AIC board puts surreal spin on anniversary ball

The Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago celebrated its 40th anniversary Oct. 12 with Nothing Is As It Appears, a masked ball attended by 370 at the Modern Wing.

Inspired by surrealist Magritte, actors from Collaboraction Theatre Company performed during the reception, wearing bowler hats and holding sky-colored umbrellas while peeking through portrait frames. Classical violinist Katarina Visnevska performed with DJ Madrid before the black-tie-clad guests were ushered into Griffin Court for dinner.

Dustin O'Regan, auxiliary board president, presented a video that included a history of the board and a tribute to its founding members. "The board has championed museum education programs, held long-standing fundraising events and supported exhibitions — several, recently, as the lead affiliate sponsor. Our ambitious pursuits have been successful one after the other," O'Regan said.

Event sponsor Buccellati offered guests a chance at a $20,000 gold bracelet, which Angela Elbert won. A live auction featured luxury trip packages to Los Angeles, New York and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Co-chaired by Toni Canada, Roxy Goebel, Jade Newburn, Matt Pettinelli and Steve Somogyi, the event raised $100,000 to help support "Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938," an exhibit coming in 2014.

An afterparty at Terzo Piano attracted more than 300 supporters and was co-chaired by Lucy Baird, J.R. Berger and Carrie Reyes.

Founded in 1973, the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute is billed as the oldest arts auxiliary board in the country. Since 2005, it has raised more than $1 million to support the museum and special exhibitions.

Freelance writer Candace Jordan is involved with many local organizations, including some whose events she covers.

Click here to see photos from these events.

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