San Francisco Social Diary: Winter Art Events

San Francisco’s winter social season was in full swing with a glamorous pair of artistic events—a “celestial” Ballet Gala and the FOG Design+Art Fair.


Befitting the “Celestial” theme of the 2018 San Francisco Ballet Opening Night Gala, the ladies’ gowns sparkled, the décor set the room aglow, and the performance by the world-class SF Ballet dancers was heavenly.

It was all a spectacular success under the leadership of Gala Chair Kathryn A. Huber, Gala Dinner Chair Betsy Linder, Décor Chair Catherine Bergstrom, and Honorary Chairs Christine Russell and Mark Schlesinger.

Gala Committee members Jane Gazzola, Laura Miller, Pamela Bradley Preston, Rada Brooks, Andi Valo Espina, Lori Harmon, Catherine Bergstrom, Monica Moscoso, Kathy Huber, Claire Kostic, Betsy Linder, Ali Siever, Pam Zaragoza, Christine Desanze, Carolyn Koenig, and V’Anne Singleton.

SF Ballet General Manager Debra Bernard, Gala Chair Kathy Huber, SF Ballet Board Chair Carl Pascarella, and Yurie Pascarella.


The rainy weather didn’t dampen spirits or dissuade the ladies from appearing in extravagant gowns on this glamorous occasion.

Guests were provided oversized umbrellas to shield their finery as they walked from City Hall to the Opera House for the performance.

Chrisa Pappas, wearing Gucci, and James Collini.

Ballet Board Jim Marver and Stephanie Marver.


Arriving guests enjoyed a cocktail reception and a sit-down dinner in the Beaux-Arts City Hall.

Gala Dinner Chair Betsy Linder, in a celestial caped gown by Karen Caldwell, appliquéd by Lance V. Moore.

Marlene Tomasson and SF Ballet Artistic Director Helgi Tomasson.

Carl Pascarella, Yurie Pascarella, wearing Marchesa, OJ Shansby, and Gary Shansby.

Laura Miller’s frothy yellow gown was a big hit.

Samantha and Darren Bechtel.

Ballet Board Vice Chair Dede Wilsey, wearing Oscar de la Renta, and Jack Calhoun, wearing a jacket by Hackett.

Ballet Board Vice Chair Jim Herbert, Cecilia Herbert, Alexandra van Helden, and James Herbert.

Mark Coney-Buchsieb, SF Board of Supervisors President London Breed, and Darren Conley-Buchsieb.

Paul Pelosi and Carl Pascarella.

Joel Goodrich, in a jacket from an LA independent designer; Giselle Anna Parry; Gregory Malin; Navid Armstrong, in a dress from Dubai; Clara Shayevich, in Vasily Vein; Mark Calvano, in an Alexander McQueen jacket; and Carolyn Chandler, in Monique Lhuillier.

Barbara Brown, in Andrew Gn; Ron Barajas; Ali Shahbazi; and Heather Preston, in Giambattista Valli.

Glen Duval, Jill Reber Hamer, Bettina Duval, Dagmar Dolby, and Todd Werby.

Sonya Molodetskaya, wearing Vasily Vein for Major Obsessions.

Timothy and Athena Blackburn.

Jesse Lee Eller and Jarrod Baumann.

Christopher Bently, in Tom Ford, and Camille Bently, in Alexander McQueen.

Bernard and Barbro Osher.

Allison Speer, in Andrew Gn, Carolyn Chang, in KaufmanFranco, and Komal Shah, in Marchesa.

Calgary Avansino, Contributing Editor for British Vogue.

Samantha Bechtel and Carolyn Chandler.

Nadine Orona, Olympic champion Kristi Yamaguchi, and Lori Yamaguchi.

SF Protocol Chief Charlotte Shultz, wearing custom Donald Deal, and Former Secretary of State George Shultz.

Ted Deikel, Pamala Deikel, Joel Goodrich, and Clara Shayevich.

Matthew Kimball, Patricia Ferrin Loucks, Margaret Mitchell, Linda Karren, and Tanya Powell, wearing a custom gown.

SF Ballet principal dancers Angelo Greco and Yuan Yuan Tan.

SF Ballet dancer Wanting Zhao with Ryan Strongin.

Michael Mauze and Ballet Board Member Alison Mauze.

Margo Gopal and Isaac Hall.

Diane Adams, Andrew Hinek, Teri O’Brien, Keith Wetmore, Claudia Ross, wearing Pamela Roland.

Fashion designer Yuka Uehara and Mathilde Froustey, both in Uehara designs.

Clint and Janet Reilly.

Patrick and Melissa Barber.

Ballet Board Member Yasunobu Kyogoku, and Reiko Kyogoku.

Afsaneh Akhtari, Navid Armstrong, Gregory Malin, and Deepa Pakianathan, wearing Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton.

SF Ballet dancers Ami Yuki, Kimberly Olivier, Elizabeth Powell, Norika Matsuyama, and Samantha Briss Jones.

