Saturday night the Adolphus mezzanine was more crowded than the check-out line at Tom Thumbs on Thanksgiving afternoon. Only this jam was a lot better dressed. It was the Elan Circle‘s black-tie Savor the Symphony soiree chaired by too adorable Paige Westhoff with Jennifer and Coley Clark as honorary chairs. Guess what? Jennifer and Coley will be chairing this year’s DSO gala in September. Speaking of DSO gala, 2011 co-chairs Barbara and Don Daseke , admitted they were taking some time off from fundraising after her gig with Mad Hatter’s in April.
As for the fashion flair, backs are definitely back. Everywhere you look, you see naked backs. Center of attention on this evening was adorable artist Heidi Lockhart Somes. As oldsters looked in amazement, the younger crowd said when asked about the girl with the amazing tattoo, “Oh, you must be talking about Heidi.” Indeed they were. From the front the adorable artist looked like every mother’s idea of a gorgeous daughter-in-law. But with the massive crane in flight tattoo on her back, she looked like she belonged in the tattoo hall of fame. When asked about her back masterpiece, she smiled and said, “There are two sides of me.” She said she is corporate in the front and tattoo on the back — “a real 180 degrees.”
But Heidi probably won’t be remembered for her tattoo as much as the violin that she painted for the DSO fundraiser. The Oregon native thought “of home when I painted it.” Others had told her that it reminded them of Germany, Eastern Europe and the Champs de Elysse. Heidi suggested that it “really reminds people of home, and I think that’s why it sold.” At the sponsors’ party held earlier, it sold to a lady for $20,000. It’s going to be a surprise birthday gift for her husband, so no names.
The whole idea of having celebs like Heidi Lockhart Somes, Nicole LeBlanc, Phil Romano, JD Miller, Rob House, Natasha Hallam, Anna Membrino, Jadz Pate, Lynn Rushton and Susan McWilliams painted the violins came from Elan Circle member Kaycee Holmes‘ mom, Linda Holmes. After seeing how cows were painted in Chicago, Linda came up with the idea of painting violins. that idea resulted in her winning a big national award from the American symphony Orchestra League in 2000. Since then dozens of symphony groups around the country have adopted the idea.
Each of the 10 Dallas violins cost less than $100. After they were stripped of paint, put in denatured alcohol and unstrung, they were handed over to the artists and told, “Do whatever you want.”
Blaine Nelson had his eye on one done by JD Miller saying, “I think it would look good in our house.” Wife Patti didn’t look quite as enthusiastic.
JD admitted that he doesn’t donate paintings anymore, but this project caught his eye. He spent ten times more time and effort than he normally does on a painting. The idea? “Just wanted something would knock your eyeballs off!”
Rob House’s “Savor the Maestro” focused on DSO conductor Jaap van Zweden, since Jaap was recently named Conductor of the Year. Rob had one of Jaap’s favorite piece, a Bach solo sonata for violins, applied to the violin, took quotes from Jaap and then added a baton. The finishing touch was Jaap’s autograph.
As the maestro made his way through the crowd with one of his fav gals, daughter Anna-Sophia, he reported he had never seen this painting of violins done before. Being a lover of the violin, he added that he liked the idea, “as long as the violins used are made for ‘show,’ and they’re not using violins that are made for actual playing.”
All too soon the doors of the ballroom opened with the handiwork of Junior Villanueva‘s Garden Gate in place. Highlight of the room was a wonderful chandelier of cut-out notes and violins.