The Austin Chronicle

Qui and Saukam Cook Up a Garden Party

By Virginia B. Wood, April 21, 2015, 3:00pm, On the Range

The annual Garden Party at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum is always one of the loveliest outdoor events on the Austin social calendar. This year, Paul Qui and Deana Saukam of qui and East Side King are honorary co-chairs of the event, bringing a chic, playful element to the festivities.

“Paul and Deana are trailblazers and we are excited to see how their talent and creativity translate to the Garden Party," says Umlauf executive director Nina Seely. "The local restaurant community has always supported this event and who better to represent Austin's vibrant restaurant scene than Paul and Deana?" During the evening, the Nash Hernandez Orchestra will provide a musical backdrop as guests stroll through the garden enjoying signature dishes from some of Austin's finest restaurants paired with wines chosen by Twin Liquors. In addition to a selection of original “garden vessels” created by local artists and celebrities, the live auction will offer three works by 2015 featured artist Lance Lescher as well as fabulous jewelry, travel, hunting, and party packages, including a private event with Qui. This event raises the majority of the non-profit arts organization's annual operating budget, community outreach, and educational initiatives.

“When Nina invited Paul and I to be honorary co-chairs for Umlauf's 17th annual Garden Party this year, we were thrilled," Deana Saukam said this week. "We have been friends with Nina for many years, and are honored that she and the committee thought of us. We have been meeting with the committee throughout the planning stages to help curate the event this year, from food and cocktails to entertainment and the overall aesthetic. It is going to be a wonderful event that supports an Austin arts treasure." Not only were the globetrotting pair involved in the planning, they also hosted a VIP party for sponsors at qui on Monday night and they'll be greeting guests in the garden on Thursday, when qui will be one of the restaurants serving food for the first time.

According to Seely, this year's celebration is particularly auspicious because the museum has recently signed a 100-year agreement with the City of Austin that creates a public/private partnership to address crucial issues such as restoration of the the Umlauf residence and studio and the connection of those aspects of the property to the sculpture garden. “These are long-term initiatives that will require lots of strategic planning and a capital campaign, but we're eager to move forward into the future,” Seely told us.

The Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum Garden Party
605 Robert E. Lee Rd.
Thursday, April 23, 6:30-9:30pm
Tickets : $150 general admission, $125 museum members, $400 VIP

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