THE ART OF PARTYING: Not your "run of the mill" black tie was how local artist-photographer (and bachelor-about-town) Tom Gregory described the creatively costumed crowd at Maryland Art Place's seventh annual gala "Art Party" last weekend.
"People were walking fashion statements," he commented.
Chaired by the better-than-average-looking team of Sally Abbott, Janice Adams, Carolyn Bodie, Mark Caplan and Adam Gross, more than 400 arts supporters turned out for this spiffy affair, which spotlighted work by 106 local artists that was curated by MAP's exec director Susan Badder. (The art will be for sale through Oct. 13.)
Gala activities included continuous 14K Cabaret performance art with great shows by Joyce Scott and Aleta Green, a lively auction and dance music by Swing Central.
Some faces in the crowd? Martha Head, Rita St. Clair, Mary Sue McCarthy and Bill Hopkinson, Bob Embry and Mary Ann Mears, John Waters, Dick Chambliss, Ned Rosenberg, Sarah Adams, Tom Gorman, Brooke Jones, Arnold and Pam Lehman, and George Dalsheimer and Robin Coplan.
MUSICAL NOTES: Singer-pianist Marcus Dagan, whose bold style has won him a loyal following among locals, returns to the Belvedere's 13th Floor this Wednesday through Sunday. Marcus tells us he's recording a new album with the Mel Spears trio, which should be out in November. Stay tuned.
'Music is my religion," says jazz musician Gary Bartz, who'll perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Liberty Heights campus of the New Community College of Baltimore.
The series of jazz concerts presented by the Student Government Association is free and open to the public.
THE HOMECOMING: Cafe des Artiste owners, Ann and Harvey Clapp, hosted a cocktail bash to celebrate the return of the original management team -- themselves -- to the popular Mount Washington restaurant as well as to introduce their new chef, Claude Chauvin.
Some at the party? Developer Tony Morgenthau and wife, Beth Ann; developer Michael Glick and wife Jane; Saks' Barbara Tucker and husband, Edward; Meridian Properties' Earl Linehan and wife, Darielle; and the Kennedy Institute's Sue Dillon with husband Mat.
REX BARNEY, local baseball and radio personality, will host the Teen Outreach Program of Baltimore's kickoff pep rally Tuesday at the Department of Education building on North Avenue.
City Council prez Mary Pat Clarke, school superintendent Richard Hunter and more than 60 volunteers from the community, including the Junior League of Baltimore, are expected to participate.
For info on the rally or the program, which is designed to raise the self-esteem of middle school students, call 243-0772.
YOU'RE INVITED to join in the fun today, starting at 1 p.m. at the Harborplace amphitheater, as bartenders show their true colors in the Multiple Sclerosis Society's 'U.G.L.Y. Beauty Contest and Party" at the Inner Harbor. Staged as a prelude to the U.G.L.Y. Bartender Challenge, bartenders will be dressed in outrageous costumes vying for points from the judges.
The locally based jazz quartet, the Jazzmatics, will provide entertainment for the crowd. Drop by and get ugly.
OUT OF AFRICA: Author-lecturer-conservationist Betty Leslie-Melville, who recently moved back to Baltimore after living in Africa for 29 years, was invited to the White House last week by first lady Barbara Bush, where she was honored for her many children's books, including her latest, "Walter Warthog."
The author and her husband, retired Vice Admiral George Peabody Steele, were then off to New York to visit friends Betsy and Walter Cronkite, who've been frequent visitors to Melville's "Giraffe Manor" in Nairobi.
Here on the homefront, you can catch Leslie-Melville in action when she speaks on "Giraffe Conservation and African Safari" at the SPCA on Falls Road at 11 a.m. Thursday. Admission is free.