Ruth Buzzi’s And Kent Perkins’ Pals Are Artfully Part Of The Museum Of Biblical Art’s 8×8 Art Exhibition And Auction

Kent Perkins and Ruth Buzzi (File photo)

Kent Perkins and Ruth Buzzi (File photo)

It helps to have friends and the Museum of Biblical Art’s 8×8 Art Exhibition And Auction 2015 Co-Chairs Bob Malenfant and Jeff Levine are lucky to have a friend like Ruth Buzzi and her hubby Kent Perkins. Just their involvement in the fundraising auction is enough to send up fireworks. But Ruthie and Kent took friendship a step further. They got on the horn to some of their pals and asked if they would donate their own 8″ by 8″ pieces of art for “Celebrity Artist Gallery” part of the Wednesday, November 18th event.

Say, would you like to know the friends they tapped? Sure you do. Let’s list them in alphabetical order, so no favoritism is being shown: Dan Aykroyd, Carol Burnett, Kris Kristofferson, Ruta Lee, Barbara Mandrell, Anne Murray, Jane Seymour, Sean Michael Flynn, Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner and JoAnne Worley.

Artwork by JoAnne Worley*

Artwork by JoAnne Worley*

Artwork by Jane Seymour*

Artwork by Jane Seymour*

Artwork by Carol Burnett*

Artwork by Carol Burnett*

Artwork by Dan Aykroyd*

Artwork by Dan Aykroyd*

They’ll be just a few of the professional and celebrity artists who have contributed more than 100 pieces of “paintings, sculpture, glass, photography and works on paper” to support the Museum’s education programs including the Summer Art Camp for Kids, Heroes of History Field Trips for low-income youth and inner-city schools.

Tickets are just $25. The party starts at 7, so get there early so you can decide how many you’re gonna bid on. (Sorry about ending that last sentence with a preposition) All bids start at $100. In addition to the auction, there will be a country swing band, barbecue and a wine pull.

* Graphics provided by the Museum of Biblical Arts

Bids And “Babes” Like Ruth Buzzi And Houstonian Carolyn Farb Bring Museum Of Biblical Art To New Heights

Carmaleta Whiteley and Carolyn Farb

Guests at Wednesday’s 8X8 Holiday Exhibition and Auction at the Museum of Biblical Art may have been surprised to see Dr. Carolyn Farb, the Houston philanthropist and socialite, serving as co-chair of the event, along with Donna and Herb Weitzman.

Donna Arp Weitzman and Scott Peck

But, they shouldn’t have been. Farb has been a supporter of the Dallas museum for several years. She first visited it when she came to see her friend Vladimir Gorksy’s “Tapestry of the Centuries,” a monumental historical work whose Joan of Arc figure was modeled after Farb herself.

“I was amazed by what they had to offer,” Carolyn said of the museum on Wednesday, as she personally welcomed many of the evening’s 400 guests.

JD Miller

When planning for 8X8 began, Farb confided, “I thought I could help”—and she did. Besides lending ideas for the invitation’s design, she invited three of the participating artists: JD Miller, Ruth Buzzi, the former “Laugh-In” comedian, and Ruth’s husband Kent Perkins. (Buzzi and Perkins live on a ranch outside Fort Worth.)

Founded by Jeff Levine, the 8X8 fundraiser brought together artists, benefactors, and galleries to celebrate the Biblical significance of the number 8. The number symbolically represents the Hebrew word for life, and 8X8 represents “a doubly blessed life.”

Carrying out this theme, 100 artists created special works celebrating Christmas and Chanukah, with each piece measuring just 8 inches by 8 inches. The small pieces were offered in a silent auction, and Louis Murad conducted a live auction for some larger works.

Ruth Buzzi

Among the latter were offerings by JD Miller—he worked on the painting, live, at the event—Buzzi (a photographic work called “Ranch Hopping”), Perkins

Patricia Meadows and George Tobolowsky

(an acrylic titled “The Eyes Have It”), and George Tobolowsky (a big metal sculpture he called “Kosher Hanukah Menorah”).

Katy and Lawrence Bock and Janie and David Condon

With attendees in the house including Katy and Lawrence Bock, Janie and David Condon, Nora and Bob Hogan, Patricia Meadows and hostess Carmaleta Whiteley, Dallas artist and collector Edith Baker was honored with a special presentation. For good reason, too; Baker was instrumental in building up the museum’s art collections.

When all was said and done, all 100 of the 8X8 pieces were sold, with a portion of the proceeds going to the biblical museum’s exhibition and educational programs. And at least four of the big pieces found buyers in the live auction, including the ones by Buzzi, Perkins and Miller, as well as a bronze sculpture by Gib Singleton.

Can somebody say, “Amen”?

“Art Roundup and Reveal” At Briggs Estate Pays Off For “New Dallas Landmark”

The “Art Roundup and Reveal” fundraiser at Faye Briggs’ mansion was intended to announce something called Via Dolorosa–14 life-size sculptures of the Stations of the Cross at Dallas’s non-profit Museum of Biblical Art.

Small models of the planned outdoor bronze sculptures by Gib Singleton, a New Mexico-based, western/Biblical artist, were on display in Faye’s backyard. And guests were urged to purchase “Legacy Sponsorships” for each of the works, at amounts ranging from $10,000 to $100,000.

Olivia and Jeff Kearney and Jacque Wynne

But it was one of the world-renowned Singleton’s other, secular sculptures—a cowboy galloping fast on a horse—that caught the eye of Fort Worth’s Olivia Kearney.

Gib Singleton's "Pony Express"

“I’m going to suggest that the Basses buy that and put it on display in downtown Fort Worth,” Olivia said, admiring the cast-bronze work called “Pony Express” (price tag: $135,000).

Singleton himself was a no-show at the Oct. 29 event, suffering from emphysema at his home in Santa Fe. But 35 of his works were scattered across the grounds, and many of his friends were present. They included

Dr. Wayne Yakes

art-gallery owner Paul Zueger, Dr. Wayne Yakes of Colorado–he sponsored $150,000 worth of the Via Dolorosa sculptures—and Texas country-music icon Johnny Bush, who lives in San Antonio.

Johnny Bush

Bush performed his big hits like “Jim Jack and Gypsy Rose” outdoors with his band until midnight, despite having caught a cold the day before. “It’s cold out there,” Bush said inside Faye’s house during a break, adding, “I can’t feel the strings” on my guitar.

The evening chill didn’t deter the 300 partygoers, though.

While half a dozen outdoor heaters blasted away in the big backyard, Bush’s wife, Lynda, two-stepped to her husband’s music with Faye’s pal Ralph Gorman. Not far away, Faye, who’s a charter member of the MBA Guild, sat chatting with her sister, Nancy Neimeyer, of Ashdown, Arkansas.

Meantime Caroline Rose Hunt was indoors ambling through the expansive living room, where videos of Singleton explaining his art played continuously on a couple of screens.

Is Hunt a supporter of the Biblical art museum? “I’m new to the museum,” she replied, “but this event has introduced me to new possibilities.”

Paul Zueger, Carmaleta Whiteley and Scott Peck

Scott Peck, the museum’s curator, proclaimed that Singleton’s Via Dolorosa installation will be “the next great landmark for Dallas,” and apparently more than a few partygoers agreed. According to MBA officials, the event raised about $330,000.