On the town
Dali fans fly to Philly to celebrate new show
By MARY JANE PARK
Published February 16, 2005
Board members and other key supporters of the Salvador Dali Museum flew northward last week for Thursday night's opening gala at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The event celebrated the huge centennial exhibition of Dali's works that opens to the public today.
Executive director Hank Hine made the trip, as did Brad Morse , Tom and Mary James , Bill and Hazel Hough , Jim and Kathy Martin , Jim and Suzanne MacDougald and Bob and Barbara Ulrich . Philadelphia architect Jim Wallace , who grew up in St. Petersburg, also attended the party.
The Dali borrowed the painting Soft Construction with Boiled Beans (Premonition of Civil War) from Philadelphia for its American exhibition last year, and several works from the Dali's permanent collection are on loan for the Philadelphia show.
Speaking on behalf of the 90 Holocaust survivors in the room on Saturday, Helen Fagin expressed an eloquent personal and collective thank you to nearly 50 liberators of the Nazi death camps.
Those brave men and the grateful survivors were honored guests at To Life and Liberation, a dinner benefit for the Florida Holocaust Museum held in Tampa's A La Carte Event Pavilion.
Fagin, a museum trustee and Warsaw ghetto survivor who became an English professor at the University of Miami, received a humanitarian award from survivor and museum founder Edie Loebenberg .
As she spoke of her joy of living to see the 60th anniversary of the liberation, many of the 950 guests were glad for the packs of Kleenex on every table.
Making a return engagement as emcee, actor Jon Voight noted that this year's dinner saluted "everyday individuals who endured unspeakable horrors and those who risked everything to rescue them." Previous dinners honored museum donors and volunteers.
Voight brought a friend, actor Charles Durning , 81. An Army Ranger, Durning survived D-day, the Battle of the Bulge and eight bayonet wounds and helped liberate Buchenwald.
During his brief remarks, Durning described seeing two mountains of shoes and realizing that each pair belonged to someone who died.
"I don't like talking about what I saw," he said. "Most things you can't even talk about."
Voight and Durning stayed to autograph keepsake program books until the last guest left near midnight. The event is expected to net $550,000.
A poignant exchange was overheard as two waiters cleared tables after the dinner.
"I want to meet Jon Voight," one said.
The other man replied: "All I want to do is meet a survivor."
A happy confluence of art and artist happened Thursday night in the St. Petersburg home of Kathryn Boeckman Howd , whose residence is filled with ceramics and paintings but somehow manages not to feel crowded.
Eddie Dominguez made three of the interesting works: a collage self-portrait, a ceramic dish set that evokes marine life and floats in an aquarium and a copper covered table on which the aquarium rests.
The aquarium was a gift from her parents, Howd said, and she later commissioned the table. Dominguez assembled the collage after his mother's death, and it evokes items in his parents' house, "a celebration of a life lived in the environment I grew up in," he said.
Dominguez works in numerous media and teaches ceramics at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and has a studio in Abiquiu, N.M.
The evening was the latest in an Arts Center series called the Art of Collecting, dinner programs that are designed to inspire participants to collect art.
The crowd included executive director Evelyn Craft , Beth Morean , Valerie Scott Knaust , Arlene Rothman , Helen Hameroff , Ron and Pat Mason , Judy Jourdan , Edward Rucks , Fred and Barbara McCoy , Ed Camejo , Mark Petty , Bob Devin Jones and Jim Howell and Anthea Penrose .
"As Time Goes By," the Women's Service League's 55th annual Fashion Promenade, recognized the year's Best Groomed men and women on Saturday.
That group, and those named to the hall of fame, were honored at a luncheon in the ballroom at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club that included a fashion show featuring clothing from CC's Boutique.
The event was a benefit for the children's programs of the Lupus Foundation of Greater Florida and Watson Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
The 2005 Best Groomed are Mary Barton-Skwarek , Darlene Grayson , Barbara Hanley , Susan Hicks , Wendy LaTorre , Juliet Mastry Miller , Greta Myers , Sally Poynter , Herb and Sheila Tempelmann , Diane Winning , Dr. Vance Bishop , Tom Brew and John Schloder .
New to the Best Groomed Hall of Fame are Nancy Biesinger , Bettye Black , Carl Bowley , Carol Russell and Connie Whitehead .
Mrs. Whitehead, who is the league president, introduced Anne Gooden , a founding member of the organization, which was launched in 1942.
It's difficult to imagine the sorrow Loretta Duvall has endured, having had three of her four children take their own lives as a result of their schizophrenia. Two sons died in their early 20s; daughter Margaret Ray, who was known as the woman who stalked entertainer David Letterman, was 46.
Duvall was the keynote speaker Friday at the annual Sunrise Award luncheon, a benefit at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club for the Suncoast Center for Community Mental Health. She talked about numerous developments in diagnosis and treatment for mental illness and stressed education as a means to promote understanding and eliminate the stigma associated with the disease.
"I sincerely think that stigma is the result of prejudice, which is the result of ignorance," she said. "I would like to think that mental illness, as we know it today, can be eliminated."
Duval is president of the Stamford/Greenwich (Conn.) Affiliate of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill-Connecticut and founded the Margaret Ray Memorial Fund.
Cecilia Tamayo received the 2005 Sunrise Award in recognition of her overcoming mental illness.
It was a busy weekend for On-the-Towners. Look for details of additional events in Sunday's Neighborhood Times .
Times staff writer Amy Scherzer contributed to this report.
Mary Jane Park can be reached at 727 893-8267; fax (727) 893-8675; e-mail email@example.com P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731.
[Last modified February 16, 2005, 04:30:09]
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