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MOCAD’s 13th Annual Gala + Benefit Art Action

October 11 @ 6:00 pm - October 12 @ 6:00 pm EDT



Detroit, MI – The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) announces the 13th Annual Gala and Benefit Art Auction, to take place on Friday, October 11 from 6 pm to midnight at the Museum.

The special event honors groundbreaking artists Richard Prince and Kenny Irwin, Jr. as they premiere solo exhibitions. MOCAD is where adventurous minds encounter the best in contemporary visual, literary, music, and performing arts.

A responsive center for diverse audiences, MOCAD presents art that contextualizes, interprets, educates and expands culture, pushing us to the edges of contemporary experience.

Organized by Gala Co-Chairs Gretchen and Ethan Davidson, Kelle and Christopher Ilitch, Roz and Scott Jacobson, and Sandy Seligman with support from the Gala Host Committee Kathy Broock Ballard and Bruce Ballard, Carolyn and Jim Bellinson, Andrea Brown, Elle and Tony Elder of Elder Automotive Group, Elyse and David Foltyn, Lynn and Bhrat Gandhi, Laura Hughes, Rena and Marc Gardner, Marsha and Jeffrey Miro, Emily Camiener and Marc Schwartz, Sarah Winkler and Simon Lepold, and with Rock Star Sponsor Honigman, and Art Star Sponsors Anna and Seth Rogers.

The Gala will be a thrilling, unexpected adventure, designed to showcase MOCAD’s exciting approach to presenting visual art in Detroit from a never-before-seen immersive light installation by Kenny Irwin Jr. to music by Detroit legend Claude Young.

Honored at the 2019 Gala is Richard Prince, with a solo exhibition premiere of his Portraits series, comprised of various Instagram photographs, printed on large canvases and featuring Richard Prince’s own Instagram-style comments below.

Inspired by the Detroit artists included in the Benefit Art Auction, Bacco will provide an elegant dinner paired with molecular cocktails by Endless West. In addition, there will be a dessert experience orchestrated by the Cold Truth.

In honor of its 13th year, MOCAD will premiere Robolights Detroit at 10:13pm. Robolights Detroit is a re-imagining of the beloved futuristic art installation produced by artist Kenny Irwin, Jr. over the course of thirty-three years in his parents’ yard in Palm Springs, California. Julie Reyes Taubman, co-founder and visionary of MOCAD, photographer and author, sadly passed away January, 2018.

Before Julie passed, she started a photo book documenting Kenny Irwin, Jr. and his lifelong project, Robolights. Given his relationship with Julie, Kenny decided to bring a version of Robolights to MOCAD in her memory. This will be one more way in which we will celebrate Julie’s vision and endless creativity.

The Benefit Art Auction is supported by Sean Blott, Chris Byrne, Gabe Chess, Anthony and JJ Curis, Bridget Finn, Laura Hughes, Ellie Rines, and Terese Reyes, and is curated by Executive Director Elysia Borowy-Reeder and Susanne Feld Hilberry Senior Curator Larry Ossei-Mensah.

All proceeds from the Gala + Benefit Art Auction support MOCAD’s work as a creative nucleus in Detroit. Your generosity reinforces MOCAD’s mission, connecting artists from around the world to the local makers and innovator living and working in our great city.

This year MOCAD will provide donating artists 30% of the sales price as a thank you for their support and belief in the institution’s vision. Fine art shipping and transportation services are generously provided by Artpack Services Inc.

And lastly, you’ll be in good hands! Security for the evening is provided by the Retired Detroit Police & Fire Fighters Association.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit is pleased to partner with Paddle8 for our 13th Annual Art Auction. Paddle8’s online bidding platform enables seamless bidding on all lots within the auction. Bidding begins on September 25, 2019 at 12 noon and closes on October 11, 2019 at 10pm.

The Auction Preview for ticket buyers will be held at MOCAD on Wednesday, September 25. To register and to prepare for bidding, please visit Paddle8.com or download the Paddle8 iPhone app.


Please visit www.mocad.org for more information about the gala event at MOCAD.


October 11 @ 6:00 pm
October 12 @ 6:00 pm


Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
4454 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, Michigan 48201

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