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Then and Now

| Monday, Nov. 5, 2007

Many are called, few are chosen could be the leitmotif of "Then and Now," the remarkable Associated Artists of Pittsburgh twin exhibit that previewed Friday at the Carnegie Museum of Art and continues through Jan. 21. Remarkable not merely for the chosen few works (124 by 76 area artists) in this 97th consecutive year for the show, but for the clout and class of those AAP masterworks mounted in the adjoining galleries.

The term "museum quality" could have been coined in "The Popular Salon of the People," named for the first AAP show in 1910 ... when the country's second oldest arts organization began contributing to the vitality of our town. Andy Warhol, Philip Pearlstein, Samuel Rosenberg, John Kane, Malcolmn Parcell and Aaron Gorson were members. And their works are well explored with those by Raymond Simboli, Henry Koerner, Marie Kelly, Harry Schwalb and Cynthia Cooley -- to name but a few of the star attractions. Vicky Clark's organization of the salon is a stunning success.

In the utterly new and genuinely wonderful "Now" exhibit, as juried by international artist Polly Apfelbaum of New York City, major talents like Aaronel deRoy Gruber (since 1958, her work has been selected for every show save one!), Robert Bowden, Adrienne Heinrich (the annual's chair), Richard Stoner and Karen Kaighen have crossed over into both shows. Galleries dance in rhythms of color and design and, for the buzz factor, there are a few whatever-was-he-thinking pieces. Artists who made the cut are ecstatic. And every work benefits from basking in the city's premier venue for art.

Opening night drew hundreds of art heavies hailing it as the best show in years. Here and there, we spotted AAP prexy Pati Beachley ; show co-chair Susan Sparks with David ; CMA's Richard Armstrong, Maureen Rolla, Douglas Fogle and Heather Pesanti; Kathleen and Mike Zimbicki ; Westmoreland Museum of Art's Barbara Jones; Thad Mosley; Andy and Jack Weiss; Steve Mendelson and Toni Chiappini; Kurt Shaw ; actor David Conrad; Graham Shearing; Bernita Buncher and Eddie Solomon; Gary Zak; Chuck Olson with his new book; Mernie Berger; Jane Arkus ; and emcee Elaine Effort of KQV.

As well as Jane Haskell; Kitty Spangler; Daniel Bolick; Lu and Syl Damianos; Shawn Quinlan ; WTAE's Michelle Wright; Elizabeth DeVita; Anna Marie Sninsky; Jo-Anne Bates; Ron Donoughe and Cathy Fabry; Alan Byrne; Laura Horner; Lila Hirsch Brody; Charlie Humphrey; Elvira Peake; Tey Steitler; Dolly and Jack Warwick; Joan and Fred Sonnenberg; Gissa and Rudy Weingartner; Leah Reese and Bary Winsand; Mary and Martin Reidell; Lori and Alan Hornell ; and Judy Owen.

Full House

The crowd was as glam as LeMont's breathtaking cityscape views which merely doubled the pleasure at Vegas on the Mon , Thursday's spin on Sin City which hit the jackpot at $200,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society . And the party was here for sure.

Drinks were on the house, the grazing stations and auction biddables were fab and, ring-a-ding-ding, there was Guy Matone channeling Ol' Blue Eyes' hits.

Forget the number of slots and gaming tables, here the high-stakes gamble was about beating blood cancer diseases through research. And the odds are vastly improving, thanks to the leadership of honoree, Dr. Larry Ellis , a renowned specialist in the field of hematology and oncology.

The eve's must was a Pittsburgh Hold 'Em tourney and (a drumroll, please) say hey to the new King of Diamonds, Greg Coury , who won the tourney and a cancer research grant at UPMC to be named for Nemacolin Woodlands Resort ... where he's gainfully employed.

Lady Luck also smiled on chairs Jennifer and Don Fusilli ; Penny and Scott Holden; Anna and Ed Dunlap; Barbara and Dick Fisher; Sharon and Ralph Martin; Kim and Curt Fleming; Debbie and Mike Barbarita ; L&LS George Omiros and Jeanne Caliguiri; Holly and Peter Eisenbrandt; Ted Arneault; Susan and Steve McGalla; Ron Violi; Leslie and Tony Quatrini; Rebecca Whitlinger; Trish Hooper and Julian Neiser ; and Joe Gordon .

Sitting Pretty

Come November, the ladies who lunch go shopping. Pair a roomful of goodies with a fall fashion show for 170 damsels with more than canapes on their mind, and you have The Twenty-Five Club's chi-chi luncheon at the Duquesne Club.

Wednesday's runway sashay and boutique by Linda Bucci put models and members in fabulous frocks. From classic sportswear, sophisticated suits and furs to shimmering gowns in a beautiful palette of colors, the show was singing along with Joe Negri's jazzy trio, "Luxe be a Lady."

All toward funding the 25Club's $2 million endowed Neonatal-Perinatal Research Chair for the most fragile newborns at Magee-Womens Hospital, the beneficiary of the club's generosity for 68 years. Conversation stopped when MWH prexy, Leslie Davis , announced the hospital's $1 million infusion to their pot of gold.

Fashion forwards included benefit chair Norma Sobel ; 25C prexy Peggy Snavely; Dee Bold; Veronica Guarino; Katherine Freyvogel; Karen Oberg; Debbie Barbarita; Nathalie Lemieux; Faye Sampson; Cathy Renda; Maryann Boehm; Carol Massaro; Katherine Freyvogel; Drs. Gary Silverman and David Permutter; Catherine Loevner; Barbara Adelson; Judy Linaburg; Meg Cheever; Bobbi Aiello; Ranny Ferguson; Barb Mendlowitz; Dottie Florence; Nessa Mines; Elizabeth McCarthy; Ida Mae Rich; Donna Murtha; Rona Dane ; and Jan Meade .

True Courage

The sign over the door read Heinz Field. But we knew we were in Terrible Towel Country for the 15th annual Arthur J. Rooney Sr. Courage House Luncheon , which netted $110,000 for the Holy Family Institute.

With Dan Rooney and coach Mike Tomlin doing the honors, Steelers Q.B. Ben Roethlisberger and HFI client Daniel Heffley were tapped for their lion-hearted courage in overcoming challenges in their lives. The kind of courage that HFI tries to awaken in the children in their care and in the families whose lives they touch.

Benefit chair Greta Rooney was in Tuesday's crowd of 615, with its slew of Steelers past and present. As were HFI prexy Sr. Rita Manning; Dee and Tom Murrin ; emcee Bill Hillgrove; Cynthia Bognar and brother Ed Bognar; Jay Ferguson; Sr. Linda Yankoski; Shelley Uku; Jean and Joe Katarincic; Ellen Jones; Melissa Reft; Nancy Lepore; Sharon Rick; Emily Norwig; Lauren Rushak ; and auctioneer Marty Davis .

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