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  • Writer's pictureClassiques Modernes Staff

Save Venice: 50x50

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Save Venice, the leading American nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the artistic heritage of Venice, commemorative events are being organized worldwide to support important restorations of masterworks of Venetian art and architecture. In place of the annual Un Ballo in Maschera held in New York each year, Save Venice is hosting “50X50,” in a global scale with 50 parties in 50 cities across the globe to toast its accomplishments.

Host and Houston Native, Skylar Pinchal, along with the Young Friends of Save Venice, led by Chair of the Young Friends Steering Committee, Lizzie Asher, held a cocktail party at the Cohen House at Rice University in Houston, TX. Steering committee members, Casey Kohlberg, Christina Senia and Mercedes de Guardiola joined Lizzie and Skylar, as well as Counselor Federico Ciattaglia, Consul General of Italy in Houston, who spoke during the event.

The cocktail party was attended by approximately 70 guests who donned their most festive cocktail attire worthy of a Venetian Palazzo. Lizzie Asher, Consul General Federico Ciattaglia, and host Skylar Pinchal each gave speeches, in which Consul General Federico Ciattaglia remarked, “Houston much like Venice knows about the experience of being ravaged by floods.”

Notable attendees included: Benjamin Sardavi, Ashland Hines Odom, Blake Odom, Peter Herff, Ann Ayre, Brian McCulloch, Lauren Reckling, Gillian Sarofim, Robert McNiel, Claudia Lederer Saenz, Anne Marie Soza, Catherine Montague, Sofia Leon, Christina Reckling, Peyton Easley, Mike Gassman, Grace Easley, Wilson Prioleau, Harris Pritchard, Lanie Markham.

Rice University’s historic Cohen House was transformed into a Venetian palazzo. Elaborate accoutrements for the “Masks & Martinis” evening included vast murals of Venice, oriental carpets, damask-covered furnishings, profusions of candles, and towering candelabras that surrounded guests as they sipped on various themed cocktails. The event was guarded by The Winged Lion of Venice - the iconic

bronze statue of the Piazza San Marco of Venice - and guests mingled and showcased their Carnevale themed masks with the backdrop of damask patterned furniture and harlequin patterned tablecloths.

The Young Friends of Save Venice is an energetic group of young professionals who share dual passions for art and preservation in Venice. Initially established in the early 1990s, the group was responsible for sponsoring specific restoration projects and for the growth of what is today known as Un Ballo in Maschera, held annually in New York.

For more information and about Save Venice and 50 Celebrations for 50 years, including how to be involved, please visit

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