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New Orleans Museum of Art’s 47th “Odyssey Ball”

A view of the gala

Steven Hronek Photographs

Giant milk cartons and weeds growing out of the floor are not the usual sights at the New Orleans Museum of Art, but at this year’s “Odyssey Ball,” NOMA’s annual black-tie fundraiser, they were showcased as part of the museum’s quirky exhibit “Lifelike,” a collection of hyperrealistic art from artists including Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei, which ran from November 11, 2012, through January 27, 2013. The ball raised over $390,000 in donations and directly supported NOMA’s efforts to showcase internationally acclaimed art and provide public fine arts education.

The ball was graciously organized by co-chairs Melanee and Steve Usdin; Director Susan M. Taylor; Elizabeth H. Ryan, Chair of the NOMA Volunteer Committee; and Cammie Mayer, President of the NOMA Board of Trustees. Among the many distinguished guests were Mayor Landrieu and his wife Cheryl.            

This year’s ball was “Off the Wall,” celebrating “Lifelike’s” mind-bending local debut. Design elements were organized around Warhol’s famous “Brillo Boxes,” with a coral, blue and silver palette and polka dot accents, including gigantic 12-foot balloons, found throughout. Dining included St. James Cheese stations and a decadent menu from The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group. Pop cellist Helen Gillet and Motown-inspired band BRW gave the evening a fun and soulful atmosphere. The highest bidders of the silent and live auctions went home with luxurious private parties, vacation packages, and one-of-a-kind art.

Event at a Glance


“Odyssey Ball,” benefiting the New Orleans Museum of Art


Saturday, November 10, 2012


New Orleans Museum of Art

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