Between the Lines

Most guests attending a celebration consume its decor without the slightest consideration why it was chosen, or how it got there. For our team, this is a complement: nothing says a design has been well-executed better than the complete and unquestioned acceptance of a temporary and fabricated space by its inhabitants.

However astonishing the finished product can be, what happens along the way is truly no less impressive.

While the finished product is our top concern, we joyfully invite you to join us on the journey through 5 days of installation for a completely custom and marvelously one-of-a-kind bash. In this case, the destination is a rather splendid one: The 2015 MCA Art Auction.

With photography and videography from Zach Brake, watch this party go up in the time it takes your morning coffee to cool.


Now that you’ve gone behind the scenes, perhaps you’re wondering what’s behind the stripes.
Known for conceptual design and outside-of-the-box ideas, Creative Director Bill Heffernan calls his design for this celebration “modernism at its most elemental.”

Creative Director Bill Heffernan | Kent Drake Photography

The idea: don’t decorate the room; create the room. The possibilities seemingly endless, Bill developed a concept he’s wanted to attempt for quite some time: to completely overtake a space (in this case, a tent behind the museum) by covering all its components with one uniform element.

“My inspiration was to simulate walking into a decorative box, where all elements were indiscernible from one another,” Bill describes. Hence, the stripes–up and down and all around, blanketing even the table legs and video screens. “A bit eye-rattling,” says Bill with a laugh, “but truly transforming.”

The finalized striped pattern is printed at HMR Designs.
Let the striping begin. | Photo courtesy of HMR Designs

And transform we did. In the hands of our outstanding production team, Bill’s unique vision came to life. Arriving as early as the day allowed and staying as long as it took, our team climbed ladders and rode lifts, they cut and constructed, measured and mounted, attached and adhered, staged and suspended, draped, drilled, tied and tucked until it was flawless. And they did it all so well.

As the sun went down and the lights came up, guests found themselves in a space truly unlike any other.

the 2015 mca art auction gala in chicago
Kent Drake Photography
The 2015 MCA Art Auction
Kent Drake Photography
the 2015 mca art auction in chicago
Kent Drake Photography
the 2015 mca art auction in chicago
Kent Drake Photography
2015 mca art auction gala in chicago
Kent Drake Photography
striped tables and clear chairs at the mca art auction by hmr designs
Kent Drake Photography

Special thanks to all of those involved in making this celebration so smashing:
Bill Heffernan, Event Designer
Christianna Tucker, Event Producer
The HMR Production Team
The HMR Art Team
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Event Creative, Lighting
Limelight Catering
Hall’s Rentals
BBJ Linen
Arena Americas Tenting
Special thanks to Zach Brake Photography for Event Installation Photography & Videography
& Kent Drake Photography for Event Photography