Museum of Arts and Design Gala to Honor Multimedia Artist Jeffrey Gibson

City Life Org, October 24, 2022


On Monday, November 14, beginning at 5:30 pm, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) will hold its annual MAD Ball gala at the Museum’s home at 2 Columbus Circle, New York. The benefit will honor renowned multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson and esteemed New York gallerist Cristina Grajales while celebrating the institution’s mission to champion contemporary makers across creative fields. 


The gala dinner will be hosted by New York comedian, beloved cabaret performer, and actor Murray Hill, and the celebration will spill into all of the Museum’s spaces and galleries, where guests may view current exhibitions. Highlights of the evening will include a conversation between MAD Windgate Research Curator Christian Larsen and Cristina Grajales in The Theater at MAD; cocktails in the Luminaries Lounge, specially designed with items from the Shantell Martin x HOEK limited-edition collab and featuring music by DJ Timo Weiland; open galleries with art-making activities; and dinner at Robert restaurant. 


In September of this year, the Brooklyn-based sustainable furniture company Hoek Home launched a new artist collaboration program by debuting a limited-edition line with renowned artist Shantell Martin in an interactive exhibit at MAD. The Shantell Martin x HOEK collaboration is returning to the Museum to design the Luminaries Lounge, which will feature exclusive pieces that combine Martin’s signature black and white abstract lines and Hoek’s innovative assembly technology to challenge how consumers use space.


During dinner at MAD’s Robert restaurant, Jeffrey Gibson and Cristina Grajales will be presented with awards by Colleen Keegan, Art Business Advisor of the TED Fellows program and Partner in Keegan Fowler Companies, and the celebrated American art collector, patron, curator, and philanthropist Beth Rudin DeWoody, respectively. 


The awards will take the form of one-of-a-kind sashes, made by artist Beau McCall in his signature style, using hand-sewn decorative buttons of various materials such as rhinestone, wood, and mother-of-pearl to create wearable visual artworks, each customized to reflect the honoree’s affinities and interests. Sashes are often worn to mark ceremonial occasions, and this choice of body ornament will complement the event’s festive atmosphere as MAD honors two outstanding figures in the art world. Additionally, the gala will feature a special in memoriam tribute to Jerome A. Chazen, Chairman Emeritus, who passed away on February 6. 


MAD Ball’s online auction, powered by Artsy and going live on Tuesday, November 1, will feature artwork and jewelry by a host of talented artists.


Jeffrey Gibson was born in 1972, in Colorado, and he currently lives and works in the Hudson Valley, New York. Gibson’s work fuses his Choctaw-Cherokee heritage and experience of living in Europe, Asia, and the United States with references that span club culture, queer theory, fashion, politics, literature, and art history. The artist’s multifaceted practice incorporates painting, performance, sculpture, textiles, and video, characterized by vibrant color and pattern. 


Gibson combines intricate Indigenous artisanal handcraft—such as beadwork, leatherwork, and quilting—with narratives of contemporary resistance in the form of protest slogans and song lyrics. This “blend of confrontation and pageantry” is reinforced by what the art critic Felicia Feaster describes as a “sense of movement and performance as if these objects … are costumes waiting for a dancer to inhabit them.” The artist harnesses the power of such materials and techniques to activate overlooked narratives, while embracing the presence of historically marginalized identities.


Gibson acknowledges music as a key element in his experience of life as an artist: musicians became his elders, and lyrics became his mantras. Pop music remains one of the primary points of reference in his practice. Recent paintings synthesize geometric patterns inspired by Indigenous American artifacts with the lyrics and psychedelic palette of disco music.
Gibson’s works can be found in the collections of the Denver Art Museum; Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Seattle Art Museum; Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others. Gibson has received numerous awards, notably a MacArthur Fellowship (2019), a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant (2015), and a Creative Capital Award (2005).  

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