Mountain Mayhem: The Wow Effect at the Now

Karen Lord, Amy Phelan, Courtney Lord and Chandra Johnson.
MarySue Bonetti |

Now in its second year, “The Now” has cemented its place in the Arts world as Aspen’s premier holiday event. As the primary winter benefit for the Aspen Art Museum, staged in its Shigeru Ban-designed building, The Now brings together AAM patrons, board members, artists, collectors, media and more. With the building up-lit in hot pink for the Dec. 28 event, it immediately seized the attention of passersby and arriving guests from the get go.

Cocktails, caviar and a silent auction took place on the rooftop where DJ Dylan provided the soundtrack for the stylish reception and Dennis Basso-dressed models showcased his ornately designed evening gowns. Next, a seated dinner was served in the completely transformed second story gallery, which mimicked a vibrant jungle with the walls painted bright green and ferns and other leafy plants hanging from the ceiling and in pots all around.

CEO and Executive Director Heidi Zuckerman welcomed all, followed by Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper who gave his praises to the museum for its significance as an art center in this state. The affable Kitzia Goodman who chaired the event spoke next, committing to lead the event in 2017. And Sotheby’s auctioneer Andrea Fiuczynski ensured the live auction was a success, which Zuckerman confirmed in announcing the AAM met its budget.

Then it was back to the rooftop for dessert and a private, larger than life performance by the effervescent Flaming Lips, who continued to deliver wow effects with costumes, props and lead singer Wayne Coyne’s tribute to David Bowie, singing Major Tom while enclosed in a bubble.

The Now is presented by Dennis Basso and sponsored by Lorraine Schwartz, auction house Sotheby’s, Modern Luxury’s Aspen Magazine.

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