“On the Edge” Returns, Honoring Acclaimed Couturier Guo Pei + Trailblazing Artist Mary Lovelace O’Neal

Oct 6, 2022

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On the Edge
de Young museum / October 6, 2022

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On the Edge 2022 Video

SAN FRANCISCO –The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (The Museums), which include the de Young and the Legion of Honor museums, held its On the Edge benefit on October 6, 2022. In its second year this marquee fundraiser honored China’s most renowned couturier Guo Pei, whose exhibition Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy is currently on view at the Legion of Honor museum (introduced by San Francisco Supervisor Connie Chan), and arts educator and abstract artist Mary Lovelace O’Neal, whose indelible impact still reverberates across the Bay Area and whose work I Live in a Black Marble Palace with Black Panthers and White Doves #8 (ca. 1990) was recently acquired by the Museums (introduced by Distinguished Senior Curator and Curator-in-Charge of American Art Timothy A. Burgard), for their extraordinary achievements and commitment to the arts community.

On the Edge hosted 1,000 guests, welcoming a new generation of museum supporters, civic leaders, and cultural luminaries from the Bay Area’s art, design, tech, fashion, and philanthropic communities to celebrate the transformative power of art and possibility. Proceeds support a new era of innovative programming at the de Young and Legion of Honor, that is inclusive and accessible for audiences from the Bay Area and beyond, with a special focus on community-centric activities and strong exhibitions that amplify underrepresented and fresh perspectives.

“In its inaugural year, On the Edge brought together Bay Area leaders, luminaries, and artists to celebrate the legacy and vitality of our region’s vibrant cultural community,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “This year, with all proceeds from On the Edge supporting the next iteration of The de Young Open and our educational outreach, we are looking forward to keeping the party going with a new Late Night addition featuring local artists, chefs, and entertainment.”

The Museums also premiered Late Night, a new community after-party to complement this year’s On the Edge benefit. Late Night featured playful pop-up activations, craft cocktails, and late-night bites by Taste catering. Attendees danced the night away with a musical performance by award-winning artist and activist Madame Gandhi, in addition to sets from DJs Angel + Dren and DJ Christie. The event featured activations into the night including an aura reading with Synergy Life, custom poetry created by The Poetry Store, Joana Ayala’s transcendent "The Voice of the Forest" Experience, and the She Bends Neon Bar for craft cocktails and a meet the artist lounge! With exclusive after-hours access to the de Young including entry to the de Young’s permanent-collection galleries, guests enjoyed access to two phenomenal exhibitions: the spectacular golden objects in Ramses the Great and the Gold of Pharaohs and a 50-year retrospective of one of the most influential figures in American art, Faith Ringgold: American People. 

On the Edge event co-chairs are Stanlee Gatti, Rebecca and Cal Henderson, Agnes Lew, and Jason Moment. The event welcomed artists and guests such as:

Artists: Mary Lovelace O'Neal, Woody de Othello, Chelsea Ryoko Wong, Sadie Barnette, Catherine Wagner, Enrique Chagoya, Barry McGee, Ranu Mukherjee, Rashaad Newsome, Angela Henessy, Lee Mingwei.

Art and Fashion world: Jessica Silverman and Sarah Thornton, Karen Jenkins Johnson, Sonya Yu, Laura Sweeney, Emily Holt, Azzurra Alliata di Montereale, Mary Zlot, Kelly Huang, Thomas P. Campbell, Claudia Schmuckli, Jay Xu, Monetta White. 

SF "luminaries" and tech: Jason Moment, Diane B. Wilsey, Mike and Kaitlyn Krieger, Katie and Matt Paige, Lorna Meyer Calas, Mo and John Pritzker, Mariana and Doug Wall, Max Boyer Glynn, Jack Calhoun and Trent Norris, Salle Yoo, Michelle and Parker Harris, Michelle and William Tai, Rosina and Anthony Sun.

Civic Leaders: Mayor Breed, Supervisor Chan. 

The theme for the night was "A Particular Kind of Heaven", drawn from a three part painting by California artist Ed Ruscha in the museum’s collection and on view in Wilsey Court. The ambience, inspired by the California sunset with a golden hour, an orange to blue gradient and lucent chromatic light effects, brought the region's stunning sky to the museum. 

