Popping Out of the Picture

The theme of this year’s “Odyssey Ball” was based around the exhibition “Photorealism: The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Collection,” an extensive collection of artworks from the late 1960s until modern day. The collection featured a variety of compelling subject matter from cityscapes to portraits and lifelike close-ups of inanimate objects. Event Chairs included Juli Miller Hart, Margo Dubos, Gayle Benson and Britton Sanderford.

Guests were treated to a nostalgic Café NOMA transformed into a K&B diner, which offered grilled cheese sandwiches, chocolate milkshakes and nectar cream sodas in K&B and NOMA-branded cups. Inspired by a piece in the show of a toy featuring a tough guy on a motorcycle, there was a whimsical Young Fellows Biker Bar where a screening of the film Easy Rider took place, complete with a flash tattoo stand, motorcycles for people to pose on and casual snacks such as sliders and truffle fries.

In the French galleries next to the Marie Antoinette portrait by Elizabeth Vigeé-Lebrun were whimsical French desserts inspired by the queen’s famous quote, “Let them eat cake.”

Dinner was served on the second floor, and tables for dining were set up throughout the galleries. Also inspired by a piece in the exhibition of a pinball game, there were several pinball games set up in the Modern and Contemporary Gallery, which people of all ages played throughout the night.

There were both silent and live auctions, which included dozens of highly valued packages. The World War II Museum’s Band “Jump, Jive and Wail” and DJ Nikki Penny provided music, and Ralph Brennan Group contributed catering.

Close to 1,000 people were in attendance, and the money raised benefits NOMA’s arts education initiatives. 


What: “Odyssey Ball,” benefiting New Orleans Museum of Art
When: Friday, November 7
Where: New Orleans Museum of Art


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