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Everybody Danced!

Originally Posted: May 20, 2008

Nicole B. Brewer

Nile Rodgers (far left) with Chic danced the night away at the Ross School Fifth Annual Starlight Ball. Photo by Kurt Leggard

On any given Saturday night in the Hamptons you can get your music fix. But when that fix comes in the form of Chic with Nile Rodgers performing at the Fifth Annual Starlight Ball at the Ross School you know you're in for a phenomenal time. Over 400 supporters packed the house and danced the night away to "Le Freak," "Dance, Dance, Dance," and "I'm Coming Out" to name a few.

The night benefited the Steven J. Ross Scholarship Fund raising over $500,000 and honored Anke and Juergen Friedrick and the JAF Foundation as an emotional Courtney Sale Ross explained in her opening remarks. She explained that over 46 percent of the student body receives some form of financial assistance and proudly mentioned students that had come back recently as teachers after graduating from college. The school will be expanding its athletic programs for the coming term with the opening of a new tennis court facility. Courtney hinted that tennis star Andre Agassi might be part of the opening celebration set for August.

The evenings' co-chairs Anne Hearst McInerney and Jay McInerney were front and center bidding while Isabella Rossellini modeled the gorgeous Harry Winston watches up for live auction. Dr. Gerald Curatola led the auction and helped raise tens of thousands for the scholarship fund. The silent auction was fierce with women bidding on Tory Burch and Coach bags - perfect for the summer.

Myles Romanow and Delaney Oser at Wildthyme's Zyr Vodka dinner. Photo by
Vanessa Leggard

But the star of the evening was Nile Rodgers who mingled with guests during cocktails and was passionate about his fundraising efforts that help build schools across the globe. When asked how he went from 1970s disco fame to producing and writing hit songs for Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna, and Eric Clapton to charity work he said with a smile that he was raised by hippies in the 1960s. He credits his parents, most especially his father who he calls "a man with a tremendous heart," for teaching him about giving back, something he has done his entire life. His We Are Family Foundation was formed in 2002 and recently raised over $1.2 million at a bash at the Hammerstein Ballroom thanks to the help of his famous friends - Slash and Patti LaBelle. The foundation's new global initiative, Three Dot Dash, is all about spreading peace throughout the world. We wish him all the best.

Back to the party at Ross, of the guests we spotted Christie Brinkley, Nicole Ross, Vered and Janet Lehr, Debbie Bancroft, John and Terry Tortorella, Bonnie Grice, Mitchell Kriegman, Deborah Hearst, Michael Wudyka, Dan Rattiner, Jan and Warren Adelson, and Lena and Gunnar Walstam having a fabulous night.

On a very rainy Friday night vodka and good food enthusiaists headed over to Wildthyme Restaurant and Bar in Southampton. The occasion - a "Springthyme Infusion" pairing Zyr Vodka and a five-course gourmet dinner. The evening began with spring inspired hors d'oeuvres and classic martinis and moved next to a scallop ceviche paired with cilantro and jalepeano infused vodka. Pallets awakened - service moved on to a curry seared ahi tuna with iced vodka infused with peanut. Initially we were not sure but after one bite it all made sense as this dish became the hit of the evening. What followed was red snapper paired with lemon infused vodka and then fois gras with canteloupe and pepper infused vodka.

Tucker Marder and Silas Marder at "The Big Show 3". Photo by Eileen Casey

To end the evening guests Chris Numbers, Patti Frank, Steven and Theresa Salamon, Linda and Scott O'Brien, Charlene Kagel, David Betts, Pat and Doug Dwyer, Sally VanErk, Lous DeRienzo, Lois Beekmon-Oliveria, and Alan and Lynn Kaplan enjoyed caramelized banana and chocolate spring rolls and almond ice cream with banana transfused vodka. Eric Ernst of Zyr Vodka and Wildthyme owners Delaney Oser and Myles Romanow were the perfect hosts for a delicious evening.

It was a bright sunny Saturday - just the perfect day to head over to Bridgehampton for art and a visit to Marder's Nursery and then off to make the rounds at the various galleries hosting openings. For the third year in a row, Silas Marder opened his huge barn/gallery for "The Big Show 3" and, as always, the crowd spilled out to the sprawling nursery grounds to sip cocktails.

As in previous years, Silas had asked 50 artists to make three 8"x10" paintings especially for this show, forming a collection of artwork that spans ages, region, gender, experience, education, style, and content. The end result is a brilliant display in miniature of the unique talents at work on the East End. Silas stated that, "all the work is visually pleasing, and these are 'true' paintings." He further indicated his pleasure that the Hamptons "are focusing on younger artists, and both Guild Hall and the Parrish Art Museum are really helping to bring attention to the talent among younger artists on the East End."

