On Saturday, July 27th 2019, The Watermill Center brought together the world of art, fashion, theater and design for the 26th Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction, honoring philanthropist Katharine Rayner and renowned contemporary artist Carrie Mae Weems. This year’s event, titled Tabula Rasa, and sponsored by Van Cleef and Arpels, welcomed over 1,000 guests and raised over 1.7 million dollars for the Center. All funds raised support The Center’s year-round Artist Residency and Education Programs that provide a unique environment for young and emerging artists to explore and develop new work.
Hosted on the 10+ acre property in Water Mill, New York, guests were able to view and experience visual and performing art exhibitions, allowing them to experience a world conceived by Founder and Artistic Director Robert Wilson, alongside more than 100 international artists representing a wide range of disciplines. Guests sipped on specialty cocktails while enjoying performances from names like Stina Fors, Gillian Walsh, Bianca Casady, Ximena Garnica and Shige Moriya, Queen of Krump and more.
The night’s Silent Auction featured works by Robert Longo, Christopher Makos, Katherine Bernhardt, Anish Kapoor, Thomas Struth, honoree Carrie Mae Weems and many more. Featured artists from The Untitled Space (an official gallery partner of the auction) included Kat Toronto aka Miss Meatface and Jeanette Hayes as well as The Untitled Space owner, curator, and visual artist Indira Cesarine. Artists from 27 different countries across five continents were featured in the benefit.
Described as an “enchanted forest” and “performance art extravaganza,” the event was co-chaired by Calvin Klein, Shaikha Paula Al-Sabah, Philip Hilal, Madison Cox and more. Other esteemed guests included Isabella Rossellini, Oliver Beer, Bill Powers, David Kratz, Sally Hershberger, and Elena Frampton.
Founded in 1992 with an emphasis on creativity and collaboration, The Watermill Center integrates performing arts practice with resources from the humanities, research from the sciences and inspiration from the visual arts. The Center is unique within the global landscape of experimental artistic practice and regularly convenes the brightest minds from across disciplines to do, in the founder’s words, “what no one else is doing.”