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Sunday, April 29, 2018
The 25th Annual Desert Museum Gala

Live Auction Preview

The auctioneer this evening is Christine Sullivan, assisted by John Hughes.

George L. Mountainlion Bolo TieRed Buds Out WestSeattle Adventure for FourRock Fig on an Olmec RuinLion Around - Priscilla Baldwin ScratchboardDreamer Week-Stay at Luxury Home in San Miguel De Allenda, MexicoNative Figure by David AdixTalavera Pitcher with 4 GobletsProvincetown Massachusetts GetawayMuseum Conservation InitiativeTotem TreasureFox Theatre Private ScreeningChef for a Night

George L. Mountainlion Bolo Tie

Photo of tie
This beautiful silver bolo tie features the original Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum George L. Mountainlion logo. This one-of-a-kind design was handcrafted by docent Abe Lackow exclusively for the Museum. This elegant accessory is great way to show your support for the Museum, and is appropriately sized for a man, woman, or child. An especially commemorative piece as the Museum celebrates its 65th anniversary!

Fully donated by the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Value: $500.

Red Buds Out West

Photo of Red Bud tree
Red Bud trees are well known in the southeastern United States and Northern Mexico, but three geographic varieties are recognized, the smallest variety Cercis mexicana var. texensis, is up for auction here. Western Redbud, a separate species, occurs from Arizona to California, has small, very glossy, wavy-edged leaves and a smaller, shrubbier stature than the others occurring in the east. All varieties are popular as ornamentals because of their brilliant early spring flowers, displayed en masse on the bare branches before the plant has leafed out. The flowers can be eaten as a salad or fried. Attractive purple seedpods follow the blooms and provide decoration into the fall months. The western Red Bud is the smallest of all Red Buds and so far more suited for container growing. Western Red Bud is known from three locations in the Tonto National Forest and Sierra Ancha Forest. Your spot for this garden gem is one that is accessible by forklift and has protection from the sun from late morning until sunset. The Gist Company decorative planter is concrete and fiberglass and built to last.

Fully donated by the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Value $1,400.

Seattle Adventure for Four
Photo of Seattle
  • Two Nights Hotel Sorrento Stay for Two Couples
  • Private Tour - Chihuly Studio Boathouse and Garden & Glass Tour
  • Private Tour - Bainbridge Museum of Art
  • Private Tour - Bloedel Reserve
  • Sensory Sojourn Wine Tasting and Case of Wine

Enjoy a dream getaway to Seattle, Washington for four. Spend two nights* at The Hotel Sorrento in deluxe accommodations (includes overnight parking). The Sorrento, an Italian oasis style boutique hotel, is located at the historic First Hill neighborhood. The Sorrento has earned numerous awards including being named one of Conde Nast Traveler's top-25 hotels and is consistently voted the most romantic hotel in Seattle.
*The Hotel Sorrento has agreed to offer additional night(s) at a discounted rate if the winner of this package desires to extend their stay in Seattle.

Experience the glass art of Dale Chihuly with an exclusive private tour for four people of the Boathouse and Hotshop which is located on the shores of Lake Union. The Boathouse offers guests a unique opportunity to view the artwork of Dale Chihluly and his diverse acquired collections. Chihuly's design aesthetic is reflected in each of the boathouse’s distinctive rooms, including an 85-foot slab Douglas fir table, $3 million collection of the artist’s works adorning a bottom-filled pool as well as covering an entire ceiling, a collection of American Indian trade blankets, a reflecting lap pool, saltwater aquarium, and vintage car gallery. The Boathouse and Hotshop are not open to the public; therefore visiting the facility is truly a unique and exceptional Seattle experience! Each couple will also receive a signed keepsake book.

Next, head over to Chihuly Garden and Glass, located at Seattle Center, to view a comprehensive look at Chihuly's significant works. The Exhibition Hall features eight galleries and three Drawing Walls; the Glasshouse presents a suspended 1,400-piece, 100-foot long sculpture; and the Garden is a backdrop for four beautiful, monumental sculptures. In the Collections Café, enjoy a delicious lunch while surrounded by Chihuly's personal collections. Also included in the package are two Chihuly carry-on totes.

