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Column: High Arts Day showcases exhibit, programs
by Sally F. White
Northside Neighbor Columnist
October 31, 2012 02:24 PM | 3815 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist
Sally White, Northside Neighbor Columnist

Monday will mark the 17th year for the High Museum of Art to host a daylong event under the banner of the volunteer Art Partners to showcase the museum’s current exhibition, social and educational programming.

Taking its theme from the current exhibition of “Fast Forward: Modern Moments 1913>>2013,” the day begins with an early start at Neiman Marcus at Lenox Square in Buckhead, combining a light breakfast with shopping. It then progresses by motor coach to a tour of two spectacular private homes featuring interiors by renowned Atlanta interior designer John Oetgen. Then, on to the High campus in Midtown for a seated luncheon in the Wieland Pavilion’s Margaretta Taylor Lobby.

Informal modeling presented by Neiman Marcus, a silent auction and a trunk show of original art will be followed by a private viewing of the current exhibition on loan from the Museum of Modern Art in New York before attendees are transported back to Lenox Square.

Chair Valerie O’Neal has a 38-member Art Partners committee coordinating the day. Katherine Herbert serves as president of the vibrant volunteer group supporting the museum in a variety of ways, including fundraising. The Art Partners’ programs also offer the museum’s 3,000 members educational and social programming both at the museum and throughout the Southeast.

Founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, the High is the leading art museum in the Southeast. With more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection, an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art, significant holdings of European paintings, a growing collection of African-American art, along with burgeoning collections of contemporary art and photography, the museum opened three new buildings in recent years to double its size, creating a “village for the arts.”

Tickets and information: (404) 733-4429 or visit

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A Monday champagne luncheon and fashion presentation featuring news-making designer Max Mara will be orchestrated by Saks Fifth Avenue in its top level Couture Salon at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead to benefit the Marcus Autism Center in DeKalb County.

The cutting-edge fashions will be showcased in a social setting as guests support the advanced programs at the center.

Co-chairs for the event are Peggy Hellrung and Mary Scheible.

The center is a nonprofit and an affiliate of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta that treats youngsters with autism and related disorders. As one of the largest autism centers in the U.S., its staff offers families access to the latest research, comprehensive evaluations and intensive behavior treatment. More than 5,500 children are helped through the facility each year.

Tickets and information: (404) 785-9402 or visit

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A Family Affair benefit dinner at the Piedmont Driving Club in Midtown Nov. 8 will truly be a family event to benefit Emory University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center in DeKalb County. Honorary co-chairs are Harriet and Charlie Shaffer and their three children, Charles, Caroline and Emi.

Reaching out to multiple generations of metro Atlantans with a clarion call for more research dollars to slow the progress of Alzheimer’s, the Shaffers said, “This is everyone’s disease. We need only look to our right, our left and then ourselves because one in three of us will have AD by the time we are 80.”

Charlie Shaffer, a former trial lawyer for King and Spalding and one of the “Atlanta Nine,” who successfully promoted the city’s bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, was recently diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. Left unchecked, this can lead to Alzheimer’s. Shaffer turned to Emory, the only comprehensive, federally designated Alzheimer’s center in the Southeast, for advice.

“All of us would want to die with our brain intact,” said Dr. Allen Levey, a leading neuroscientist and neurologist who directs Emory’s center and chair of the college’s neurology department. “Right now our best hope for achieving this goal is to identify the disease as early as possible and delay the onset or slow the progression of the disease.”

Honorees at the event will include physicians and scientists advancing the field of Alzheimer’s disease research and care giving: neuroscientists Ben Hampstead, PhD, and Beth Buffalo, PhD, along with Ken Hepburn, PhD, and Susan Peterson-Hazan.

Host committee members are: Billi and Bernie Marcus, Liz and Frank Blake, Molly and Mike Eskew, Edwina and Tom Johnson, Sarah and Jim Kennedy and Brenda and Larry Thompson.

All funds from the event are earmarked to support the center’s research programs.

Invitations and information: (404) 712-2084 or visit

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Are you looking for unusual, art-inspired gifts or new accessories?

The Sandy Springs Society’s The Elegant Elf Marketplace is the place to shop Nov. 9 and 10 at Sandy Springs United Methodist Church’s Hitson Activities Center.

