Vivienne Westwood

ART ACTS UP: More often than not, social activism is an undercurrent of any noteworthy cultural opening, and that will be the case when Vivienne Westwood is honored at the Dallas Contemporary’s spring-summer gala.

Attendees at the March 28 event at the museum won’t just be among the first to see “Get a Life!” Westwood’s debut exhibition in North America. Guests will be invited to participate in a guided protest against climate change to honor Westwood’s legacy as an activist, according to a spokeswoman for the museum. Co-curated by Dallas Contemporary senior curator Laurie Ann Farrell, Westwood and her team, the exhibition melds fashion and art through the lens of activism.

The climate change message won’t be the only takeaway at the gala. Those who purchase a table worth $25,000 or more will walk away with a piece from Westwood that will be signed by the designer. In addition, all of the guests will receive a custom-designed ceramic plate by artist Francesco Clemente and fabricated by Cerámica Suro in Guadalajara, Mexico.

In the lead-up to the spring gala, Naomi Campbell is helping to bolster Westwood’s brand awareness, as the lead model in the designer’s spring advertising. Surprisingly, that is a first for the supermodel in her 33-year career, although she has walked in the designer’s runway shows. Juergen Teller photographed the campaign images.

The Dallas Contemporary’s upcoming shindig will also double as a preview for fashion photographer Paolo Roversi’s inaugural North American show “Birds,” which will highlight his 40 years of collaborating with Comme des Garçons. Visitors to the Texas museum will find known and never-seen-before photographs in a non-traditional installation. The exhibition is being curated by executive director Peter Doroshenko and independent curator Dennis Freedman.

Funds raised at the Dallas Contemporary’s gala go toward its mission of presenting new and challenging ideas through contemporary art that is supported by earning programs – which are offered for free admission. Presented by Headington Companies, The Joule and Forty Five Ten, the gala will feature such accoutrements as music by percussionist Dimitrios Varlamis and a Christie’s-led auction during dinner. This year’s gala is chaired by collector and philanthropist Zoe Bonnette, real estate developer Bill Hutchinson, Forty Five Ten’s junior creative Jordan Jones and collector and philanthropist Karla McKinley, with the assistance of Freedman and Christies’ deputy chairman of the Americas who are serving as co-chairs.

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