Museum Party to Mark New Exhibitions

The EX.SITE.MENT is mounting.

Committee members working on the upcoming EX.SITE.MENT celebration, scheduled for July 27 on the grounds of Pacific Mutual in Newport Center, gathered for lunch in the Newport Harbor Art Museum Sculpture Garden Cafe Monday to honor event co-chairmen Gloria Schick and Judy Slutzky and 60 volunteers and table patrons.

The planned EX.SITE.MENT dinner-dance and auction to benefit the museum will be modeled after last year's "Gold Fever," according to Schick, and will feature international foods and dancing to music by the Horace Heidt Jr. Band. Among the more unusual auction items will be a chocoholic's delight, "Your Weight in Truffles."

The party will also mark the opening of two exhibitions at the museum: "The Critical Edge: Controversy in Recent American Architecture" and "Future Furniture."

"To encompass both of these exhibitions," said museum curator Paul Schimmel, "we're going to have without question the most outrageous installation the museum has ever seen: a New Wave installation starting with a sequence of columns coming right through the building into the great gallery, banners, drapery, everything set at odd angles. . . .

"The central apex for the installation will be a 40-foot ramp ending with a trompe l'oeil of the sky. As you walk up the ramp you'll be able to see these different architectural models from very different perspectives."

According to museum special events coordinator Gloria Ruston, the name EX.SITE.MENT ties in both with the off-site location of the museum party and with "The Critical Edge" exhibition, which focuses on architectural sites around the country.

Recommended attire for the opening and party will be "California EX.SITE.ING," which was given interpretations ranging from ultra-casual to ultra-formal at the luncheon by Jaeger, Corona del Mar Clothing Company, Shebue and Nordstrom's Pave boutique.

Informal modeling of appropriately EX.SITE.ING fashions will continue in the Sculpture Garden Cafe from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays during July.

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