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AIA Gala

65th Anniversary Gala

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger | Photos by Don Perry 

The 2019 AIA Gala, held at Ballet Memphis, was the signature event for the Memphis Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The evening celebrated the contributions and work of the Memphis architectural community.  

A cocktail reception gave guests time to mingle as libations were coupled with hors d’oeuvres catered by Chef Phillip Dewayne. Delectables included crusted lamb chops, honey sriracha-glazed turkey meatballs, crispy vegetable spring rolls and Chilean sea bass dumplings. A highlight of the evening was the silent auction, which offered such items as coasters made from reclaimed wood and moleskin notebooks with covers illustrated with scenes of nationally recognized buildings, like Falling Waters by Frank Lloyd Wright, made by students in the University of Memphis chapter of AIA.

The evening included an awards program. Josh Flowers was presented with the Francis Gassner Award, the highest honor given each year by the AIA Memphis chapter. The annual award was started in 1977 to commemorate the late Francis Gassner, revered in the profession as being among the most influential Memphis architects. Flowers, an architect and attorney with HBG Design, is the youngest ever recipient of the award. Among his many contributions to the field have been creating effective ways to prepare young, emerging architects to make a positive difference in their community.

Additionally, Jimmie Tucker of FAIA of Self+Tucker Architects, was nationally recognized as a fellow of the AIA and Jason Jackson received with the national AIA Young Architect Award. Chooch Pickard was honored with the President’s Award for his outstanding service to the profession and the community. HBG Design received the inaugural Firm Service Award and Valentina Cochran was the first-time recipient of the Member Service Award. Christen Ayoub, Andrea Jimenez Carrion, Brock Terwilleger, and Antonio Tirado, all students in the University of Memphis chapter of AIA, were recognized with the AIAS award for being outstanding student leaders.

“This gala was an opportunity for professionals to come together to celebrate the past while looking forward to the future with optimism as they help communities come up with their own blueprints,” said Heather Koury, Executive Director of the Memphis Chapter for AIA. “Architects and designers joined our partners to celebrate the architectural profession and honor the many contributions made to the AIA and to the Memphis community through design and leadership.” 

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