In a setting reminiscent of Hollywood at its Art Deco best, guests celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Palo Alto Medical Clinic Physician Partnership in a 1930s-era nightspot created by event production company DaVinci Fusion.
“The Palo Alto Medical Clinic Physician Partnership was founded in 1930, so it made sense to reach back to the era when it started,” notes Anne Bachan Jigger, vice president of philanthropy for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “What DaVinci Fusion does is create a really ‘wow’ environment. That’s what you want when you celebrate a very special occasion. You only have a 75th Anniversary once. What was especially important for us was that the retired doctors who attended the event--¬who had been part of the clinic in the 1940s and ’50s--could see that we had an appreciation for history."
The gala event for 500 guests, held in a huge tent at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton, CA, featured geometric Art Deco motifs in an elegant black-and-white color palette, such as a black-and-white checkered floor.
“We studied films and art from the ’30s and designed an environment for the revelers that rivaled the best Hollywood movie set,” says DaVinci Fusion president Solomon Rosenzweig. “Virtually everything was custom built or custom crafted with the Art Deco aesthetic in mind. We [used] a wonderful, silvery Austrian drape above the stage and ran that silver fabric into draperies.”
On the stage, a scenic backdrop featured what looked like oversized torches. Contrasting colored lights from Martin MAC 250 and Wash fixtures accentuated the set and drape. White canvas palm trees flanked the stage giving the private club-theme an exotic effect. A pair of large screens positioned on either side of the stage displayed nostalgic video content from Hollywood in the ’30s, as well as delivered the client’s message.
For a curved motif, DaVinci Fusion “traveled all the way to Hawaii,” according to Rosenzweig, to get “special curly fern shoots” for the centerpieces that they combined with purple phaleanopsis orchids.
“We employed a number of building techniques that combined traditional and new technology,” Rosenzweig explains. “With so many curves and swoops in the design, our production carpenters used computer controlled precision cutters to cut the many curves in the materials. The swoops for the screen surrounds were cut by computer-aided cutters. The painstaking silver fish scale paint work on the screen surrounds was all done by hand. Talk about ‘old world craftmanship.’”
The attention to detail paid off, as DaVinci successfully achieved their overall intent: creating the illusion of place and permanence. “DaVinci Fusion went beyond what I imagined could be achieved in a tent,” says Jigger. “Solomon has a wonderful appreciation of all the details that make a really special event come together down to how the light hits the orchids in the flower arrangements and how to pick up that same shade in the sideline colors onstage. Many of the retired doctors told us it was the best party they’d been to in their entire lives. As far as I’m concerned, you don’t have to look any farther than DaVinci Fusion when you’re planning a special event.”