Monday, November 10, 2008
Getting ready for the Blaze Ball’s afterparty on Saturday evening, I couldn’t decide between two equally acceptable little black dresses: everything else would remain the same (heels, necklace, wrap, etc). One wass a slightly architectural a-line dress, the other: gathered and slightly Greek (with a wisp of Heidi).
The Blaze Ball (and the accompanying afterparty: NiteOwl) is the bi-annual museum fundraiser. Produced by MAC (MOCA Art Council), the council retained the services of art director Natalie McCray to reinvent the museum. McCray has previously designed a Cummer Ball and many private events.
The transformation of an entire building, for just one night is a monumental task that requires a kind of legendary vision. When I spoke to McCray about the way she approached the museum, she said that she could picture the finished project in her head. Setting the stage with a kind of Miami-meets-MoMA vibe, she was able to create a space wherein everyone felt beautiful…because McCray believes that if you feel beautiful you are.
At this point, in the spirit of transparency, it probably bears mentioning that Natalie is one of my best friends, and the reason I got to attend the party. Throughout the planning process, she’s been sharing with me some of her ideas for the event, but even though I was privy to some of her explicit ideas; her attention to detail, and ability to transform the mundane into the magical with everyday materials, sourced here in Jacksonville, I could not imagine the transformation that took place. McCray took full advantage of what--to others--might’ve been obstacles and made a monument to the fleeting, ephemeral nature of beauty. To use the old meaning of the word: McCray cast a glamour over the night.
Sorry if this post seems a little gushy…you might be able to guess that not only did I go, but, I had a great time. The only drawback? The music was less progressive than one might expect at an event like this… “Play that Funky Music White Boy.” C’mon now.
And to answer that all-important question that still lingers, I went with the architectural option.