Each project we take on at Pink Monkey has unique elements that make it memorable. Whether it be a wedding, brand activation, fundraiser, or anything in between, it’s our job (and passion!) to make it distinct. When the Aspen Art Museum came to us for their December ‘The Now’ Benefit, we were presented with the unique challenge to design an event free of Christmas and New Year decor. Our Lead Event Designer, Melony Sebastian, worked closely with the Aspen Art Museum to put together an exceptional and cohesive design that incorporated ideas for their specific vision.

“In the first meeting our clients presented the idea that they wanted Gallery One to have a living wall feature and an explosion of greenery. After the first meeting, I created an initial design board that included images for different takes on a living wall. From a budget perspective, it became clear that we wouldn’t be able to cover all four walls with living greenery. It might even be a stretch to completely cover one wall, so I presented options that were a play on the living wall.”

In conjunction with bursts of greenery in the dinner area, the upstairs space was to have a pop of fuschia to coordinate with the external lighting of the building which was illuminated with a bold, fuchsia wash by Halcyon Productions. This space would be transitioning from Cocktail Hour to the performance space for The Flaming Lips, so it was necessary to have the decor elements transition seamlessly.

According to Melony, “We suggested suspending 150 glass bud vases with fuchsia orchids over centralized areas, including the cocktail tables, bar area, handbag display/silent auction, caviar/dessert station. The hanging orchids mixed perfectly with the whimsical performance and props, including inflatable unicorns and confetti cannon explosions, provided by The Flaming Lips.”

After a number of revisions and meetings, the final proposal was accepted and it was time to get to work. Since the museum routinely repaints the gallery walls between exhibits, we suggested painting them green to saturate the room and contribute to the overall “overgrown greenery” effect. “Rather than installing a living wall, we suggested a more immersive design element utilizing greenery chandeliers suspended over tables and lining the perimeter of the room with live tropical plants.”

Although there were challenges during this project (just like any project!), the creativity and collaborative effort made this one of Melony’s most cherished events of 2016. “The Aspen Art Museum is one of our most beloved clients. More so than most clients, they push the envelope when it comes to creativity. We have a truly collaborative process in creating their events. They have a deep understanding of what their patrons are expecting and because of that, they also know what will surprise and delight their donors.”

Speaking of delighting their donors, the entertainment for the evening was provided by The Flaming Lips. Part of the fun for Melony and the crew was setting up the installations during their soundcheck. “It was a beautiful blend of creatives in the same space working on their artistic endeavors for one common goal. We were all there to create a unique and artful experience for the Aspen Art Museum and their donors.”

Ultimately, we were able to design and execute an innovative and remarkable event we are proud to put our name on. “We were able to think outside of the box and provide an immersive experience for the guests by taking the living wall concept and spinning it on it’s head. Creative design and solid planning creates successful events.”

Photography: Ross Daniels Photography
Venue: Aspen Art Museum
Lighting: Halcyon Productions
Entertainment: The Flaming Lips