Friday, April 25, 2008

Artful Evening

Art, design, fashion, the who’s who of Madison … my head is still spinning over how these elements came together so beautifully last night at Design MMoCA. I have to say, last night’s preview gala was one of the best events I’ve attended so far this year.

Designers, retailers and arts enthusiasts mingled with the likes of Jerry Frautschi and Pleasant Rowland, Toni Sikes of The Artful Home, Valerie Kazamias from MMoCA, chocolatier Gail AmbrosiusFood Fight’s Daryl Sisson, Lisa Sisson of, Christi Weber and Sonya Newenhouse from Madison Environmental Group, and many others.

The show—in which sixteen local and regional designers created “rooms” based on works of art from the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s permanent collection—continues on through Sunday.

Here are some highlights:

• The bedroom (above) from Mark Jenssen’s of Jenssen Design is one of the most intriguing vignettes. In it, a canoe form and lattice structure are suspended over a minimalist bed. The shapes are also found in the inspiration artwork, Robert Stackhouse’s Diviners.
• The living room space by Natasha Vora of Indocara Global Home Furnishings and Jodie Amerell of Inner View Consulting is a cozy and cool celebration of natural colors and textures that complement Lee Weiss’s organic, rhythmic Beach Stones watercolor.
Flad Architects showcase an office space based on Ellsworth Kelly’s simple Oranges lithograph of three circles. Streamlined furniture includes clean white circular chairs and a light wood desk. The designers show a sense of humor by placing a bowl of oranges on a shelf.
• Chuck Close’s Robert Manipulated reveals a face out of grid of gray squares. Davison Architecture + Urban Design nicely echoed the style in sleek furniture and the format in a floor of gray squares.
Bungalow Pros provide a break from clean lines and funky forms with a dining room featuring heavier wood pieces, while the Madison Environmental Group’s contemporary living room quells any concern that green design can’t be cutting-edge cool.

These are just a few of the creative, innovative and inspiring features that caught my eye. Check out the show and find your own favorites.

Design MMoCA runs 11 a.m.–8 p.m. April 25, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. April 26, and 11 a.m.–4 p.m. April 27. Visit for a schedule of lectures, gallery talks and a designer meet and greet. 

Thanks to Amy Lynn Schereck for the photos.

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