It was a pretty surreal night, literally, at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands on Friday, Nov. 21, 2014, when fans of painters such as Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, and Max Ernst arrived wearing original costumes that were both dazzling and extraordinary.
Bird’s nest wigs and lamp chapeaus (complete with lit bulb) were just a couple of examples of what was donned on that balmy evening, where the interior and exterior of the gallery were transformed for the event.
Guests were greeted by dancers in constant motion atop columns, while faceless men in full black outfits opened the main doors. Then, bearing cocktails as they went, patrons slowly made their way through the gallery, stopping to have their picture taken, admire the art displayed particularly for the occasion, and to enjoy the live musical performance of a man with a lion’s head playing the double bass.
Once outside, they were treated to a vista of decorated tables, set in the gardens of the gallery, with hors d’oeuvres served by a cast of characters, courtesy of caterers Mise en Place.
A projector sent a scene of a cloudy blue sky to the façade of the building, as dancers from KRI Performing Arts took to the stage, followed by a live auction that raised money to support the gallery in the coming year.
Auction items were presented by men in bowler hats – a nod to Magritte’s work, “The Son of Man” – and at the end of the auction, guests were invited to pluck their delectable chocolate cone of dessert from the framework of a sculptured red dress.
“Our annual fundraising gala plays a critical role in ensuring that we meet our fundraising targets to support the 60-plus wide-ranging educational and cultural development initiatives we operate each year,” said director of the National Gallery, Natalie Urquhart. “This means that we are able to dedicate more specialized and engaging resources for, say, students from Clifton Hunter High School, who recently were able to begin participating in after-school art classes at NGCI, due to a specially arranged and funded bus pick-up service traveling between Frank Sound and the Gallery.”
“It is thanks to committed patrons that these students can take advantage of the gallery’s high-quality intensive art classes, at no cost to them, the same as all other students on Grand Cayman.
“The Surrealists’ Ball was deemed a great success,” she continued, “bringing attention to the work of the gallery, raising funds, and providing a lot of fun for those who attended.”