Monday, April 26, 2010

Fresh Treads

 Every year the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston (CAMH) has their annual gala to raise funds for the upcoming year. The director of the museum personally asked Fran to perform a few months ago after seeing his performance at UH. It is a huge deal. When Fran first told me I was squealing in absolute glee and about to burst at the seams with pride for him. Tickets for the gala go for hundreds of dollars. I didn't think we'd be able to attend as guests but Bill (the director) offered us two tickets for a dinner table- don't even get me started on the stress of what I would wear that night. 

The moment we walked into the museum I was in awe. Houston's finest and brightest attended the event decked out in full couture. Everywhere I turned there was botox and collagen camouflaged with Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Loubutins and gallons of flowery perfume. In other words, absolute heaven. Every dress, every hairstyle, every glittery piece of jewelry had my head spinning with absolute delight (or puzzlement). We were there for Fran's performance but, the people were just as intriguing as his performance! 

I wasn't quite able to capture the event the way I would have wished to but, here are a few of the highlights:

The Setting
Our table- if you look carefully you will notice the tire vase & table.
The VIP tables had a different centerpiece with vases within vases.
Each chair had a Neiman Marcus gift box with "tire" coasters. I took three. One for me, one for Fran's mom and one for Grant.
The picture is extremely blurry but on each spoon there were teeny toy cars! Once again, I snagged three.
One of the best parts of the night: the homemade chocolate truffles. The sweet waiter who attended us all night brought me a container filled to the brim with them to take home before I left. 
While I was waiting for The Artist to clean up after his performance, I was met and chatted with Houston's own Flower Man. He was the cutest old man who was only too happy to share his life's experiences. It was such an honor to sit next to him!
I  also stoppby by the gift shop where I found these quirky little bandits. 
Knitta, please & Jason Villanueva artwork was up in the silent auction. 
For the actual auction this is the piece I would have bid on. It ended up selling for like, over $9,000. Just a tad bit out of my budget. 
The ambient lighting was beautifully flawless throughout the night. 
There was a recurring slideshow with artist's who had in one way or another used tires in their pieces & every so often Mr. Francis Giampietro's back would pop up. Every time I had to restrain myself from standing up and clapping. 

And then for the best part:
The first time Fran performed this piece I was unable to attend. I had seen the pictures, I had seen the video. Nothing could have prepared me for the abject horror of watching such a man's struggle. I was almost in tears watching him attempt to continue flipping a 500 pound tire for over 14 minutes. In my mind I tried focusing on capturing it all in picture but, every stumble, every grunt- I channeled every ounce of my energy into him. I don't know if this was the case with the rest of the ritzy audience but, I do know that they felt somewhat along the same lines I did thanks to this lady: 

Not only did she clap, scream and holler for Fran- she also made sure to snag a waiter (twice) and send water Fran's way. Both times during the actual performance. Which meant the poor waiter had to attempt to dodge the enormous tire (twice) in order to offer the struggling artist a means to quench his obvious thirst. It was hilarious. 

Hands down, one of the best nights of my life. And, best of all, it was to support the man I love. 


Leila! said...

Okay -- WOW Dahnya.
Just wow.
First of all -- Fran's work -- I had no idea this is the kind of stuff he did. I am impressed and proud. What an honor!!!!!

And this event -- wow. I can only imagine what it must have been like to attend. Very, very cool.
Good job with snapping the photos.
And it was so nice of the waiter to bring you a box of the truffles to take home! What a nice touch.

You didn't happen to notice any single bachelors, did you?? :-P

Heidi said...

I am so proud of Fran - what a crazy moment in his career for him! (and a great resume highlight!)

He's on his way to the top! (with an amazing woman by his side) :)

The event looked amazing, I'm so jealous that you got to experience such a fun night. but you definitely brought back some amazing pictures that gave us a great taste of the evening!