AI-AP Know How to P-A-R-T-Y

How we love the stream of event coverage we’re getting from our party-hopping readers! Sascha Mombartz sampled the AI-AP’s Silver and Scarlett Gala (commemorating the release of their 25th and 22nd editions, respectively) as well as the “super heavy reggae style” after party thrown by Gary Taxali and Thomas Fuchs.

The Location
On Fridays the Angel Orensanz Foundation is a Lower East Side synagogue, but the rest of the week, it’s one heck of a place to throw a party. The cathedral-like structure is big and airy and quite spectacularly lit. A second floor balcony is perfect for surveying the crowd.

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The Show
The food was good, the bar unfortunately a bit slow. This might have been due to the immense turnout–the room was packed. People mingled and viewed the vast body of work pinned up along two walls. While the work was impressive, the lighting and hanging was a bit distracting.

Illustrator Marc Burckhardt said he appreciated events like this as it’s often the only way he’d ever meet the people he works with face-to-face. People had come in from all over the country for this very reason. He also commented that the AI-AP–compared to, say, Communication Arts or the Society of Illustrators competition–was where art directors came to look for more cutting edge work.

The Books
The two books were available on a few tables to flip through; both are quite stunning. Luke Hayman, New York magazine design director (now of Pentagram), designed Photography 22 in a beautiful minimalist kind of way while Ian Allen (who is a designer and a photographer) was in charge of the design for the Illustration 25. Ian did a few interesting things, for one, the book’s paper cover unfolds into a round poster. Then, instead of listing the artists alphabetically from A to Z, he decided to to devote the front of the book to those people who usually find themselves at the end by organizing the artist from Z to A.

The After Party
Held on the 14th floor of 320Studios, the spacious loft had great views of the Manhattan skyscraper canyons. The 500 square foot space filled up slowly and soon people were queuing for the keg. There was music and some dancing, but mainly chatting and laughter fueled by the promise of more alcohol. When I left the party at around 2 it didn’t seem like it was going to end anytime soon.


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Sascha Mombartz is a graphic design student at the Cooper Union.