text by Sara Johnson  photos courtesy of Phoenix Art Museum

Above: Keynote Speaker, Sarah Richardson, Independent Woman Luncheon 2017.

The Independent Woman Luncheon has become one of the premier philanthropic events in the Valley, celebrating the contributions of creative, successful women as they support the arts and educational programming at Phoenix Art Museum. In years past, the event has featured high profile speakers like interior design legend Alexa Hampton, HGTV star Sarah Richardson and tastemaker Carolyne Roehm.

The 2018 event is chaired by Matthew Boland. Amy Cohn serves as honorary chair and Kathy Petsas, the liaison with the design community, is the designer chair. The committee members include Molly Dalton, Katie Drost, Lisa Andrew Portigal and Sarah Swartz Wessel. This year’s event will feature another extraordinary keynote speaker: Amy Lau.

Above: Amy Lau will be the keynote speaker at Independent Woman Luncheon 2018.

Born and raised in Arizona and now based in New York, Lau is characterized by her unique creative vision and indomitable spirit. Her firm, Amy Lau Design, creates contemporary interiors known for their warmth, expressiveness and impeccable attention to detail. A reverence for the inherent beauty of natural materials and landscapes, Lau thoughtfully incorporates elements of each into every project. Embracing both art and design, each personalized space is enlivened with dynamic mixes of vintage and contemporary pieces and site-specific commissions.

Lau’s portfolio of luxurious residential interiors includes an array of artistic and sophisticated homes throughout the world. Her commercial portfolio includes installations for such powerhouses as Bergdorf Goodman, Baccarat and Kohler among others. The firm’s work has been featured in such publications as Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, NY Cottages & Gardens, Martha Stewart Living and Luxe Interiors + Design.

Above: Residential properties designed by Amy Lau.

The Arizona native developed a deep passion for design and honed her curatorial eye studying eminent historians. She received her master’s in fine and decorative art from the prestigious Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She then served as a director at Thomas O’Brien’s Aero and spent five years as the design director of noted mid-century specialist at Lin-Weinberg Gallery in New York City.

Co-founder of the Design Miami Fair, Lau also has designed an array of patterned cowhide rugs and pillows for Kyle Bunting, unique Heath Ceramics mosaic tiles, colorful wool-and-silk rugs for Doris Leslie Blau, tie-dye wall coverings for Maya Romanoff, and a vibrant fabric collection of contemporary prints, embroideries and wovens exclusively for S. Harris.

Above: Residential dining room designed by Amy Lau.

Along with its notable keynote speaker, attendees have additional surprises in store this year. And, back by popular demand, the Independent Woman Luncheon offers a unique opportunity to see work by more than 60 of the Valley’s top design firms, as each creates beautiful, elaborate and imaginative tablescapes, all of which are available for purchase. This year the designs will be themed Kaleidoscope: The Art of Contrast.

The fundraiser  patrons are David E. Adler Fine Rugs, The Diane & Bruce Halle Foundation, bulthaup Scottsdale and Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance.  Executive donors are Main Dish and Desert Star Construction and Kravet and Ardy’s Custom Workshop are donors at the Partner level. All proceeds of the event benefit arts programming and the collections at Phoenix Art Museum. Visit

WHEN: January 30, 2018

10:00 a.m. for table viewing

12:00 p.m. luncheon

WHERE: Phoenix Art Museum


ATTIRE: Stylish

TICKETS: $300 per person. Tables of 10 begin at $3,000.