On Wednesday night, The Cultivist proved itself once again to be the It club for serious creatives and collectors looking to have fun with art. To celebrate its two-year anniversary, the members-only art club that helps people discover museums and galleries around the world hosted a little house party at 632 Hudson. On the border of the West Village and the Meatpacking District, it was just the kind of hidden gem that only The Cultivist could uncover: The prewar pad started out as a townhouse before turning into a sausage factory, and more recently housed the cast of MTV’s The Real World (season 10). The Cultivist created a scavenger hunt throughout the sprawling four-story address.
Upon arrival, guests were given floor plans outlining six unique experiences conceptualized by six different artists. Some were classics with a twist, others were more unusual, and all were in good fun. In the kitchen sat puzzles and daredevil’s chess; in the study, a virtual reality series; in the den, there was video and sculpture. Home base, so to speak, was located in the centurial atrium, which had been set for cocktails with a choice between fresh lime margaritas, grapefruit-splashed vodka tonics, and Perrier-Jouët Champagne. Meanwhile, gamers hobnobbed it from one stop to the next, piecing together the puzzle, and in effect, learning what The Cultivist is all about. “We wanted to throw a really awesome party with weird little interesting projects happening all over the place,” explained CEO and cofounder Marlies Verhoeven, who was wearing a glitter-flecked maxi dress by Missoni. Fitting, then, that The Cultivist’s tagline is “We unlock art.”
The evening kicked off with a rapid-fire round of “Burning Boards.” In conceptual artist Glenn Kaino’s version of chess, friends play with burning candlesticks instead of traditional chess pieces. Kaino originally developed the performance for the Whitney Museum in 2007, but he was on hand to re-create the experience at the delight of the intrepid revelers in the room. The 54-piece jigsaw puzzle in the opposite corner, on the other hand, was better suited to fashion enthusiasts, as contestants competed for $500 gift cards from Farfetch, which also partnered on the event. To expect the unexpected is par for the course at Cultivist parties. Last year, they hosted a boxing match with artists who were asked to reinterpret Michael Halsband’s 1985 portrait of Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. (Think jabs and punches interspersed with poems in a boxing ring.) “People still talk about it!” Verhoeven said. “That’s what we’re all about—we want people to participate, educate themselves, and be part of the art world in a fun way.”
Director of membership Laura de Gunzburg came dressed to play in a bright red jumpsuit by fashion designer and friend Misha Nonoo, who is also a supporter of The Cultivist. “The idea was to do something out of the box that would be remembered,” she said of the evening’s festivities. “We see ourselves as a cool, young platform to get access within the art world.” Even founding members, like jewelry designer Zani Gugelmann, for instance, were impressed. “Laura has worked so hard on pulling together an amazing group of people, because it’s curated,” said Gugelmann, resplendent in a printed Saloni skirt and vintage accordion-pleat top. “She finds who she thinks would be a great addition to The Cultivist and she recruits them.”
The setting, too, seemed tailor-made. The industrial interiors were filled with oil paintings, antique furniture, and various knickknacks begging to be discovered. “I’m just taken aback that this even exists,” Gugelmann said. “It feels like someone is actually living here—it’s crazy!” The cozy vibes befit the close-knit Cultivist member crew. “Sometimes you forget how talented your friends are. You forget that a really well-known artist is well-known or you forget that Laura and Marlies are influencers,” she said. “Then they somehow come up with the most creative things for all of these experiences. That’s the energy that is revived in places like this; you feel like you are home.” A smart, and stylish, solution for navigating the ins and outs of the art world, indeed.Read more at:http://www.marieprom.co.uk/prom-dresses-uk | http://www.marieprom.co.uk/evening-dresses-uk
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