Before I tell you all about the fantastic Avant-Garde, please allow me take one moment to do a little woo-hoo for myself. This is my 100th post of The Civilized Life. I had no idea what to expect when I started this blog on Oct. 12, but it has been a real joy! I have met so many new people and have been able to spotlight some dear long-time friends. I have big plans for this blog in the upcoming year and will be doing some redesign and improvements over the summer. I also plan on making it so you can subscribe via email so it will arrive in your inbox every weekday morning. I know that must be easy to do, I just need to learn how to do it! Anyway...thank you so much my dear readers for taking the time to read my little blog and especially for taking the time to tell me you love it. I can't tell you how much that means to me - thank you! A big hug to you all!
Roaring crowds and paparazzi welcomed guests on the red carpet at the entrance to Ringling College of Art and Design's Avant-Garde. As much as I always have thought I would love walking the red carpet, it was actually a little disconcerting to have everyone cheering for you. I really had the urge to say, "Stop, stop, I'm not a star." It was like getting an award you didn't earn, but I powered through it! This was just the start of the fabulous, detail-oriented An Evening at the Avant-Garde: Hollywood Premiere.
There was so much to do during the cocktail hour and it was so fun to see most everyone in costume. I can't tell you how many times people said hello to me and I didn't recognize them. I mean, these are people I have known for a long time, that's how good their costumes were! You could have your photo taken in director's chairs and you could also have photos done as you were being interviewed on the red carpet. You could watch artists doing portraits and also watch them doing their work in the room where the silent auction items were housed.
One of the most fascinating things were the gold painted students who were standing as live "Oscars" at the entrance of the silent auction. There is a photo below, towards the bottom. They were standing perfectly still for what seemed like hours! They were terrific!
A highlight of the evening was RCAD President Larry Thompson's introduction of Oscar-winning RCAD alumni, Brandon Oldenburg. He told about how important scholarships had been to his studies at Ringling. He was an Illustration graduate in 1995. He started Moonbot Studios in Shreveport, LA and employs 15 Ringling graduates with more coming on board soon. He won his Oscar for The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore in the Best Animated Short Film category. There was a huge feeling of pride in the audience. I think everyone there who had ever contributed to the college felt they were a little part of the winning!
Brandon then announced the winner of the 2013 Avant-Garde Endowed Scholarship - Kaitlyn Priestley, who is also an Illustration major. What I found most captivating - the crowd was completely silent and totally respectful when Kaitlyn was speaking. You know what a chatting crowd everyone usually is an any event. It was so nice to have everyone give Kaitlyn their complete attention.
The live auction was rather interesting. It is amazing at how many unique experiences you can bid on at events around town. Going with the theme of the evening, both items were "film experiences". The first one was the opportunity for four people to go on set during a Paul Schiff film in Los Angeles and have lunch with the crew including James Franco. The item went for $5500. The next item was to be on the set of the HBO blockbuster, True Blood with Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer. That item went for $4500 and was won by Sue and Adam Armbruster, whose son Alec is a freshman film student at RCAD. What a nice little treat for Alec! Both items were arranged by Future of Films, Inc.'s Sam Logan, who has become such a great friend to Ringling.
Michael's On East did their usual fabulous job. The salad was pre-set and then a very efficient buffet. Servers brought around trays of dessert to each table.
Everything about the evening was top-notch and so well done. One of the best events of the season, definitely. It is so nice to go to an event where each part has a lot of thought behind it and it all goes together with the theme. It makes for such an enjoyable and memorable evening. Good job, Ringling!
Others attending who are not photographed below were: John and Fran LaCivita, Salena Wilhoit, Jean Martin, Sally Wright, Dennis Stover, Carolyn and Bob Johnson, Jackie and Angus Rogers, Mary Ann and John Meyer, Flora Major, Dr. Diana Lager, Meade and Art Ferguson, Larry and Ann Garberding, Cheryl Loeffler, Merry and Stan Williams, and on and on.
Pat and Dr. Larry Thompson
Randy and Isabel Norton - RCAD Trustee Board Chair
Cornelia Matson, Susan Palmer, and Rita Greenbaum
Sally Yanowitz and Scott Anderson
Lois Stulberg, Michael Scott, and Hillary Steele
Jim Braun and Kathye Faries
Mike and Cathi Bell, Roger and Patricia Courtois, and Matt and Margaret Callihan
Kristine Nickel and Jack Klingensmith
Kay Kipling and Wendy Surkis
Angela and Jake Hartvigsen
Flori Roberts and Elaine Keating
Stacey and Michael Corley with their Uggi
Lynn and Dr. Arthur Guilford
Alice Rau and Phil King
Mike and Marie Pender
Ken and Peggy Abt and Warren Coville
Marv Albert and Gerri Aaron
Penny Hill and Dr. Larry Wild
Bob and Diane Roskamp
Teri Hansen and Steve Wilberding
Larry and Jennifer Saslaw
Peggy Wilhelm and Liz Lindsey
Hillary Steele striking a pose
Elisabeth and Gil Waters
Mimi Edlin and Paul Reamer
Mary George and Charles Smith
Dr. Larry Thompson, Sue and Adam Armbruster, and Sam Logan
Michael's On East's darling Henry
The crowd cheering and thanking each person as they left
The gold "statue"
An array of artists drawing
Alumni Mirald Cake with his art
Setting to have your photo taken
A look at the tent
The centerpiece (isn't it cute?!) and table setting