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The MCA Chicago held a celebration of its 50th anniversary last Saturday, an event dubbed MCA ArtEdge 50. The evening offered a special preview of the highly anticipated exhibition “Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg.” Special guests got an exclusive first look at the show, which marks Murakami’s first museum in North America.
Attendees enjoyed a video message sent by the night’s musical curator, Pharrell Williams, who introduced celebrity performer Janelle Monáe (and Academy Award winner for Best Picture in Moonlight).
Over 600 guests attended, joined by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago First Lady Amy Rule, Leslie Bluhm 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, Hebru Brantley, Nick Cave, Theaster Gates, Kerry James Marshall, Larry Gagosian, Easy Otabor, Emmanuel Perrotin, Jeff Poe, and Tim Blum.
After the welcoming video by Williams, Murakami greeted guests as they arrived. Highlights from the evening include: cocktails and colorful oversized “50” sculptures that celebrated the museum’s anniversary in its Kovler Atrium.
A path to Lake Shore Park led the guests just behind the museum where a tent—provided by HDO Productions—featured décor in collaboration with Murakami and created by Heffernan Morgan. There, guests enjoyed dinner and dessert, before Monáe performed a set of some of her top hits. During the performance she said, “If you support artists, you support freedom.” Following the concert, a commemorative 50th Anniversary video celebrated the founders of the MCA, including Beatrice C. Mayer. Concluding the evening, guests acted as live performance artists, decorating celebratory birthday cakes for the museum.