On Saturday in Water Mill, NY, The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation hosted over 1,000 guests on the grounds of The Watermill Center for the foundation’s 26th annual summer benefit, this year named “TABULA RASA.” Held in honor of supporter Katharine Rayner and Carrie Mae Weems, recipient of Watermill’s 2017 Inga Maren Otto Fellowship, the event (presented by Van Cleef & Arpels) treated partygoers to an evening conceived by Founder and Artistic Director Robert Wilson, followed by live and silent auctions, both benefitting the foundation.
Kicking off the night, guests roamed the 10+ acres of the Watermill Center’s land, which was transformed into an enchanted forest of art installations, fashion, performance art, and other interventions curated by Ivan Cheng and Noah Khoshbin—including works by Billy Bultheel and Alexander Iezzi, Megan May Daalder, Gillian Walsh, Humberto Diaz, and Liz Glynn. While exploring the grounds, attendees also enjoyed cocktails and refreshments, provided by Peroni Nastro Azzuro, illycaffè, Diageo, Acqua Pannna Natural Spring Water, S.Pellegrino Natural Mineral Water, and Perrier Sparkling Natural Mineral Water.
During the evening meal, entertainment was provided Ira Anufrieva and CocoRosie’s Bianca Casady, who presented an immersive installation and performance before inviting to the stage Raymond McGuire, who dedicated the night to honorees, Rayner and Weems.
Following dinner, guests were able to browse a silent auction featuring the works of artists like Anish Kapoor, Tomashi Jackson, and Rebecca Ward, before the live auction began led by Simon de Pury. Included in the sale were works by artists like Christopher Makos, Thomas Struth, Robert Wilson, and Carrie Mae Weems, as well as a special commissioned piece by Michael Dweek.
The auction came to an end with a performance of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day by Helga Davis, followed by an afterparty led by DJ Kitty Cash. In total, the evening raised over $1.7 million for The Watermill Center, which provides programming and serves as an interdisciplinary space for creative and collaborative exploration in the arts and humanities.