Guests arriving at Ken Fulk’s party on Friday night to celebrate his new Saint Joseph’s Arts Society were greeted at the historic old Catholic Church by a dashing lineup of priests, cardinals and popes, all of Fulk’s friends in costume.
“Ken is our Pied Piper and we are happy to follow him where his dreams and visions lead us,” said designer Geoffrey de Sousa, accompanied by her husband, photographer Jose Manuel Alorda. “Ken has enriched the cultural life of San Francisco with this great gesture, superbly done.”
The St. Joseph’s Arts Society is a new membership club to inspire dialogue about the arts, fashion, food, crafts, design and technology. “It’s a community dedicated to providing emerging and established artists around the world with an inspiring forum and exhibitions,” said Fulk.
Among the 300 Fulk fans celebrating the cultural mash-up were Denise Hale with Heather Ive, Todd and Katie Traina, Maria Manetti Shrem, fashion illustrator David Downton, Gregory Lopez, Maca Huneeus, Allison Spear, Max and Louise Armor and Xochi and Michael Birch.
St. Joseph’s is housed in a 22,000 square foot Roman Revival style church in the heart of San Francisco that was destroyed in the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 and fell into disrepair when Fulk and his team went down. at work. Built in 1913, St. Joseph’s is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and was designated San Francisco City Landmark # 120.
“I especially admire the way Ken and his team of architects and historic restoration specialists have maintained the integrity of the beautiful interior,” Hale said as he gazed at a series of original rose windows and the dramatic dome above the choir.
Prix de Rome winner photographer Catherine Wagner, an arts professor at Mills College, installed one of her dramatic photographic images, a 9-meter-high print of the Chamber of Scholars at the Capitoline Museum in Rome, around the old altar.
“When Ken asks you to participate in his projects, you go for it and I finished the installation two days ago,” Wagner said.
Fulk, surrounded by associates in golden angel robes, greeted guests in a dark gray bishop’s cassock with amaranth red piping and an authentic pellegrina shoulder cape. Everything was very authentic, but his smile and his cocktail signaled subversion.
“I am honored to have worked with the best restoration specialists, decorators, landscapers, architects and earthquake renovation engineers,” Fulk said of his three years of effort. “And the collaborations continue with Carpenters Workshop Gallery which settles on the mezzanine.”
Non-stop entertainment included drag queens Juanita Moore and Glama Moore, dressed in sculptural white nun robes custom designed by Mr. David and crafted from crisp photographic paper. They performed on “The Flower Duet” by Lakme. Sexy and outraged, Kat Cunning’s burlesque performance was a success.
“Only Ken could bring together all of these accomplished and creative people, and only Ken has the breadth of imagination to see a place of celebration, ideas and fun in a destroyed church,” said interior designer Catherine Kwong, looking at the newly installed floating balconies, oriental rugs and lounges with Pierre Frey curtains.
In one of the six private lounges on either side of the nave, Belgian photographers and taxidermists Jaap Sinke and Ferry van Tongeren exhibited their large-scale bird and animal photographs and signed their new book published by Lannoo.
“We met Ken in London, we bonded through taxidermy and he invited us to be the first art show in St. Joseph’s,” Sinke said.
Van Tongeren and Sinke also created the six 10-foot-tall black bears standing on plinths in the arches above the nave. The realistic bears, made of papier-mâché, held up a series of vivid ecclesiastical heraldic banners.
Mathilde Froustey, principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, and her fiancé Mourad Lahllou, Michelin-starred chef, are planning to get married in St. Joseph’s next June.
“It’s the perfect combination of art and classic beauty,” said Froustey, a longtime friend of Fulk’s.
Ramdane Touhami came from Paris to present his new Buly 1803 apothecary, candle and skin care collection. Fulk is the biggest customer in the United States for its cult candles.
After 2 a.m., while the guests were still dancing, caterer Paula LeDuc and her team served late-night mini grilled cheese sandwiches with Truffle Tremor goat cheese and fried chicken with semolina waffles. corn and maple cream.
For Fulk, party heaven is in the details. The guests returned home with wrapped packets of shortbread cookies decorated with the St. Josephs logo, though most of them were devoured before the Ubers arrived.