Thursday, May 15, 2014 – 6 p.m. to 12 a.m.
On May 15, 2014, the Exploratorium will celebrate the ways that artists have played a vital role in shaping the museum with a spectacular Spring Gala themed Immerse Yourself in the Arts. The dynamic multi-tiered event will feature a cocktail reception, dinner and After Party, with large-scale immersive environments, inventive performances, and opportunities to interact with artists from a variety of disciplines.
Since the Exploratorium’s founding in 1969, some of the most inspired and thought-provoking artists of our day—including Tauba Auerbach, Brian Eno, Ruth Asawa and Fujiko Nakaya—have created works in this vibrant laboratory. From interactive exhibits to unforgettable one-night-only performances, the arts have provided a method of inquiry, a way of knowing, and a fundamental mode of discovery that is a keystone of the Exploratorium.
Special for the Gala will be several awe-inspiring interactive works and performances that are new to the Exploratorium. Strandbeest—giant wind-powered kinetic creatures by Dutch artist Theo Jansen—will be on view in the museum’s Outdoor Gallery for an exclusive sneak peek preview made possible by the Peabody Essex Museum located in Salem, Massachusetts, organizers of the first major North American traveling exhibition of Strandbeests beginning in Fall 2015. The mesmerizing lifelike figures move as familiar, yet otherworldly, beings blurring the lines between machine and animal. Jansen will be onsite to discuss his work and offer a glimpse into the creation of what has become an international phenomenon.
Throbbing in the heart of the East Gallery, will be Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Pulse Spiral—a three-dimensional spiral paraboloid of lights that uses sensors to record and respond to a participant’s heartbeat, creating a visual in-the-moment record of the unseen. In the Kanbar Forum, internationally renowned artist and puppeteer Basil Twist, a San Francisco native and the only U.S. citizen to graduate from the École Supérieure Nationale des Arts de la Marionnette in Charleville-Mezieres, France, will enchant the crowd with a special performance inspired by the Exploratorium. Twist’s visionary puppetry worlds have captivated audiences across the globe and The New Yorker praised his work: "No theatre artist in New York is showing more poetic force or technical skill than the puppeteer Basil Twist."
Individual tickets for the Gala are $1,000 and include a cocktail reception, seated dinner (6:00 p.m.-9 p.m.) and access to the After Party (9 p.m.-12 a.m.).
“The Exploratorium views art as a vital form of inquiry,” says Marina McDougall, Director of the Exploratorium Center for Art & Inquiry. “The Gala will highlight this important aspect of our educational ethos through unforgettable, spellbinding experiences that transform the way we fundamentally understand the world around us.”
Following the dinner, the After Party kicks off at 9 p.m. with dancing to music by DJ Primo, open bar, hors d’oeuvres, access to special art installations and Light Play in our Tinkering Studio. After Party Chair Cameron Phleger, who is also Chair of the Exploratorium Lab, designed the event to be a stylish and lively party that goes well into the night, and offers an additional opportunity to support the Exploratorium. Tickets for the Spring Gala After Party are $125 pre-sale (through April 14) and $150 starting April 15.
This annual event provides essential support for the Exploratorium’s important education programs, with a special focus this year on the arts. For ticket information go to www.exploratorium.edu/gala2014. The Exploratorium’s Spring Gala leadership includes Honorary Chair Doris Fisher, Gala Chairs Jennifer Caldwell and John H.N. Fisher, and Sandy and Paul Otellini. Spring Gala After Party Chair is Cameron Phleger.