With only two days to go before our Autumn Art Tour takes place this Saturday, I expect the artists are almost ready with their displays, labels, price lists and the like. We have given the head counts to our lunch caterer Black-Eyed Suzie's and our reception caterer Christine Gonzalez. We are still accepting bookings for the latter but it would be slightly tougher to accept lunch bookings after Thursday 12:00 PM, for the lunch ingredients get bought on Thursday and prepared by Friday. I visited Cheryl, owner of BES at today's farmers' market, who told me so much. Btw our lunch menu will feature: Fig-Walnut & Brie with Baby Arugula on Baguette; Grilled Chicken with Olive Tapanede and Roasted Peppers on Ciabatta; Roast Beef with Horseradish Mayo and Baby Arugula on Rye; homemade Black Currant Soda; Panna Cotta with Seasonal Fruit Topping; Regular Coffee, Decaf Coffee and Tea with milk, sugar and honey. For our reception at 6:00 the menu Christine has devised is as follows: Antipasti Platter with Smoked Mozzarella; Peppadews; Hard Salami; Cucumbers and Green Peppers from Maria's garden; Cherry Tomatoes; Marinated Artichokes; Olives; and Bruschetta.....Pork Dumplings with dipping sauce.....Wine and Juice.
I have to clean the house for I'm expecting five house guests, all of whom I'd booked for my guest spaces almost on the day (night, really) that I conceived of the idea to work on this event. It was around the dinner table with friends one Saturday in early July that the idea crystallized in my mind. I had recently been involved in soliciting art for one of two silent auctions I've been involved in since moving upstate. Four artists immediately gave me a piece of their work to be auctioned off, the proceeds of which would go to the not-for-profit organization. I felt that I should help promote these artists who not only produce art I like but also are generous of spirit. So I brought up the subject to Pat Horner, the beautiful and well-liked current president of Woodstock Artists Association & Museum, when I went to pick up a picture that she was donating to my event in late June. She liked the idea and said she'd be on board if I ever did it. When I pitched the idea to the other artists, they were amenable too. The mention of Ms. Horner's name undoubtedly lent a large dose of credibility to the project, which made it easier for the other artists to decide to come aboard too. My pitch was to bring to Woodstock at least a dozen would-be art buyers from downstate. I knew that at least three of my friends had recently either expanded their home or moved to a new home or two or office, and would most likely need some pieces of art to decorate their new spaces with. I thought I could attract a few more art enthusiast friends in addition. Ron Pordy read and edited an agreement letter I wrote at an artist's request and everyone went along with it. Then we marketed the project through word of mouth and social media from mid-July. Btw we got a lot of compliments early in the process about our "attractive-looking" blog. My sister Rose, based in Seattle, is the techie and patient teacher who taught me everything I now know about blogging.....There were some disappointments: at least two couples' travel plans coincide with our event and they could not join us after all, one did not want to travel alone, while some others were just not interested. (But five of them suggested they'd do private viewings with us at a future date.) But in the end we've been able to attract close to 20 art crawlers, almost half of whom have to travel two hours or more to get here this weekend. I am happy that they are so supportive of a good cause (and me). Writer and yoga teacher Wendy Kagan was instrumental in introducing us to singer Rachel Loshak, who will perform for us Saturday night. Wendy wrote a nice blog about us on Chronogram. Jeff Beck of Red Onion was kind enough to give us everything we ever requested re our dinner. Susie Gordon, who owns Divine Desserts and is the most gracious hostess I've ever met, will supply her gorgeous and plentiful desserts.
I recently met Susan and Stuart Auchincloss, two strong pillars of our community. When I learned that Stuart is also the president of the board of trustees of Woodstock Public Library, among his other voluntary work, it was an easy decision for me to choose the Library Annex Project as the beneficiary of our art tour. They're a charismatic and community-involved couple. I invited them to be the honorary co-chairs and hosts of our fundraising dinner, which they generously accepted. They even postponed their planned family reunion in London so they would not be jet lagged at our dinner. There is a charge to join our art tour and fundraising dinner. Part of all ticket proceeds will benefit the annex construction. I've blogged earlier as to why I am a fan of our local library and why it needs our support.
With 48 hours to go before our kickoff, outstanding matters include printing almost 20 sets of a welcome package, making a music playlist for reception and another one for dinner with Bruce's help, designing a dinner-seating plan and writing out place cards with Maria's help, producing a walking tour map for Sunday with Dana's help, picking up groceries we'll need for reception with Christine's help, cleaning a friend's space with Annette's help, picking up wine and delivering it, picking up flowers from Sunfrost and have Maria arrange them.......As you can see it takes a village and a half to pull this off. By the time I get to my hair appointment at 4:30 PM this Friday at Woodstock Haircutz, I know I can relax for it means I'll have completed all these tasks prior. There is no other option. Saturday should be all fun and games. Will be mindful not to overdo it though for Sunday morning we have to be up in time for a rejuvenating nature walk from 9:00 AM right in the center of town (please wear long sleeves, long pants and a hat to be safe), led by our Woodstock Land Conservancy friends Michael and Rosalind. Brunch follows at 9:45 am. Make appointments for 11:00 AM with studios (or let me know and I'll make them for you) beforehand, if needed. Best wishes to all involved in this project and thank you from the bottom of my heart for being part of it!