“On the Edge” Returns, Honoring Acclaimed Couturier Guo Pei and Trailblazing Artist Mary Lovelace O’Neal

de Young Museum, October 3, 2022

SAN FRANCISCO –The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (The Museums), which include the de Young and the Legion of Honor museums, are excited to announce the honorees of this year’s On the Edge benefit, to take place Thursday, October 6, 2022. In its second year this marquee fundraiser will honor China’s most renowned couturier Guo Pei, whose exhibition Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy is currently on view at the Legion of Honor museum, and arts educator and abstract artist Mary Lovelace O’Neal, whose indelible impact still reverberates across the Bay Area and whose work I Live in a Black Marble Palace with Black Panthers and White Doves #8 (ca. 1990) was recently acquired by the Museums, for their extraordinary achievements and commitment to the arts community.


On The Edge brings together a new generation of museum supporters, civic leaders, and cultural luminaries from the Bay Area’s art, design, tech, fashion, and philanthropic communities to celebrate the transformative power of art and possibility. Proceeds support a new era of innovative programming at the de Young and Legion of Honor, that is inclusive and accessible for audiences from the Bay Area and beyond, with a special focus on community-centric activities and strong exhibitions that amplify underrepresented and fresh perspectives.


“In its inaugural year, On the Edge brought together Bay Area leaders, luminaries, and artists to celebrate the legacy and vitality of our region’s vibrant cultural community,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “This year, with all proceeds from On the Edge supporting the next iteration of The de Young Open and our educational outreach, we are looking forward to keeping the party going with a new Late Night addition featuring local artists, chefs, and entertainment.”


The Museums are also thrilled to premiere Late Night, a new community after-party to complement this year’s On the Edge benefit. Late Night will feature playful pop-up activations, craft cocktails, and late-night bites by Taste catering. Attendees can look forward to a musical performance by award-winning artist and activist Madame Gandhi, in addition to sets from DJs Angel + Dren and DJ Christie. The museum will also feature activations into the night including an aura reading with Synergy Life, custom poetry created by The Poetry Store, Joana Ayala’s transcendent "The Voice of the Forest" Experience, and the She Bends Neon Bar for craft cocktails and a meet the artist lounge! Late Night also features exclusive after-hours access to the de Young including entry to the de Young’s permanent-collection galleries, and two phenomenal exhibitions: the spectacular golden objects in Ramses the Great and the Gold of Pharaohs and a 50-year retrospective of one of the most influential figures in American art, Faith Ringgold: American People. Tickets to Late Night are limited and on sale now.


On the Edge event co-chairs are Stanlee Gatti, Rebecca and Cal Henderson, Agnes Lew, and Jason Moment. 


About Guo Pei

Guo Pei is China’s premier couturier. For over 20 years, she has been dressing celebrities, royalty, and political elite. Born in 1967, she started sewing at a very young age and quickly developed a passion for dressmaking. Upon graduation from the  Beijing Second Light Industry School, she started her career designing for major manufacturers over a ten-year period. In 1997 she launched her own label and atelier, Rose Studio. Today she employs nearly 500 skilled artisans dedicated to producing her stunning creations, some of which can take thousands of hours and up to two years to complete. In 2015, Guo Pei became the second native Chinese member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, the chief governing body of the high-fashion industry, allowing her to show on the Paris Haute Couture Week calendar. She made her Paris haute-couture debut in January 2016, unveiling her Courtyard collection to wide critical acclaim.


In the same year, she was also named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and one of the Business of Fashion’s BoF 500, a list of the most influential people shaping the global fashion industry. The first comprehensive exhibition of the artist's work, Guo Pei: Couture Fantasy is on view at the Legion of Honor museum through November 27, 2022. 


About Mary Lovelace O'Neal

Mary Lovelace O’Neal (b. 1942, Jackson, Mississippi), a revolutionary figure in abstraction since the 1970s, has roots in Minimalism and Expressionism. In the late 1970s her vibrant compositions expanded to include references to real imagery, varying between pure abstraction and narrative figuration. Considered one of the greatest living painters, she is a printmaker, educator and storyteller celebrated for her powerful compositions that employ vibrant hues and a generous and masterful application of paint, with the social and political consciousness of the Civil Rights and Black Arts movements.  


Lovelace O’Neal’s work is in collections including the Art Institute of Chicago; Baltimore Museum of Art; Brooklyn Museum of Art; de Young Museum; Mississippi Museum, Jackson; National Museum of Fine Arts Santiago, Chile; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Joyner/Giuffrida Collection.  


Lovelace O’Neal has a BFA from Howard University where she was a student of James A. Porter and the late great artist, scholar, and educator Dr. David C. Driskell. She attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and earned an MFA from Columbia University.  Since the 1970s she has taught at Northern California institutions including San Francisco Art Institute, California College of Arts and Crafts, Humboldt State University, and the University of California, Berkeley, where she was the Chair of the Art Practice Department. She lives and works in Oakland, California and Merida, Mexico.