PHOTOS: DFAC Garden Party Full of 1920s Fun

May 12, 2017 by DANNY OLDA | VISUAL ARTS
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Waiting for the crowds to arrive for the 37th annual Dunedin Fine Art Center (DFAC) Garden Party, a wide variety of silent auction items are displayed – from paintings and sculptures to gift baskets and services.   Donations from 217 artists and 147 businesses and other donors throughout the DFAC geographic area were up for grabs, with proceeds going to support the educational programs of the center.  In all, a total of approximately 125,000 was netted at the event.


With the help of many volunteers, patrons of the arts had a wonderful opportunity to bid on the works of local artists, as well as coveted merchandise and services from area businesses, during the silent auction at the DFAC’s annual Garden Party, recently.


Pictured are some of the many items donated to the DFAC’s Garden Party 2017, the center’s annual fundraiser in support of its educational programs. From fine art photography and paintings to jewelry and accessories, the works of local artists were among the most popular items in the auction.


Under an enormous tent, on the lawn of the Fenway Cottage on Dunedin’s Edgewater Drive, the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s 37th annual Garden Party was a most delightful affair. With a “roaring twenties” theme, endless samples of food from local restaurants, cocktails, music, art on auction, and a perfectly beautiful warm April afternoon, more than 350 people attended what was definitely one of the most enjoyable and successful fundraisers for the center.


Of all the works of art donated to the DFAC for its annual Garden Party, this painting by Linda Kegley couldn’t have been a more perfect choice as the winner of the competition to choose art work for invitations and promotional material for the event. Entitled “The Fenway Garden Party – 1926”, the painting is a look back at the site where this year’s event was held, with its “roaring twenties” theme.  And it was also fitting that the winner of the auction for this painting would be Joe Collier, President of Mainsail Hotels, the developer of the current Fenway hotel renovation project.


Artist Linda Kegley (center) poses with Joe Collier, President and Juli Corlew, Vice President & Managing Partner of Mainsail Hotels, after the auction of her painting – Fenway Garden Party 1926. Kegley’s donated work was chosen to be featured on the invitations to this year’s DFAC Garden Party and other promotional material and was the first piece in the event’s live auction.  Collier, whose company has partnered with the Fenway’s owners – the Taoist Tai Chi Society – to develop the property into an upscale hotel, was the winning bidder and said that the work will be “proudly displayed at the Fenway” when it opens.  Kegley was entitled to half of the proceeds from the auction but generously donated her share back to the DFAC.


Next year, the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s annual Garden Party is already booked to be held on the grounds directly in front of the historic Fenway on Edgewater Drive, in Dunedin. However, as it is currently being extensively renovated, this year’s event was held across the street on the lawn of Fenway Cottage.  Guests to the event were invited to don hard hats and join staff of David Nelson Construction for a tour of the ongoing renovations inside.


Inside the Fenway, DFAC Garden Party guests were shown current renovation construction and given the opportunity to imagine what this Dunedin landmark property will look like when completed. The owners – Taoist Tai Chi Society – in partnership with Tampa Bay’s Mainsail Hotels are creating a venue that will include upscale accommodations, a ballroom, rooftop restaurant, among other features.  It is expected that the facility will be ready for customers early next year.


Dunedin artists, Carol Sackman and Blake White were two of the 217 area artists who donated pieces to the silent auction at the DFAC’s 37th annual Garden Party, recently. They also showed up, with many others, in “roaring twenties” attire, to enjoy this year’s theme and festivities.


Local artists and friend (l-r) Beth Warmath, Terri Gray, Siobhan Nehin and Bonnie Bowman, got into the spirit of the “roaring twenties” theme at this year’s DFAC Garden Party. Over 350 artists and patrons attended the 37th annual event on the lawn of the Fenway Cottage, on Dunedin’s Edgewater Drive.


The perfect music for a “roaring twenties” Garden Party, Tampa’s Gloria West & The Gents entertained, with their old school stride-swing jazz style, on the patio by the Fenway Cottage, during the DFAC’s annual event.



A vintage Chevy truck wasn’t quite old enough to have been a ride in the “roaring twenties” but it was certainly an appreciated attraction on the lawn of the Fenway Cottage during the DFAC’s annual Garden Party.  The truck was from the collection of Al Wiseman of Tarpon Springs and models Christina Cruz and Hana Young, in fashions from designer Lina Teixeira, look like all they needed was a chauffeur, to complete this high society vision.


Some of the artistic creations at the year’s DFAC Garden Party were edible.  About 15 area restaurants and caterers were on hand with beautifully delicious samples of gourmet cuisine.  Guests were treated to a wide variety of offerings and this part of the event is always one of the most appreciated elements of the annual fundraiser.

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