The adventure continues with visits to three of the most exclusive destination spots in Seattle:

  1. Admission to the Bloedel Reserve Gardens. Formerly a timber baron’s private home and gardens, Bloedel Reserve is now an exquisite 150-acre pastoral preserve. Here you will experience “forest therapy” as with each step taken along the trail, stress and worries melt away. Its twelve distinct gardens include a bird marsh teeming with life, a velvety moss garden, an award-winning Japanese garden, and a rhododendron glen with color and gigantic blossoms in spring.
  2. A private tour through Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, located on beautiful Bainbridge Island, just a 35-minute ferry ride from Seattle island. This museum is a spectacular art museum that features an impressive slate of contemporary art. A museum curator will guide your foursome through BIMA and provide a lunch or wine nibbles depending on time of day during mutually-agreed upon time of visit.
  3. Chateau St. Michelle Sensory Sojourn for four. Enjoy a 90 minute experience that starts with a review of the "Significant Seven", classic grape varieties: Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. INCLUDED with this tasting is a case of special Chateau Ste. Michelle wines, two of which are the winery’s 50th Anniversary Cabernet.

Restrictions: Reservation Requests based on the hotel's availability and discretion. Valid Sunday- Thursday. Not valid June through September 3. Other blackout dates may apply. This package does not include airfare. Contact Chateau Ste. Michelle to schedule on a mutually agreeable date and time Chateau Ste. Michelle reserves the right to offer a like-valued experience at time of redemption.

Fully donated by Harriet and Ed Vincent, Hotel Sorrento, Chihuly Studio, Bloedel Reserve, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, and Chateau Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. Value $4,250

Rock Fig on an Olmec Ruin

Rock Fig
Sonora’s own Strangler Fig is presented here having been trained to cover an Olmec style head carved by the Museum’s exhibit department. Ficus petiolaris, commonly called petiolate fig or rock fig, is a small tree that may grow to 20-30’ tall, but infrequently may reach as much as 90’ tall. It is native to Mexico where it is typically found from Baja California and Sonora south to Oaxaca. In its native range, it is often found growing in rocky areas where the roots stretch over rocks, often grotesquely, in search of rooting soil. Trees develop a large and distinctive woody basal caudex in early age. Older trees can be magnificent. Pale green leaves (to 3” wide) are heart-shaped ending in the short-pointed apex. A distinctive identification feature of this plant is the presence of white hairs in tufts along the vein axils. Green flowers are followed by figs (to 1/2” diameter) that appear in pairs. Fruit is enjoyed by wildlife, but people would not find it very interesting. The Ore Company steel bowl planter is made to last, and the strangler can grow in it for many years but will eventually be obscured by the roots. Grow in full sun to all-day light shade and protect from temperatures below 25F.

Fully donated by the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Value: $10,000.

Lion Around - Priscilla Baldwin Scratchboard

Photo of lion art
This original scratchboard was created by Priscilla Baldwin, founder of the Art Institute at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, whose art work is in many private collections including the permanent collections of the Hunt Institute and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Priscilla has become a master of scratchboard technique, which is painstaking, meticulous, and truly an inspired labor of love. Her subject here is the Desert Museum’s iconic and beloved mountain lion, Cruz, in one of his most playful and endearing moments. Created specifically for tonight’s Gala in celebration of the quadruple anniversaries we celebrate tonight, he is hard to resist!

Fully donated by Priscilla Baldwin. Value: $5,000.

Dreamer Week-Stay at Luxury Home in San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

Luxury Home
The beautiful city of San Miguel de Allende, has recently been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Named after General Ignacio Allende, a prominent figure in Mexico's War of Independence, the city has a rich history dating back to 1542 when it played an important role as a hub in the silver trade.

San Miguel de Allende is a favorite destination spot for many reasons, including its temperate weather, described as "eternal spring", rich history, and sophistication in terms of cuisine and culture. Tour well-preserved Colonial and Spanish architecture (within walking distance from this luxury home), browse shops that are a mix of art galleries, souvenir shops, modern boutiques, as well as old stores that have preserved historic charm. Also a famous foodie destination, enjoy the gamut from gourmet restaurants to street foods, as well as the municipal market, another do-not-miss destination to learn about the culture and foods of the region.

