San Francisco Social Diary: Art Celebrations in the City by the Bay

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art celebrated with a Birthday Bash that featured Grammy-winning singer Solange Knowles.


Over 2,000 revelers showed up at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) to celebrate the first-year anniversary of its expansion with a lavish Birthday Bash night, which brought the art and tech worlds together.

The bang-up Birthday Bash included an installation by artist Judy Chicago, an actual tattoo parlor, and live performances by Helado Negro and Les Twins. The night ended with a Late-Night Bash with opening act Lil Buck followed by a headline performance by Grammy Award-winning artist Solange Knowles.

Asked to dress in monochromatic outfits, guests complied, adding to the spirit of this colorful, fun, and spectacular 7-hour celebration.

Artist Leah Rosenberg’s serpentine setup of birthday cakes from McCalls Catering was the Bash centerpiece. Kudos also to event planner Stanlee Gatti.

The event kicked off with artist Judy Chicago’s Be No More installation, with flares spelling out “TRUTH” ignited amid clouds of dry ice.

Bash Co-Chair Kaitlyn Krieger, Co-Chair Penny Coulter, SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra, and Co-Chair Lydia Shorenstein.

SFMOMA Board Chairman Charles Schwab and Board President Bob Fisher.

Randi Fisher and son John Fisher.

Navid Armstrong and fashion designer Karen Caldwell.

Leah Hearst and Dennis Hearst, Executive Director of J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

Paul Pelosi, Tom Steyer, and Jim Coulter.

Artist Doug Aitken, Charles Schwab, Helen Schwab, and SFMOMA Board Vice-Chair Mimi Haas.

SF Protocol Chief Charlotte Shultz and former Secretary of State George Shultz.

Birthday Bash Committee Member Dolly Chammas with Maria Manetti Shrem.

SFMOMA Trustee Carla Emil, SF gallerist John Berggruen, and Rich Silverstein.

Philanthropists Lady Va Maughan and Sir Deryck Maughan.

Patrick Malago, artist Jacolby Satterwhite, and Frank Spigal.

SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra and artist Judy Chicago, whose Be No More installation opened the evening.

Musician Helado Negro performing with his “Tinsel Mammals.”

French dancer-choreographers Les Twins presented a hip hop dance routine.

Super Rogers and Cora Lousy.

Heiko Greb, in a homemade insect costume made of industrial tape, with Jordan Kim.

Anne-Sophie Deneve and Vandy Boudreau.

Art collectors Dick and Pamela Kramlich.

Owsley Brown, Victoire Reynald Brown, Elise von Middelem, and Rodman Primack.

Vandy Boudreau, Katie Traina, Vanessa Getty, and Sloan Barnett.

Linda Harrison and Ellen Anderson.

Melissa Draper, Jim Draper, and Leslie Doyle.

Kevin King, Meridee Moore, and Victoria Rotenstreich.

Severa Wang.

Hollyann Fine getting a spontaneous tattoo.

Breakdancers Nasty Ray, Bionic, Deebo, and Mikey Disko.

Guests embraced the paper party hats they were offered to celebrate SFMOMA’s birthday.

Linda and Edson Maduwura.

Les Twins with Alix Bluh, Tali Jang, and Michael Jang.

DJ SOSUPERSAM (always spelled all capitalized!).

Dancer Lil Buck is known for Memphis jookin, one of the “street dance” styles that some call urban folk dance.

It was standing room only when headlining singer Solange Knowles took the stage.


For its 2017 gala, the San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) took the theme “The Original Disruptor” and ran with it. Rather than offer the 700 guests a traditional sit-down dinner, organizers set up a dozen art bars and lounges on the Chestnut Street campus that put artists and their work at the center of the festivities.

The celebration honored the 146-year-old Institute’s legacy as an incubator for some of the nation’s most “disruptive” and groundbreaking artists, including Joan Brown, Richard Diebenkorn, Annie Leibovitz, Manuel Neri, Laura Poitras, and Barry McGee.

In the SFAI courtyard, guests were offered vodka lemonade at Burning Man sculptor David Best’s “Temple Bar,” inscribed with the names of famous teachers and alumni.

Taravat Talepasand collaborated with Ala Ebtekar and Amir Esfahani to design a Persian pop-up tea lounge where guests could drink tea and eat baklava.

Tony Labat and Whitney Lynn designed a bar in a black box, with black-lit art jumping off the walls.

Lorena Perez Villers’ show-stopping ribbon wrap covered the building’s west side and extended from the facade up to the tower that dominates the institute.

Artist David Best, SFAI President Gordon Knox, and artist Donald Farnsworth.

Architect Paffard Keatinge Clay, who designed the 1968 addition to the SFAI, and Paul Sack, SFAI Emeritus Trustee.

Louisa Ritter, Frank Dunlevy, and Susan Dunlevy.

Event designer Stanlee Gatti, Esprit clothing co-founder Susie Tompkins Buell, and Mark Buell.

Lorena Perez, Carla Crane, and SFMOMA Trustee Susan Swig.

Painter Bob Bechtle, art historian Whitney Chadwick, and SFAI President Gordon Knox.

SFMOMA Trustee Nion McEvoy and Lynn Luckow.

Pam and Marc Garibaldi.

Wendy Yanowich and Shira Gasarch.

Dominic Mondavi and James Cavera.

Leila Black, Alex Peterson, and Luz Olivia.

A trio of drag queens brought some extra flair to the party.

Mariana Wall, Sydney Lalonde, and Taylor Humphries.

Penelope Houston, SFAI alumna and lead singer of the 1970s punk band the Avengers, created a bar called “Backstage” based on her hours backstage at punk clubs.

Artist Taravat Talepasand, Yosi Tome, and artist Suzie Buchholz.


Photography by Drew Altizer.


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