Maryland Art Place’s Annual Fall Benefit, the Starlight Dinner, was a highly unique event. Unlike past MAP galas hosted at the Power Plant Live location with a silent auction of local work, this year’s event emphasized technology and innovation in contemporary art through large, multi-media installation. The dinner was held on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at the cavernous Thames Street Wharf building, located at Harbor Point. The emphasis was on solid installation in a sleek and industrial environment, and there was no auction of artwork to distract from this edited group of ambitious projects.
The Starlight Dinner featured the work of just 15 “Art Stars,” selected by MAP’s Program Advisory Committee, Benefit Committee, and Staff. These individuals were chosen for two reasons: one was a past relationship with MAP and the other was media specific to technological methods and “innovative ideology.” Artists Mina Cheon and Hasan Elahi were invited as special guests, since both produced recent solo exhibitions at MAP. Each gave speeches the night of the dinner about their work and connection with the organization.
Collectively there were ten site-specific installations being presented through this benefit event in addition to special performances and a ‘Mistress of Ceremonies.’ MAP’s 2013 Art Stars were: Benjamin Andrew, Kelley Bell, Amy Boone-McCreesh, Stephen Bradley, Amanda Burnham, Mina Cheon, Adam Scott Cook, Hasan Elahi, Gary Kachadourian, Jonathan Latiano, Brandon Morse, John Ruppert, and Nathan Danilowicz.
Additionally, the Socially Engaged Arts Kollective (SEAK): Participating members Daniel Givens, Sophia Mak, Victor Torres, Alex D’Agostino and Sheila Gaskins engaged the Starlight Dinner guests in a variety of performances and interactive installations, including the “Touch Room,” an interactive work that explores the polarizing affect technology has on human beings in society. (Touch and be touched.)
Connecting artists with communities for 32 years, MAP is a Baltimore-based nonprofit contemporary art organization that energizes the region’s cultural environment. MAP’s Fall Benefit provides crucial revenue for year-round programming and operations.More info: www.mdarplace.org.
* All photos are provided courtesy of MAP and were created by Photographer by Justin Tsucalas.