The Kitchen Benefit Art Auction & Cocktail Party, NYC, November 2005

Each year, The Kitchen, a non-profit center for video, music, dance, performance, film and literature hosts a benefit art auction fundraiser and cocktail party. The goal was to design a unique and elegant space for the event, which was also highly functional. An 88-foot long curved wall served as a display for the 80 paintings, drawings, photos and sculptures in the main performance hall. Taking into account the limited budget, we chose to work with extremely inexpensive white peg-board, which is often found in retail stores and used to hang various types of merchandise on hooks. In their conventional use these thin boards lack structural quality, however, under tension the board becomes rigid. So the auction walls curvature was both a formal decision as well as an integral part of the structure.

Within seconds, the dense pattern of holes in the peg-board allowed us to make rapid changes to the configuration of the exhibited art pieces. As a result of this innovative approach, we did not have to worry about drilling additional holes, patching up walls, or painting again. The cost-efficient peg-board solution was so easy to set up and take apart that The Kitchen decided to store the elements to re-purpose them in different ways for years to come.

In addition to that large wall, I designed a suspended canopy, a welcome desk, curved guiding panels to direct guests to the main space and a bidding table, all in congruence with the peg-board wall design.

Materials: 4’x8’ peg-board (5/32” thick), 2”x3” pine wood, 4’x8’ chip board, screws, cable binders, rope, hooks

Curated by Debra Singer and Matthew Lyons

The Kitchen Gala