The winter wonderland setting with displays from artisans and exhibitors from around the world will make it a destination to start the holiday spirit. Elegant volunteer elves will be on hand from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to surprise you at every turn with live demonstrations while food trucks like Happy Belly and Yumbii will be stopping by for lunch and snacks. Entry tickets are $6 per person and children 10 and under are admitted free.

Seventy-five participating exhibitors represent unique offerings including handmade jewelry, women’s and children’s clothing, home décor, gift food and whimsical garden items. Among the distinctive exhibitors are: Ronnie Hughes Glass, Monograms for Me, Pearl Cuture, Kitchen Kouture, Lacey Grace Gourmet Foods, Gloryfibers Hand Painted Silks and many more.

The all-volunteer society’s good-hearted elves are organizing the event for the second year to raise money for local charities.

Elizabeth Kelly and Brenda Toan are co-chairing the fundraiser. Tish Lanier is the honorary chair, being honored for her past success and efforts. Exhibitor co-chairs Deede Stephenson and Cheryl Womack are coordinating the sellers at the marketplace location.

The nonprofit society was founded as an all-volunteer women’s group in 1988 to improve the quality of life in the community. Since its inception, membership has grown to 310 women and the group has raised nearly $2.4 million to improve the lives of women and families in the Sandy Springs area. One hundred percent of funds raised through the society’s efforts go back to the community in the form of grants to promote social services, education, the environment, heritage and the arts.

Tickets and information: (404) 222-0044 or visit

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This will mark the fourth year for the family and dog-friendly Uptown Rhodes Race 5K hosted by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation in Midtown. The Nov. 10 race will start at the trust headquarters at 9 a.m. and travel through 3.1 miles of gently rolling hills in the historic neighborhoods of Ansley Park and Sherwood Forest.

The race will circle around the Ansley Golf Club’s course before returning to historic Rhodes Hall on Peachtree Street for the finish. Pet pit stops will be located along the route to provide water and treats for dogs.

“Our course allows runners to pass some of Atlanta’s most historically significant houses,” said Mark C. McDonald, the trust’s president and CEO. “These homes represent the work of some of Atlanta’s most notable architects of the time.”

After the race, participants will enjoy a party at Rhodes Hall featuring an array of goodies including sandwiches from LowCountry Barbecue, refreshing drinks and great music. Participants will receive goodie bags from Big Peach Running Co., race T-shirts and awards will be given to the top three male and female racers in each age group, plus recognition of a first stroller and first canine finisher. Funds from the race will go to the trust’s educational mission and revitalization programs for endangered properties.

Founded in 1973, the trust is one of the country’s largest statewide nonprofit preservation organizations committed to preserving and enhancing statewide communities and their diverse historic resources for the education and enjoyment of all.

Registration and information: (404) 885-7812 or visit

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The Fall Auction Event, themed “Virtues & Vices,” Nov. 10 at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center in the Westside community near Midtown will combine a fundraising auction with an “outrageously decadent party.”

Proceeds from the sweet-and-sinful evening will support the nonprofit center’s exhibitions and programming.

“This year our FAB [Fall Auction Event] fundraiser will combine charity and kindness with lust and envy,” said Stuart Horodner, the center’s artistic director.

The non-selling exhibit after-party will be in the pavilion with the band Christ, Lord performing. Guests will review the current contemporary art exhibits and visit the artist studio spaces.

Originally founded as the Nexus gallery and artist co-op in 1973, the nonprofit membership art center changed focus in 2000 to become a non-collecting institution dedicated to the creation, presentation and advancement of contemporary art by emerging and established artists. It creates a diverse cultural landscape for artists, arts professionals and the art-interested public through exhibitions, educational programming and an in-studio artist program. Six to 10 exhibitions are mounted in four seasonal rotations per year, featuring consequential artists from the local, national and international art scenes. Admission to the event includes the after-party.

Tickets and information: (404) 688-1970, ext. 211 or visit

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“The South’s Next Wave: Design Challenge” is part exhibition and part competition showcasing more than 40 cutting-edge interior and object designers at the Museum of Design Atlanta in Midtown Nov. 11 through March 31.

