Ten years ago, the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University held its first gala, "Child's Play," to raise funds to support art education programs at the museum. Every year since then, a cadre of dedicated volunteers has planned a fabulous dinner and auction that has become one the most anticipated social events of the fall season. The CAM's central gallery is transformed each year to give attendees an unforgettable art-themed experience.
This year's gala, aptly named "Thank You for 10 Years of Support!", will be held on Saturday, Oct. 13, with cocktails and a silent auction at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner and a live auction starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $135 per person/$160 patron, and may be reserved by calling 716-286-8201. Proceeds benefit popular museum programs such as Art Express family workshops, scholarships for "kids 'n arts" summer camp and school tours that bring art alive for children throughout Western New York.
Mr. and Mrs. Savino P. Nanula are the honorary chairs for this year's gala. He was a partner of Armand Castellani in Tops Friendly Markets, and the Nanulas were among the original funders of the Castellani Art Museum. The family has a named gallery in the museum.
The 2012 gala committee is chaired by Ellen Augello. Rose Gellman is the chairperson for gala décor. The committee also includes Robert Bloom, Carla Castellani, Lyn Dyster, Susan Geissler, Anne Marie DiMino-Hepfer, Ellen Joseph, Candace Lytle, Genevieve Montante, Fay Northrop, Sophia Smith, Judith Taylor and Dororthy Tomarin.
Prominent artist Arnold Mesches will be the museum's special guest on Oct. 13. His work is featured in "Western New York Collects: Arnold Mesches," on display through Jan. 27, 2013. His monumental paintings installed in the Central Gallery will surround galagoers with drama and vivid color.
"We're not only celebrating our 10th gala, but the 10th year of our successful 'TopSpin' exhibition series with a retrospective featuring all 29 regional arts who have had solo exhibitions over the past decade," said museum director Kate Koperski. "TopSpin 10: The 10 Year TopSpin Retrospective" is on view in galleries two and three through Feb. 27, 2013. Many of the artists included in this exhibition have generously donated artworks for the gala's silent auction.
The cocktail hour will be enlivened by celebrity bartender Tim Mezhir from Wine on Third, who will create the event's signature drink, a "Ten-tini." The evening includes a silent auction with original art, jewelry, entertainment and dining packages, sports tickets and memorabilia and much more. This year's live auction features an artwork by honored guest Arnold Mesches, as well as a pair of historic Niagara prints in honor of the War of 1812 Bicentennial. Live music will be provided by the Water Street Quartet.
The event is black-tie optional and valet parking is available. For more information, contact Susan Clements, gala coordinator at 716-286-8201.