHouse Reserve Founder, the esteemed Jack Lenor Larsen.
Benefit silent auction highlights included works by past honorees, including a one-of-a-kind Blue Glass Spear sculpture from Dale Chihuly made especially for the occasion; a rare and precious drawing from Robert Wilson, Philip Glass and Lucinda Child’s Einstein on the Beach; as well as works from Cindy Sherman, Christo, Carol Cassidy, Richard Meier, Ai Weiwei, Grace Knowlton, Larry Rivers, Bryan Hunt, Eric Fischl, Marko Remec, Kiki Smith, Enrique Martinez Celaya, Emilia and Ilya Kabakov, Jun Kaneko, Michael Dweck, April Gornik, Laurie Lambrecht, Gus Leiber, Scott Bluedorn, Johnny Swing, Jack Youngerman, Issey Miyake, Yoan Capote and Wafaa Bilal.