On Saturday, June 3, 2017, Chicagoans gathered at the MC for the Artedge gala to commence the Museum of Contemporary Art’s 50th anniversary and caught an exclusive preview of The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg exhibition curated by Takashi Murakami.

The exhibition marks Murakami’s first museum recollective in North America in over a decade. Over 600 guests were in attendance for the anticipated reveal raising $3 million in proceeds geared toward future MCA exhibitions, performances and educational programming.

Guests were also able to enjoy a special video message from the musical curator of the evening, Pharrell Williams, who introduced superstar performer Janelle Monáe. During her performance, Monáe proudly said, “If you support artists, you support freedom.”

The spectacular event wrapped up with closing announcements by MCA Pritzker’s director, Madeleine Grynsztejn, “We are celebrating the visionary group of Chicagoans who, 50 years ago, decided that our amazing city needed a contemporary art museum. We also are celebrating the museum’s redesign, a project that propels us into the next 50 years. And, of course, how better to mark this wonderful occasion than by debuting this unparalleled, absolutely stunning exhibition.

“We are particularly grateful for the efforts of our co-chairs, Marlene Breslow-Blitstein and Berle Blitstein, Helyn Goldenberg and Michael Alper, James Litinsky, and Pamela Netzky and Ashley Hemphill-Netzky. Their support was critical for making the evening a success, and we look forward to continuing to work with them on future endeavors.”

Noteworthy guests at the gala included Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago first lady Amy Rule, Leslie Bluhm and David Helfand, Nancy and Steven Crown, Marc Ecko, Dr. Julius Few, Ikram and Josh Goldman, Katherine Chez Malkin and Judd Malkin, Desiree Rogers, Michael and Cari Sacks. Also in attendance were artists Hebru Brantley, Nick Cave, Theaster Gates, Kerry James Marshall; and gallerists Larry Gagosian, Easy Otabor, Emmanuel Perrotin, Jeff Poe and Tim Blum.

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Lala Martinez

I’m a forward thinking millennial with a passion for writing and reporting all things entertainment.