Athens, Ga. – The Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia hosted Elegant Salute XII: Metamorphosis on Jan. 29, to celebrate its grand reopening. The museum had been closed since March 2009 for construction on its $20 million Phase II expansion, designed by Gluckman Mayner Architects of New York.
During dinner, UGA president Michael F. Adams led the official UGA ribbon-cutting ceremony, along with museum director William U. Eiland. Event co-chairs Rinne Allen and Betsy Dorminey were recognized, along with members of the fundraising committee, decor committee, seating committee and the staff of GMOA.
The event grossed more than $178,000 through ticket sales and sponsorships, much of which will go toward educational programming. The fundraising committee was led by Athens architect David Matheny and supported by a host of volunteers including Atlanta fundraising co-chairs Carolyn Tanner and Sally Dorsey. This year’s event set records in both fundraising and attendance, with more than 370 guests, including Georgia native and UGA alumnus Anthony Goicolea. Goicolea is an internationally renowned artist based in Brooklyn, N.Y., and his work is currently on display in one of the museum’s five new special exhibitions.
The theme, metamorphosis, was carried out through meticulous details and decorations. Guests entered the event through a white tent lit by chandeliers where they were greeted with hand-cut butterflies containing their table assignment. A motif of origami butterflies was strung throughout the museum, and table linens were stamped with the images, which also adorned the invitations, the evening’s program and the note cards guests took home as a favor.
The night began with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres as guests trickled in to the gala. Dinner, provided by Epting Events, was served in the new magnificent M. Smith Griffith Grand Hall. The tables were decorated with whimsical centerpieces made of wooden tree stumps, brightly colored flowers and a handmade butterfly sculpture, fitting the evening’s theme.
Dinner was followed by dancing in the Jane and Harry Willson Sculpture Garden to music by local band Grogus. Guests enjoyed tours of the new galleries and were encouraged to explore the new Georgia Museum of Art throughout the night.
Partial support for the exhibitions and programs at the Georgia Museum of Art is provided by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The council is a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Individuals, foundations and corporations provide additional museum support through their gifts to the Arch Foundation and the University of Georgia Foundation. The Georgia Museum of Art is located in the Performing and Visual Arts Complex on the East Campus of the University of Georgia. The address is 90 Carlton Street, University of Georgia, Athens, Ga. 30602-6719. For more information, including hours, see www.georgiamuseum.org or call 706/542-4662.