March 14, 2008, Los Angeles, CA-- California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) will honor arts patron Harriett Gold and artist Mark Bradford with a celebratory dinner and presentations of the REDCAT Award for their contributions to the field of contemporary art on Saturday, March 29, 2008. The 2nd annual REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater) Gala will feature a special appearance by playwright Luis Alfaro and tributes to Gold from civic leader Lawrence Ramer and to Bradford by New Yorker critic Hilton Als. At REDCAT, guests will encounter a transformed environment designed by artist Choi Jeong-Hwa and enjoy live music from New Orleans's famed Hot 8 Brass Band. Proceeds from The REDCAT Gala will help support the production and presentation of experimental art and performance at CalArts' downtown center for innovative visual, performing and media arts.
Honoree Harriett Gold has been vital in ensuring the success of REDCAT through her sustained work and guidance as the first Chair of the REDCAT Council and as current Vice-Chair of this innovative presenting venue established by CalArts. In addition to her role as a founding member of the Friends of CalArts (FOCA), a member of the Committee on Trustees and a member of the Executive Committee, Gold is active on several other Los Angeles area boards, including the board of Teach for America, the MAK Center Governing Committee and the Board of Trustees of National Public Radio (NPR). Gold will receive her tribute from her colleague and friend Lawrence Ramer, chairman of the CalArts Board of Trustees from 1996-2006. While serving together as Trustees, the two found common interests in their support for CalArts' REDCAT space. Today, these two enthusiastic leaders have a shared pride in the realization and success of REDCAT, which opened in 2003 and has since garnered an internationally recognized reputation for its programming.
Honoree Mark Bradford is renowned in the contemporary art world not only as an accomplished artist but also as a friend and supporter with a long history with CalArts and REDCAT. Bradford was featured in REDCAT's exhibition Bounce in its 2003-04 inaugural season. Since then his career has catapulted to the highest honors, including the 2006 Bucksbaum Award which came with a solo exhibition at Whitney Museum of American Art the following year. Bradford who was born in Los Angeles where he currently lives and works, and received his BFA and MFA at CalArts, has exhibited internationally at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the 2006 São Paulo and Busan Biennales. Bradford is currently working on a major public project for the upcoming Prospect.1 New Orleans Biennial and will participate in the 2008 Carnegie International. Hilton Als, a staff writer for New Yorker for over 12 years who will present Bradford's award, says that "Bradford's lyricism and the ghostly pallor of his canvases have grown bigger--not just in scale, but also in emotion. Bradford has refined his interest in what it feels like to be disappeared by the culture at large."
Designed exclusively for REDCAT by Frank Gehry and fabricated by Tiffany & Co., the REDCAT Award recognizes two people each year who exemplify the generosity and talent that define and lead the field of contemporary art. The award symbolizes the spirit of innovation and passion for which REDCAT is known, and is presented to a philanthropist and an artist, highlighting the invaluable partnership between patron and artist that shapes eras and defines cultures. Through REDCAT, CalArts employs the rigorous training of its campus environment and the energy and vision of local, national and international artists in all disciplines to put contemporary art at the center of Los Angeles's civic and cultural life. The award celebrates these combined roles of leadership and innovation, of singular vision and civic-mindedness that can meaningfully support creativity and vision in artistic production.
The evening's festivities also include a special performance by Hot 8 Brass Band, a New Orleans-based brass band that brings the sounds of its own generation to the brass tradition, energizing and rejuvenating it with funky, hip-hop and reggae grooves from the streets. Founded by Bennie "Big Peter" Pete, the ensemble was recently featured in Spike Lee's 2006 documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. Born and raised in downtown Los Angeles, Luis Alfaro is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He was a resident artist at the Mark Taper Forum, where he was co-director of the Latino Theatre Initiative and is know for his plays, poetry, short stories and performance. Choi Jeong Hwa's work as a visual artist and founder of the Gaseum studio blurs the boundaries between art, graphic design, industrial design, and architecture. Playing off the role of South Korea and its neighbors as the origin of the production of disposable consumer goods, Choi's work interrogates the preciousness of unique objects in a time of mass consumption and reproduction.
Gala co-chairs Tim Disney, Eileen Harris Norton and Adele Yellin will be joined by distinguished guests including Lauren Bon, Roy E. Disney, Cliff and Mandy Einstein, Linda and Jerome Janger, and Shaun Regen. The REDCAT Gala is made possible by the generous support of The Annenberg Foundation, with additional support from The Getty Trust, Regen Projects and Shamrock Holdings, Inc. Champagne sponsorship is provided by Nicolas Feuillatte. Dinner will be catered by Jackson Somerset.