The Modern Art Council of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) hosted the 2011 Bay Area Treasure Award Dinner, honoring esteemed artist Mark di Suvero, at the St Regis Hotel in San Francisco on Wednesday, November 16, 2011. A Benefactor Champagne Reception also took place on SFMOMA’s Rooftop Garden prior to the award dinner.
300 guests gathered at SFMOMA and the St. Regis Hotel for the presentation of the prestigious Bay Area Treasure Award with this year’s recipient who was also President Obama’s 2010 National Medal of the Arts honoree.
The St. Regis ballroom was buzzing with laughter and celebration during the panel discussion, led by SFMOMA’s Elise S. Haas Senior Curator of Painting and Sculpture, Gary Garrels, and Stormking Director and Curator, David Collens. di Suvero regaled guests with stories of San Francisco in its heyday, telling stories from a unique perspective.
Born in China in 1933, Mark di Suvero moved to San Francisco with his family when he was seven. During his conversation with Gary Garrels, di Suvero recalled his first impressions of San Francisco. He explained that his parents left fascist Italy for Shanghai. When the Japanese invaded Shanghai, they fled China for the United States. His first vision of this country was the Golden Gate Bridge.
Bay Area Treasure Awards are presented to the artists and are uniquely chosen to the artist’s interests. di Suvero was thrilled upon seeing his collection of William Blake’s 1838 engravings of the Divine Comedy by Dante of Dante’s Inferno, presented by event chair Alka Agrawal.