Chaired by Penny Coulter, Lydia P. Shorenstein and Kaitlyn Krieger, SFMOMA’s Birthday Bash will unfold in two concurrent parties — the Birthday Supper, a seated dinner in the museum’s fifth-floor Jean and James Douglas Family Sculpture Garden; the Surprise Bash, an interactive art experience in the museum’s seventh-floor galleries. Both parties culminate in the Late-Night Bash featuring surprising encounters across the entire museum and a special performance in the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Atrium by headline performer Solange Knowles.
Guests arriving at 6:31 pm for the Birthday Supper and the Surprise Bash will be greeted by an experiential installation by the legendary Judy Chicago at the museum’s Howard Street entrance. Titled Be No More, the new work is an iteration of the dry ice environments that Chicago began making in 1967 as a metaphor for a new reality. Chicago’s blockbuster work, The Dinner Party, debuted at SFMOMA in 1979.
At 7:31 pm, guests will depart from cocktails in Helen and Charles Schwab Hall for two different adventures. The Birthday Supper will offer an unforgettable seated dinner amidst dramatic sculptures by Ellsworth Kelly, Ursula von Rydingsvard and others in the museum’s tented sculpture garden on the fifth floor, capped by a special performance by dancer Lil Buck, who has performed with Madonna, Yo-Yo Ma, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and with Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project. Benefit tickets for the Birthday Supper range from $3,000 to $10,000 per guest and include access to the Surprise Bash and Late-Night Bash, premium reserved lounge seats on various floors and complimentary valet parking. [Editor Note: The Birthday Supper is currently at capacity; readers should email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the waitlist to purchase tickets.]
The second party experience, the Surprise Bash, will be hosted in the galleries on the seventh floor. Mission School artist Clare Rojas will compose a series of wall works featuring original Peggy Honeywell lyrics, spray painted by Barry McGee, that were written in the spirit of 1960s protest songs. Guests will also enjoy a live performance by Helado Negro and his Tinsel Mammals, presenting work from his new album, Private Energy, as well as a dance piece by French dancer-choreographers and identical twins, Les Twins. William Kentridge’s multi-media work The Refusal of Time (2012) will be available for viewing and guests will also be able to compete against each other while playing Multibowl. This two-player scenario mini-game culled from 230 commercial games from the 1980s and 90s was created by Bennett Foddy and AP Thompson, and presented as part of the PlaySFMOMA pop-up arcade during the 2017 Game Developers Conference. Gagosian Gallery will host a pop-up tattoo parlor called Flash Flash Flash that will offer original, readymade flash designs commissioned from Alex Israel and another yet-to-be-announced contemporary artist. Each limited edition permanent tattoo will be numbered on the skin of the recipient in editions of three by professional tattooists, and each design will be retired after its respective editions are compete. Gourmet treats, artisanal cocktails and beverages will be available throughout the night. Benefit tickets to the Surprise Bash are $1,200 per guest and include access to the Late-Night Bash, reserved lounge seats on various floors and complimentary valet parking.
Following the Birthday Bash and the Surprise Bash, the entire museum will open at 9:31 pm at the Howard Street entrance for the Late-Night Bash, where guests will enjoy a performance by recording artist, songwriter, actress and fashion icon Solange Knowles in the museum’s Haas, Jr. Atrium. Solange’s third album, A Seat at the Table (2016), received widespread critical acclaim and was a number one album in the United States. In 2017, she was awarded a Grammy Award for Best R+B Performance for Cranes in the Sky.
Late-Night Bash guests will also experience the museum’s galleries as well as other activations by artists including Jacolby Satterwhite, who will present his commission, En Plein Air: Music of Objective Romance, an immersive virtual reality dreamscape based on his mother’s archive of 12 a cappella albums, in the Gina and Stuart Peterson White Box on the fourth floor. DJ SOSUPERSAM will spin tunes before and after Solange’s performance in the Haas, Jr. Atrium. Craft cocktails and sweet and savory nibbles will be available for the rest of the evening. Benefit tickets to the Late Night Bash are $200 per guest or $350 per couple.