Hope you had a fun weekend! I’m glad to say I made a recovery from my (cough-cough) lung-thingy, scraped about a foot of pollen off the car (no wonder we’re all sick), and made it just in time to Puttin’ on the Gritz!
My Southern gentleman, swathed in his tan seersucker suit was the perfect date for, “Bacon, Bourbon and Boots — Puttin’ on the Gritz 2016! ” Fairhope has long been known as a haven for artists, and the Eastern Shore Art Center is the heartbeat of creativity. Puttin’ on the Gritz is in its second year as the major fundraiser for the non-profit center, and the party only gets better every year.
Fairhope resident and al.com political cartoonist J.D. Crowe donated his time to sketch our, “purty faces and pointy heads.” I’ve known J.D. and his lovely family for a long time, and he was so encouraging and helpful when I first started writing for al.com. J.D. is extremely talented and clever, with sketches that will make you mad one day and cry the next, which is exactly what he’s supposed to do. I’ve also almost fallen off my chair laughing my bohunkus off at a lot of his drawings. (Y’all do know we’re having a little issue with our Governor now, don’t you? — stay tuned for more on that from me later this week. Hmmm.) I just don’t ever want to be a politician on the wrong side of J.D.’s pen!
Here’s the final version of my caricature. It says, “Thanks Leslie Anne! Nice to have you blessing our team.” Isn’t that nice? After I found my glasses and actually read it, I almost cried!
The fun thing about Puttin’ on the Gritz is that anything goes when it comes to your attire. “Southern” can be interpreted many different ways, and we can laugh at ourselves . . . but if you aren’t from around here, you’re not allowed to snicker at all! The bacon shirt was perfect and the overalls with tiara was genius.
And how’s this for a small world? I got to meet Janie and her husband Terry who have lived in Fairhope for three years. She heard me speak last year at SELF, and put two and two together and realized Terry knew me when I was a . . . BABY in Florala! Awwww! Once again, it’s the Southern, “I know your people” kind of thing.
Our Mayor Tim Kant and his wife Karla area always great supporters of the Art Center. As a matter of fact, one of their daughters (who used to babysit my boys) is now an artist in the D.C. area. I’ll bet she got her start at the Art Center!
City Council President Jack Burrell and his wife Patti are also great supporters of our Art Center and are looking snazzy— straight in from the farm. Yee-ha!
In addition to J.D., another live art exhibit was Nancy Raia, who painted a beautiful piece during the party. Nancy serves as the Community Outreach Director at ESAC and takes art into the community for veterans, underprivileged children, the elderly and local schools. She is completely funded through grants and donations, as is the entire Art Center.
And by the way . . . our dear Nancy is also the Alabama Art Educator of the Year!
The decorations were beautiful and our plain-jane, but much loved Civic Center looked charming, thanks to Joe Comer’s Espalier Landscape Design. All the cool people danced (!!!) to the fun party band, Fuego, and the food tables were heaped with Southern favorites.
Thanks to Pat Herndon Events and all of the hard work from volunteers, staff and local businesses for donating their time and talents to raise money for this essential part of our town. I can’t wait until next year’s party and am already planning my outfit! Until then, go visit the Eastern Shore Art Center. It’s free to tour the five rotating galleries . . . thanks to fundraisers like this!
In case you missed it last year, here’s the video my youngest son made for the Eastern Shore Art Center. Always looking for an excuse to show it to you again!