Maryland Social Scene

MARYLAND SCENE

October 20, 2002|By Sloane Brown

Walters Art Museum

Count on the Walters Art Museum folks to know how to carry through on a theme. It began with the invitation to this year's "Where The Wild Things Were" gala -- a card that featured a photo of an ancient Mexican mask you could punch out and wear.

When guests arrived, museum director Gary Vikan and his entourage -- a llama and two alpacas, greeted them. Once inside, the 500 attendees had a chance to view the new exhibit, Art of the Ancient Americas (hence the party's theme), and mingle in the sculpture court during the cocktail hour.

Then, it was up the hill to tents set up on Mount Vernon Square for dinner and dancing. "Palm trees" created from feathers and leaves served as centerpieces on tables draped with tropical-leaf print cloths.

Among the merry minglers: Dr. Mychelle Farmer and James DeGraffenreidt, event co-chairs; Adena Testa, Walters Art Museum board chairwoman; Philip D. English, Bill Paternotte, Ken Bourne, John Gilmore Ford, Laura Freedlander, The Honorable C. Yvonne Holt-Stone, Charles W. Johnson, Mary Mangione, Ned Rosenberg, Peter S. Stockman Jr. and Sam Himmelrich Sr., Walters Art Museum board members; Matthew Robb, Ancient American Art visiting assistant curator; The Rev. Allen F. Robinson, St. James Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square rector; Fred Lazarus, Maryland Institute College of Art president; Herb Better, Zuckerman Spaeder managing partner; Jeanine Gehne, Johnson Controls service sales engineer; Dr. Roger Greif, retired New York endocrinologist, H.G. Tillman, retired Air Force colonel; Brian O'Neil, Merrill Lynch first vice president; Michelle Wingate, Cisco Systems business development manager; Sibley Classen, GE Capital senior vice president; Dick Gamper, Bank of America Private Bank senior vice president; Peter Dubeau, School 33 Art Center director; Jerry Maizlish, Norris Acura West / Nissan West owner; Doug Ramer, Bata Shoe Co. chairman; and Donna Wilson, Injured Workers Insurance Fund vice president.

The gala raised more than $300,000 for the Walters Art Museum.

National Aquarium

You could say this year's National Aquarium shindig was a splash from the past since the concept of "Splash! 2002" was "Disco Fever."

Disco dancers (Towson Univer-sity dance students in real life) boogied away on pedestals just inside the Aquarium doors. There were disco balls and bubble machines. But the 1,800 guests, many of whom came in 1970s costumes, provided much of the evening's atmosphere. There were Afro wigs, platform shoes and glitter everywhere. Not to mention plenty of gold chains framed by plunging necklines -- and we don't mean on the ladies.

Speaking of the fairer sex, one group of five really got into the act, outfitted as The Village People.

Jim Peterson, president of the Aquarium Advocates that threw the bash, was decked out in wild, glittery sunglasses and a pink feather boa. Aquarium executive director Dave Pittinger tripped down memory lane in a pair of white Milano shoes.

Among the disco set: K. Lee Riley Jr. and Stacey Rineer, event co-chairs; Cathy Schuster-Pascale, Theresa Leatherbury, Richard M. Goldberg, Peter Rosenwald and Patti Neumann, Aquarium Advocates; Bill Norton, Kim I. McCalla, Bill Struever and Alfred Whiteman, National Aquarium board members; Charlene Cohen, community volunteer; Joey Richards, Charm City Signs owner; Bob Mulherin, Valley Motors Mercedes-Benz general manager; Deborah Weiner, WBAL-TV special projects reporter; Kevin Crawford, Milner-Fenwick graphic artist; Caroline Wohkittle, Personal Touch Home Care registered nurse; Tony Trantas, Downtown Locker Room owner; Michael Hudak, Zimmer Mid-Atlantic owner; Len Weinstein, John Marks Associates senior vice president; Michael Guye, Baltimore City real estate agent; Harry A. Wheeler Jr., St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center maintenance manager; Jim MacFarlane, Kraftmaid Cabinetry account executive; Tom Vonasek, Washington National Airport air-traffic controller; Denise St. Rose, Spring Garden Elementary School teacher; Mitchell Brown, Salomon Smith Barney director; Gregory Keasey, I.T. Works partner; and Dr. T. Scott Jenkins, University of Maryland Dental School professor.

The blowout raised almost $125,000 for the National Aquarium.

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