Hammer Museum Honors Ava DuVernay and Hilton Als at 15th Annual Gala in the Garden, October 14

In Partnership with Bottega Veneta

The Hammer Museum announced today that filmmaker and director Ava DuVernayand Pulitzer Prize winning critic Hilton Als will be honored at this year’s Gala in the Garden on Saturday, October 14, 2017. The annual celebration is presented with the generous support of Bottega Veneta and recognizes visionary individuals who have made significant contributions to the arts.

Hammer Director Ann Philbin said, “We’re thrilled to honor two inspiring visionaries like Ava DuVernay and Hilton Als at the Hammer gala. In addition to creating powerful films and television like Selma, 13TH, and A Wrinkle in Time, Ava also promotes social justice and inclusion of people of color and women. Hilton’s influence also extends beyond his roles as critic, curator, author, and professor. A highly visible public intellectual, he writes incisively about gender, sexuality, and race and won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism for his work as theater critic for The New Yorker.”

Returning for the fifth year, Bottega Veneta will partner with the Hammer Museum to present this year’s Gala in the Garden, celebrating both artists and creative expression in Los Angeles. Proceeds from the gala will support the Hammer’s dynamic and nationally acclaimed exhibitions and public programs. The Gala in the Garden is a highly anticipated event in Los Angeles that attracts cultural and civic leaders, as well as artists, collectors, and patrons of the arts. Last year’s event raised over $2 million for the museum. Chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques will once again create the menu.

Past honorees include Laurie Anderson, Todd Haynes, Paul McCarthy, Diane KeatonMark Bradford, Joni MitchellRobert Gober, Tony Kushner, Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Matt GroeningLari PittmanAlice WatersCharles RayKara WalkerDave EggersCatherine OpieMiuccia PradaMike KelleyJohn Baldessari, Joan Didion, Ed Ruscha, and Frank Gehry.

For event inquiries, please call (310) 443-7026 or email [email protected].

Ava DuVernay is a writer, producer, director, and distributor of independent film. Nominated for the Academy Award and winner of a Peabody Award as well as the BAFTA for Best Documentary, Ava DuVernay’s 13TH was one of the most critically-acclaimed films of 2016. In 2014, DuVernay directed the historical drama Selma, which garnered four Golden Globe nominations and two Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. Her current directorial work includes the award-winning dramatic television series Queen Sugar and the upcoming Disney feature film A Wrinkle in Time.

DuVernay previously wrote, produced, and directed the dramatic feature Middle of Nowhere, which earned her the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Best Director Award. In 2010, she wrote, financed, produced, and directed her first narrative feature, I Will Follow. The family drama was hailed by critic Roger Ebert as “one of the best films I’ve seen about the loss of a loved one.”

In 2017, DuVernay was named one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 Greatest World Leaders. A graduate of UCLA, DuVernay is the founder of ARRAY, a grassroots distribution and advocacy collective dedicated to the amplification of films by people of color and women which was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies.

Hilton Als became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 1994 and a theater critic in 2002. He began contributing to the magazine in 1989, writing pieces for The Talk of the Town. He is an art critic and curator, most recently organizing an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Alice Neel at David Zwirner Gallery. In 2017, he received the Pulitzer Prize in Criticism “for bold and original reviews that strove to put stage dramas within a real-world cultural context, particularly the shifting landscape of gender, sexuality and race.”

Before joining The New Yorker, Als was a staff writer for the Village Voice and an editor-at-large at Vibe. Als edited the catalogue for the 1994-95 Whitney Museum of American Art exhibition Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art. His first book, The Women, was published in 1996. His most recent book, White Girls, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2014, discusses various narratives of race and gender.

In 1997, the New York Association of Black Journalists awarded Als first prize in both Magazine Critique/Review and Magazine Arts and Entertainment. He was awarded a Guggenheim for creative writing in 2000 and the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for 2002-03. Als is an associate professor of writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and has taught at Yale University, Wesleyan, and Smith College. He lives in New York City.

Discretion, quality, and craftsmanship—Bottega Veneta has created a new standard of luxury since its founding in Vicenza in 1966. Steeped in the traditions of Italy’s master leather craftsmen and long celebrated for its extraordinary leather goods, Bottega Veneta has recently emerged as one of the world’s premier luxury brands. The company’s famous motto, “When your own initials are enough,” expresses a philosophy of individuality and confidence. There is an unusual and inspired collaboration between artisan and designer at the heart of Bottega Veneta’s approach to luxury, symbolized by the house’s signature intrecciato woven leather. In the summer of 2006, in recognition of the importance of artisanal craftsmanship and the fragility of this traditional way of life, Bottega Veneta opened a school to train and support future generations of leather artisans.

The most recent chapter in Bottega Veneta’s history began in February 2001, when the company was acquired by Kering. Creative Director Tomas Maier came on board in June of that year and presented his first collection, Spring-Summer 2002, to immediate critical acclaim. In the years since, Bottega Veneta has introduced exciting additions to the collection, including fragrance, fine jewelry, a watch, furniture, and home accessories, while continuing to offer an exclusive and coveted assortment of ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes, small leather goods, eyewear, luggage, and gifts.

The Hammer Museum at UCLA presents exhibitions and collections that span classic to contemporary art, and programs featuring the most innovative thinkers of our time. Through a wide-ranging, international exhibition program and the biennial, Made in L.A., the Hammer highlights contemporary art since the 1960s, especially the work of emerging and under recognized artists. A cultural center and a forum for the ideas of a public research university, the Hammer’s exhibitions, collections, and nearly 300 public programs annually—including film screenings, lectures, symposia, readings, music performances, and workshops for families—spark meaningful encounters with art and ideas and are all free to the public.

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