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Room Transformation: An Indoor Tropical Oasis

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Guests were transported to a tropical paradise at the ICA’s 11th Annual Uncorked Wine Dinner

When cold winds are howling and spring blooms aren’t yet in sight, only a tropical respite will do. Guests of the Institute of Contemporary Art abandoned their winter woes for a lush paradise during the 11th annual Uncorked: Wine Dinner and Auction.

An intimate gathering of 200 oenophiles, foodies, and art-lovers enjoyed a spirited wine dinner and live auction on January 27. Their sites were set on raising money to support youth and education programming at the ICA.

The evening was dynamic and elegant, drawing inspiration from the South Asian cuisine of guest chef, James Beard Best Chef nominee and former Top Chef contestant Karen Akunowicz of Myers+Chang. A utopia of lush florals, jewel tone washes of light, and pops of bold patterns created a stunning contemporary space. To transform the museum into this captivating oasis, the ICA turned to experts from such vendors as Frost Production


A leisurely cocktail hour in the ICA’s State Street Corporation Lobby began the evening with passed hors d’oeuvres, fresh seafood and Myers+Chang’s signature pork dumplings. A wash of warm light over the circular bar and pinspot lighting on Winston Flowers arrangements welcomed guests for celebrated wines. A lavish display of jewel-toned uplighting set the evening’s dramatic tone and created a visually stunning backdrop to the festivities.

Moving into the ICA’s Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theater for dinner, guests enjoyed Chef Akunowicz’s culinary masterpieces of lobster curry and a slow braised short rib with smoked eggplant, paired to perfection with a sparkling Caves Louis de Grenelle Saumur Corail Brut Rose and a 2013 Roger Sabon Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Prestige.


Tables were styled with glass containers overflowing with Winston displays of giant palm fronds, banana leaves, Bird of Paradise and ruby red anthuriums. The lush floral designs were bathed in gentle light, while pillar candles and tealights reflected off of mirrored accents.


To create a breathtaking effect using colored lights, the steel beams between separating the large windows of the room were washed in brilliant blues, royal purples, and deep emerald greens. This dramatic palette played well against the playful twinkling of the Boston Harbor lights seen through the room’s floor-to-ceiling glass walls. To create an even more intimate glow, stacks of white drum lampshades hung from the ceiling to cast a subtle ambient light.

For an air of elegance, jewel toned multi-colored uplighting was artfully placed onto white rectangular pedestals around the event space. Each pedestal held luscious jade green palm highlighted with pinspotting to build on the tropical vibe.


After dinner, guests returned to the State Street Corporation Lobby for an array of sweets from Myers+Chang’s sister restaurant Flour Bakery and dessert wines. The live auction, run by Marie Keep of Skinner Auctioneers, saw winning bids enjoying NYC art-inspired getaways, private baking parties with award-winning pastry chefs, and in-home dinners by well-known culinary experts.

This welcomed January “escape” to the tropics proved to be a successful evening for the cause. To date, Uncorked has raised more than $ 3.5 million to support youth access and education programs at the ICA.

Want to create a lavish oasis for your guests at your next affair?

Contact Frost Productions to help create elegant design for a successful and memorable event.