Jason Barnes (Pussy Noir). Photo by Robert DeCanio.

May 14, 2019

Hirshhorn To Present First Annual HIRSHHORN BALL, June 15, 2019
Fashion Party Celebrates Surrealism and Self-Expression, Hosted by DC Celebrity Pussy Noir

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden will devote an evening to individuality and self-expression at its 1st Annual HIRSHHORN BALL, Saturday, June 15. Inspired by surrealism, the artistic movement that championed radical expression through the irrational, the eclectic and the unexpected, the festivities will celebrate the empowering art of fashion. In recognition of the unbridled pride and authenticity of Washington, D.C.’s creative communities, the night will be hosted by Jason Barnes, whose drag queen alter ego, Pussy Noir, embodies this mentality.

The late-night event will blend art and fashion to transform the Hirshhorn’s iconic outdoor plaza into a red carpet-style haute soiree. Attendees are encouraged to dress the part. The night will be punctuated by interactive pop-up performances by some of the city’s most sensational drag personalities from House of Sonique and feature a live painting by performance artist Liu Bolin. Guests can mingle with Washington artists and figures like Ana Latour and JoAnn Fabrixx, style themselves to the nines with on-site glam, strike a pose with professional open-air photo booth shoots and speak their truth with exclusive access to Ryan Alexiev, Jim Ricks and Hank Willis Thomas’ participatory “Truth Booth” installation. The evening will also include an open bar with specialty cocktails, dancing to beats spun by DJs Dvonne and Jacq Jill and a fashion-forward grand finale.

Born and raised in the Washington area, Barnes developed his Pussy Noir character from his background in music, theater, art and fashion. First established in nightclubs around the city, the androgynous entity that has grown into a household name in the Washington art community, celebrated for inviting audiences to have a full sensory experience. Barnes’ participation in HIRSHHORN BALL will be a continuation of his relationship with the museum, following his 2017 performance as Pussy Noir as part of the Hirshhorn’s “Shadow/Casters” event in partnership with local arts organization Transformer.

HIRSHHORN BALL Co-Chairs include Aba Kwawu, Di Mondo and Eric Javits and Polina Proshkina. The Host Committee includes Chef Erik Bruner-Yang, Jane and Calvin Cafritz, Robb Duncan and Violeta Edelman, JoAnn Fabrixx, Rosa Honarpisheh and Fuad Sahouri, House of Sonique, Jennifer Isham, Ana Latour, Pussy Noir, Betty O’Hellno, Brian Smith, Timur Tugberk of Designing the District and Sasha Velour. Sponsors include Jane and Calvin Cafritz, Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee, Kikori Whiskey, Maketto and Pernod Ricard.

All proceeds from the evening will contribute to the Hirshhorn’s public initiatives, including exhibitions, community partnerships, vital educational programming for teens and kids and digital collaborations that bring global contemporary art to the widest possible audiences. Since 2015, the Hirshhorn’s fundraising events have raised more than $5 million to support its mission to bring people, art and ideas together.

For more information, visit hirshhorn.si.edu/event/1st-annual-hirshhorn-ball.

About the Hirshhorn

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is the national museum of modern and contemporary art and a leading voice for 21st-century art and culture. Part of the Smithsonian, the Hirshhorn is located prominently on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. With an array of paintings, sculptures, photographs, mixed-media installations, works on paper and new media works, the Hirshhorn’s collection encompasses one of the most important collections of postwar American and European art in the world. The Hirshhorn presents diverse exhibitions and offers an array of public programs on the art of our time––free to all, 364 days a year (closed Dec. 25). For more information, visit hirshhorn.si.edu.

Image: Jason Barnes (Pussy Noir). Photo by Robert DeCanio.