This Dream Week includes luxury accommodations at the home of internationally known artists George and David Lewis. The home, a large, colonial 3 bedroom, 3 bath is located on one of the most sought-after streets in San Miguel. Looking west toward the mountains of Guanajuato 65 miles away, it has glorious views: the vistas and sunsets are spectacular. The indoor spaces are roomy and comfortable with local crafts and the Lewis' own artworks adorning the walls. Guest-friendly for adults and young people alike, this house can sleep six. A wonderfully accommodating, full-time housekeeper and part-time gardener keep this beautiful home pristine.

Restrictions: Does not include airfare. Not available holidays, January, February or if occupied by renter. Mutually agreed upon date with owner. Expiration Date: 5/1/2019

Fully donated by George and David Lewis. Value: $2,500.

Native Figure by David Adix

David has been creating his Native Figure series over the past 10 years. Inspired by the elongated torsos of Giacometti, these sculptures incorporate found and recycled materials, specific to their particular narrative. This 40” native figure is composed of minerals and treasures collected at the Desert Museum, created and donated in celebration of tonight’s Gala.

Fully donated by David Adix Studio. Value: $2,800

Talavera Pitcher with 4 Goblets

Pitcher and Goblets
This one-of-a-kind Talavera set has been created especially for this year’s Gala by Dr. Isabelle Collins, one of today's masters of Puebla Talavera. In great demand, Dr. Collin’s work has been shown internationally, in museum exhibitions and private collections, and has been featured here at the Desert Museum. Tonight, blooming Sonoran cacti blend with traditional talavera design, true to age-old methods and glazes. Taught by Talavera masters, Dr. Collins has crafted this set—her first one with goblets—in her small workshop in Puebla. Through her creative hands and years of research and study, Dr Collins brings the treasured history of Talavera to life with her contemporary expression and unique touch.

Fully donated by Dr. Isabelle Collins. Value: $1,000.

Provinetown Massachusetts Getaway

Photo of Massachusetts
Provincetown, MA, a one week stay in Provincetown’s East Side historic district. This charming 1 1/2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath, condo for one couple, up a flight of stairs in a cottage built in the 1850s, is located in the heart of the Provincetown gallery district across the street from the beach.

At the tip of the hook of Cape Cod, Provincetown was first spotted by the Pilgrims on their way to Plymouth. In the early 1800’s it became one of the principle whaling centers, using crew from the Azores. In the late 19th century, Provincetown formed one of the first US art schools and colonies, where artists where drawn by its gorgeous white dunes and special light. Later, Provincetown became known for its diversity and its acceptance of different lifestyles. Today, fishing and art continue to flourish together, among colorful visitors and residents.

Enjoy the magic of low tide and beach strolling, walk to the center of town for whale watching and dune tours, or rent a bicycle to explore this historic town and miles of forested bike paths. Fun shopping, great art, delicious food (including lobster, Portuguese specialties and bakeries), and entertaining people-watching abound! Added activities, if you choose, include a special visit to the renowned Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Tour the docks and see the research vessels, and some of the labs. WHOI is the world's leading, independent non-profit organization dedicated to ocean, research, exploration, and education. WHOI scientists and engineers push the boundaries of knowledge about the ocean to reveal its impact on our planet. Additionally, the Audubon Wildlife Preserve (wonderful bird watching and marshland exhibits) is just 20 minutes away, affording other glimpses of the Cape.

This trip includes two round trip commuter air tickets, Boston to Provincetown, a tour for two of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and a seafood dinner at a local restaurant.

Restrictions: Airfare to Boston is not included. Available after September 16, 2018. Donor recommends an October booking for best weather but is open to mutually agreed-upon date.

