New York City
- Limousines and sleek town cars lined 16th Street as the Upper East Side and Hamptons social sets ventured into unchartered territory for the opening of painter Dora Frost's
"Peonies" at the 2/20 Gallery in Chelsea last night. This jewel
of an exhibition space run by artist and teacher Miguel Herrera
was packed to the rafters with an additional crowd of some 75 more sipping Prosecco on the sidewalk in the historic district - this on the same night as the opening of the Metropolitan Opera House and the Tribeca Film Festival.
Frost, a favorite of the Blue Book crowd from Palm Beach to the Hamptons to Greenwich, was overwhelmed by the turnout for her first New York show in a number of years. Her good friend author and Vogue
editor William (Billy) Norwich
hosted the opening reception to show her latest works - lush abstract botanicals on large panels that shimmered like floral jewels in the street level gallery housed in a late 1800s building.
Among the first on the scene were Jean Shafiroff
in a sexy black one shouldered gown as she was heading off later to a cocktail at the French Consulate; Wilbur Ross
and wife Hilary Geary Ross
shimmering in silver lame and the Madonia ladies mom Ann Madonia
and daughters Susan
and Ann Carol
who were among the many who came in from the East End especially for Dora's show. Wilbur and Hilary were among the first to purchase one of Dora's exquisite pastels. By evening's end, there were red dots everywhere indicating that many of the pieces were sold!
It was all very Left Bank as waitstaff worked their way through the crowd both in the gallery and on the sidewalk offering delectable hors d'oeuvres from La Vie Organic, the newly created catering business of Bridget LeRoy
and Pamela Willoughby
. In addition to being a highly regarded chef, Pamela has worked in the art world for many years and took her color palette for the evening's offerings directly from Frost's glorious peony paintings - Wild Smoked Salmon with Wasabi Creme fraiche, Red and Green Tobiko Caviar on Wonton Crisps; Catapano Farms Goat Cheese and Homemade Fig Preserves in Phyllo Shells and Mixed Veggie Sushi and Miniature Summer Rolls with Rosy Japanese Ginger. For those who needed a little sugar pick up, the duo had whipped up the teeniest Petit Key Lime and Coconut Cupcakes! Pam and Bridget had everyone simply clamoring for their cards.
Also admiring the art were Michelle Isabelle Stark
, Director of the Suffolk Film & Cultural Affairs Commission; powerhouse realtor Brad Shaheen
; director, producer and actor Anna Wilding
; Broadway producers Ruben Brache
and Pamela Laudenslager
; film actress Heide Banks
; art dealer Janet Lehr
Art in East Hampton; Judith Witlin
, designers Jane Wilson-Marquis
, Tracey Tooker
, James Villa
, Caryn Picker
, Anne Moore
; Jere Patterson
, Doran Mullins
, Sue Hilty
, John Hyatt
and Charlotte Smith
; the internationally acclaimed artist Colette
; hair stylist Colin Lively
(who does all the UES blondes), Enid Hatton
, Bonnie Alsop
and scores more.
Unusual for gallery openings, there was more talk about the art on the walls and the beautiful companion video about Dora's work created by three-time Emmy
award winner Consuelo Gonzalez
then dish about travel and clothes which tend to dominate most gatherings.
With the first wisp of spring and the light breeze coming across the Hudson River, folks were all too happy to fill the sidewalks and let more guests pour into view the show. The show continued well past the announced hours as no one wanted the magic to end.
"Peonies", Abstract Botanical Pastels on Panels will be on view at the 2/20 Gallery, 220 East 16th Street in New York City through May 4. Hours are 2 p.m to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.
One of the floral artworks on exhibit.