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The annual fall gala benefit hosted by Maryland Art Place is a constant, but the theme and format for the evening changes year to year. Sometimes it’s a seated dinner, other times it’s a standing cocktail party. Some years it involves a live auction, other times there’s strictly a silent auction of artwork. Sometimes it’s held on-site in the MAP galleries, other times it moves to a remote location. And that’s what it did in November, when the party, called the Pop-Up Gala, was held in MAP’s former location on West Saratoga Street, a site it left when it moved into the Power Plant Live complex 10 years ago. The party also served as a homecoming, as MAP announced its relocation back to the Saratoga Street space. The facade of the building glowed pink from the street as guests arrived (thanks to the pink-tinted fluorescent bulbs suspended overhead inside) and created an intimate aura for guests to mingle amongst the artworks throughout the main gallery. While sipping cocktails, partygoers enjoyed selections of comfort foods such as mac’n’cheese, miniature crab cakes and beef tenderloin; a jazz combo provided background music for mingling. At 9 o’clock, the party shifted into second gear and most guests meandered downstairs to the lower level, where the subterranean space (also known as the 14Kt Cabaret) glowed with candlelight and was decorated with cut-out masks of pop celebrities as a DJ spun tunes and video works flashed on screens.

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