Society column: Celebration of famous photographer’s work attracts Carmel collectors

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By Tonya Burton

On May 31, Paris Proctor, niece of celebrity photographer and artist, Pamela Mougin, held a life celebration memorial and silent auction of Mougin’s works. Fashion consultant Murph Damron registered guests and supervised sales of the auction pieces.

Mougin was internationally known for bold, original and innovative styles. After modeling in high school and after graduation, she decided she preferred working behind the camera. She opened a photography studio in Indianapolis and soon became the city’s top fashion photographer.

She was eventually introduced to Shelly Brown, wife of then-Pacers coach, Larry Brown. Once word spread among NBA players, Mougin’s career kicked into high gear. Soon celebrity clients such as Sheryl Crow and Eddie Murphy commissioned her services.

Mougin opened a studio in Denver for a period of time, then moved back to central Indiana in 2012. During her time away, she traveled extensively, notably to Cuba and Greece where she drew inspiration for two arresting collections. Back in Indiana, she stayed with best friend, Carrie Ann Jordan and family, of Zionsville, while establishing a studio near 54th Street and the Monon Trail.

She displayed portraits of stars in her studio, but the biggest attraction was the Angels of West Baden display. In 2005-2006, Mougin was commissioned to create life-size images of the original angel paintings which have been hidden for more than 100 years in the dome of the West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick.

The origins of these paintings are a mystery and remain hidden from view. However, the public is able to view Mougin’s recreation of “The Angels of West Baden.”

About 60 friends, family and art collectors joined together to honor the life of Pamela Mougin, including Penny Proctor, sister of Mougin, and Marilene Isaacs , owner of “Center of Peace.” Isaacs is currently working on a film involving the Angels of West Baden.

Most collectors came from the Carmel and Zionsville areas. Madison Hromadka, who attended with her husband, Tyler Hromadka, and parents, Ted Hanulak and Margot Hanulak, knew Mougin through various fashion organizations. Dianne Wright, a long-time friend from Carmel, purchased a piece at the silent auction.

Rick Ropkey and Naji Ropkey from Zionsville, purchased a large giclee print of an antique plane. Ropkey owns and collects antique planes, and the one in the picture happened to be one of his. Dr. Ed Kowlowitz, from Zionsville, purchased a couple of giclee prints of antique cars to go with his antique car collection. His wife, Dr. Alina Clavijo, purchased a set of frames to complement recent photographs taken in Paris.

Pamela Mougin passed away May 10, 2013. Proceeds from the auction benefit a foundation created by her niece in her honor.

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If you would like Current in Carmel to attend your party, gala or social function, please call Tonya Burton at 432-2451 to schedule your event. We would be happy to photograph guests and let our readers know about upcoming society events.

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