Gordon Matheson and Tom Steele at Ashawagh Hall for Exhibition 2008 - Drawings,
Paintings & Photography. Photo by Eileen Casey

Artists whose work filled the barn from top to bottom included Shari Abramson, Jonathan Allen, Mary Antczak, Rosanna Bruno, Derek Buckner, Marc Burkhardt, Alexander Cheves, David Collins, Mark DiVincenzo, Stan Douglas, Karen Dow, Brielle Duym, Paul Ferney, Eric Graham, Melora Griffis, Carly Haffner, John Haubrich, Mary Heilmann, Priscilla Heine, Michael Herstand, Scott Hewett, Jenny Kanzler, Elizabeth Karsch, Carla Knopp, Michael Lee, Bruce Lieberman, Anthony Lister, Gary Lovelace, Mica I. Marder, Kate Marshall, Liz Marks, Julie Murphy, Peter Ngo, Miguel Osuna, Louise Peabody, Oliver Peterson, Vanessa Prager, Michael Rosch, Christopher Saunders, Olivia Schreiner, Stephanie Stein, Kamilla Talbot, Ross Walker, Jessica Watts, Dan Welden, Tad Wiley, Beth Wintgens, Tricia Wright, Nicholas Wriglesworth, and Charles Yeder.

The casual atmosphere reminded many veteran art scene observers of earlier days before the plethora of mainstream galleries up and down The Forks when artists showed in their backyards, studios, worksheds and such in a very relaxed straightforward - and less costly - manner. They had high praise for the Marder family for bringing back a much missed way of exhibiting.

Matthew Schreiber with son Willem and wife Benedicte at the Fireplace Project in
Springs. Photo by Eileen Casey

During our two hour visit, over 300 attendees, many of them prominent local artists, came by including Toni Ross, Phillipe Cheng, Bill King and Connie Fox, Jane Martin, Eric Ernst, Zoe Pettijohn Schade and Christopher Schade, Jim Blauvelt, Jonathan Morse, Jin Benard, Rose and John Dios, Harriet and Richard Demato, Gavin Zeigler, Jodi Allardice, Sandy Peabody Scott and Diane Hewett, Edith Ingenhaag, and Renate Pfleiderer. Budding filmmaker and photographer Christian Scheider, son of Roy and Brenda Siemer Scheider, roamed the grounds chronicling the event for posterity.

This gallery is very much a family collaboration - Silas' brother, Tucker Marder is a film maker who has just completed a digital 16mm nature film entitled "A Wildlife Film." Their sister, Mica, is a sculptor, and the remaining sibling, Dashiell is, according to his proud brother Silas "also very artistic." "The Big Show 3" includes the works of 50 artists and 150 canvases and will be on exhibit at the Silas Marder Gallery through June 22.

Ashawagh Hall was the setting for an opening for Exhibition 2008 - Drawings, Paintings & Photography, featuring the works of Rosalind Brenner, Michael Cardacino, Ellen Dooley, Eileen Dawn Skretch, Scott Hewett, Gordon Matheson and Tom Steele. The show ran from May 17 through May 18, offering multiple pieces from each of these very talented artists.

The Fireplace Project in Springs featured a solo exhibition "Guilloche" by Matthew Schreiber with an opening reception. Founded in 2006 by Edsel Williams, this gallery focuses mostly on modern, contemporary and emerging artists.

Daria Deshuk and David Kushnir at the Deshuk Rivers Studio and Gallery. Photo by
Eileen Casey

Deshuk Rivers Studio and Gallery hosted a fabulous opening in Bridgehampton. Featuring the voluminous work of extraordinarily talented artist Daria Deshuk, the space was filled to capacity for the opening as well as for the after-party celebrating the birthday of David Kushnir. Surrounded by the innovative art of Daria, guests were also treated to a selection of works by Larry Rivers. Daria and her son Sam Deshuk Rivers, along with David made sure the crowd had a great time.

The setting was a wonderful opportunity to view a tremendous body of Daria's thoughtful work at one time. Sporting "Fabulous Hamptons" tee-shirts designed by William Falkenburg, who also played keyboard during the opening; the crowd represented a group of patrons, friends, and appreciatory artists who were delighted to view Daria's (and Rivers) work. A wonderful evening was created by Daria, David, Sam, and Creative Director Danielle Franz.

Earlier in the week, the Long Island GLBT Services Network, Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY), the Long Island GLBT Community Center, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders - Long Island (SAGE-LI), and Partners in Pride brought together a wonderful mix of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and straight allies from the Hamptons for a good old fashioned Meet & Greet over barbeque at Townline BBQ recently. Just as organizers had promised there was plenty of good grub and lots of friendly faces!

