For the second installment in our fall event preview series, we jump ahead to October for a sneak peek at the glamorous and chic Catrina Ball, benefiting Mexic-Arte Museum. We sat down with Austin’s ubiquitous red-headed sister act, Sofia and Victoria Avila, for a glimpse at what to expect from this year’s elegant skull gala.
Austin Social Planner: Sofia, how did you and Victoria originally get involved with Mexic-Arte?
Sofia Avila: I served on the Board of Directors of Mexic-Arte Museum for about five years. I admire the wonderful work they do in the community, bringing art and culture to Austin through their exhibits and educational programs.
ASP: What about Catrina Ball, specifically? I know this is only the second year of this format, but did you both serve on the committee last year?
Victoria Avila: I was not on the committee last year, however Laurel and Edgar Prats graciously invited both my sister and myself to co-chair the gala with them this time around. It is hard to say no to Laurel!
ASP: What’s your favorite aspect of this glittering gala — and tell us a little bit about the “elegant skull” theme.
SA: The skull makeup is definitely my favorite aspect! The event concept is over-the-top couture, with elegant skull makeup encouraged. We wanted to begin a new tradition for the museum’s gala, something representative of Hispanic culture that would add a fun twist to a fundraising gala. The event takes place close to Day of the Dead, so we thought it would be fun to encourage people to add skull makeup to their elegant attire. This idea is inspired by the famous “elegant skull” etching that is so iconic in representing Day of the Dead in Mexico. (The skull is known as “La Catrina”). The ultimate vision is for this event to eventually be Austin’s response to the Met Ball in NYC – where couture meets Catrina.
ASP: What do the proceeds from Catrina Ball support and how it makes an impact on the arts community at large?
SA: Proceeds from the event support the museum’s many educational programs. These programs include hands-on activities for students of all ages, teacher workshops, and the community at large. My favorite of these programs is Screen It!, an art outreach program that introduces students to the principles of screen printing.
ASP: Mexic-Arte’s gala has undergone a lot of changes over the years – what kind of experience can attendees expect this year?
VA: We’re excited to announce a special fashion show by renowned Mexican sculptor Sebastian. He is considered the most prominent living Mexican sculptor, with his monumental works found in major cities around the world. He created a one-time couture collection for Paris Fashion Week, and the designs were inspired by his sculptures. The museum is having an exhibit of his work in December, and we are honored that he is allowing us to showcase his couture pieces for the gala, as an introduction for the upcoming exhibit – and he is allowing us to have the models be in “Catrina” makeup to go with the gala theme!
Catrina Ball takes place on Saturday, October 22nd at the Four Seasons Austin. Tickets are available online.