The spectacular Taste of the Arts gala and annual fundraiser, sponsored by the Macon Arts Alliance last Saturday night at Terminal Station, reprised Studio 54, a New York disco lounge made famous by stars who were there to see and be seen on the dance floor throughout the ’70s.
Kathy Hoskins’ Bright Ideas Group staged the event, draping Terminal Station in shadowy silhouetted dancers moving to the groove. Backdrops Fantastic provided the painted scenery to transform the interiors from historical landmark to disco fever. Given the chance to channel their inner bad boy (or girl) image, friends and patrons of Macon Arts dressed accordingly, some so well that they were unrecognizable as the people we know as responsible, committed business men and women in Macon.
The men outshone the women in the costume department. Joe Adams’ bushy wig took up several extra feet of room on the dance floor, which he and wife Evelyn commanded. Immediate past president Rusty Poss, with wife Marzell, was most un-presidential in his wild get up; Harold Goodridge, local media personality, made a mean Rick James; and Andy Warhol never looked so good as Terry Holland’s spot-on version of the goofy ‘70s painter of notable faces.
Travis Clark’s memorable boogie moves on the dance floor will keep tongues wagging for a long time. DJ Kevin Nichols kept the crowd moving while VIP bartender Floco Torres made sure there were no thirsty dancers. Lynn Lavery was the winner of one of the most sought after auction items, a weekend in New York. Bidding was brisk and competitive for several items, adding to the success of this fundraiser, which benefits member organizations of the Macon Arts Roundtable.
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At the opposite end of Cherry Street on the same Saturday night, the City Auditorium hummed and strummed with good old rock ’n’ roll, thanks to the Grapevine band, which played to benefit Pine Pointe Hospice and Palliative Care, while guests picnicked at their tables.
In addition to the cost of admission, a 50/50 raffle was held with proceeds going to Pine Pointe and the raffle winner, not a bad investment for a $10 raffle ticket. Like a beach party, dress was informal and dancers were plentiful on the recently replaced new wood floor. Elbert McQueen, former VIP contestant in Dancing Stars Over Macon, and executive with Central Georgia Health Systems, welcomed the crowd and then hit the floor with his wife, Lea.
Ballroom dancers joined shag devotees; impromptu line dances popped up with dancers weaving and spinning around the floor during intermission, to recorded music, as if not a chance of moving on the floor could be missed. Debbie and Daly Smith were smooth and cool with their shag moves, which would have made Myrtle Beach proud. Lanita and Charles Moore, who drove up from Perry for the event, showed everyone a flawless Samba; and Ves Jones and Jim Riley taught us a thing or two about the West Coast Swing. With all of this dancing, who needs the gym?
CAPTURE THE MOMENT
Speaking of rock ’n’ roll, the exhibition that opened at the Middle Georgia Art Association last Friday featured the photography of Glenn Grossman, who chronicled on film some of the luminaries of the genre over a span of 40 years. Grossman prefers performers in action to still shots and has captured the emotion of some of these artists at the piano or working their audiences into a frenzy in his colorful shots. They run the gamut from Grand Funk Railroad in 1973 to Sir Elton John in 2013. An especially touching tribute in his collection is a photograph of Josh Carson playing with the Nick Malloy band whose founder is a Macon native.
Other photographers’ work is also on display since the third Friday opening each month is a juried show. Gilbert Lee won an honorable mention with one of his photographs, which are always provocative. Taking in the gallery full of superb photography were Barbara and Peter Nishanian who were there to support their fellow artists. According to Mae Thurston, executive director of MGAA, photography has gained importance as an art form and these shows continue to increase in attendance. Be sure to catch the exhibition -- where you can purchase some of the prints -- before Sept. 12 when a new collection will replace this one.
For those of us who were still nursing sore feet from all of that dancing, Sweet Georgia Sound, an a cappella chorus, was a welcomed respite on Sunday afternoon at Vineville Methodist Church. This is the last performance in this fiscal year for the Music and the Arts series, which the church sponsors once a month, free of charge. The 16 women sang four-part harmony with many voices sounding like the instruments that might have been played had they any accompaniment.
Much like barbershop music, the selections they sang had the audience tapping, clapping and singing along to popular songs such as “We Are Family” and an Elvis medley of “Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” and “Love Me Tender.” The list of artists who will appear for the next 12 months will be available soon, so stay tuned.
Katherine Walden is a freelance writer and interior designer in Macon. Contact her at email@example.com or 478-742-2224.