Monday, February 16, 2009

Art, heart, Nick (quick!), tails, ales

The Man Market Event

Here are some of the dozens of photos our team of Snapped photographers shot at events last weekend. See more and upload your own online at

Ann Tower Gallery was hopping last weekend and it wasn't even a Gallery Hop night. Dahlings, it was a "Celebration With Heart," and folks attending were donating their hearts and wallets to help the Catholic Action Center and St. Peter Claver Catholic Church's construction project.

The beautiful displays of modern art at Ann Tower Gallery, inside the Downtown Arts Center, were the perfect backdrop for the silent art auction and cocktail benefit on Feb. 6. Hundreds of folks, many of them St. Peter Claver parishioners, sipped wine and nibbled on hors d'oeuvres as they scrutinized and bid on donated pieces of art, some of which were the creations of homeless people at the Catholic Action Center.

he Rev. Norman Fischer, parish priest at St. Peter Claver and chaplain at Lexington Catholic High School, said the genesis of the event was when he won, in a benefit auction, use of the gallery space for several hours for whatever he wanted.

He and members of his church's development committee, namely Suellen D'Angelo and Genny Ramsey of the Catholic Action Center, came up with a benefit.

"We put our minds together and came up with this fancy-free, fun idea," Fischer said. "What we have here are a lot of donations to create a wonderful opportunity for folks to get some exquisite food and drink, but most importantly, the ticket proceeds would benefit the Catholic Action Center, the Black Church Coalition and the St. Peter Claver Building Fund. The amazing reality was there are so many amazing stories of artists throughout the community just wondering what they can do to make a difference. ...

"I'm having a wonderful time, and I haven't stopped standing all night," he said, giggling.

Carrie Berend of the Catholic Action Center said of the art auction, "What is amazing is that the artwork is from amateurs all the way up to the professionals. It's such a wide range, but we do have great pieces from our guests."

Tina Thomas, who attended St. Peter Claver while she was a student at Transylvania University, said, "It's such a worthy cause."

And Michael Crutcher, a geography professor at the University of Kentucky, said, "I'm here to bid on some wonderful originals and to support the arts scene in Lexington because it's under-supported."

D'Angelo said, "A lot of people have been involved to pull this together."

One of those people was caterer Kate Savage, whom Fischer got to donate all the wonderful food.

Asked to sum up Fischer, Savage said, "Father Norman, what do you say? He did my son's graduation at Christ the King, and he did a homily as one entire rap song that he had actually composed himself. And, of course, the kids were totally captivated. He is able to bring religion to the young people, the old people, the disbelievers. He's just one of those people who has so much energy. He's just a dynamo.

"So go touch his hem, Howard," she said, laughing.

Nick who?

Later that night, I went to a different sort of event. My editor had asked me to go to The Moon nightclub on Euclid Avenue because pop singer Nick Lachey was going to be there, hosting a singles event called Man Market.

Nick who?

I suppose the generation gap kept me from this one. I was told he was once married to Jessica Simpson.

Jessica who?

OK, I'll go.

The line for the event, sponsored by 104.5 The Cat, was almost past the Chevy Chase Inn. The Moon's management, after scrutinizing my Herald-Leader press badge, let me break line and enter.

Oh, dahlings, Studio 54 all over again.

But the entrance was about as far as I got. It was a madhouse.

When I attempted to speak to Lachey, a bunch of men dressed in black, whom I suppose were his security detail, stopped me.

I showed them my Herald-Leader badge. They weren't amused. One Man in Black gave me a hand gesture that told me to get lost.

Lachey, who was born in Harlan and grew up in Cincinnati, was on stage for only about 10 minutes, if that. Mostly, he stood near the back of the stage for photo opportunities — with people who were allowed on stage by the Men in Black.

One woman who called herself only Beverly said she came to Lachey's event "because he's smoking hot."

I noticed that she wasn't allowed on stage either.

Funding love

The next night, the Signature Club had gone to the dogs, and the Westminster dog show hadn't even begun.

Dahlings, the Lexington Humane Society was having its second annual Tails & Ales benefit.

More than 350 people attended the blowout on Feb. 7 at the former Lansdowne Club. It was so crowded, there was no parking left on the premises, or even nearby. I had to park way down Zandale Drive.

Kentucky breweries and local distributors — Bluegrass Brewing Co., Lexington Brewing Co., Kentucky Eagle Beer — donated beer and wine for a huge tasting.

Susan Malcomb, president of the Lexington Humane Society, said all the event's proceeds would go "to support our efforts to give love, teach love and adopt love."

"We had people calling the last couple of days, begging for tickets," she said. "You know, it's not a bad thing when you have to turn people away when you are having a fund-raiser."

Reach Howard M. Snyder at (859) 231-3208 or 1-800-950-6397, Ext. 3208.
Nick Lachey - whose ex-wife, Jessica Simpson, was in Lexington a week before him - posed with an unidentified fan at Man Market, a singles event where women could "shop" for men.