Bright Night benefit celebrates art, culture, creativity

A piece by

A piece by Kehinde Wiley. (submitted photo)

The Phoenix Art Museum presents Bright Night, an evening among art enthusiasts featuring live musical performance and a private glimpse at the works of internationally-acclaimed artist Kehinde Wiley, all in benefit of exhibition and education programming at the museum.

Known for his vibrant, larger-than-life reinterpretations of classical portraits featuring young African Americans, New York-based visual artist Kehinde Wiley has taken the international art world by storm as one of the leading American artists to emerge in the last two decades, according to a press release.

Along with “Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace,” a recent PBS documentary that traced the artist’s unique style and meteoric rise, the artist gained international acclaim when he was commissioned to create art for the 2009 VH1’s Hip Hop Honors show.

Through his work, Mr. Wiley re-imagines traditional European portraiture, recasting the poses from classical paintings with young, urban men and women of color in their contemporary attire, selected through a process called “street-casting.”

The special-engagement exhibition, “Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic,” will form the centerpiece of Bright Night and will feature a mid-career retrospective of the prolific artist’s work, 14 years in the making. It will include nearly 60 works of art, including paintings and rarely seen sculpture and stained-glass objects, the release stated.

Along with the exhibition of Mr. Wiley’s artwork, Bright Night offers a culinary and musical celebration with custom cocktails and fine wine, hors d’oeuvres and small plates,  all crafted by M Catering. Guests will enjoy the ambiance of bright, floral designs with a featured DJ and the musical sounds of a Steel Drum Band inside the tropical lounge.

Bright Night is presented by the Phoenix Art Museum Board of Trustees and Amada Cruz.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are excited to present not only the compelling works of Kehinde Wiley, which is sure to delight our visitors, but to present Bright Night,” Ms. Cruz said in the release.

“Through the generosity of our guests, Bright Night will have a truly transformative impact on the work we do here at the Museum by raising funds vital to creating open access to art and art education for every sector of our diverse community.”

The event is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28, at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave. Tickets are $750 each, and 100 percent of ticket proceeds benefit Phoenix Art Museum. Guests are encouraged to wear colorful cocktail attire, the release stated.

To purchase tickets visit

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