On Saturday, Nov. 7, Contemporary Calgary welcomed 700+ guests into the pink-washed halls of the Centennial Planetarium for their second annual fundraiser, LOOK2015.
Contemporary Calgary is seeking to establish Calgary first significant public destination for modern and contemporary art. In their new home, the Centennial Planetarium, they will contribute to Calgary becoming a global city of choice by engaging the public in the art of our times. LOOK2015 is their premier fundraising event, which elegantly and proactively exposes Calgarians to a wide range of modern art and artists, and creates an experience that mimics the on-the-pulse nature of the artistic work it displays. The event captured the attention of Canadian Art, the Calgary Herald, CBC’s Eyeopener and Global News. Boom Goes The Drum was honoured to be part of this spectacular event.
Photo credit: Kelly Hofer.
As guests strode across the pink carpet and into the planetarium, they were met with a visual smorgasbord. The building, which had sat vacant for years, had been transformed from its cement walls and 90’s colour-theme to a modern, L.A.-chic art party, with incandescent lighting and architectural up-lighting making the entire structure pop with vibrancy.
Well-heeled attendees sipped hosted wine and nibbled on palate-pleasing canapés, a la Hotel Arts, while perusing the collection of displayed silent auction art pieces, bidding against one another playfully (and sometimes not-so playfully) from their phones and the provided tablets. As guests moved throughout the space, stunning interactive installations by local artists met the crowds with delicious surprise; Tia Halliday’s “Under the skin of a painting” inspired installations featuring dancers stuck in a web of ever-shifting elastics, and caught beneath ‘canvases’, twisting and stretching under the fabric. Randy Niessen’s string installation climbed the Planetarium’s majestic winding staircase, lit from beneath with cool white tones that played over the strings with elegance.
Alex Kingcott (Shareworthy Content Lab), Adam Gopnik (The New Yorker), Dan Levy (CBC’s Schitt’s Creek) and Derek Macdonald (Boom Goes the Drum). Installation by Tia Halliday. Photo credit: Kelly Hofer.
As the evening progressed, guests were invited to attend a key-note presentation, hosted by acclaimed writer and culture critic, Adam Gopnik (The New Yorker), on the role visual art and artistic culture plays in an ever-developing city. Witty and unsurprisingly eloquent, Gopnik was met by the audience with delight. Soon after, Canadian media darling, Dan Levy took control of the mic and ushered in our art auctioneer for the evening, Stephen Ranger, to announce the beginning of one of Canada’s largest silent and live contemporary and modern art auctions. Within the space of just an hour, hundreds of thousands of dollars was raised in support of Contemporary Calgary.
LOOK2015 live auction led by Stephen Ranger. Photo credit: Kelly Hofer.
The evening closed with guests dancing the night away to the sound of Humans, an up-and-coming indie dj group from Vancouver, whose interactive performances are fast making them a house-hold name for those in-the-know. As the DJ’s slowed their sets, and the house lights came up, smiling guests walked once more down the fuchsia carpet, happily clutching beautiful works of art which had found new homes and eyes to admire them.
An architectural gem, the planetarium will soon be Contemporary Calgary’s new home, and re named The Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The gallery will soon begin moving their pieces from their old location on Stephen Avenue, and anticipates officially welcoming the public into a preliminary pop-up space called ‘Temporary Contemporary’ in their new venue in the fall of 2016. To support Contemporary Calgary, please click here.
Photos courtesy of Kelly Hofer, Lablond Studios Inc. and Alex Kingcott.
Installation by Randy Niessen. Photo credit: Kelly Hofer.
Photo credit: Kelly Hofer.