Monday, February 25, 2008

Society of Illustrators Annual Gala 2008

The Society of Illustrators had their annual gala last Friday. I have to admit, after spending last weekend at Boskone, I was not excited about all the festivities that accompany the Society Gala but despite my best efforts, I had a really great time.

As usual, the weekend started with the Richard Solomon cocktail party on Thursday night. It’s a great way to start saying hellos and catching up with everyone from the following year. Friday night, I met up with Julie Bell, Boris Vallejo, Dan Dos Santos, and Eric Fortune for dinner and then it was off to the opening. It seems like a good show but, typical of openings, I saw very little of it. It is the 50th anniversary of the annual so there was an added bit of buzz in the air — made even made more poignant by being Terry Brown’s last annual gala as director of the Society. Terry has been the director for over 30 and is, to many people, synonymous with it.

The following days were spent with artists at various meals. (I will be eating nothing but broccoli for week to make up for it.) One of the most enjoyable traditions is having a drink (only one, since two would require a bank loan) at the Cafe des Artistes lounge. It's a tiny -- as in “even smaller than my living room” -- bar across the hall from the Christy covered restaurant of the same name. It's a great taste of an older, grander, New York. As it happened, Peter Yarrow was sitting to my left and Rufus Wainwright on my right.

Great conversations were had...I wish I could remember them all better. I know I got to talk to Cathie Bleck for a while and we both agreed about the healing powers of walking through woods and getting dirt on your shoes. Chris Payne was, as always very dedicated to his students, past and present. I was lucky enough to sit across from Mark Summers for a dinner -- I remember laughing a lot and spending time talking about how incredible Michael Deas is. I had a friendly debate with Gary Kelley about the fact that the internet is, in fact, useful for something. I got to talk a bit with Sam Weber and his wife, both medal winners this year. It’s was great to catch up a bit with Chris and Soo Jin Buzelli. Soo Jin asked if I would speak to her SVA class. I said “sure” and then immediately freaked. Typically I speak to classes run by artists -- Soo Jin is one of the most respected art directors around. I've never had to speak in front of anyone that actually knows what I do.

More photos once I catch my breath. It was a great weekend, but now I am really looking forward to being bored in my apartment for a while.

Congrats to Peter de Seve, the chairman of this year’s show. Being the 50th anniversary, he had a lot of pressure to do right by it — and he did.

First set:
Julie Bell, Boris Vallejo, Eric Fortune, Dan Dos Santos, and me at dinner.
Scot Brundage, Brad Holland, Peter de Seve.
Dan Dos Santos, Dave Palumbo.
Sam Weber, Jullian Tamaki.

Steve Stroud Richard Solomon, and Mike Mrak.

Peter de Seve talking to Tina Louise, aka Ginger from Gilligan's Island. Go figure.

Various peoples at dinner, which I will update with captions when I have a few extra minutes.s


Rose Fox said...

Hi Irene,

You might be amused by Jim Hines's latest LOLbook montage. Any comment on the foreheadless cover figure trend?

sfbc matthew said...

Did I miss Ginger at the opening? Drat!

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