Art blossoms as garden clubs interpret Walters' treasures

April 13, 1997|By Sylvia Badger | Sylvia Badger,SUN STAFF

Oriental masterpieces were brought to life with flowers at the eighth annual Art Blooms at the Walters. Thirty-one garden clubs created splendid floral interpretations of a variety of artworks at this gala event, presented by the Walters Art Gallery Women's Committee.

I stopped by the museum for the preview party, where guests were greeted by Walters director Gary Vikan and Art Blooms co-chairs Berthe Ford and Ann Woodward. Cocktails and dinner, by Gail Kaplan, were set up on the Charles Street side of the Walters, but guests left that area to wander through Hackerman House as well as the 1904 palazzo building, to see the exhibit called "The First Emperor: Treasures from Ancient China."

There also was a silent auction, with a marvelous array of items that attracted guests such as Bill and Wendy Brodie, Lisa and Greg Barnhill, Nancy Slaughter, Honey and Bill Passano, Dina Klicos, Bunny Dugan, Jennifer and Jim Vitale, Charley Stein, Hanna Kubacki, Lindsay Hardesty, Dr. Oscar Camp, Susan and John Nehra, Deborah and Phillip English, Adena and David Testa, Reva Lewie and Louizos Demetrios.

All of the floral arrangements were good, but my favorites were "The Jolly Drinker" by Camille Medinger and Mae Scott, Manor Garden Club; "Railing Pillar" by Kathy Phillips and Dale Balfour, Green Spring Valley Garden Club; "Portrait of Countess Livia da Porto Thiene and Her Daughter Porzia" by Carol Hoffman and Shauna Sueck, Ladew Topiary Gardens; "The Peacock and the Peahen With Flowering Prunus" and "The Peacock and Peahen With Chick and Peonies" by Jay Clifford and Gay Legg, St. George's Garden Club, and the entry from the Queen Anne's County Garden Club, which was created by Teresa Newman and depicted warriors from a scene on a Chinese porcelain plate.

Foundation fund-raiser

The GBMC Foundation's annual fund-raising soiree was held at the Baltimore Country Club, where nearly 400 people danced to the music of the Gene Donati Orchestra and bid on items in silent and live auctions.

The guest of honor, Dr. Lauren Schnaper, director of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center's comprehensive breast care center, was accompanied by her husband, Dr. James Carlton, and her parents, Dr. Nathan Schnaper and Roslyn Schnaper.

The event was named "Soiree de Paris," and gala co-chairs Connie and Bill Pitcher and Dot and Henry Rosenberg did a fabulous job of whisking guests away to the French city for the evening. (Bill Pitcher is CEO of the PDP Group, and Henry Rosenberg is CEO of Crown Central Petroleum.)

Guests included Baltimore County Executive Dutch Ruppersberger and his wife, Kaye; Hal Donofrio, Richardson, Myers & Donofrio, and his wife, Sherri Thompson, Legg Mason; top decorator Rita St. Clair and internationally known artist Joe .. Sheppard, who donated an original work for the auction; 2nd District Congressman Bob Ehrlich and his wife, Kendel, an attorney; Buzzy BeLer, owner of the Prime Rib, and Dr. Linda Frank; Jackie and Fred Brown, J. Brown Jewelers; Annette Paterakis and Heiko Osterchrist, ITC Inc; Christine and Bruce Pitcher, PDP Group; Stephanie and Sam Hoyle, Independent Insurance; Brenda and Steve Bottum (she runs the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, and he's with Alex. Brown Inc.); Laurie and Gary Gill, president of MacKenzie/O'Conor, Piper & Flynn; and Caroline and Jerry Stautberg, Jerry's Chevrolet.

It was a festive evening, and the bidding on auction items was fast and furious, especially for the four Super Bowl tickets and two seats in the owner's box for the first Ravens game in the new football stadium. Both items were donated by the owners of the Baltimore Ravens, Pat and Art Modell, who recently returned from Florida and were at the party.

Good sports

Next stop was the Baltimore Sports Ball at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel, where more than 500 people showed up in black-tie garb that they had accessorized with sneakers and other sports attire.

The guests, members of the business and sports communities, gathered to raise money and have fun "Through the Eyes of a Child." That was the theme of this year's fund-raising event for Parents Anonymous of Maryland, which also kicked off National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The more active guests took turns in a batting cage, tried a surf machine and experienced a little virtual reality.

My spies tell me that everyone liked the fast-paced fashion show, which featured Olympic medalist Beth Botsford, Baltimore Raven Michael Jackson, former Baltimore Colts Lydell Mitchell and Stan White, former Orioles Tippy Martinez and Mark Williamson, and fitness instructor Lynne Brick -- all looking quite fit.

Parents Anonymous is thrilled with this year's co-chairs, Joanne and Abraham Rosenthal, Prime Retail, who are credited with raising a record $215,000.

Scholarly event

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