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April 20, 2002 - Artma Wows Art and Food Lovers

What: Artma, Live & Silent Art Auction

Where: Lighting Services, Inc., 241 S. Cherokee St., Denver

When: April, 20, 2002

Beneficiary: The Morgan C. Adams Memorial Neuro-Oncology Research Fund

EMCEE: Kyle Dyer, George McClure, Dave Weldon

Speaker: Dr. Lia Gore

Catering: Strings, 240 Union, Bravo!Ristaurante, Dougal's Catering, Fourth Story, Japon, The Palm, Wolfgang Puck Grand Café, Johnson & Wales, Tamoyo's, Roy's of Cherry Creek, Vesta Dipping Grill, Michael Geller

Entertainment: The Robin Ruscio Trio featuring Robin Ruscio, Eric Gunnison and Marc Dalio.

Sponsors: Stanek Contructors, Ind., 5280 Magazine, Anaconda Printing, Hagan Communications, Modern Classics, Axiom Custom Business Solutions, Steven Adams Photography, International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, L&M Printing, US Bankcorp Piper Jaffray, Chipotle, Berger Financial Group, Berenbaum, Weinshienk and Eason, PC, Eye Candy, Webifeye, Fidelity Communications, Mountain States Bank, Ann and Rick Strong, Marilyn & Neal Adams, SOL-Store of Lingerie, Nancy & Michael Dixon, Paula and Keith Redmond, Do-It-Yourself Plumbing & Heating, Elizabeth Adams, Quick Sign and Banner, Kamlet, Shepherd, Reichert, & Mays, LLP

Florist: Bouquets

Blacktie Photos by: Laurie Clark

 This striking
This striking "Flag of Rememberance" was created by Mike Landa

By Jan McNutt

The Second Annual Artma Art Show & Sale happened once again at Lighting Services, Inc. on South Cherokee Street. Lighting Services is the former sound stage for the Perry Mason courtroom scenes, as well as Father Dowling and Diagnosis for Murder, and an excellent locale for displaying lots of art. Not to mention enough floor space to house a large herd of people milling around, stretching their necks to view art, nibble exquisite hors d'oerves while balancing a champagne glass and listening to a great slow jazz band.

In spite of the warehouse surroundings, the lighting was good for the more than 200 works of art by area artists. Ken Seagren, owner of Lighting Services, Inc., has been involved since the get-go.

Last year, founder Steven Adams approached him with the idea for Artma. "It's a great event for a very good cause," said Mr. Seagren. That particular comment was repeated throughout the night.

Adams and his wife, Joanna Slaughter, organized the event in memory of their 6-year-old daughter who died from a Glioblastoma tumor three and a half years ago. Adams said with great bravery: "This event is extremely important to us. We wanted to do something, to give back to those who helped Morgan. Through fund raising, we can help with research and hope that more and more lives will be saved. At the same time, it helps improve the quality of children's lives who suffer with cancer."

I was whipping out my checkbook to buy the first piece of art that could possibly fit over my sofa. No problem --the art was good.

Original paintings, sculpture, textiles, furniture, glass, ceramics, various multi-media works, clothes, quilts, photography, and even a painted pump (as in shoe) by Mitch & Alama, from the Rokoko Studios went on the auction block. I was dying for the pump, but couldn't beat my competing bidder.

But the auction wasn't all that was great. More than 16 eateries and distributors donated their versions of edible art. Originality, taste and presentation were evident in the exquisitely created confections. My first stop was 240 Union, where I hesitated but decided to go for it. The "adult potato skins" as George Akeman called them, were indeed a treat: small, tender, new potatoes filled with a scrumptious blend of escargot, blue cheese and bacon. Choice No. 2: a heavenly blend of smoked salmon and cream cheese in the same seasoned potato. Oh my, Oh my. I was on a mission.

Next stop, Tamayo. The downtown quasi-Mexican restaurant was dishing out an eel and cabbage tostado with avocado, topped with crab salsa and American caviar on a crispy sweet, lacey-shaped tostado. Mexican? They don't serve THAT in Laredo.

Vesta Dipping Grill served ceviche, a mix of seafood with mango and cumin crema. Matt Selby, chef from Vesta, was serving and schlepping as fast as his hands and mouth would go.

Dougal's Catering was busy piling neat little bits of oh-so-pretty beef tenderloin on small sourdough rolls covered in sherry peppercorn sauce. A dedicated beef lover's delight.

Roy's of Cherry Creek served different fare -- Island-style pot stickers filled with marinated teriyaki chicken and water chestnuts by chef Roy Yamaguchi. For artistic appearance and extra pizazz, Thai basil peanut sauce was swirled around the plate. So sensual, so tasty.

Wolfgang Puck served a popular entre, the Chinois salad, a mix of cabbage and marinated chicken. Yum. They served this in small Chinese take-out containers with chop sticks. Dale Berndt, assistant general manager, was a dear. He searched the premises until he found me to give me the last box.

The Palm threw hungry guests a curve ball with the carving of "a bear and a beef." Actually, it was just a huge hunk of beef leg carved and simmering in its own juices. Mark the carver assured me it was not bear.

Bravo! Ristaurante at the Adam's Mark Hotel delicately placed salmon tartare with pesto vinegrette on fresh homemade potato chips. Later in the evening, they brought out small specialty gourmet pizzas. I had given up by then.

The reknown Strings eatery delivered originality with tasters of scallops with mango relish in blood orange drizzle, and sushi with Ahi tuna. Then…, crispy crusted, velvety Crème Brule with fresh blueberries. I shouldn't have, but what's a writer to do? I had to taste the Chocolate Pate from the Fourth Story. Without doubt, the participating restaurants out-did themselves in taste, style and generosity.

Artists rallied 'round the cause. Tom Bosma, artist and owner of Gallery 43, was excited about bidding on Highland Mathers' small, non-figurative work. People were in awe. "There's really great stuff here," was the mantra of the night. The art included an original Eames design plywood lounge chair from Modern Classics and a Frank Gehry Wiggle Side chair titled, "Home Ice."

Ellen Premack from the Mizel Museum observed, "It's nice to see so many new names with a nice variety of contemporary, traditional and mixed media." She was itching for a piece by Katherine McGuiness, Chris Albert or Gary Yazzie.

Louis Recchia donated a signature piece, 199 Interior, created with his orignial whimsy of mirrors and trinkets; Ann Hutchinson, an oil painting depicting the Fall season in Marble, Colorado. Bronze sculpture, non-figurative from Bill Vielehr; figurative bronze from Maggie Parker; photography by Art Silk and Camera Obscura's protégé, Loretta Young-Gautier, and Hal Gould, owner, donated stills; ceramics from Lisa Lombardi Reynolds; handmade purses by b.shigley designs; quilt by Irene Mable; Fish #24, watercolor by Ed Sirokman; Original hand-dyed jacket by Gretchen Hill; signed book by Phil Borges for Amenesty International; mixed media with live camera by Steve Adams; vintage pop art from David Reich in the form of a recycled, 40's circa, chrome toaster; a pastel by Desmond O'Hagan; Malcolm Farley's large painting, Iris, priced at $8,500 smackeroos; Manhattan by Dennis Pendleton; and Untitled by Katherine McGuinness.

As I was leaving, Tony Medina from US Bank told me he was anxiously awaiting his winning bid on -- what else(?) -- a photo of Joe Sakic. "I've got $1,000 invested in there," he sweated. Even art is related to sports in the Mile High City. However, it was a fun event for guests who spent unlimited amounts of money for a very good cause. And everyone left fat and happy.

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