To call the space atop The Contemporary Austin’s Jones Center a “deck” would be a disservice. Part of the museum’s Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis-designed renovation and expansion unveiled in 2010, the artfully lighted, open-air roof area is nestled among its fellow Congress Avenue residents — all a stone’s throw from the state Capitol — and feels cosmopolitan and intimate. It’s so inviting that guests often seem to linger as long as possible at events held there.
Thursday night’s Luxe party was no exception. Festooned with photographers’ umbrellas, the floor’s strips of subtly lit glass and old-fashioned overhead fixtures under a tent, the space glowed and sparkled. Any fears of an uncomfortable chill caused by the oh-so-frigid low-50s temperatures proved unfounded, as guests filled the space with warmth both literal and in spirit.
Festooned with photographers’ umbrellas, the floor’s strips of subtly lit glass and overhead fixtures under a tent, The Contemporary Austin's roof glowed and sparkled.
After stopping by the beauty bar hosted by New Beauty, one of Luxe’s sister magazines at Sandow, to load up on products (“a beauty enthusiast’s dream,” said the mag’s Catherine Kucher) and a bag full of goodies from Jack Ryan Jewelers, Posh Properties and Austin Food and Wine Festival, among others, guests ascended to the roof, where they were greeted by a hubbub of accents and languages floating above the international crowd.
Along with their lively conversation, guests enjoyed food and drinks provided by Dulce Vida Organic Tequila, Duchman Family Winery, Dripping Springs Vodka, Foreign & Domestic, LaV and Sway, who served up an exquisite and cleverly presented curry.
Many of the guests, who included Laura Davidson, Janice Soderberg, Michael and Katie King and Anna Leigh and John Martino, took time out to marvel at the Motostalgia slideshow and at two displays, presented by Something More, near the entrance — elegantly framed fine jewelry with a past: Marilyn Monroe's necklace from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Heart of the Ocean from Titanic.
The chatty crowd included Lana Jacobs, John Read, Karen Kelly and Shelby Walters and was a mix of visitors in town for the Circuit of the Americas race and equally excited Austinites who are longtime fixtures on the social and arts scenes. Sandra Rescon and William Jackson, always in a festive mood, were great fun, as were the Canadian, British and French imports here for business and pleasure. Luxe publisher and host Tim Sack seemed pleased with the night’s success and said he looked forward to enjoying more festivities throughout the weekend.
Toward the end of the evening, a small group that included the talented and always charming Gail Chovan, her husband, the artist Evan Voyles, and lovely designer Jerri Kunz gathered with what looked like the vague intention of gamboling out. But the conversation was lively, and we lingered for a while, always reluctant to leave the intimate glow of great company in one of Austin’s unique and welcoming public spaces.