PaperSpecsGallery.com Presents: Luminocity VIP Invitation 2016 (Video)
Raising money is never easy, particularly if, like the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA Denver), your exhibitions occasionally push the boundaries of what mainstream America is comfortable with. For last year’s edition of its chief fundraiser, the Luminocity Gala, Ellen Bruss Design (EBD) created an attractive VIP invitation that referenced the controversial work of the event’s focus, New York artist Ryan McGinley, without ruffling too many feathers. (Fur, however, was another matter.)
The invitation arrived in a glossy white box with a simple yellow paper strip. Once you break the seal, you flip up a magnetic closure on one end, allowing you to lift the entire lid revealing what looks like a gold, beribboned box nestled in a bed of a furry white substance within. (The covers, ties, interior and fur lining were all hand assembled.)
Removing it you discover that it’s not a box at all but an accordion-folded invitation with a gold lamé cover featuring two blind debosses: the words “Luminocity” on the front and “MCA Denver” on the back. Each of the six panels opens to reveal letters that ultimately spell out “Luminocity” beneath a separate white, die-cut, Polaroid-like frame.
Click here or below to watch the video:
Why Polaroid-like? Well, in his breakthrough 1999 book “The Kids are Alright,” McGinley featured photos of himself and his friends in various states of nudity and youthful excess. And in anticipation of a February 2017 MCA Denver show featuring Polaroids he took between 1998 and 2003, EBD’s invitation mimicked that distinctive instant-picture look. But wait, there’s more.
On the back of each of the six panels we’re treated to the particulars of the event (schedule, RSVP date, etc.), each with a different color background. Finally, the back of the very last panel reveals one more surprise: a pocket containing three folded cards including the RSVP with envelope.
All told this is an invitation that hints at the elegant sophistication of MCA Denver’s exhibitions and, more slightly, the retro appeal of Ryan McGinley’s work. “The Kids” may be “Alright,” as the title of the artist’s book would have us believe, but this invitation goes beyond “alright,” putting the “luminous” in “Luminocity.”
Sabine Lenz is the founder of PaperSpecs.com, the first online paper database and community specifically designed for paper specifiers.
Growing up in Germany, Sabine started her design career in Frankfurt, before moving to Australia and then the United States. She has worked on design projects ranging from corporate identities to major road shows and product launches. From start-ups to Fortune 500 companies, her list of clients included Oracle, Sun Microsystems, Deutsche Bank, IBM and KPMG.
Seeing designers struggle worldwide to stay current with new papers and paper trends inspired Sabine to create PaperSpecs, an independent and comprehensive Web-based paper database and weekly e-newsletter. She is also a speaker on paper issues and the paper industry. Some refer to her lovingly as the "paper queen" who combines her passion for this wonderful substrate called paper with a hands-on approach to sharing her knowledge.