SF Ballet dancers Thamires Chuvas, Angelo Greco, Solomon Golding, Jahna Frantziskonis, and Nathaniel Remez.

Rusty Wadatz, Grant Torres, Jordan Richards, Arnel Richards, Shadan More, and Braden More.

Shannon Grant, Hemalee Patel, Yoonjin Chang, Yuliana Virchenko, and Rupa Badlani.

Debra Leylegian, Jackie Leylegian, Andrea Duturo, Eve Denton, and Erin Mayes.


The “Celestial” theme was inspired by the grandeur of the night sky. Event designer J. Riccardo Benavides, of i•de•as, transformed City Hall with a skyscape created with shimmering lighting, purple and blue fabrics, and dazzling floral arrangements.

Event designer Riccardo Benavides, with Mary Beth and David Shimmon.

Trumpeters called guests to dinner.


The Gala launched the 85th Repertory Season, which includes the unprecedented Unbound Festival, featuring 12 world premieres by 12 international choreographers in four programs of three works each.

The evening’s program featured nine classical and contemporary works, including three San Francisco Ballet premieres.

Ana Sophia Scheller and Vitor Luiz performed a pas de deux from Balanchine’s exuberant Stars and Stripes, created in 1958.

Dores André and Wei Wang danced the iconic Bluebird Pas de Deux from Tomasson’s The Sleeping Beauty.

Maria Kochetkova and Ulrik Birkkjaer in a pas de deux from August Bournonville’s La Sylphide.

Sarah Van Patten and Luke Ingham performed a piece from In the Night.

Yuan Yuan Tan and Carlo Di Lanno were featured in the SF Ballet premiere of Edwaard Liang’s Letting Go.

The last ballet of the evening was New York City Ballet Resident Choreographer Justin Peck’s Rodeo: Four Dance Episodes, a SF Ballet premiere.


The after-party in City Hall featured lavish live music by Pop Rocks and the Ruth Davies Trio, a set by DJ Chris Clouse, and dancing, as well as an open bar and late-night fare by McCalls Catering. This year, Grand Benefactor and Benefactor ticket holders were also invited to a new VIP Lounge where they mingled with SF Ballet dancers and enjoyed a luxury bar and a sushi chef.


Now in its fifth year, the annual FOG Design+Art Fair has become a mainstay of San Francisco’s winter social season. The fair kicked off with a preview gala to benefit the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

In addition to showcasing 45 prominent 21st-century and contemporary international art and design dealers, FOG also offered artist conversations, interactive presentations, and panel discussions with design luminaries and leaders in the field of arts and culture.

According to Artnet, the Bay Area is one of the most closely watched art markets in the world.

Throughout its four-day run, the fair welcomed more than 12,000 visitors—triple the attendance of its inaugural event in 2014.

FOG Steering Committee Members Susan Swig, Douglas Durkin, Katie Paige, Stanlee Gatti, Allison Speer, and Roth Martin.


The Preview Gala gave art and design patrons, design-industry leaders, SFMOMA patrons and supporters, VIP guests, and sponsors the opportunity to peruse exhibits prior to the fair’s public opening and to enjoy an evening of culinary creations and signature cocktails.

At Fort Mason, sales were brisk on opening night, with some booths selling out in one day. The boom in sales is attributed in part to the young technology community developing an interest in contemporary art. FOG also had a back-to-back opening with the second annual Untitled art fair (at the nearby Palace of Fine Art).

SFMOMA Director Neal Benezra and SFMOMA Trustee Becca Prowda.

Helen Schwab and SFMOMA Board Chair Chuck Schwab.

SFMOMA Board President Bob Fisher, and Randi Fisher.

SFMOMA Trustee Katie Paige, and Matt Paige.

Rich Silverstein and SFMOMA Trustee Carla Emil.

Jessica Slor and San Francisco Symphony President Sako Fisher.

Nancy Bechtle and San Francisco Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas.

Art consultant Sabrina Buell and Randi Fisher.

Samantha Duvall and Calgary Avansino.

SFMOMA Trustee Penny Coulter, and Jim Coulter.

Art patrons Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem.

SFMOMA Trustees Norah and Norman Stone.

Rose Gavons and Helen Hilton Raiser.

Rose Gavons and Helen Hilton Raiser brought a message of peace to the fair.

Margaret Pluvinage and Christine Suppes.

SFMOMA Trustee Nion McEvoy and Leslie Berriman.

Mike and Kaitlyn Krieger.

Sobia Shaikh.

Inder Dhillon and SFMOMA Trustee Ken McNeely.

Ethan Beard and SFMOMA Trustee Wayee Chu.

Komal Shah.

Stephanie Marver.

FOG Steering Committee Member Susan Swig, San Francisco gallerist Jessica Silverman, and arts writer Sarah Thornton.

Kate Clammer.

Model Anne V.

Abigail Turin and Jonathan Gans.

Gagosian Gallery San Francisco Director Anna Gavazzi and fashion stylist Lauren Goodman.

Tracy O’Brien and Danny Baez.


Photography by Drew Altizer and Erik Tomasson.

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