A 'moving' art experience at Walters gala


October 23, 2005|By SLOANE BROWN

THE THEME FOR THE WALTERS ART MUSEUM Gala was "Palace of Wonders," in honor of its newly redone galleries of Renaissance and Baroque Art. But, during the evening's cocktail hour, the museum's sculpture court held wonders of its own -- a glittering collection of guests, whose names dazzled as much as the sequins and diamonds they wore.

"There are some high rollers here tonight," noted Curt Decker, as he watched Frank and Elisabeth Burch, Joe Shepard and Rita St. Clair, Neal and Winnie Borden, Bob Caret and Liz Zoltan, George and Georgia Stamos, George and Betsy Sherman, and Judy and Peter Van Dyke (to name a few!) move along a reception line that consisted of its own heavy hitters -- event chairs Rosalee and Richard Davison, corporate chair Timmy Schweizer, Walters board president Bill Paternotte, and museum executive director Gary Vikan.

Every so often, a shriek interrupted the cocktail buzz, when one of two living statues suddenly moved and startled an unsuspecting passer-by.

Said Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, "I looked around, and [the statue] was in my face."

"He screamed," added wife Jackie with a chuckle.

"It's lucky I have a good heart," Hrabowski said.


Making a difference in girls' lives

Karen Bokram, 37, is the founder, publisher and editor of Girls' Life magazine and board president of Maryland Art Place, which is gearing up for its 24th Anniversary Gala on Nov. 4. We talked with her at Fleming's Prime Steak House and Wine Bar, where she sipped Sonoma Cutrer Chardonnay.

You started Girls' Life, a magazine aimed at the 10- to 15-year-old set -- when you were 25, single and had no kids.

And it's 12 years later, and I'm single and have no kids!

Since you're not a parent, how were you able to understand the mindset of a young girl? And maintain that understanding?

It's amazing how much problems [for girls that age] never change. People always say to me that kids are so much different these days. Twelve years ago, kids didn't have cell phones. They weren't I.M.-ing. There wasn't 9 / 11. But ... there's always going to be a girl who gets her first period and will want to deal with that issue. Or when she has problems with her best friend, she will pick up this magazine and read an article that will help her.

Dealing with the same issues for that same age group, does that get old for you?

Never. I just spent three days at the national Girl Scouts convention. A girl came up to me and told me about something we'd printed three years ago, and what a difference it had made for her. She said she'd never forget it. That doesn't get old.

Then, there's this other passion of yours...?

Maryland Art Place. It's the largest not-for-profit contemporary arts organization in the mid-Atlantic, and we've devoted ourselves to helping nurture Maryland artists. It's great to make such a positive impact on the city economically and culturally.

And your "mission" there?

I think people really focus on artists that they like, but they don't think about collecting. Building up a collection of art that's personal and meaningful. There's stuff that just makes you happy. Like, in my collection, my little papier-mache guinea pigs. ... I find artists living in our community so much more interesting than someone's who's been dead for 50 years. They're people I know. These are artists who are right here, right now.

SOCIAL EVENT / / SOULFUL SYMPHONY CONCERT. Oct.28. Benefits Enterprise Foundation. 6 p.m. Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Tickets $250. Call 410-772-2693

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