Art Meets Fashion at the New York Academy of Art’s Celebratory Dinner

Monday, July 1, 2013

Artists, collectors, and other boldfacers converged at the Lower East Side’s Allegra LaViola Gallery on Thursday evening for the New York Academy of Art’s Seventh Annual Summer Exhibition.  New Yorkers active in the philanthropic scene – and regular AVENUE readers – are likely most familiar with the NYAA vis a vis the non-profit graduate school’s two splashy benefits of the year: spring’s celebrity studded Tribeca Ball and fall’s auction/dinner Take Home a Nude. That said, the Academy’s Summer Exhibition is growing in popularity every year.

Specifically, it is a group show that features original drawings, paintings, sculptures and prints by Academy faculty, alumni, and students. This year’s works have been selected from over 700 submissions by a juror panel of three prominent art aficionados:  Wendy Olsoff, curator and co-owner of P.P.O.W. Gallery; Stephanie Roach, director of the FLAG Art Foundation; and LaViola herself, who opened her gallery in 2008. The exhibition will run until July 27th.

Post-exhibition, a select group gathered at nearby restaurant Bacaro for a post dinner celebration – hosted by Fabiola Beracasa, Bettina Prentice, and Academy Board President David Kratz. Guests made their way downstairs to the private area of the   restaurant, which was set up with six small tables and dinner served family style. Gabi Asfour; Casey Fremont; ArtBinder Founder Alexandra Chemla; Glenn O’Brien; Leslie Klotz; Ippolita Rostagno (as in jewelry house Ippolita); fashion designers Misha Nonoo and Victoria Bartlett; and artist and past juror Will Cotton were among the distinguished attendees of the intimate affair.

Over a meal that consisted of everything from platters of assorted Italian cured meats (“this is what made me go off 8 years of being a vegetarian,” LaViola declared) to shrimp over polenta, mushroom gnocchi, sliced steak and sauteed filet of sole, the topics of the evening ranged from art, to summer movies, and, naturally, to summer plans. LaViola, who is engaged to writer Neil Nagraj (their wedding is in October) is spending the holiday week in Paris with her mother and then plans to spend much of the remaining summer out East. Victoria Bartlett and Will Cotton, whom AVENUEinsider caught up with over the four decadent desserts served each table, are also planning to stay mostly local, as is Alexandra Chemla, who is looking forward to spending the summer with her family in Amagansett. “It’s going to be great to have several consecutive weeks without having to get on a plane and head to an art fair,” she explained with a big sigh of relief.  And with that…let the 4th of July week begin!


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