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Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006
Tropical Life  XML

Posted on Mon, Mar. 06, 2006

TROPICAL NIGHTS

TROPICAL NIGHTS

Celebrated artist's show celebrated in style

Daisy Olivera

dolivera@MiamiHerald.com

Those of us who know Marvin Ross Friedman well, know that he loves a party and takes the time for longtime friends such as internationally renowned artist and Florida resident James Rosenquist.

Friedman -- more art collector than attorney -- along with longtime love Adrienne bon Haes, hosted about 80 members of Miami's savvy art and society crowd at their historic home in Coral Gables.

As Juan Areco played classical guitar, copious amounts of Cristal flowed as guests mingled in the formal gardens and crowded around the charming Rosenquist and his wife. Mimi Thompson, to celebrate the opening of the artist's exhibit of his current work at the Miami Art Museum, which runs through July 2.

Rosenquist, a major player in the American Pop movement, emerged on the New York art scene in the early 1960s. While in art school he took jobs painting commercial billboards and that sense of scale continued as he developed his ''new realist'' style by fragmenting and combining advertising images onto bigger-than-wall-size canvases.

Among the chic crowd were Iris Barrel Apfel and husband Carl, who flew in from New York along with Harry Acton Stribel from East Hampton. Also there: Sam Keller, Art Basel impresario who flew in for the night from Basel, Switzerland; Miami City Ballet's Edward and Linda Villella and soloist ballerina Andrea Spiridonakos; in from Washington was literary agent Ronald Goldfarb and his wife, architect Joanne Goldfarb; Roe and Penny Stamps; Finley and Joan Matheson; Jan Van der Marck, MAM founding director; Woody and Judy Weiser; Her Imperial Highness Princess Thi-Nga; R. Kirk Landon and Pam Garrison.

AMIGOS FOR KIDS

Amigos for Kids, a charity organization that raises funds for needy children, has outgrown its past venue for the extremely popular Domino Night coming up June 17. Founder Jorge Plasencia announced that this year's Domino Night will celebrate its 15th anniversary -- bravo! -- and will be held at the Coconut Grove Convention Center.

CATTLE BARONS' BALL

The American Cancer Society netted $230,000 Saturday night for the fight against cancer with proceeds from the fifth annual Cattle Barons' Ball, which raised $100,000 more than last year.

It was held at The Bath Club, the historic Miami Beach landmark on Collins Avenue built in 1927, with developer R. Donahue Peebles giving guests a preview of the landmark property, which underwent a $167 million restoration and expansion.

The event was co-chaired by Katrina Peebles. The area's social elite gathered for a Western-themed evening named ''Stetsons and Stilettos.'' Honorary chairs were Diane and Allen de Olazarra; ball committee members included Marta De Cespedes, Victoria Cummock, Ana Moran-Varela, Terry Schechter. Table sponsors included Nancy Batchelor, Swanee DiMare, Dr. Julio Gallo and Oscar Seikaly from NSI Insurance Group. Guests included New York author Steven Gaines; Amy Zakarin; Pablo Oliveira of Nuage Designs, who also sponsored; and Susie and Walid Wahab.

FOUR SEASONS YPO TEA

How very civilized that the Four Seasons Hotel Miami launched its Afternoon Tea service in the 14-Thirty-Five lounge and lobby with a fundraising event to benefit YPO (Young Patronesses of the Opera).

The ladies were treated to traditional English sweet and savory delicacies, scones, champagne and aromatic hand-picked teas along with a spring fashion show by Luca Luca from the Village of Merrick Park.

Funds raised during the event will benefit YPO programs to further opera education in Miami-Dade schools. Longtime supporters included Nicole Lozano; Beth Tasca; Mercy Bach; Lise-Marie Wertanzl; Gayle Larsen; Jackie Skaff; and YPO President Barbara Reese.

SOBE WINE AND FOOD FEST

It was another rousing success for the South Beach Wine and Food Festival as it gets bigger every year with multiple venues throughout the beach.

The ''Best of the Best'' gathered more than 650 wine lovers and connoisseurs at the Fontainebleau Hilton Resort for an exceptional tasting of wines from Reserve California houses such as Far Niente, Jordan Vineyard & Winery, Lancaster Estate. A popular favorite from years past is Au Bon Climat founded by visionary Jim Clenenden.

Exemplary cuisine completed the experience with chefs like Willy Moya Fernandez of the Poncio Restaurant from as far away as Andalusia Spain and Todd English, who set up an impromptu grill in the middle of one of the ballrooms.

Favorites included Laurent Tourondel's Tuna Tartare, Paul Bartolotta's Seafood Antipasti, Angelo Elia's Rack of Lamb. Among the foodies there were Conrad Miami's GM Robert Thrailkill and wife Mariana; Elizabeth Blau from Wynn Las Vegas and wine glass impresario Maximilian Riedel; Marietta and Juan Fanjul; and Manuel Machado.

STEAM AT HERENCIA

Couturier Julian Chang brought his ''Steam'' fashion savvy to Coral Gables as he co-hosted a champagne reception and fashion show during Gallery Night at Herencia Spa & Salon with salon owner Michael Valdes. It was the perfect backdrop for the chic and trendy clothes on display from Chang's latest venture, ``Steam.''