Relive The Magic Of Our 2022 Fire & Light Soirée And Art Auction

By Cathy Niland | 5.25.2022

As the sun set over Oakland on Saturday, May 21, The Crucible community gathered in the Oakland Museum of California’s Gardens for our first Fire & Light Soirée and Art Auction since April 2019. The recently renovated space was transformed into a sparkling playground full of industrial arts wonders. Folks gathered around our mobile blacksmithing forge and glass blowing furnace for demonstrations by our talented faculty. And nearby, Bridget Star Harrison gave a captivating aerial performance while onlookers caught up with friends.

fire and light soiree 2022

As the dinner hour began, Emcee, Jamie DeWolf, along with Soirée Committee Co-Chairs, Joyce Shulman and Melanie Moore, kicked off the celebration with welcome remarks, followed shortly by recognition of Sean Orlando, Clayton Evans, and C’Zarriah Davis-Smith, our Art, Community, and Youth Honorees respectively. 

C’Zarriah arrived at Soirée having just returned from her very first glass conference in Washington. A former scholarship student and Fuego Youth Leader turned Glass Flameworking Instructor, she shared how exposure to the industrial arts impacted her life. She explained, “I would have never discovered my passion for glass if it wasn’t for places like The Crucible. All industrial arts spaces are necessary for youth, and especially for the people of Oakland.”

Following a short remembrance for artist Don Rich, the auction, led by Ed Gold, began. Items ranged from large metal sculptures to delicate glass stemware to one-of-a-kind experiences, all contributed by folks with deep ties to our community, including Crucible faculty Jolie Karno, Verenice Berroa-Torres, Erik Eiserling, and Phoebe Deutsch, who were all in attendance. 

Once desserts made the rounds, Aileen Lawlor, Cesar Amaruc, and Otillia Hoops, delivered an awe-inspiring fire performance to usher in the final hour of the event. Party-goers finished out their night dancing to live music from Black Cat Zydeco & The Gumbo Band while Machine Shop Department Head, Ian Wenck, helped folks set off our newly installed fire poofers attached to ERV, our Educational Response Vehicle.

The Impact of Our 2022 Fire & Light Soirée

The event was a beautiful display of the passion and commitment our community has for art education and access. Support from this year’s Soirée will have an impact on so many Crucible youth students in the coming year.

“It was so good to see our Crucible community gather together to support our mission of making the industrial arts accessible to all,” shared Executive Director, Susan Mernit following the event. “The support for our Youth Programs is so appreciated and the impact of this 2022 Fire & Light Soiree will be epic.”

Thank you to everyone who attended the event and made it such a special evening. We are so grateful for this community. We’d also like to thank all the staff, faculty, volunteers, performers, photographers, caterers, and museum employees who put in so much time and effort. To our event planners, Aurice Guyton and Lianca Lyons, we thank you for your work, it was a night we won’t soon forget!

Relive the magic of our 2022 Fire & Light Soirée below and be sure to stay tuned as we add more photos to our gallery in the coming week!

Photos by Angelica Vasquez, Evan Spiler, and Tommy Lau

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