Scharff Weisberg worked closely with the Cooper-Hewitt Museum to bring colorful, innovative scenic elements from David Stark Design & Production to life with audio, lighting, and video support for the 2008 National Design Awards gala on October 23. The glittering evening, which took place in a tent connected to the museum, numbered New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, Dennis Hopper, Lauren Zalaznick, and Martha Stewart among its guests.
The gala's rainbow-hued decor included multicolored tables haphazardly stacked with dishes and cups and vibrant installations hanging from the ceiling, which were reminiscent of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party in "Alice in Wonderland." The stage backdrop included a tiled wall of seat cushions in the guise of a technicolor Table of the Elements.
The tent's walls were hung with black drapery, which cut down on ambient light and shadows and helped Stark's visual elements pop and add energy to the space.
"All of the large centerpieces, hanging elements, and sculptures were lit from at least two directions with complementary color tones and breakup gobos to bring out the color in the room, add dimension, and bring a good view to every seat in the house," explains lighting designer Todd Gardner.
Scharff Weisberg hung 100 pinspots to accent smaller table decor and centerpieces as well as some of the hanging elements. VARI*LITE VL3500s layered a textured wash of polka dots across the entire tent and played off scenic elements. The stage was lit with conventional ETC Source 4s for video; the tiled seat cushions were uplit with Color Kinetics Colorblaze 72s, which were programmed and cued to highlight the inherent spectrum of colors of the cushion sculpture.
Scharff Weisberg also furnished six custom 16:9 screens, measuring 5x9 feet, along with Barco R6 projectors, a pair of Sony DVCAM cameras and video playback from Grass Valley Turbos. Switching was performed by a Barco Encore and small controller.
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