The Carnegie Center-A Taste of Art and History [visual arts]

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The Carnegie Center’s Taste of Art and History’s annual fundraising event was spectacular, with over 300 in attendance, and it was a wonderful evening for a drive from Kentucky to Indiana.  

There was a cool, crisp breeze coming across the Ohio River; as I crossed the 65 interchange to 64 the sun setting in the distance made the evening sky calm and inviting. I noticed a sign along I-64 that read, UofL Volleyball coming to The Yum Center, and I have a niece that plays high school volley ball; she will be going to UofL, probably continuing her volleyball career; I thought that interesting.

Along I-64 the trees are changing and the scenery is beautiful. Giving any painter the chance to set up an easel, right in the center of the road, and paint the reds, yellows, oranges, silvers and greens of various hues crossing the line into Indiana and the huge white WELCOME on the park lawn; they may take advantage of it. The welcome sign is the first thing you see crossing the Sherman Minton Bridge along with two other signs. The old Schmidt’s Furniture building sign, which has been in the same place since 1936 and the Horseshoe Casino sign that reads, “Respect You Earn, Envy You Win,” are the two that draw your attention just before you exit 123 into New Albany.  

I arrived at The Carnegie Center, at the corner of Spring and Bank Streets, finding the building decorated with wonderful fall mums, foliage and decor. The Center is a beautiful stone building, carved in Greek lettering.  The stairs lead to an indoor foyer that have marvelous pillars of marble-topped with a glass doomed roof. Delesha Thomas, public relations associate, was there to greet me and she is very friendly, as is everyone at the Carnegie Center.

I arrived earlier than expected, it gave me a chance to get photos and familiarize myself with the building for the event. Once I seen the art and sculpture of Penny Sisto, I was glad I arrived early and took time to enjoy her masterpieces and works of pure magic. The sculpture Trail of Tears is profound and one must see it to understand and enjoy its loveliness. Penny Sisto’s work will be at the Carnegie Center until October 15 and I urge everyone to go see it. You can look up her work on-line at www. pennysisto. com

As the evening began, the benefactors and patrons began to arrive, the Carnegie center filled with voices of friends, laughter and people who hadn’t seen each other in a while, all coming together for a night of fun, yet for the purpose of funding programs for artist, historians and the community. Karen Gillenwater, the Curator of Carnegie Center and Alan Platt III, the President of Carnegie’s Board of Directors, met me out back at the outside bidding area and tent where the Southern Wine and Spirits and World Class Beverages were there. Benefactors sampled various wines, beers and spirits from them as well as Republic National American Beverage, Turtle Run Winery, Huber Winery and several more wineries and distributors.

I was met by Laura Wilkins, Director of Marketing and Outreach shortly after arriving and found her just as friendly as everyone else. Ms. Wilkins and I later spoke with State Representative Ed Clere’s wife Amy for a while. I met Mrs. Clere while upstairs looking at the Glassapalossa, and we spoke of the French, Japanese and Spanish languages and of journalism. It was an nice conversation. I found out a real French restaurant is opening in New Albany and that the owners lamb recipe is in her words, "Delicious! Magnifique!"

The catering for the evening done by Terri Lynn Doyle’s - Catering by Design, was superb and the chicken bites in autumn chutney and cranberry cheesecake bars divine. Bean Street Coffee Shop was there for those who needed a dose of caffeine after a hard day at work, or before the live auction. Silent auctions closed at 8:30 and the live auction began at 9:00 pm. Spotters, board members holding up orange leaf-shaped flags, notified the auctioneer when a bid was made.  Auctions went fast and the funds flowed freely to support a great cause, closing The Arts and History benefit for 2011.

Those staying for the “after party” enjoyed beer, wine and spirits in the tent, white castles and pizza. Adam Colvin owner of BUSTA GRILL was there to offer the late night party goers samples of his famous bison dogs, which I found different and delicious.

It was a fantastic night and I look forward to next year and Taste of Art and History at Carnegie Center. I encourage you to visit the Carnegie Center. Admission is free and programs are available on different dates, although pre-registration is required.

www.carnegiecenter.org or call (812) 944-7336

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