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Boyle remembered at Westmoreland Society's annual dinner

| Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Kim Stepinsky | for the Tribune-Review
Westmoreland Mueseum of American Art Director/CEO, Judith H. O'Toole, (center), joins Barbara Nakles, (L), President, The Westmoreland Society and, Bibiana Boerio, (R), Interim President of Seton Hill University, during The Westmoreland Society's Twenty-Eighth Annual Dinner Meeting and Presentation of The Westmoreland Society's Gold Medal, held at Westmoreland @rt30 in Greensburg on Friday evening, December 6, 2013.

Dec. 6 marked the 28th Annual Reception and Dinner of the Westmoreland Society.

“It's the first one, to my knowledge, to be subterranean,” prexy Barbara Nakles quipped to a basement cum elegant dining hall of 70 guests, including Bruce andSheryl Wolf, Charles andNancy Anderson, Bibiana Boerio, Bud andPatti Gibbons, Harley Trice, Jane Roesch, Joanna andRichard Stillwagon, Charles andAnita Manoli, and treasurer Marty andLinda Kuzmkowski. The glossy surroundings were made possible by Bob Sendall of All In Good Taste Productions.

While the wrecking ball swings within the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in downtown Greensburg, temporary digs have been set up a few miles away in the former Stickley, Audi & Co. furniture store. Proving to be serendipitous by all accounts, the 30,000-square-foot space — dubbed @rt 30 — offers an effortless fusion of contemporary and traditional art. It is open, airy and beyond inviting — an ambiance that will epitomize the renovated “mother ship,” as WMAA director Judith O'Toole (with Kevin) affectionately refers to it.

Having agreed to roll over funds for the past three years to acquire an outdoor sculpture that will help christen the new building, chief curator Barbara Jones presented a short list of five national and international artists — Dee Briggs, Hoss Haley, Beverly Pepper, Tim Prentice and Leo Villareal — who are contenders for the job.

More importantly, though, the evening also posthumously honored JoAnne Woodyard Boyle, the beloved Seton Hill University prexy and distinguished leader in the arts, as this year's Gold Medal Recipient.

“I realized how much I and many of us loved (her),” said board member Diana Jannetta (with Dr.Peter) as she presented the medal to Boyle's husband, Art, son John Boyle (with Sheri), and daughter Elizabeth McDonald (with Sean). “We're all very lucky to have known her, and the world is a better place because she was here ... she was a treasure. Bottom line, she was an iconic work of art.”

The Westmoreland Society is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and advancement of American art.

Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media and can be reached at kbenz@tribweb.com or 412-380-8515.

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