Black Tie & Tales


Black Tie & Tales


Date: April 17, 2013
by: Black Tie Staff




+ Six Sarasota Seasons of Sculpture
Sarasota Season of Sculpture Board Chairman Susan McLeod unveiled a gorgeous book chronicling the organization’s history at an April 9 reception, at The Francis. Keith Monda underwrote the publication, which is dedicated to him. It includes images of virtually every sculpture displayed on the Sarasota bayfront since the first bi-annual exhibit in 1999. The Serbin Printing team of Robin Smith and Judy Webster put the book together; McLeod was the editor; sculpture descriptions are the artists’ statements.

The book, “Season of Sculpture,” makes clear the scale of the organization’s contribution to the community: 132 sculptures by 96 artists representing 15 states and 13 foreign countries. Donors of $1,000 or more number 150, many of whom got their books at the reception, including Marvin Albert, Robert and Pat Baer, Carol Camiener, Warren and Margot Coville, Bob and Dottie Garner, Peppi Elona and Wendy Surkis, Arnold and Bette Hoffman, Elaine Keating and Sid Katz, W. Howard Rooks, Tom Savage (the driving force behind the recent presentation of the “Complexus” sculpture to the city) and Lois Stulberg. The book is for sale at Bookstore1, on Main Street, for $75.

+ Needlepoint’s big debut
Eye of the Needle owners Kathy Levins and Meghan Johs are experiencing their own 15 minutes of fame. Last summer, one of the Hillview store’s needlepoint designers, Jean Smith Designs, contacted the owners because the store carries the designer’s needlepoint canvases — she was curious about their ability to send any finished or unfinished needlepoint projects to a set designer for a movie, which turned out to be “The Big Wedding,” starring Robert De Niro, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Diane Keaton, Robin Williams and Topher Grace. Levins and Johs had to send the canvases within 48 hours to the movie set in Connecticut.

The movie is set to release April 26, and Eye of the Needle’s needlepoints are scattered throughout a bedroom in the movie — Sarandon’s character is a needlepoint fanatic.

+ Film/fashion double-header at Dream Weaver
Several women moviemakers participating in the “Through Women’s Eyes” film festival visited Joan Morgan’s Dream Weaver Thursday, April 11, on St. Armands Circle. This came after the third annual “Side By Side” symposium, chaired by Miriam Bale and organized by the Sarasota Film Festival. One of the visitors, film editor Robin Schwartz, has a 21st-century version of being discovered at Schwab’s drugstore on Sunset Boulevard. The director of “Computer Chess” walked by her editing workstation, did a fast turnaround and came back to offer her the leading role. Why? She thinks it was because she looks “nerdy.”

The film folks met some completely different creative people at Dream Weaver for their annual trunk show: designer Catherine Bacon and jewelry maker Susan Green. Among those enjoying the entire experience: Rachel Ben Avi, Leslie Glass, Nona MacDonald Heaslip, Marion Levine, Flora Major and Sally Yanowitz.

+ Tidbits
Grand giving … Gulf Coast Community Foundation hosted a Celebration of Community Philanthropy Thursday, April 11, at Bay Preserve. Donors, volunteers and nonprofit partners gathered on the beautiful lawn to catch up and enjoy sliders and French fries. The organization announced its new site,, which is a gateway for giving, and volunteer sites and It also surprised various organizations in attendance with a $5,000 check, including Manasota Operation Troop Support (MOTS), Sarasota Family YMCA and Forty Carrots Family Center. In addition, GCCF honored Dr. Joe and Betty Thro with the Citizen Philanthropist Award. … Pique nique sightings … Co-Chairwomen Pat Johnson and BJ Creighton were missing due to injury and illness, and were definitely missed. The two, plus Co-Chairwomen Renee Hamad and Kathy Coffey, had coordinated their outfits to match the event’s color scheme. Photographer Rod Millington was spotted looking dapper in a seersucker blazer and fedora for the luncheon, to which he commented is only a “once a year” occurrence … Wedded bliss … Congrats to newly married couple A.J. Stickley and Chelsea Veeneman, who wed Saturday, April 13.

Black Tie Affair
Men Who Cook
Benefiting: Asolo Repertory Theatre
When: 6 p.m. Sunday, April 28
Where: Longboat Key Club Harbourside Dining Room
Tickets: $150
Contact: Courtney Smith, 351-9010, Ext. 4702
A bagpiper will lead no less than 23 of Sarasota and Bradenton’s most prominent business and community men into the Longboat Key Club dining room to present their culinary specialties. To name a few: Grillades and grits from Jon Thaxton, “Big Easy” black pepper shrimp from Jeff Sedacca and roasted rack of brined pork from Rick Thie, one of the five chefs who have participated in the event all three years. Co-Chairs are Beverly Bartner, Molly Schechter and Margaret Wise, and Judi Gallagher is culinary director. Longboat Key Club sponsors the whole shebang, which also includes an auction of homemade desserts, such as Nikki Sedacca’s key lime pie.


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