Society: ‘Bizarre Bazaar’ an otherworldly experience

Chuck Bennett

This was much more than your typical charity party. It was an ethereal experience. Ethan and Gretchen Davidson hosted some 200 people in the backyard of their palatial Birmingham home on Saturday at an event called “Bizarre Bazaar.” Probably best explained by Gretchen Davidson, “Bizarre Bazaar is a soiree and Bacchanalian toast to the 20th anniversary of Center Galleries, the Woodward Lecture Series, and Michelle Perron’s role as director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at the College for Creative Studies.”

Aki Choklat and Michelle Perron styled and curated the event.

The experience began blocks before guests arrived at the home with a brilliant immersive light presentation that washed through the tall trees throughout the neighborhood. It was created by CCS alums, Gabe Hall and Daniel Land from New D Media. Upon arrival, guests were directed through the home to the backyard where they were greeted with a delightfully eerie atmosphere filled with celebrations of the past and incarnations of the future curated by Gretchen Davidson and Perron, styled by CCS Chair of Fashion Accessories Designer, Aki Choklat.

Food and beverages were presented by Forte Belanger while guests indulged in otherworldly art displays. Nationally known choreographer Biba Bell and dancers presented a mesmerizing Scene Splash pool performance, followed by Levon Kafafian, a CCS alumnus and textile artist who uses performative gestures to expand his work, and his Autumnal Equinox ceremonial parade.

Ethan and Gretchen Davidson, hosts of Bizarre Bazaar

Simone Else and Levon Millross, two performance artists, created outrageous wearable sculptures, and more to dazzle the imagination and transport guests into a fantastical and futuristic world. New D Media also created an Electric Garden through the forest that led back to the cabin.

Tickets to Bizarre Bazaar were $500 with proceeds enabling CCS to continue its work of providing stimulating art experiences to students and art lovers.

Party guests Donna Briggs, left, and Vivian Pickard

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