About Guo Pei

Guo Pei is China’s premier couturier. For over 20 years, she has been dressing celebrities, royalty, and political elite. Born in 1967, she started sewing at a very young age and quickly developed a passion for dressmaking. Upon graduation from the Beijing Second Light Industry School, she started her career designing for major manufacturers over a ten-year period. In 1997 she launched her own label and atelier, Rose Studio. Today she employs nearly 500 skilled artisans dedicated to producing her stunning creations, some of which can take thousands of hours and up to two years to complete. In 2015, Guo Pei became the second native Chinese member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the chief governing body of the high-fashion industry, allowing her to show on the Paris Haute Couture Week calendar. She made her Paris haute-couture debut in January 2016, unveiling her Courtyard collection to wide critical acclaim. In the same year, she was also named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and one of the Business of Fashion’s BoF 500, a list of the most influential people shaping the global fashion industry. The first comprehensive exhibition of the artist's work, Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy is on view at the Legion of Honor museum through November 27, 2022. 

About Mary Lovelace O'Neal

Mary Lovelace O’Neal (b. 1942, Jackson, Mississippi), a revolutionary figure in abstraction since the 1970s, has roots in Minimalism and Expressionism. In the late 1970s her vibrant compositions expanded to include references to real imagery, varying between pure abstraction and narrative figuration. Considered one of the greatest living painters, she is a printmaker, educator and storyteller celebrated for her powerful compositions that employ vibrant hues and a generous and masterful application of paint, with the social and political consciousness of the Civil Rights and Black Arts movements.  

Lovelace O’Neal’s work is in collections including the Art Institute of Chicago; Baltimore Museum of Art; Brooklyn Museum of Art; de Young Museum; Mississippi Museum, Jackson; National Museum of Fine Arts Santiago, Chile; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Joyner/Giuffrida Collection.  

Lovelace O’Neal has a BFA from Howard University where she was a student of James A. Porter and the late great artist, scholar, and educator Dr. David C. Driskell. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and earned an MFA from Columbia University.  Since the 1970s she has taught at Northern California institutions including San Francisco Art Institute, California College of Arts and Crafts, Humboldt State University, and the University of California, Berkeley, where she was the Chair of the Art Practice Department. She lives and works in Oakland, California and Merida, Mexico. 

On the Edge Host Committee
Bank of America
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bettina Bryant
Jack Calhoun and Trent Norris
Iris S. Chan and Michael Chan, M.D.
Katie Colendich and Albert d'Hoste
Marion Moore Cope
East West Bank
Fraenkel Gallery
Stanlee Gatti
John A. and Cynthia Fry Gunn
Lucy Young Hamilton
The Harris Family
Rebecca and Cal Henderson
Gretchen B. Kimball
Cheryl Frank and Michael Linn
Anthony and Celeste Meier
Jason Moment
Yurie and Carl Pascarella
Lynn and Edward Poole
Jessica Silverman and Sarah Thornton
Denise Littlefield Sobel
William and Michelle Tai
Gwynned Vitello
Mariana Gantus Wall and Douglas Wall
Diane B. Wilsey

About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, are the largest public arts institution in San Francisco.

The de Young originated from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in Golden Gate Park and was established as the Memorial Museum in 1895. It was later renamed in honor of Michael H. de Young, who spearheaded its creation. The present copper-clad landmark building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, opened in 2005. Reflecting an active conversation among cultures, perspectives and time periods, the collections on display include American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 17th to the 21st centuries; arts from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; costume and textile arts; and international modern and contemporary art.

The Legion of Honor was inspired by the French pavilion at San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 and, like that structure, was modeled after the neoclassical Palais de la Légion d’Honneur, in Paris. The museum, designed by George Applegarth, opened in 1924 on a bluff in Lincoln Park overlooking the Golden Gate. It offers unique insight into the art historical, political, and social movements of the previous 4,000 years of human history, with holdings including European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; and the largest collection of works on paper in the American West.

Media Contacts
Shaquille Heath \ sheath@famsf.org
Helena Nordstrom \ hnordstrom@famsf.org