Visual Rituals


24 Years: A Retrospective Gala for Larry Wheeler, NC Museum of Art


Artists know how to throw a party! Amanda Finch, owner of Down to Earth Aerials (and accomplished aerialist performer herself), recruited, organized, and directed an amazingly talented group of acrobats, body artists, dancers, acro-yogis, opera singers, musicians, and performers to create living works of art that mirrored the collection that Larry Wheeler curated during his 24 years as Director at the NC Museum of Art. In honor of his retirement, the NCMA said “Thank You” in style. It was an “evening of spectacle: art literally coming to life, tributes to exhibitions, and galas—all with unexpected twists and culminating in the biggest disco in memory, with music curated by Larry.

Danielle captured stills from the hair/makeup prep to the finale, and Shaun is producing a short documentary of the event. We will share the video on our YouTube channel soon, in the meantime, we’re excited to share some of the images captured that night.


Event Planners: Amanda Finch, Down to Earth Aerials & Billy Wilson, NC Museum of Art

Talent Managers: Faith & Greg Towner, Cat Albanese, and Valerie Wood

Performing Artists:

  • Dakota Fox, Lyra hoop

  • Stephanie Anderson, Body Paint Artist

  • Natalie Dale, LED hoop

  • Brandon Mccrimmon, Breakdance

  • Toria Shea, Modern Dance

  • Matt Berno , Ground Acro

  • Kerri Church, Ground Acro.

  • Shaleigh Comerford, Modern Dance

  • Faith Towner, Aerials

  • Whitney Reed, Stilts

  • Mavis Poole, Aretha Franklin impersonator

  • Carly Jones, Opera Singer

  • Lora Fabio, Opera Singer

  • Julianna Dempsey, Opera Singer

  • Michelle Congleton Smith (Models for Charity)

  • Nick Hodge, Cyr wheel

Venue: NC Museum of Art