Thursday, November 12, 2009

Guest Blogger: George Bassi

At the Museum

by George Bassi, Director

As with most things in our lives, we tend to divide up the calendar year based on sporting activities, school, holidays and family events. For us here at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, our year always includes the excitement in November and early December of planning the annual museum gala.

LRMA will celebrate the sights, sounds and tastes of New Orleans at our annual black-tie gala on Saturday, December 5. Gala Chairmen Deborah and David Ratcliff promise a memorable evening of delicious food, lively music, and fabulous decorations to raise money for the Museum’s education and exhibition programs.

Highlighting the evening will be the Live Auction under the leadership of chairmen Mary Ella and Clay Johnson. Bidders will have the opportunity to purchase artwork by Bill Dunlap, Lucy Mazzaferro, Greg Gustafson, Patterson Barnes and Ginny Futvoye. The Live Auction also features two exciting week-long trips to the private residences of Lessley and Bobby Hynson in Ireland and Sara and John Hendrickson in Nantucket. Jewelry will include a stunning Judith Ripka gold and diamond cross necklace and an exquisite multi-colored string of pearls. Completing the Live auction is a beautiful table designed and crafted by Walter Bailey.

Pam and Jack Ward are serving as Silent Auction chairmen and their committee of 13 couples is gathering more than 100 auction items in six categories. Included are vacations, private dinners, jewelry, artwork, antiques and just about anything else on your Christmas list.

The gala is the museum’s primary fundraising event, raising almost 15% of our annual operating budget in this one night. But it is not all business– this is a night to laissez les bons temps rouler! The evening features a gourmet dinner inspired by New Orleans cuisine and dancing with the music of The Triple Lindy, featuring Laurel native Wes Brooks. Be on the lookout for mimes, ostrich plumes, a second-line and maybe even Chris Owens.

The fun begins with the annual Preview Party on Thursday, December 3. This event is sponsored by the LRMA Guild of Docents and Volunteers and highlights the many auction items up for bid. Katie Sullivan is serving as chair of this event, and the Guild will prepare a menu of delicious Big Easy treats to start the bidding.

Of course, an event of this magnitude takes a host of volunteers, and LRMA is fortunate to have great committee chairmen helping us out. Included are Jo Lynn McLeod as Decorations Chair, Ann Ellis and Betty Harper as Auction Display Chairs, and Diane Thames as Food and Beverage Chair.

Tickets are now on sale for this December 5 event, and you can call the Museum at 601-649-6374 for more information.

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