on 26 Aug 2015 3:59 PM
  • Press
Visual artist Matthew J. Mahoney to serve as Artist Ambassador; Cocktail Party to feature body painting by Game Show Network’s SKIN WARS winner, Lana Chromium
August 26, 2015

San Diego, CA—The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) will present its 39th annual benefit Monte Carlo: Glamping on Saturday, September 12, from 6:30 PM to 1 AM at its La Jolla location.

This long-time San Diego tradition will feature a host of local talent including visual artist and current San Diego Art Institute Artist-in-Residence Matthew J. Mahoney, musical artist DJ Man Cat, master body percussionist and jawharp player Danny “Slapjazz” Barber, pianist and Mille Fleurs mainstay Randy Beecher, and retro vocalist Celeste Barbier—accompanied by her winged companion, Oiseau the parrot. Fresh off winning the second season of SKIN WARS, body painting virtuoso Lana Chromium will perform a live painting during the cocktail hour, which will enliven the After Party later in the evening. Dinner guests should be prepared for some wild surprises, including stilt performers representing wild animals.

This incredible roster of performers is possible thanks to the event’s presenting sponsor, The San Diego County BMW Centers.

“The San Diego County BMW Centers are proud to be the presenting sponsor of MCASD’s 39th annual benefit and to show our support for the local artistic community,” said Tom Penich, Western Region Marketing Manager for BMW of North America. “At BMW, we recognize the importance of artistic exploration and share in the vision of providing public access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process.”

For interviews and high-resolution images, please contact Communications Associate Patricia B. Dwyer. 

About the artists

Matthew J. Mahoney
Visual artist Matthew J. Mahoney is this year’s Monte Carlo Artist Ambassador. His sculptural forms will be installed throughout the space. Current Artist-in-Residence at the San Diego Art Institute, Mahoney is an artist from Palm Springs, California who currently lives and works in San Diego. He received his BA in Art Education from Point Loma Nazarene University, and his MFA in Sculpture from Rhode Island School of Design. His sculptural techniques evolved from years of practicing origami and fly-tying. His subject matter is derived from recognizable shapes, figuration, iconography, pop imagery, and material value. 

Danny “Slapjazz” Barber
Driven by rhythm, Danny “Slapjazz” Barber is a master of percussion. Whether it’s a drum set, table top, or his own body, Barber has lived his life always creating music with anything he can tap his hands on. At Monte Carlo: Glamping, Barber will perform his unique jazz stylings with his body percussion talent for dinner guests, slapping and tapping his limbs to create his own sound and music. He’ll also show off his skill with a jaw-harp, a small instrument held in the performer’s teeth or lips that uses the mouth as a resonator to create a distinct twanging melody.

Celeste Barbier
Retro vocalist Celeste Barbier is a trained jazz, blues, and rockabilly vocalist whose presence is as captivating as her voice. She trained at Chapman University as a classical singer and later found her way into jazz inspired and influenced by Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Julie London, Eartha Kitt, and more. At Monte Carlo: Glamping, she’ll be accompanied by her winged companion, Oiseau the parrot, who will be appropriately adorned in a custom fitted tuxedo.

Lana Chromium
The winner of the most recent season of Game Show Network’s original series SKIN WARS, artist Lana Chromium will be body painting a model live during the evening’s cocktail hour, with her masterpiece gracing the festivities during the After Party: Glamping Gone Wild. An artist of many trades, Chromium is a classically trained musician, fine artist, and graphic designer.

DJ Man Cat
Self-proclaimed as “half man, half cat, 100% awesome,” DJ Man Cat has brought his mix-tape mentality to dance floors all over the world, playing genre-bending mixes that range from dance, reggae, Motown, dub-step, punk, rock, house, hip-hop, trap and cat pop. Originally from the Boston area, he has toured all over the country and he has been billed with national acts such as Coolio, Peter Bjorn and John, Pigeon John, Serj Tankin of System of a Down, The Cult, The Heavy, Miguel, and Social Distortion. DJ Man Cat has also performed with local favorites Vokab Kompany, The Silent Comedy, and Dead Feather Moon. It’s not uncommon for the festive DJ to wear a full-body cat costume, or a selection from his mask collection.

