Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Life on the planet

The Bridle Path illuminated by the evening sun. 9:00 PM. Photo: JH.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017. A warm, sunny day in New York. Horrible traffic, but not Mother Nature’s fault. The weatherman says it’s going to be a lot warmer today and tomorrow.
I went down to the Plaza at noon where the Audubon Women in Conservation was hosting its 14th annual Audubon Women in Conservation Luncheon and the Rachel Carson Awards.

The Award honors American women whose work has greatly advanced conservation locally and globally. Proceeds support Audubon New York’s conservation efforts, including our Long Island Bird Conservation and Coastal Stewardship Program. 

This is a lunch fashionable for the participation of women of purpose. This isn’t a fashionable lunch for the fun of the company and whatever might amuse. This is a luncheon dealing with a subject and matter that involves all life on the planet. Now. Today.
Jamee Rappaport Clark with Allison Rockefeller and Davd Yarnold.
Heidi Cullen accepting her award with Allison and David.
Anne Thompson with her colleagues of the luncheon.
The Rachel Carson Award opens up the subject for everyone, and those awarded are of the same mind about our future life on this planet. So there is passion in those awarded as well as many of those attending. Many are volunteers who share those values – which is what they are – and sense of commitment. So it’s a luncheon of talk. Well organized, it’s called for 11:30 and guests are served their first course at noon, when the event begins, ending by 1:45.

Gloria Fieldcamp and Allison Rockefeller.
David Yarnold, President of the National Audubon Society, opened the event. He first introduced Allison Rockefeller who is President of Audubon Women in Conservation. Allison is a brilliant orator who delivers her thoughts with a style that brings the subject close to home --  so that everyone has an emotional connection to the matters at hand.

National Audubon Society was created more than a century ago in 1905 by a nature magazine  (Forest and Stream) by the name of George Bird Grinnell who despaired the negligent mass slaughter of birds occurring at that time. As boy he attended a school run by Lucy Audubon, and he’d read “Orthinological Biography” written by John James Audubon. It was in their honor that Grinnell named his new organization.

In recalling the founding, Allison quietly but emphatically reminded us that more than a century ago people were working hard to create and preserve an environment that we’ve been blessed by all these years later. Now with the obvious issues of survival of all life, she pointed out that we owe it to those who will be here 100 years from now.

This year they honored Jamie Rappaport Clark, President & CEO of Defenders of Wildlife; Dr. Heidi Cullen, Chief Scientist, Climate Central; and Anne Thompson, NBC News’ Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent. All three women share a deep interest in their particular subjects, all of which were part of the Rachel Carson Inspiration. All three were as passionate as they were knowledgeable about their contributions to the issues at hand.
Robin Red Breasts were my favorite bird, and they were plentiful, growing up in Massachusetts. This little beauty landed on my terrace for lunch one day last year.
Monday the night before, Bruce Addison and Michael Foster and Ara and Rachel Hovnanian hosted a book signing at the Core Club for their friend, interior designer Meg Braff and her new book The Decorated Home: Living with Style and Joy – with a Foreward by Charlotte Moss.

Meg Braff and her book. Click to Order.
It was a big crowd, many of whom are old friends of both the hosts and the designer and her husband Doug Braff; and many of whom are familiar faces on the NYSD. There is a social side of New York today that remains traditional in that there are groups of people who have known and socialized with each other sometimes from childhood and adolescence. Many belong to the same clubs, summer in similar places, support many of the same charities and institutions, and have lives with a stability that is admirable.

Meg Braff’s design sense reflects all of that. Born and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi (made famous as the birthplace of Elvis as well as Van Morrison’s song Tupelo Honey), Meg Braff Designs is known for its work in many resort locations including Bermuda, Palm Beach, the Hamptons and Newport. She also owns a design shop in Locust Valley.

Her book is both practical and sensible and if nothing else a pleasure to look at and take in. It’s not a memoir or autobiography but you get the vibe and you can imagine enjoying yourself in her rooms. She breaks it up into matters of colors, into sections of rooms – living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, outdoors, etc., and demonstrates the possibilities.  I’m not a candidate for making any such choices but for anyone who is, or would like to be, this will give you the pleasure of considerations.
Entering the book party.
Sherlock Hackley and Mary Hilliard. Rachel and Ara Hovnanian.
Michael Foster, Meg Braff, and Bruce Addison. Meg and Doug Braff.
Bruce Addison with Barbara Cates who has known the boy since he was half her height. Michael Foster, Leslie Stevens, and Mark Gilbertson.
New York-based artist Marissa Robin Abendaño showed a new series of paintings at Art Expo 2017 at Pier 94 this past April 21st through 24th. Her series is called Make A Wish. Clean, bold and bright, yet harmonious and peaceful, Abendaño showed a group of large-scale paintings which toe the line between abstract and representational. Saturated red, white and black dominated her booth.
This was her first fair as an exhibiting artist, although she is no stranger to the market. “As a collector, I never like to be bothered. So during this show, I let people be, while looking at the pieces at my booth.” The message behind her work is intended for the whole world, “It's that glimmer of hope that perhaps one day there will be love and peace in everyone's heart,” said the artist.
Emanuele Fiore, Alessandro Mele, Jade Perkins, Jenna Weinfurt, and Marissa Robin Abendaño
Marissa Robin Abendaño is the daughter of a medical doctor and university professor. When she left her home in the Philippines to travel, Marissa was struck by the beauty of a particular little church in Rome, as well the Sistine Chapel. After establishing her home in New York, she enrolled at Christie’s education program in modern art connoisseurship, where she began to establish her own collection. Her collecting and studio practices inform her ultra-contemporary style.
Jane Pontarelli, Carmine Scassino, Linda Maniscalco, Karen Feld, Bellini, and Joe Pontarelli
Jade Perkins and Caricia Ramirez Marissa Robin Abendaño and Joel Kincaid
Marissa Robin Abendaño and Poramit Thantapalit
Marissa Robin Abendaño exhibition, booth 268
Collection of paintings by Marissa Robin Abendaño
Noon Shadow, 2017, Acrylic paint on canvas 36 x 36 inches
Sing and Dance The Night Away! #3, 2017 Mixed media -matchsticks, gesso, enamel and acrylic paint, on canvas 20 x 20 inches
Fly Away With Me 2, Mixed media (Acrylic paint on Mylar and canvas) 24 x 36 inches
See You On The Other Side, 2017 Acrylic paint on canvas, Diptych 80 x 140 inches
Untitled, 2017 Mixed media, Silk organza fabric, gesso, acrylic paint on canvas, Triptych 72 x 108 inches

Photographs by Annie Watt (Abendaño)

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