ARTitude: Furniture with an Attitude

You never know how one Facebook post can highlight your whole weekend, but that’s how we found out about ARTitude: Furniture with an Attitude, an evening of food, friends, and furniture!  Artist and interior decorator of This Is It Interior Design, Morena Constantinou, posted an event invitation to ARTitude on her FB page encouraging us to support this unique fundraiser benefiting The Cancer Support Community of East Tennessee. We were happy to oblige!

We arrived at the Tennessee Terrace at Neyland Stadium on Friday, April 27, greeted by volunteers wearing pink and green signature t-shirts. 

Immediately someone asked us to sign up for the door prizes. Sweet Pea Gift and Garden Shop had planted a Salad Box — a painted container filled with colorful, edible salad greens with a sign that read “Be Strong, Be Calm.”

The other prize — a pair of Aucara pearl earrings donated by Jewelry Television – was showcased in a handpainted keepsake box by Christina Patterson Winter.

And then we turned to the walls lined with Silent Auction offerings — about 50 pieces of art fashioned from thrift store furniture, twigs, seashells, banisters, boxes, trinkets, and — well, you name it. It was cast-off furniture transformed into glamorous, fancifulobjets de art! 

We headed over to thank Morena Constantinou and her husband Constantine for inviting us, and then stopped to see what she had created for the sale. 

The first to catch my eye was a large (almost 2 x 3 foot) mirror adorned mainly with oyster shells Morena had gathered herself.

Morena had also turned a whimsical birdcage into a floor lamp complete with artsy birds and a filament light bulb!

Our favorite, though, had to be what Morena named Journey Unknown, a lamp whose shade was totally composed of Kodak slides!  (We told her we had the makings of a roomful of lamps if she used our old Europe slides taken in the 70s!)

Other local artists offered choice pieces.  Like My Little Chickadee by Marcia Hickerson! On the accompanying card: “whimsical iron bird perched on unique wire nest atop a mercury glass drawer pull giving it a touch of glam — could be used as door stop or mantel or coffee table accessory!”  

Bobbie Crews whose work can be seen downtown at The Emporium donated Back to the Beach, two painted bar stools reminiscent of ocean waves, sea oats, and happy times!

Ashley Hahn fashioned Who Has Your Number? using sculpting clay and acrylic paints to transform this mirror to an all-white work of art.  The card said “reflects the artist’s lifelong proclivity to create works which mirror nature as well as the intricacies of human relationships.” And someone must have loved it a lot . . . the last bid I saw was $1,000!

Bearden High art teacher Flowerree Galetovic entered chairs painted by her Honors Art Students.  Van Gogh would have loved this one called Starry Night!

 We bid and re-bid enough throughout the evening to take home this painted chair — a take-off of Edward Munch’s The Scream for our son Scott’s birthday present! (Scott was a former student of Flowerree‘s!) We’ve since read that the original painting The Scream sold at Sotheby’s for $119,000,000 — considerably more than we paid for the chair!

A team from Salon Visage created So New York, generating lots of interest judging by the groups of people passing and pointing! Having fun at ARTique were some of the Salon Visage team: Dustin Stewart, Claudia Caves, Co-Owner Frank Gambuzza, and Jared Holyfield.

Paige Trout and Salon Visage Co-Owner, Belinda Gambuzza, were also admiring the art!

Tony Carilli (Rothchild’s Catering) took a closer look at this wardrobe called Organization Station by Rebecca Clark emellished with paint, decorative hooks, and a fabric front.

And, like Tony, a lot of people stopped to read the quote from Walt Disney painted inside the door.

Lauren Ramsey and Grace Loy who work for the Cancer Center said they liked all the creative designs of the artists on what could have been called junk beforehand!

John and Kathy Buckingham said they liked the food AND the art pieces.

Longtime patrons of the arts, Jeff and Vicki Chapman, were on hand to support the cause.

And so were Ron and Connie HutchinsConnie has attended every ARTitude even when The Cancer Support Community was called The Wellness Center.

I was able to slow down John ClarkBeth Hamil (Executive Director), and Robert Cathey (Chairman of the Cancer Support Community Board) long enough for a picture.

Later, Robert’s family (except for the oldest daughter Ella who was rehearsing for her performance at the Rossini Festival the following day) gave me happy smiles all around: Amy, Meg, Anna Grace, and Robert.

Bert was happy to pose with Kerry Howland, Development Director for the Cancer Support Community.

Later, we both squeezed into a picture with Rhonda and John Clark, friends we’ve known since Bert’s days at UT.  Of course, I had to catch up on what was happening with the Clarks’ sons, Chip and Andrew, former students of mine at Bearden High!

From the beautiful white hydrangea and pink tulip arrangements . . .

 to the bountiful food from many generous vendors . . .

to the service with a smile delivered by The Pour Guys . . .

to the interesting artwork like The Prince and the Frog by Gwendy Kerney admired by Kate Apking (who just had to have it!) and her mother-in-law Barbara . . .

we’d have to say that ARTitude was a hit!  Thanks, Karen McKinney (Chair of ARTitude and Board Member) and your team, for good times and a good cause!

And now, for my favorite piece that I posted at the top:  this rustic twig table, Handmade in Townsend, by Wade Richardson!

 Click here for more information on the Cancer Support Community of East Tennessee!

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