Spring was in the air, if only for four days, at the Carnegie Museum of Art last weekend. The annual Art in Bloom turned out to be a harbinger of good weather, but at Thursday's preview gala every fragrant flower was very much appreciated.
An urban parkscape created by Eichenlaub Landscape in the Hall of Sculpture was the setting for Skyline After Dark, the urban-themed party chaired by Laurie Bly (with Jim) and Sandy Roberts (with Richard). Nearly 400 guests strolled through the galleries for a first peek at the exhibition, which challenges local garden clubs to create floral arrangements inspired by paintings and the decorative arts. Some of the region's top florists also participated, assembling large displays in the public areas that showcased a wealth of imagination, talent and generosity.
Favorable reviews poured in as guests returned from the galleries for drinks and dinner at food stations made to resemble park vendors. The hot dogs were a hit, as were the spare ribs and salmon patties prepared by Parkhurst, and the gelato that came later vied with mint chocolate mousse for best in show. Dancing (for the first time!) was a brilliant idea even if more guests preferred watching the girls from the University of Pittsburgh's Dance Team to emulating them. Also new this year: the Friends of Junior Ambassadors, a young adult contingent that increased the wattage even more.
In the fun crowd were Women's Committee president Susan Block escorting author Danielle Rollins, in from Atlanta to present a lecture on "Gracious Living and Stylish Entertainment" Friday. Also there were sponsors including Caroline and Tom Wentling, Gayle and Bill Simpson. Liz and Dan Wilson, Kristen Hammel and Barbara and Dan Eichenlaub, who sponsored the gala.
Ace floral arrangers such as Alice Snyder, Carole Kamin (with Dan) and Barbara Tucker (the Alliance Francaise exhibit was fab) mingled with florists including Tom Bedger and Jeff Pierce, Bill Chisnell and Thommy Conroy. Also on hand were museum board chair Marty McGuinn with Ann, Ritchie Battle, Art Stroyd and Debbie Dick, Bill and Janet Hunt, Gordon and Kenny Nelson, Peggy McKnight, Ed and Nancy Byrnes, Jeanne and Dick Burdick, Lynn and Chip Desmone, Ina and Larry Gumberg, Cynthia and Bill Cooley, Betsy and Bill Amis, Ruth Garfunkel, Bill and Helena Pietragallo, Helen and Steve Casey, Wallis Katz, Lou Gailliot, Gail and Tom Murphy, Rhoda Neft, Joanie and Sam Kamin, TJ and Jennifer McCrady, Art and Debbie Scully, Mollie and Tom Lang and charming Stewart Burkland.
First Published April 9, 2013 4:00 AM