Randy Beecher
Only After Partiers who also attended the dinner portion of the evening will hear pianist Randy Beecher perform in the Schubach Aviation VIP Diamond Ice Lounge. An adjunct professor of music at local colleges, as well as the pianist at Mille Fleurs restaurant and bar in Rancho Santa Fe for over 20 years, Beecher is lauded for his versatile voice and stylings, ranging from jazz to pop with equal virtuosity.

More about Monte Carlo: Glamping

Melissa Garfield Bartell, Rusti Bartell, and Helene Zimanare this year’s Monte Carlo Chairs. All three women are San Diego locals who have contributed greatly to both the art community and the city’s philanthropic community. This will be the third gala they’ve co-chaired together.

Tickets to the Monte Carlo After Party—Glamping Gone Wild—are available a la cart for $100 for non-Members, $75 for Members, and $2,500 for a VIP booth with seating for 10 and tableside service ($1,500 tax-deductible). Individual tickets and tables for the Monte Carlo: Glamping dinner are available at three levels: Treetops (VIP), Airstream, Yurt, and Cabin. Tickets at the Treetops are $2,500 per person ($2,320 tax-deductible), $25,000 for a table of 10 and access to the VIP Diamond Ice Lounge ($23,200 tax-deductible), and $30,000 for a table of 12 and access to the VIP Diamond Ice Lounge ($27,840 tax-deductible). Treetops tickets include two tickets to the Underwriters’ Party, a special limited-edition gift from artist Matthew Mahoney, champagne from Veuve Clicquot, premier seating, preferred wines, and a lavish shared seafood display (this benefit with Treetops table purchase only). Tickets at the Airstream level are $1,250 per person ($1,080 tax-deductible), and $12,500 for a table of 10 ($10,800 tax-deductible). Tickets at this level include a special limited-edition gift from artist Matthew Mahoney, and preferred seating and wines. Tickets at the Yurt level are $650 per person ($500 tax-deductible), and $6,500 for a table of 10 ($5,000 tax-deductible). Cabin level tickets are $300 per person ($225 tax-deductible) and are for first-time dinner attendees and Avant Garde Members only (limited quantity). To purchase, please contact Senior Membership and Annual Giving Manager April Farrell at 858 454 3541 x162, or aefarrell@mcasd.org.

All proceeds from Monte Carlo support MCASD’s education programs and exhibitions.

Tickets are now on sale. Purchase yours online at www.mcasd.org/MonteCarloGlaping or e-mail montecarlo@mcasd.org

Monte Carlo: Glamping is presented by The San Diego County BMW Centers, with supporting sponsorship from Schubach Aviation, Cooley LLP, Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, and Riviera Magazine

Generous in-kind support is provided by Veuve Clicquot, Van Cleef & Arpels, Golden Door, Continental Catering Co., Baglioni Hotels, Finch’s Bistro & Wine Bar, The Macallan, Stone Brewing Co., Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Malahat Spirits Co., Fonteco, Suja Juice, and CORE Natural.

The Monte Carlo Fundraiser – A San Diego Tradition

For the last 38 years theMonte Carlo benefit, which takes on a different theme each year, has been an annual tradition and one of the most popular social events in San Diego. Monte Carlo serves as the Museum’s primary annual fundraiser, and has raised more than $9 million in the last 20 years for MCASD’s exhibitions and education programs.


Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum’s collection includes more than 4,000 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs, and offers a rich program of film, performance, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Dr. Hugh M. Davies is The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD.

Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.



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Leah Straub, Communications & Marketing Manager, 858 454 3541 x119, lstraub@mcasd.org

Patricia B. Dwyer, Communications Associate, 858 454 3541 x116, pdwyer@mcasd.org