Art Center Sarasota Presents: The Beaux Arts Ball

A Themed Costume Event Featuring the 10th Annual Iconcept Fashion Show

Theme for 2018: “Wildest Dreams”

Friday, May 11  Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall

Get ready for a night to remember! This fundraiser includes interactive performances and a contest for the attendees’ best outfits.

Guests are invited to be creative in their attire by interpreting this year’s theme, “Wildest Dreams.”


(Sarasota, FL) Art Center Sarasota presents the revival of the Beaux Arts Ball, featuring the iconcept 10th-anniversary fashion show, Friday, May 11, 7 p.m., at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall’s Grand Foyer. Guests are invited to create their own outfit to wear by interpreting this year’s theme, “Wildest Dreams.” The evening features the iconcept unconventional fashion show, interactive entertainment, performances and an audience contest for best outfits. Honorary chairs are Anna von Gehr, an area arts advocate and senior director for development for The Ringling, and her husband Robert Tarbell, a nationally acclaimed artist. Reserved seats for the fashion show and a three-course dinner with wine are $175. General admission is $75, which includes a light buffet. Tickets for the after-party only are $25. Doors for dinner guests open at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Doors for general admission guests open at 7 p.m., followed by the fashion show at 8 p.m. The after-party begins at 9 p.m. Funds raised through this event help Art Center Sarasota fulfill its mission to provide Sarasota with opportunities for creative expression and art appreciation through art education, exhibitions and cultural programs. For information and reservations, call 941-365-2032 or visit For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Lisa Berger at

The Beaux Arts Ball was an annual event during the 1940s through the 1970s that was originally conceived by the Ringling School of Art (now Ringling College of Art and Design).

“The Beaux Arts Ball was the preeminent social event of the year, attended by area artists, architects, politicos, writers, and performers,” says Lisa Berger, Art Center Sarasota’s executive director. “It defined a period when the visual arts and artists were at the center of the city’s social life.” She adds that the event drew audiences up to 1,000 people who came in elaborately themed costumes—which were often very edgy. “In fact, by the early 1960s, the Beaux Arts Ball had become so risqué that Ringling students were forbidden to attend. It was quite a spectacle.” The event was first held at the John Ringling Hotel and later at the Municipal Auditorium.

Now in its 10th year, iconcept has challenged area artists to create ensembles from unexpected, non-traditional materials that are not commonly associated with clothing design. The results have been nothing less than extraordinary—and the concept, according to Berger, fits perfectly with the spirit of the original Beaux Arts Ball.

“We’re delighted to revive this time-honored event—it’s a perfect fit with iconcept,” says Berger. “Both are about pushing art to its extreme and exploring the possibilities of redefining how you present yourself to the world. It also gives supporters an affordable opportunity to explore their wildest dreams—and support Art Center Sarasota while doing so.”

Art Center Sarasota, established in 1926, offers an extensive art education program for adults and youth, and 27 separate exhibitions annually in the four galleries showing contemporary work by local, national and international artists.  With no admission fees, viewers can see and purchase the work of hundreds of talented artists.

About Art Center Sarasota

Art Center Sarasota was the first arts and cultural institution in Sarasota. It was founded in 1926 as the “Sarasota Art Association” by Marcia Rader, the art supervisor for the Sarasota County schools district. In the early years, the group met monthly and sponsored exhibits in rented facilities. The Association was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1943 and has been in its current location in the Sarasota Bayfront Cultural District since 1949. Art Center Sarasota is now a membership-based organization that offers curated and juried exhibitions, adult and youth education programs, outreach initiatives for underserved youth, and culturally related public programming. Art Center Sarasota’s mission is to inspire individual creative expression, nurture artistic talent and provide the community with accessible and diverse visual art opportunities.

Art Center Sarasota

707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236

Phone: 941-365-2032 § Fax: 941-366-0585


Gallery Hours:

Free admission

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday

Closed Sunday