On Sunday, October 14, 2018, the Hammer Museum welcomed cultural and civic leaders, artists, collectors, patrons of the arts, and entertainment world notables to the 16th Annual Gala in the Garden.
The Gala raised a record-breaking $2.6 million to support the Hammer’s dynamic and internationally acclaimed exhibitions and public programs, which are free to the public. International shopping destination South Coast Plaza partnered with the Hammer Museum to present this year’s event.
Over 500 guests attended the Gala – held in the museum’s outdoor courtyard – which honored award-winning author Margaret Atwood and acclaimed artist Glenn Ligon with tribute speeches by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon and social justice advocate Bryan Stevenson, respectively. Grammy Award-nominated recording artist Leon Bridges performed “Lisa Sawyer,” “Bad Bad News,” “Beyond,” and “River.” Event co-chairs included Solange Ferguson, Elizabeth Segerstrom, and Darren Star. The menu for the seated dinner was created by Chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques.
Hammer Museum Director Ann Philbin welcomed guests including Richard Buckley & Tom Ford, Marcy Carsey, Troy Carter, Elizabeth Chambers & Armie Hammer, Judy Chicago, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Will Ferrell & Viveca Paulin Ferrell, Charles Gaines, Theaster Gates, Frank Gehry, Annabeth Gish, Laura Harrier, Barbara Kruger, David LaChapelle, Joel McHale, Catherine Opie & Julie Burleigh, Lari Pittman, Wolfgang Puck, Lynda & Stewart Resnick, Mark Ridley Thomas, Katherine Ross & Michael Govan, Zoe Saldana & Marco Perego, Susan Smalley, John Waters, and many more.
The evening began with cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres on the third-floor terrace as guests enjoyed Stones to Stains: The Drawings of Victor Hugo, an exhibition that sheds new light on Hugo’s experimental and enigmatic practice as a draftsman, and Adrian Piper: Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016, the most comprehensive West Coast exhibition to date of Piper’s work, featuring more than 270 pieces. During the dinner remarks, Ann Philbin applauded the many achievements of gala honorees Margaret Atwood and Glenn Ligon. Philbin’s praises were followed by moving tribute videos dedicated to each honoree. Bryan Stevenson introduced Glenn Ligon with many praises, and Ligon gave a powerful speech on the importance of truth. Michael Chabon honored Margaret Atwood’s rare gift of storytelling and Atwood took the stage to leave the audience with a message of hope.