The Los Angeles County Museum of Art will honor artist Betye Saar and filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón at its 2019 Art + Film Gala, the museum announced on Wednesday.
The annual event, to be held on Nov. 2, is typically a who’s who of the art, fashion and film worlds, with a heavy representation of civic leaders and celebrities in attendance. It’s LACMA’s premier fundraiser. Last year’s gala, honoring artist Catherine Opie and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, raised more than $4.5 million for the museum.
This year’s gala, the museum’s ninth, comes at a pivotal moment as LACMA races to reach its fundraising goal for a new, $650-million building designed by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor. The fundraising campaign is currently at $560 million. LACMA is aiming to break ground in early 2020.
Museum director Michael Govan called Saar “one of the most significant artists working today, and one who boldly addresses issues of race, gender and spirituality.”
“Born in Los Angeles and having sustained a career over seven decades here,” he added in the statement, “Saar has only begun to receive the international acclaim her work deserves.”
In September, LACMA will present an exhibition of the 92-year-old Saar’s sketchbooks, works that haven’t been shown publicly before, in “Betye Saar: Call and Response.”
Cuarón, Govan said, “tells beautiful and stirring stories of humanity and how we relate to one another, from his early films ‘The Little Princess’ and ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ to his recent work including ‘Gravity’ and last year’s ‘Roma,’ which was as personal as it was universal.”
LACMA trustee Eva Chow, who will again co-chair the gala with Leonardo DiCaprio, called Saar and Cuarón “two extraordinary forces in the visual arts.”
Proceeds from the gala will go toward the museum’s exhibitions, educational initiatives and film program as well as future art acquisitions.