The 2019 Bauhaus Ball was a bigger success than any of us ever could have imagined! With tremendous support from The Wheeler Opera House, the City of Aspen, the Aspen Times and Kissane Viola Designs, we hosted nearly 400 people on Thursday, June 6thfor our big event.

Guests were greeted at the doors at 5:30pm by wildly costumed volunteers. People were encouraged to head straight to the theatre to hear the formidable High School Jazz Band playing tunes led by Andy Farmer. Concurrently, behind the band, we screened a series of experimental Moholy-Nagy films that he created during his time at the Bauhaus.


Meanwhile in the lobby/ticketing area of the Wheeler, Mirjam Rosner had set up an inviting and colorful costume-making station with the help of her sister, Bertina Sletterhaar and many other volunteers. Costumes and creativity were wildly encouraged for this event, so Mirjam helped to create an inspired maker-space in the lobby that included make-up artist Malle Gambuti, who set up an artistic face painting station. Pastry chef Donna Lilah also presented her Mondrian-inspired cookie dress on a mannequin.

Upstairs in the bar/Vault area, Stephanie Nixon, the visual arts teacher from Aspen High School, presented a juried exhibition of the work of the IB students all relating to Bauhaus. Concurrently, Ross Kribbs and the Sweet Temerity Band played spirited, lively jazz tunes inspired by the 1920s and 1930s.


At the bar, we served our infamous ‘Bauhaus Brew’, a pilsner beer that was a collaboration between Duncan Clauss of Aspen Brewing Company and Bauhaus 100: Aspen with genius can design by Kissane Viola Designs. Snacks and appetizers were generously donated by many local restaurants: Aspen Public House, the Big Wrap, Aspen Meadows Restaurant, 520 grill, Hickory House Ribs, Paradise Bakery and Café, Mawa’s Kitchen, The French Bakery and City Market.

At any point, guests were encouraged to head over to Aspen Public House where Stephanie Clark of Lalé  Florals designed wild floral arrangements to entertain diners. These florals were also in display in the Wheeler Opera House bar area. Specials were offered to guests in costume at Aspen Public House. Outside, in the Wheeler Opera House parcel, Bayer-inspired murals were painted by Aspen Middle School students (guided by Rae Lampe) and affixed to the fencing.


Back on the main stage, we showed several films. One, entitled, Bauhaus Danceswas a collaboration with Dance Initiative, Inc. based in Carbondale. We also played David Stillman Meyer’s fun, short film, “How the Bauhaus Came to Aspen” several times.

Our main event was the ‘Costume Battle Royale’ emceed by Mike Monroney and Nina Gabianelli of the Aspen Historical Society. We had over 80 participants in the outrageous contest and costumes were NEXT LEVEL. Many of them were made from up-cycled, or recycled materials and all were handmade. We had participants of every age and color. Our volunteer judges (Ann Mullins, Barbel Hacke, Steven Wickes, Koko and Sarah Bayer, Michaela Carpenter, Andrew Travers and Amy Kimberly) had quite a task! There were significant prizes for the juried costume contest including: stays at the Limelight Hotel and Aspen Meadows Resort, lift tickets and more from Aspen Skiing Company, tickets to the Aspen Music Festival and the Aspen Institute seminars and gift certificates to Clark’s Oyster Bar, SO Cafe, Local Coffee Shop, Ellina Restaurant, and Aspen adventures such as rafting, biking and more!

The overall best costume award went to Trish Aragon and Dr. Paul Schultz was the runner-up. Lara Whitley and family won the best group costume for their ‘In Search of Times Past’.



The event concluded at 10:00 pm and all trickled home. This Ball could not have happened without the tremendous work and commitment of the Bauhaus Ball Committee – Rachel Hadley, Katie Carlsen and David Meyer, and all of the many volunteers.

With love,

Lissa Ballinger