Art Pace’s The Happening Sets Cinematic Tone

By: Shannon Miller Turner
Photography by Greg Harrison

THE SCENE: The Happening. The name alone is enough to cause one to stop, pause and wonder. Attended by some of the most active collectors in Central and South Texas, this year’s signature event, which also marked Art Pace’s 20th anniversary, was held on the grounds of the organization last February. The theme, “Paris, Texas,” celebrated the glamour of Paris with Texas flair. The theme also referenced the film, Grand Paris, Texas, by one of the evening’s honorees, Hubbard/Birchler, a team that has been collaborating in video, photography and sculpture since 1990. The other bright Texas star of the evening was Suzanne Deal Booth, a native Texan art collector and philanthropist long committed to promoting contemporary art and cultural heritage while supporting preservation and conservation worldwide.

THE VIBE: Co-chairs Lee Evans Lee and Rick Liberto set a scene-stealing cinematic vibe as guests were welcomed to the evening’s cocktail hour. Under a tent with the vibe of an old Texas highway, three billboards featuring original works by Jorge Villareal flanked classic cars and served as a step and repeat for party goers looking for the perfect Paris, Texas photo opportunity. As the evening progressed, so did the theme, as the Texas-style cocktail hour transformed into a Parisian-themed dinner. Red roses in square silver vases and black magic roses suspended from manzanita branches adorned alternating tables. A live auction featuring four works of art (two by honorees Hubbard/Birchler) concluded a fabulous meal.

THE CAUSE: In addition to serving as one of the season’s hottest tickets in town, The Happening also raised funds for Art Pace’s operating expenses. In keeping with the vision of its founder, Linda Pace, Art Pace nurtures “the freedom to dream” by supporting the creative process and engaging audiences with the most innovative art and artists from around the world.

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