Party Places and Faces

RESPONSE Revelry

The New Orleans Botanical Garden Foundation held its second “RESPONSE — Artists in the Park” in City Park to benefit the above Botanical Garden and the upcoming October Teaching Garden, as well as a slew of party-goers. Most went home with artwork. A Celebration Reception, sale of art and auction fused festively. Adding a bit of spirit was the Artful Cocktail concocted by Dickie Brennan & Co.

RESPONSE is an art exhibition and sale of original works created by artists “in response” to the natural landscape of the Botanical Garden, which contains more than 2,000 varieties of plants from around the world, and City Park. Co-chaired by Pam Bryan (of Octavia Gallery), Beverly Matheney, Reagan Charleston and Terrance Osborne, the event showcased 107 artists representing a broad spectrum of artistic interpretation and 159 pieces of art. The latter two, Reagan and Terrance, each donated art to the live auction. Pam Bryan also teamed with Lisa Rotondo-McCord of the nearby New Orleans Museum of Art to curate the exhibit. Lisa figured on the event committee that, in addition to the chairing consortium, counted 16 people. The Zemurray Foundation was the Presenting Sponsor.

New Orleans Classical and Jazz sounds served as the aural component as the party pack meandered about the Pavilion of the Two Sisters, eyeing the art, which was cleverly displayed on rows of racks. The food by Dickie Brennan and Co. included a grazing station of charcuterie, seafood gumbo, miniature samples of beef Wellington and ceviche.

Noted — several contributed art work — were Anne and Louis Banos, Shawn and Foster Duncan, Ruthie and Lou Frierson, Barbara and Peyton Bush, Liz and Poco Sloss, NOBGF President David Waller with Barbara, Muffin Balart, Stephanie and Ludovico Feoli, Jay Bryan with Pam, Charles Whited, Robert Matheney with Beverly, Jackie Derks, Julie McCollam, Yvonne Counce, Joan Hooper Feibelman and Julian, Mary Helen Seago, Sue Peters, Garland and Nancy Robinette, Katherine and Willem Van Aalst, Nan and Britt Galloway and Carey Bond and Henry Lambert. About 270 others, as well, such as Robert Marks, who bought works by Mac Ball and Allison Stewart, and Dawn Wheelahan, who copped the George Dunbar contribution.

Those that give, often get. In the live auction, Beverly Matheney purchased the Terrance Osborne donation, and Pam Bryan bought art work by Dawn Dedeaux. Good “responses!”

The Buzz was the Building

The Revival Gala: The Preservation Resource Center’s 42nd annual Julia Jump amassed hundreds to a downtown location, the former Union Savings & Loan building at 353 Carondelet St. Currently vacant, it is about to undergo a complete renovation. The building has a 1950s lobby and exterior, but it actually dates to the 1850s and has an interesting history. Scottish-born architect George Purves was the original architect and the building once looked identical to the six other ones on the block.

Developers RAMM Real Estate, managed by Richard and Mary Martin Roth, plan a restoration to return the structure to the 1850s appearance and reconfigure the building for retail and office space. Thanks, too, tapped Katherine and Tony Gelderman for the use of the space.

Fidelity Bank and the Roth Law Firm presented the gala, which had people socializing on all three floors of the party site. Ayesha Motwani and Riley Kennedy chaired the event, Taylor Schmidt Pospisil spearheaded the auction, and, once again, Continental Underwriters Ltd./Mr. and Mrs. H. Elder Brown Jr. showed significant support. Danielle Del Sol answers to executive director of the PRC.

The hour-long patron party included music by Kristen Monnisk and members of the Lost Bayou Ramblers, catering by Laura Arrowood, specialty cocktails by Bulleit, Don Julio, Johnnie Walker, Ketel One and Tanqueray; and the beer garden by Royal Brewery New Orleans. For the Revival Gala, Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses supplied the music. Further features were cuisine from some of the city’s top eateries, immersive art displays, a fabulous silent auction, dance grooves by DJ Preservation, open bar, an architectural dreamscape by Hoot-n-Holler Inn, and a Live Art Battle with four local artists painting unique pieces on site.

Committee names coursed the alphabet, running from Dimple Agrawal to Jenny Good Zurik. Dozens, such as Allison Berger Tiller (with Ben), figured within. Many of them were also patrons. Most all made beelines to the enticements of the auction: an Ole Miss/LSU football package to Oxford, Mississippi; an extensive French Quarter dine-around; vacation packages to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, and to Georgetown, Washington., D.C., and staycations at the Peter & Paul; clothing; Saints games; linen from Sotre; and home organization by Porter New Orleans.

Some of the conversation also lighted on the weeks-earlier Preservation Resource Center’s Shotgun House Tour and the homes of Dr. and Mrs. Michael Graham II, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Marshall Jr., Celeste Marshall, Carter and Claiborne Perrilliat, Margaret and Walter Saik, Daneel and Jim Watson and Tanga Winstead. St. Katherine Drexel Prep was the day-of-tour headquarters, and the post-tour backyard party unfolded at a house at 924 Bellecastle St., which is also undergoing renovation.

Good Places

“Oh! The Places You’ll Go!” titled Lutheran High School’s Gryphon Gala XLII, which had Atonement Lutheran Fellowship Center as the venue. People chuckled at the Dr. Seuss-inspired names for the patron levels: You’re Only Old Once, Yertle the Turtle, Fox in Sox. Gigi Saak and Marcia Gordon were the gala co-chairwomen, heading a committee of 20. Needless to say, the decorations by alum Jan Schindler Knecht of Fallo-Van Os Floral Company were Seuss themed.

A seated dinner was purveyed by Maple Street Café and chef Jameel Qutob; LHS teacher Adrian Scriber directed the Lutheran High School Choir for the musical entertainment; a 50/50 Raffle brought in the bucks, as did the Wine Pull of 170-plus bottles; and 19 stellar live-auction items thrilled the crowd. More than 300 silent ones added more excitement. Yet another feature was the Lorax Cave fundraiser for the LHS Mission Team Program. You could send someone to the cave for 10 minutes.

Michelle Blackwell Clement, class of 1983, was the Honorary Chairperson; the class of 1989 was the Honorary Class; and Dr. Rachel Saacks Morse (1989) and Robert Olmstead (1988), the Honorary Alumni.

Deciding this was the “Place” to be were Barry Clement with Michelle, Dr. Granville Morse with Rachel, Cara and Scot Sundquist, school principal Carol Christen, board President Kay Blackwell with Warren, Dr. Emilie Russo Schenck and Mark, Steve and Sandy Walton, Matthew and Ben Saacks, Bonnie Saacks, Sherylann and Bill Bennett, Gemelle Linzy, Rachel Linzy, and the Rev. David Lofthus. To get the auction going-gone, Gary Crane stepped forward as auctioneer with Bruce Growden as his assistant.


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