Beyond offering a warm and congenial setting for the GLBT community to mix it up .It also provided LIGALY CEO Dr. David KiImnick the opportunity to discuss the possibility of opening a satellite center for the GLBT community under the auspices of the up-island organization. Judging from the extraordinarily positive response from those present, there was a very strong sentiment that such a center was not only desirable but vital for the East End.

David Kilmnick, CEO of LIGALY and Ken Allan, Co-Chair EEGO at Townline BBQ.
Photo by John Wegorzewski

The LIGALY folks made another announcement that delighted the crowd, their very popular annual lawn party and auction On the Bay traditionally held in Bellport would be moving to the Hamptons this summer, August 16 to be exact. Co-Chair Joseph Pasquino and LIGALY Director of Development Robert Vitelli are elated at bringing the event closer to one of their strongest constituencies - the East End community.

Passing through the crowd, we met a number of longtime area residents, couples who had been together for 30, 40, and even 50 years - a great testament to the strength of their relationships and to a community that welcomes all without discrimination.

Munching on Chef Joe Realmuto's pulled pork with all the trimmings were Beverly Dash and Debra Sobel, Bruce Michael, Dr. Sean Cannon, Tom Flierl, Lizz Salaway, Dorothy Frankel, Dominick Locavera and Charlie Merlo, Ricky Moran, John Fitzpatrick, Deanna Annis (she got the party started decades ago with her over the top Sunday on the Bay parties for AIDS research at her elegant Bellport estate Grey Dunes), Dan Gotther, Joe Lanzilotta and Richard Delaney, Michael Gary and Ricky Moran, Countess Catherine Buxhoeveden and Tricia Rother, Christine Mazzawi, John Turano, Jen Truscott, Judy Tzerman, James Sherwood and Mark Sanne, Gwen Goichman, Bob Acker, Mark Havers, Joan Cosgrove, John Robert Ross, Heather Martin, LIGALY Vice president Maryann Pfeiffer, and Ken Allan, co-chair of EEGO.

Oscar Wilde once said, "One must either be a work of art, or wear a work of art".
With these words ringing in our head, we were all too thrilled to take up George and Amy Kane's invitation to join them for the opening of a splendid exhibition that is a true fashion devotee's delight, Iris Barrel Apfel's "Rare Bird of Fashion" at the Nassau County Museum of Art. For years, we have followed Iris at glamorous art openings and fabulous fetes just to see what she will be flaunting - and she never disappoints.

Amy and George Kane with Iris Barrel Apfel at her "Rare Bird of Fashion" exhibition.
Photo by John Wegorzewski

For over half a century, Iris has perfected a style of dressing that constitutes nothing less than a personal artistic exercise. Renowned for her originality in mixing and matching wardrobe items gathered from her globe trotting visits to bazaars, thrift shops, souks, flea markets, handicraft workshops and the top couture houses, Iris is a living display of fantasy, exoticism and most of all sheer whimsy.

This extraordinary look into the closets of a true fashion icon reveals her amazing talent to mix couture from Galanos, Dior, Norell, Fendi, and Bill Blass with Tibetan suede boots, African fabrics, Chinese folk art bracelets, and over the top turquoise Zuni necklaces. A singular feat indeed. Previously displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Palm Beach's Norton Museum of Art, this particular showing presented Iris' oeuvre in living tableaux that had even her biggest fan New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham marveling. Kudos to curator JoAnn Olian and exhibition designer Joe Pescatore for giving the viewers an even more intense look at the style of Iris Apfel.

True to her style, Iris is one of the most vivacious personalities in the worlds of fashion, textiles and design and wore an elaborately appliquéd coat over jeans as she and her husband Carl Apfel greeted guests in the historic museum - once the estate of the heirs of steel magnate Henry Frick. Congratulating the "Rare Bird" were Dr. Stephen and Sharon Cuchel (who will be honored at this year's Museum Ball, one of Long Island's most lavish annual events chaired by the Kane's, Mrs. Luis Rinaldini and Mrs. H. Brooks Smith on June 14), Laura and Ed Haleman, Danny Cafiero, Lou and Beth Drucker, Alexander Gaudieri, Jami Howe, and scores more.

Nicole, an award-winning journalist, is Executive Editor & Publisher of Hamptons.com where she focuses on celebrity interviews, fine living and design, social events, fashion and beauty. She lives on the North Fork with her husband, their two daughters, and Bernese Mountain dog, Cooper. www.hamptons.com HamptonsOnline NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer NicoleBBrewer


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