Bettina’s Take: The Art Production Fund’s Urban Hoedown

Scott Campbell, Lake Bell

The art world really knows how to throw a party. Take, for example, the Art Production Fund's Urban Hoedown: the dress code called for Gown & Dirty, and the high/low theme was evident throughout. Tattoo artist Scott Campbell donated masses of temporary ink, to the delight of fiancee Lake Bell.

"I'm here supporting my fiance, he contributed the beautiful tattoos tonight, and I'm a big fan of Marc's," said the actress, in head-to-toe Marc Jacobs, the evening's presenting sponsor. "I'm just learning about the Art Production Fund, so this is the place to do that."

Trays of Dom Perignon were passed among the cowboy hats and evening gowns, the mechanical bulls, the scantily-clad cowgirls and boys, and a sea of guests in gingham, including co-chair Samantha Boardman Rosen, adorable in red and white Miu Miu.

"This is my first hoedown in my life, my first Western experience. I'm loving wearing my hat!" said Tamara Mellon, stunning a long black one shouldered column and one long feather earring.

"If all cowgirls looked like you there would be many more children in the Wild West!" said Carlos Mota with a laugh.

The crowd included many art world notables, including Jeff Koons, Kenny Scharf, Tico Mugrabi, Wendi Murdoch in Prabal Gurung, Nathalie de Gunzburg in Lanvin, Fabiola Beracasa in Sachin and Babi, Bettina Prentice, co-chairs Amalia Dayan and Adam Lindeman, Aby Rosen and Renee and Mark Rockefeller. The evening's honorees were Kiki Smith, Mark Fletcher and Tobias Meyer. Ryan Bingham was the musical entertainment.

FashionEtc asked Art Production Fund Co-Founder Yvonne Force Villareal, why an urban hoedown?

"It all happened because Kiki Smith and Marc Fletcher, two of our honorees, met in Santa Fe twenty plus years ago, and then Ryan Bingham is a great friend of the Art Production Fund and Kiki Smith, so the whole Southwestern theme happened," said Villareal, wearing turquoise Marc Jacobs cowboy boots, a Dolce & Gabbana square dancing dress, and a Marc Jacobs bandana.

"But then we also loved the analogy of the Wild West and being the frontier women and our adventures in public art, and the big open sky. But we can't deny we're in Manhattan, so we called it an urban hoedown. So tonight is a night to celebrate, so kick up your turquoise shoes."

Co-chair Renee Rockefeller, in J. Mendel and a matching brown cowboy hat, is a big fan. "I love the fact that the Art Production Fund is producing, creating and putting great art all over the city," she said.

The dinner was seated (a seated hoedown? How very high/low chic) and was animated as only an art party can be, with a huge turnout of supporters, celebrating—and kicking up their turquoise shoes.

Photo: Scott Campbell and Lake Bell