Finding Holiday Magic in NYC – Art Opening, Winter Ball + foxes

Jess and Joel doing some holiday shopping at Jonathan Adler in NYC

Every two years one of our dear friends, the talented painter Brad Kunkle, hosts a solo exhibition at the Arcadia Contemporary gallery in Soho. Last Thursday marked Brad’s third solo show and also the third time we have made the journey to NYC to attend. It’s not everyday you have the chance to celebrate your friend’s talent and see their dreams come true right before your eyes. Originally slated for December 20th, we figured we would be up north for the holidays anyway, but we decided to make our holiday trek to NYC a tad earlier when the opening date changed to December 11th with stops in Washington, DC and Jim Thorpe, PA.

Adding a new video installation element to this year’s opening, Brad admitted he was a little nervous. After helping him decide what to wear (we nixed the hipster plaid shirt imagining viewing the photos 20 years from now for a more classic dot shirt), Brad suggested we take the edge off by grabbing a drink with a group of his artist friends at Lucky Strike bistro around the corner from the gallery.

Arriving at the gallery, it was a family reunion of sorts. Brad had family and friends fly and drive in from all over the East Coast along with a band of his contemporaries including the talented trifecta Casey Baugh, Martin Wittfooth and Jason Yarmosky. Joel’s older brother Josh also made a surprise appearance with our niece Ada, who experienced her very first trip to New York City.

After decompressing from another successsful show, we decided (this time, there was no arm twisting required!) to celebrate by attending the 6th Annual Winter Ball at the The Irondale Center in historic Fort Greene in Brooklyn. Hosted by Michael Arenella and his Dreamland Orchestra, these are the same vintage-loving folks who host the Jazz Age Lawn Party, which I attended with fanfare in June and August this past year.

Not sure if its the magical setting soaked in nostalgia, the Ziegfield-esque energy or my Zelda transformation, but Joel seems to always want to hit the dance floor when Arenella is on stage (see proof below, featured in the Paper Mothball Vintage blog). Perhaps, it was a side effect of “Christmas in a cup” delivered freely by our incredible server, who kept us into our cups and on our toes all night long.

Before I sign off and let you continue your Christmas countdown, thought I’d share with you my favorite cocktail from the ball. Cheers + Happiest of Holidays to you & yours!

“Home for the Holidays” Craft Cocktail
Created by Julie Reiner and sponsored by Prohibition Distillery

Bootlegger 21 NY Gin
Ruby Port
Aromatic Bitters
Cranberry Preserves

See coverage from
* Brad Kunkle’s Art Opening
* The Winter Ball
* James + Dunne Holiday Style Portraits
+ Soul Shoetique / Oliver Fashion Show below




Painter Brad Kunkle’s Opening
“The Belonging”
@ The Arcadia Contemporary (Soho, NYC)

“Visually breathtaking and conceptually enticing, the paintings of Brad Kunkle combine oil with gold and silver leaf — to powerful effect.”
– Jeffrey Carlson of Fine Art Today

Brad Kunkle is exhibiting 18 recent works in his third solo exhibition at New York’s Arcadia Contemporary. “The Belonging” opened Thurday December 11th and will continue through December 28. View full catalog HERE.

“Kunkle’s innovation is to combine elements of the natural world, abstraction, and design motifs in works that one hesitates to file under the category of realism. Imagination and visual beauty come to the fore, while the artist’s skillful rendering of the figure plays a supportive, though significant, role.” – Fine Art Connoisseur


Joel waiting for his warm lentil soup at Lucky Strike before the start to Brad’s opening.


A Family Affair: Joel’s oldest brother Josh Finsel surprised Brad by driving into the city from PA with our niece Ada for her first visit to NYC.


L: ur niece Ada with one of our favorite paintings (Sold) and one of Brad’s favorite photos from the night.
R: Trying to figure out how to record videos on my new iPhone!


Brad with his proud parents Cindy & Bill Kunkle


Brad Kunkle, “Chroma No. 1,” oil and gold on linen, 25 x 19 in. (Sold)


Missing our little bubby, we saw Dakota everywhere we looked (including the window of Jonathan Adler next door to Arcadia Gallery). We came back for this foxy doggie in the window the next day!


AFTER OPENING PARTY at Randolph’s in Williamsburg:

L: Novice shuffle board players Jess + Joel later dubbed “Shuffle Board Sharks” learned the ropes from Flannery and Tim (pictured above)
R: Fighting a cold all week, I became the hot toddy taste tester – Apple Brandy or Bourbon? (Apple Brandy, all the way!)



Post Art Opening / After Party Selfie
with our favorite artist + friend – so proud!




6th Annual Winter Ball Hosted by Michael Arenella + the Jazz Age Lawn Party
@ The Irondale Center, Brooklyn

Event Founder + Host Michael Arenella + The Dreamland Orchestra
Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk


Photo: Jane Kratochvil


Joel giving me a twirl on the dance floor



These two gals looked sensational!
Left: Kristen Minksy of The Minsky Sisters



The hauntingly beautiful
Laura Okita of Paper Mothball Vintage


Ballerina Aurora Black

Above 7 Photos: by Yusuke Okita
Edited by Laura Okita of Paper Mothball Vintage



Photo: Jane Kratochvil


Desiree and Brad ready to indulge in an evening of romance & magic.


The Dreamland Follies wearing my favorite fabulous fringed outfits
from the Jazz Age Lawn Party. Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk


Loved having an excuse to wear my Gatsby Gala attire from last year for a second time!


The Minsky Sisters
Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk


Artist Andres Serrano and wife Irina Movmyga
Photo: Jane Kratochvil


Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk


L: Break time in the Mistletoe Nook
R: The statesque beauty Laura Okita of Paper Mothball Vintage Photo by Yusuke Okita


Photo: Jane Kratochvil


Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk


Photo: Jane Kratochvil



Uncommonly cool vintage-inspired portraits
with a touch of whimsy and overall editorial feeling.

Styled by Jess James + Shannon Dunne
[James + Dunne Styling] Ethan Gaskill Photography

New Year’s, Valentine’s couple portraits, family or just a fantasy editorial style shoot.

Drew + Nnenne Terzian
with their son Andrew and Rusty the dog

















Soul Shoetique + Oliver
Fashion Show
@ Growlers Tavern

Soul Shoetique owner Michaela Batten welcomes her guests.


Model Devan Claycomb wearing a fringed LBD
from Oliver with leopard heels from Soul.


L: With my super cute date, Juliana Williams
R: Artist Carleigh Sion and Corinne Caputo


Model Michal Cheshire leads the finale in a red jumpsuit
from Oliver (followed by Gretchen Stevens)


Michaela twirls with Oliver’s Becca Milligan, co-stylist of the show.

To see all of the Fashion Show Photos,
Click HERE.

(please “Like” the style girl FASHION FIX page if you haven’t already – thanks!)


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