Guild Hall Celebrated The 37th Annual Academy Of The Arts Achievement Awards

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Guild Hall celebrated the 37th annual Academy of the Arts Achievement Awards Dinner on Tuesday, April 18, at Gotham Hall in New York City.

The event, which recognizes the lifetime achievements of artists, creative professionals, and individuals who passionately support the arts, this year honored architect Peter Marino with the Achievement Award for Visual Arts and Tom Roush and LaVon Kellner with the Special Award for Leadership and Philanthropy. Crowd-pleasing performances by Music From The Sole and musicians Kinan Azmeh, Maeve Gilchrist, and Kyle Sanna brought everyone to their feet.

Peter Marino. Photos by Sean Zanni for Patrick McMullan and Jessica Dalene Photography for Guild Hall

Additionally, the event recognized the newest inductees to the Academy of the Arts: Nanette Carter, Jeremy Dennis, Virginia Jaramillo, Annie Leibovitz, Jay McInerney, Isaac Mizrahi, Arcmanoro Niles, Maulik Pancholy, Lisa Perry, Eric Ripert, Jordan Roth, Iris Smyles, and Andrina Wekontash Smith.

“We are lucky to live among visionaries like Peter Marino and arts advocates like Tom Roush and LaVon Kellner,” shared Andrea Grover, Executive Director, Guild Hall. “Coming together to celebrate their contributions and induct thirteen accomplished individuals to the Academy, while building support for Guild Hall, was a beautiful thing.”

As cocktail hour came to a close, guests were directed to their seats as a rousing performance by 2023 Guild Hall Wiliam P. Rayner Artists-in-Residence Music From The Sole began. The tap dance and live music company, who celebrate tap’s Afro-diasporic roots, particularly its connections to Afro-Brazilian dance and music, will be in residence this summer and fall. Short speeches by Guild Hall Board Chair Marty Cohen and Executive Director Andrea Grover followed, including a video message from Academy of the Arts President Eric Fischl, acknowledging this year’s inductees.

As the second course ended, clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, harpist Maeve Gilchrist, and guitarist Kyle Sanna treated the crowd to their take on a mesmerizing Syrian wedding song. Artist Hank Willis Thomas then took the stage to introduce honorees Tom Roush and LaVon Kellner, preceded by a touching video of the couple produced by Joe Brondo and Patrick Dawson of Guild Hall. Prior to Tiffany & Co. President and CEO Anthony Ledru introducing Peter Marino, a short video of the architect and art collector played, offering background on his many accomplishments and talents. All honorees were presented with an engraved crystal gift courtesy of Tiffany & Co.

Photos by Sean Zanni for Patrick McMullan and Jessica Dalene Photography for Guild Hall

The evening also kicked-off Guild Hall’s new theater seat-naming campaign, Take A Seat, where attendees were given an exclusive advance opportunity to purchase the rights to name seats in the newly redesigned theater, set to reopen in 2024.

Guests enjoyed a three-course meal, starting with smoked salmon on a garden of vegetables, with edible flowers and herbs in a yuzu vinaigrette, followed by seared branzino in seasonal finery with morel mushrooms, asparagus fondue, and pommes dauphine, and ending with a Black-Out, White-Out Yin and Yang Devil’s Food Cake, with white chocolate mousse, cremeuses, malted custard cranberry compote, and chocolate pretzels.

Attendees included honoree Peter Marino and daughter Isabelle Trapnell Marino, honorees Tom Roush and LaVon Kellner and daughter Chloe Kellner, inductees Nanette Carter, Jeremy Dennis, Jay McInerney, Arcmanoro Niles, Maulik Pancholy, Lisa Perry, Iris Smyles, and Andrina Wekontash Smith, and presenters artist Hank Willis Thomas and Tiffany & Co. President & CEO Anthony Ledru.

Also in attendance were dancers Adrian Danchig-Waring and Jose Sebastian, and choreographer Ben Hartley, artists Alice Aycock, Sanford Biggers, Ross Bleckner, Renee Cox, April Gornik, Michael Halsband, Sheree Hovsepian, Y.Z. Kami, Arcmanoro Niles, Kambui Olujimi, Michal Rovner, Ned Smyth, and Nina Yankowitz, curators Novella Forde, Rujeko Hockley, and Monique Long, Warhol Superstar Jane Holzer, landscape architect Edmund Hollander, architect Peter Pennoyer, actors William Boggs and Blythe Danner, producers Bonnie Comley and Stewart Lane, writers Bob Colacello, Tony DuShane, and Linda Yablonsky, and gallerists Christine Berry, Marc Glimcher, Benjamin Macklowe, David Maupin, and Tripoli Patterson.

The Academy of the Arts is a community of over 200 of the nation’s most accomplished artists and creative professionals who lend their talent and expertise to Guild Hall. This year’s annual affair hosted 350 guests and raised over $600,000 to allow Guild Hall to continue celebrating those who champion the near century-old institution’s dynamic mission as an inventive, artist-driven establishment.


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