Date(s) - 03/24/2018 - 03/25/2018
6:30 pm - 12:00 am
Lamar University invites Southeast Texans to celebrate the arts at Le Grand Bal,March 24
Lamar University (LU) invites Southeast Texans to Le Grand Bal, a gala evening of art, fine dining, dancing and entertainment on Saturday, March 24, 2018. This year’s theme, “We ART LU,” features a celebration of the many talented alumni artists, students and faculty of Lamar University. Presented by Lamar University’s Friends of the Arts, Le Grand Bal, now in its 42nd year, is the major annual fundraiser for the College of Fine Arts and Communication.
Every year, Le Grand Bal committee members select honorees to recognize for their contributions to the arts. This year’s honoree is Albert Nolen, Beaumont Realtor, retired educator, newspaper columnist, and well-known
supporter of the arts in Southeast Texas. Given its focus on the arts, the committee also selects an artist honoree each year. The featured Le Grand Bal artist is renowned photographer and University Professor Keith Carter.
Guests are encouraged to dress in Black Tie or Asian Inspired attire. Activities include an art gallery auction at the Dishman Art Museum, as well as cocktails, appetizers and dinner in the beautifully renovated Setzer Student Center, followed by an after party with entertainment by Doppelganger, one of Houston’s premier party bands.
Tickets are $250 per person, with underwriting opportunities available at levels ranging from $750 to $10,000. Call (409) 880-8137 to reserve tickets today or purchase online at lamar.edu/legrandbal.
Beginning March 1, artwork will also be available for online purchase at lamar.edu/legrandbal.
The silent auction and reception at the Dishman Art Museum will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to bid on more than 200 pieces of original artwork representing a diverse array of original paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, ceramics and jewelry by alumni, faculty, students and special friends of LU.
Le Grand Bal Honoree Albert Nolen, a graduate of St. Anne’s and Kelly High School, went on to earn two bachelor’s degrees from Lamar University, in sociology and secondary education. In 1975, he obtained a master’s degree in special education and is a certified education diagnostician and counselor, with additional certifications in management and administration. Nolen worked for the Angie Nall Hospital, where he was part of pioneering efforts to teach students with learning disabilities. He then joined the faculty of the La Porte ISD, where he was employed for almost 30 years serving as lead counselor before his retirement in 2011.
A longtime supporter of the arts at LU, Nolen served as president of the Friends of the Arts for two years, chaired Le Grand Bal three times, and was its reservation chair five times. He also served three years as president of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas Board of Trustees.
His community involvement includes service on the community and hospitality committees for the Beaumont Board of Realtors for three years, one year as chair of the community service committee. In 2012, Nolen was honored by the Triangle AIDS Network as its Red Ribbon Hero for his efforts on behalf of people living with HIV/AIDS. Nolen has been the honorary chair of Alzheimer Luncheon and served on the committee for several years. He has also supported the Gift of Life program, and has served on several committees for its annual Champagne and Ribs fundraiser. Twice, Nolen served as judge for Junior League of Beaumont’s Dancing with the Stars.
This year, the event will celebrate the work of Keith Carter, whose haunting, enigmatic photographs have been shown in more than 100 solo exhibitions in 13 countries. A recipient of the Texas Medal of Arts, 13 books of his work have been published, and two documentary films created: “A Certain Alchemy,” by Anthropy Arts, and “Keith Carter: The Artist Series,” by Ted Forbes. The Los Angeles Times called him a “Poet of the Ordinary.”
Professor Carter has been featured on the arts segment of nationally televised CBS Sunday Morning, and is the recipient of the Lange-Taylor Prize from the Center For Documentary Studies at Duke University. His work is included in numerous private and public collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, The National Portrait Gallery, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The J. Paul Getty Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The George Eastman House, and The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University.
A gifted and insightful teacher, Carter holds the Endowed Walles Chair of Art at LU where he was awarded the university’s highest teaching honors; the Regents’ Professor Award, and Distinguished Faculty Lecturer Prize.
About the Friends of the Arts
Established in 1973, the Friends of the Arts staged its first ball in 1975. Activities, décor and entertainment are designed to reflect the talents of LU art, theater, music and dance faculty and students. Since 1975, the event has raised more than $3-million dollars for the College of Fine Arts and Communication. These funds enable the Friends of the Arts to contribute to scholarships and educational enhancements such as master classes, visiting artists and trips to clinics and workshops that expand learning opportunities for students and add to faculty members’ academic credentials.
The co-chairs for this year’s event are Sandra Clark, and Charlene and Danny Babineaux. Other Friends of the Arts committee members are Rob Clark, Melissa Edwards, Sandy Feritta, Becky and Chuck Mason, Lynda Moncla, Melissa Edwards, Maureen Winchell, Mitch and Michelle Smith. The office of the dean of the LU College of Fine Arts and Communication, the chairs, faculty members, and students of all the fine arts departments, the LU Event Planning Center, university advancement division and marketing department all assist the Friends of the Arts in presenting the event.