Maryland Institute fund-raiser is an ArtaFare to remember

March 30, 1997|By Sylvia Badger

ARTAFARE WAS the brainchild of one of those creative minds at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, and without question, it was a work of art. This delightful fund-raiser dinner was held recently in the main building of the institute, where eight rooms were transformed by way of decorations, food, music and mode of dress into whatever theme the host had in mind.

The evening was chock-full of colorful things to see and do before dinner. There was lots of socializing and bidding on artwork, both wearable and hangable. Auctioneer Rick Opfer was terrific and brought in good prices for the live-auction items (there also was a silent auction).

At 8: 30 p.m., everyone headed to one of the eight dinner parties, to which they had been assigned. Among the eight party hosts were ArtaFare chairs Jo Ann and David Hayden, who held forth in the institute's impressive board room. Awesome flower arrangements by J.J. Cummings made this room the talk of the event.

It was easy to spot those attending the polka-dot-themed dinner that had as its hosts Lola and Bob Jones and Jay Jenkins and Ken Hobart. Lola has a hair salon in Mount Washington; Bob owns Valley Lighting. Hobart is an interior designer; Jenkins works for the Becker Group.

Coffee mugs hanging from a ceiling covered with pieces of paper dress patterns set the scene for those having dinner with Leroy and Rebecca Hoffberger. He's the former chairman of the institute's board of directors; she's the founder of the Visionary Arts Museum. Their guests were served a feast prepared by chef Peter Zimmer, whose Joy America Cafe sits atop the museum.

Those partying with Sayra and Neil Meyerhoff, institute board member, and Carol and Tom Allen enjoyed a "Down by the Bayou Ragin' Cajun Evening." Guests of Barbara and Sam Himmelrich (he's a developer and both were ArtaFare vice chairs), Billy Himmelrich of Stone Mill Bakery and Bob Zimmerman, floral designer, were transported to the Burgundy region of France for a fabulous feast.

Tantalizing tango attire was worn by many of those who joined Hope Quackenbush, Nancy Haragan, Walter Gomez of the Gomez Gallery and Gwen Davidson of Alex. Brown & Sons for a sumptuous Latin dinner.

Dinner in a fantasy sculpture garden was a treat to the eye as well as the tummy, thanks to the creative handiwork of hosts Fredye and Adam Gross, architect, and Sheila and Dick Riggs (he's with Barton-Cotton). They did a terrific job, with the help of floral artist Gay Garth Legg and sculptors Linda dePalma and Paul Daniel.

My husband and I had the pleasure of joining Mary Ann and Walter Pinkard Jr. (president and CEO of Colliers Pinkard and director of special events for Catholic Charities, respectively) and Robert Shelton, an attorney and chairman of the board of the Maryland Institute, for a tasteful and tasty black-tie dinner. Throughout our dining room were a number of paintings, which institute dean Leslie King-Hammond enthusiastically described as works in progress.

Among those dining with us were Jean and Tom Maddux, commercial Realtor; Jody and David Albright, she's director of arts and culture for the state; Connie Caplan, chairman of the Baltimore Museum of Art board of directors; Ellen Reeder of the Walters Art Gallery; Wealtha and Jim Flick, the Dome Corp.; and insurance man Howard Jachman and his wife, Wendy, a weaver and former student at the institute who recently created and donated a wonderful 100th-anniversary tapestry to Gilman School.

Chefs Expressions served a divine rack of lamb, while two Peabody students provided lovely background music.

After dinner, everyone gathered for dessert and coffee in the main hall and to pick up the goodies they bought at the auctions. Among the folks I saw there were Pam and Arnold Lehman (he'll soon be leaving his post as director of the BMA); Elana and Gary Vikan, director of the Walters Art Gallery; Sue and Mickey Miller, real estate development; Barbara and David Kornblatt, developer.

The Keelty construction family was well represented by Jim and his wife, Mary, and Michael and his wife, Julie. Henry Rosenberg of Crown Central Petroleum was there, as were Hanan and Carole Sibel, whose polka-dot outfits were the talk of the party, and Jonna and Fred Lazarus, president of the Maryland Institute.

Out and about

From the genteel world of art, we go to the rough-and-tumble world of professional football for the annual Ed Block Courage Foundation Award, which honors one player from each of the 30 NFL teams. The players are selected by teammates for the courage they have shown in overcoming hardships in their careers.

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