The exhibition’s distinctive format is centered on 17 vignette-style rooms created by pairing local stage and interior designers with object designers to create environments for a variety of design products such as furniture, dresses, lighting, accessories, etc. Technology will enable viewers to access facts and video about the designers and the vignette installation process.

The first Design Legend Award will be presented this year at the exhibit’s Nov. 9 Gala Preview. Recognition will be given to recipient Robert Currey, a Southern-based interior designer and founder of Currey & Co. He has made vital contributions for many years to his field of interior design. Guests will enjoy live opera music, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails as they preview the exhibition designed to earn recognition for the best in Southeastern design.

During the run of the exhibition, museum visitors will be asked to choose their favorite vignette and object. Winning votes earn the designer more than bragging rights — there is a cash prize.

The two curators for the exhibition are business partners with Goodrowe / Hobby, an aesthetic identity design company. David Goodrowe, former associate dean of fashion and building arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design, and his business partner Tim Hobby, an interior designer, are orchestrating the unique vignette concept.

Honorary chair is Suzanne Kasler, distinguished author and classic interior designer known for her keen sense of color that seamlessly bridges American and European sensibilities.

Originally founded in downtown Atlanta as the Atlanta International Museum of Art & Design, the museum’s mission was redefined in 2003 and moved to the current Midtown building in 2011. Today it is the only nonprofit museum in the Southeast devoted exclusively to the study and celebration of all things design. Programs and presentations examine how design affects daily lives through exhibitions featuring architecture, industrial and product design, interiors and furniture, graphics, fashion and more.

Tickets and information: (404) 979-6455 or

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The Atlanta Steinway Society is hosting a holiday gala Nov. 11 at 103 West in Buckhead to benefit its musical scholarship funds.

Classical music aficionados will relish the holiday-themed dinner and enjoy a program of special piano and vocal performances. Two Steinway piano scholars will be spotlighted: accomplished young pianist Yannie Tan, winner of the 2010 C. Merrell Calhoun Prodigy Award, will share the keyboard program with Joshua Martin, Kennesaw State University student winner of the 2012 Steinway Scholarship.

A 16-student vocal ensemble from the Kennesaw State Opera Theatre Department will add their voices to the holiday program singing selections from “Die Fledermaus,” accompanied by Judith Cole of Sandy Springs and directed by Kennesaw State music professor Russell Young.

Funds from the musical including a silent auction will benefit the society’s scholarship programs. April Conaway is serving as its 2012 president.

Barbara Kirby, an Atlanta sales agent for Steinway Pianos, was the catalyst for creating the educational-based, nonprofit society in 1980. The organization is dedicated to bringing people, pianos and good music together to support young, developing pianists and music education throughout Georgia.

Building on in-home piano recitals reminiscent of the salon concerts of days gone by, the society still presents public concerts and works with Georgia’s college music directors to select student candidates for its three annual $1,000 scholarships (this year the organization gave four scholarships). The society also administers the annual Prodigy Award for young pianists under 15 and has endowed a music scholarship at Kennesaw State.

Reservations and information: (770) 993-3095 or visit

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The Atlanta Speech School’s annual Language and Literacy Gala Nov. 11 at the Capital City Country Club in Brookhaven will not only raise funds for financial aid to students, but celebrate the 75-year history of the exceptional Buckhead facility. It is one of several events to celebrate the milestone.

The annual affair hosted by the Atlanta Speech School Guild also has a history. Initiated in 1973, the gala reportedly is the longest running holiday-style benefit in Atlanta and continues to help fund students in need of the school’s unique services.

Starting with a cocktail buffet, the evening will include music by the Bradley Cole Smith Band along with live and silent auctions. Auction offerings will be centered on family oriented items and spotlight original pieces of art created by acclaimed artists along with the school’s students.

The fundraiser will represent nearly 600 dedicated guild members. Jennifer Ansley and Chambless Kalka are serving as co-chairs for this year’s gala. Preliminary October events building momentum for the gala were the Honorary Chair Luncheon hosted by Sharon Ansley at the Piedmont Driving Club in Midtown and a patron party at the home of former board chair Patty Reid, chaired by Liza Jancik.

The independent nonprofit school encompasses four schools, five clinics and a professional development center — all focused on developing language and literacy. The facilities serve more than 1,800 children and adults annually.

Tickets and information: (404) 233-5332 or visit

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