Fully donated by Jenny Phillips and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Value: $2,000

Museum Conservation Initiative

Photo of initiative
Nature and culture are inextricable. They co-evolve through time; sometimes one seems to dominate the story, but never for long. Throughout its history, the Desert Museum has been studying and interpreting the deep knowledge of the Sonoran Desert developed by people who have lived here over time. Currently, our cultural programs are focused on food, a subject of great enjoyment and great concern as we look into the future. The Museum introduces students and guests to the cultural and natural history of regional foods, and helps to build respect for the deep funds of food knowledge held in regional cultures. Cooking and eating may be the best way to connect people to nature and to each other!

The Desert Museum currently offers a series of programs for adults and families on harvesting and preparing native foods, from saguaro, to prickly pear, to mesquite and cholla buds. We also offer “Sonoran Supermarket” classes for school children and teachers, teaching them how native people used (and still use) desert plants for food, fiber, toys and tools for thousands of years before there were supermarkets. Jesús García, Education Specialist, focuses on fruit trees brought here during the colonial period and selectively bred to be optimized for our climate (the Kino Heritage Fruit Trees Project). All of these programs are extremely popular, and the Museum needs support for both teaching and research. Our priorities are to be able to:

  1. Offer native and heritage foods classes at a subsidized rate for community partners and individuals that cannot afford our current pricing.
  2. Offer Sonoran Supermarket workshops and kits to teachers and community gardeners.
  3. Complete an oral history database of recorded Kino tree interviews.
  4. Further document the Kino Trees knowledge in book, paper, or video format
  5. Continue research on desert adapted food crops such as domesticated agaves and prickly pear.
  6. Continue training Museum staff and volunteers to native food ways and traditional knowledge.

Through research and education about foods, the Museum is helping to build bridges of cultural understanding between individuals and communities, while at the same time, fulfilling our mission of connecting people to nature.

Totem Treasure

Photo of Totem
A totem (Ojibwe doodem) is a spirit being, sacred object, or symbol that serves as an emblem of a group of people, such as a family, clan, lineage, or tribe. Tonight’s special totem was created by local artist Judy Gans, whose cactus centerpieces are featured on our tables. Truly a treasure for your home, garden, or patio area, this beautifully glazed and crafted ceramic piece stands 64” tall and features a saguaro cactus, lizard, cactus blossom, dove rabbit, and roadrunner, all adorned with copper and clay beads.

Fully donated by Judy Gans. Value $1,000

Fox Theatre Private Screening

Photo of Fox Theatre
The winner of this package will host a private movie night for friends and family to remember! A Tucson historic venue in the cultural arena, the Fox Theatre opened in 1930 as a dual vaudeville/movie house. Competition for new theaters and the decline of downtown shopping led to the Fox closing in 1974. After sitting empty for 25 years, the theater was nearly beyond restoration. Following a two-year negotiation the non-profit Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation was able to purchase the building in 1999, putting forth a six-year, $14 million major renovation. Today the Fox hosts over 150 events yearly and sees over 70,000 patrons.

This certificate bearer is entitled to A "Private" film screening at the Fox Tucson Theatre and includes:

  • Your choice of classic films*
  • Admission (up to 25 people)
  • Entire upstairs lounge and seating area for film screening
  • 50 drink passes- Staffed Bar
  • Free popcorn for all attendees
  • Outside catering is allowed

Restrictions: *Film choice limited to availability. Expiration Date: 4/29/2019

Fully donated by Fox Tucson Theatre Foundation. Value $3,000

Chef for a Night

Photo of chef
Experience a memorable evening as dinner for ten is prepared in your home or here at the Desert Museum in a special Museum venue by the Executive Chef and team of Rojo Hospitality Group. We will collaborate with you to create a memorable gourmet menu of four courses paired with wines. Rojo staff will take care of all the evening’s service details.

In addition, Desert Museum staff will offer a presentation by the Museum’s Interpretive Animal Collection if you so desire. To be scheduled at a mutually convenient time for donors, Rojo Hospitality Group, and Museum staff.

Fully donated by Rojo Hospitality Group and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Value: $2,500.

Gala OverviewReservations and Raffle TicketsSponsor TablesMenuCenterpieces and Other InformationLive Auction

For additional information contact Dave Eshbaugh, Director of Philanthropy, 520-883-3039,
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