ARTopia brings art to life for AMSET fundraiser

ARTopia brings art to life for AMSET fundraiser

All the way live … Having fun and raising funds is de rigueur when chairing any fundraiser, and the Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET) achieved that goal and then some with the unveiling of ARTopia last weekend. Chairs Melanie Dishman and yours truly (along with creative duo Heather Petkovsek and Elizabeth Waddill) carried the ARTopia theme throughout the evening — from the art, artists and au courant art space to the delicious dinner — and this gala entertained all from start to finish. Front and center was the honoree, art patroness Mary Jane Garth with her fab family — Harriet Garth, Le Ann and Terry Garth, Jessica Whitney, David Garth and twin sons Kit and Tyrrell Garth — and the tons of close friends who were there to honor this deserving and fantastic lady. Adhering to the splashy casual or favorite artist dress theme were a bevy of beauties and gents such as Carol Snowden, Ashley Edson, Stephanie and Bernie Daleo, Laurie Kent, Jessica Malach, Susan and Tim Byrom, Kathy Fisher, Laurie and Curtis Leister, Brian Hampton, Sissy Coffin, Jeff McManus, Rusty Hall, Nathan Jones, Russ Waddill, Martha and Buddy Foxworth, Betty and Sheldon Greenberg, Ann Winslow, Betty Leaf, Billie Russell, Jef Russell, Alison Low, Stephen Roane, Sarah Hamilton, Bryan Lee, Roy Steinhagen, Bill Benning, Ellen and David Reynard, Bel and Kip Lamb, Marilyn and Ed Gripon, Rusty Hall, Ida Pyle, John Scott, Colene and Bob Hansen, Marc McDonald, Ellen Schulz, Vic Reyna, Johnnie and Bill Grantham, as well as Frida Kahlo look-a-likes Casey Winslow, Eve Anderson, Julie Funchess and Gena Geyer Sylvester, who all did the eccentric artist proud. Winners of the best artist interpretation were Kim and David Willard, aka Andy Warhol and Michael Basquiat, with honorable mention going to one-eared Van Gogh Earl Brickhouse. The diverse silent auction generated a healthy profit for AMSET with lucky bidders taking home a Paul Manes print, a crystal vase from For Heaven’s Sake and a fabulous George Wentz watercolor among the available items. The French picnic orchestrated by Chef Denson Hilton of Treat America Food pleased the palates of partygoers to rave reviews as they grazed on smoked tenderloin, fried chicken and cupcakes cleverly served on artists’ palettes. The highlight of the evening was the unveiling of the tableau vivants (live paintings — an idea conceived by co-chair Madame Dishman several years ago, coming to fruition on this evening). The “paintings” were staged with the help of local artists and costumed by Kelly Draper. At the unveiling guests entered the portrait gallery and were enthralled by the interpretation of Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist’s Mother by James McNeill Whistler (modeled the museum’s director Lynn Castle), American Gothic by Grant Wood (modeled by Barbara Quinn and moi), A Bar at the Folies-Bergere by Manet (modeled Heather P.), The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David (modeled by Justin O’Mara), L’Homme au Chapeau Melon-Man in the Bowler Hat by Rene Magritte (modeled by Rob Clark), Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear by Van Gogh (modeled by Jared Fall), and Dr. Samuel Jean Pozzi at Home by John Singer Sargent (modeled by Bryan Castino). After the viewing, dance enthusiasts hit the floor to the sounds of DJ Brocato’s heart pumping tunes. With a photopia memoir of the evening, guests will certainly be smiling about this sensational soiree for months to come!

You gotta have a gimmick … Kudos to director Paula Bothe and the cast of “Gypsy” running for the next two weeks at The Betty Greenberg Center for Performing Arts. Playing to a packed house Friday and Saturday evening, audiences were smiling and laughing throughout the performance as the revival of this Tony award winning play unfolded in our fair city. If you want to be entertained for an evening and enjoy the acting, singing and dancing of a whole crew of local talent, make reservations soon for this remarkable interpretation of this classic piece of musical theater. Call the box office at (409) 833-4664 for tickets.

New bottle in town … Partners Don Roger, Claire Bloom, Walter Umphrey and Phil Meaux will unveil their smooth tasty vodka Blue Iguana to the U.S., with the first shipment delivered to Sam’s Package Store this week and stocked in Debb’s and several other liquor stores in our area very soon.

Candles and cakes… Birthday wishes for Kathi Seewald, Sally Bundy, Mary Margaret Groves, Ann DeCordova, Becky Mason, Jean Moncla, Ann Clary Old, Chris Draths, Debbie Bando-Duit, Will Jenkins, Paul Steinman, Dade Phelan, Tammy Bennett, Blair Foxworth, Lana Portner andMadison Gober.

Until the next RSVP!