Imagine wearing the most comfortable and coolest of your white linen attire, sipping a mint julep while strolling through a lively social gathering, all the while viewing original artwork and conversing with the artists while music, dancing and food is close at hand.
That was the idea Sylvia Schmidt had in mind in 1992 when she owned an art gallery on Julia Street in New Orleans and helped found what would become White Linen Night.
After flooding in Hurricane Katrina, she and her husband, artist Robert Warrens, moved to St. Tammany. Lucky for us, she would seek to re-create such an event.
Now in its third year, Schmidt said White Summer Night will be held rain or shine from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Pontchartrain Yacht Club, 140 Jackson Ave., Mandeville. It’s gorgeous when lit up on the club grounds with the sunset over Lake Pontchartrain as the backdrop, she said. “But we can move it all indoors in the event of rain.”
The event is a major fundraiser for the Safe Harbor for victims of domestic violence. It’s grown from 300 to 500 people, and this year, organizers anticipate 700 guests.
They’ve also stepped it up a notch to ensure it becomes the hottest event of the season. There will be a nine-piece horn-powered band, the Crescent City Soul Band, tents and fans throughout the grounds, food from 30 of the areas finest restaurants, and a complimentary wine bar, mint juleps and other cold beverages.
She said committee members also have done a great job securing donations of auction items such as dining, golf and sailing excursions.
It’s the Pontchartrain Yacht Club’s annual community fundraiser and it goes all out to provide the setting, tables, bartenders, wait staff and more, Schmidt said.
But at the heart of the event is the show of artists and writers. She is particularly excited to debut “The Seven Sister Oaks,” created for the fundraiser by St. Tammany master printer and etcher Phillip Sage. He will pull 200 signed and numbered copper plate intaglio editions of the etching to sell that night.
Other artists on exhibit in the Regatta Room will include Carol Hallock, Peggy Hesse, John Goodwyne, Robert Warrens, Muriel Dauterive, Hew Hamilton, Valerie Carpenter, Suzanne King, Ann Cicero, Barbie Adler, Scott Withington, Betsy Green and Schmidt; and at the writer’s table, James Cobb, author of “Flood of Lies,” and Deborah Burst, “Hallowed Halls of Greater New Orleans.”
Tickets are $30 in advance at Pineapple Gallery, 829 Asbury Dr., Mandeville, or call the PYC at (986) 626-3192; and $35 at the door. As the event name indicates, guests are encouraged to wear white clothing.