If your idea of a good time is blending fine art, dance, and music with great food, all in the name of a worthy cause, you should have been at the inaugural Masterpiece Gala at the SMU Meadows Museum on Saturday, October 13.
Called “The Color of Dreams,” the classy event was inspired by the art of Salvador Dali, whose Surrealist paintings were on display at the museum (and still are, through December 9). The gala’s purpose was to raise funds to endow a director of education position at the Meadows.
During brief remarks before a pre-dinner music performance in the facility’s Virginia Meadows Galleries, SMU President R. Gerald Turner said the first-ever event had “raised over $700,000,” most of which will go toward the endowment’s $2 million target goal.
Gerald also thanked those responsible for the black-tie bash, including Honorary Chairs Peggy and Carl Sewell and Gala Chair Pilar Tabernero Henry, as well as SMU stalwarts (and host committee members) Linda Custard, Caren Prothro, Nancy Dedman and Linda Perryman Evans.
With that, the nearly 300 guests were treated to a pre-dinner “mini concert” by SMU music professors Andrés Diaz and Joaquin Achúcarro. Andres, who plays the cello, performed pieces by Bach and John Paul Corigliano. He and Joaquin, a pianist, then paired up for “The Swan” by Camille Saint-Saens, before Achucarro wrapped up with numbers by Debussy and Chopin.
Once the considerable applause died down, guests including Ashlee and Chris Kleinert, Gail Turner, Jay Henry, Richard Collins, Beth and Sam Holland, Brad Cheves, Michelle Bardwell, Jeanne Marie Clossey, Jon Pettee, Agustin Arteaga, Julie and Ed Hawes, Gayle and Paul Stoffel, Mary and Bob Potter and Connie O’Neill made their way to the museum’s Jake and Nancy Hamon Galleries for a seated dinner.
Prepared to perfection by Cassandra Tomassetti of Cassandra Fine Catering, the delicious meal included Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli in Lobster Butter Sauce; Black Angus Beef Tenderloin, Serrano Ham and Purple Potato Cake; and Chocolate Cremeux Lavender Ice Cream with Almond Cookies.
The event, whose decor was by Fleurt Floral Design by Margaret Ryder, also included a reception featuring dance performances by SMU students, as well as a sort of after-party in the Gene and Jerry Jones Great Hall with live music by Cuvee.
* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron Smith