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University of Houston's first-ever art school scholarship dinner has everyone talking

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Kelli Vance, Sharon Engelstein, Jack Massing, Wayne Gilbert, Kristen Cliburn at UH School of Art "Cultivating Creativity" dinner
From left, Kelli Vance, Sharon Engelstein, Jack Massing, Wayne Gilbert and Kristen Cliburn. Photo courtesy of Cypress Photography
Inspired desserts by Phoenicia Specialty Foods’ Fabrice Maraine
The evening was capped by a collaborative dessert installation by artists Liza Littlefield and Patrick Renner. Photo courtesy of Cypress Photography
Norman Ewart, Rex Koontz, Melissa Edwards, UH dean John Roberts at the UH School of Art "Cultivating Creativity" dinner
From left, Norman Ewart, Rex Koontz, Melissa Edwards and John Roberts. Photo courtesy of Cypress Photography
Installation view of Spin Drop Flower by Lee Littlefield, with Phoenicia’s designed desserts at UH School of Art fundraiser
The collaborative dessert installation with Phoenicia Specialty Foods baker Fabrice Maraine utilized Spin Drop Flower by the late sculptor Lee Littlefield. Photo courtesy of Cypress Photography
The crowd at the UH School of Art "Cultivating Creativity" dinner
The ceiling of Rockwell Pavilion was illuminated with projected art for the dinner. Photo courtesy of Cypress Photography
Clint Willour, Betty Moody at UH School of Art fundraiser April 2014
Clint Wilhour and Betty Moody. Photo courtesy of Cypress Photography
Rex Koontz, Phoenicia baker Fabrice Maraine, Susana Monteverde at UH School of Art fundraiser April 2014
From left, Rex Koontz, Phoenicia baker Fabrice Maraine and Susana Monteverde. Photo courtesy of Cypress Photography
Steve Duble, Norman Ewart, Debbie Champness-Fischer, Dawn Fudge, Jim Prell at UH School of Art Fundraiser, April 2014
From left, Steve Duble, Norman Ewart, Debbie Champness-Fischer, Dawn Fudge, Jim Prell. Photo courtesy of Cypress Photography
Kelli Vance, Sharon Engelstein, Jack Massing, Wayne Gilbert, Kristen Cliburn at UH School of Art "Cultivating Creativity" dinner
Inspired desserts by Phoenicia Specialty Foods’ Fabrice Maraine
Norman Ewart, Rex Koontz, Melissa Edwards, UH dean John Roberts at the UH School of Art "Cultivating Creativity" dinner
Installation view of Spin Drop Flower by Lee Littlefield, with Phoenicia’s designed desserts at UH School of Art fundraiser
The crowd at the UH School of Art "Cultivating Creativity" dinner
Clint Willour, Betty Moody at UH School of Art fundraiser April 2014
Rex Koontz, Phoenicia baker Fabrice Maraine, Susana Monteverde at UH School of Art fundraiser April 2014
Steve Duble, Norman Ewart, Debbie Champness-Fischer, Dawn Fudge, Jim Prell at UH School of Art Fundraiser, April 2014

What: University of Houston School of Art "Cultivating Creativity: An Evening of Food, Wine and Conversation with Artists and Designers."

Where:  M.D. Anderson Library Rockwell Pavilion on the University of Houston campus.

The 411: The first-ever scholarship fundraising dinner for the University of Houston School of Art, chaired by Melissa Edwards and Norman Ewart, drew a lively mix of artists, scholars and designers. Among the table talkers were gallery owner Betty Moody, artists Suzanne Bloom, Sharon Engelstein, Aaron Parazette and Shane Tolbert, Menil curator Michelle White and Art Guys Michael Galbreth and Jack Massing. UH School of Art alumni Kelli Vance, Jay Giroux, Geoff Hippenstiel and Kristen Cliburn donated works for a silent auction while UH graduate graphic design student Jason Wheeler created the much-talked-about illuminated decor. 

Phoenicia Specialty Foods catered a dinner of arugula, apple and feta salad, poached salmon with spring ratatouille and gold potatoes served family-style atop centerpieces at each table. Phoenicia principal Meredith Tcholakian is a UH alum and volunteer with the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. 

Guests marveled at the collaborative dessert installation by artists Liza Littlefield and Patrick Renner with Phoenicia baker Fabrice Maraine, which played off the theme of the late sculptor Lee Littlefield's Spin Drop Flower hovering above the pastry-laden table. Family and friends are remembering Littlefield, who died last year, with a scholarship fund benefiting UH School of Art sculpture students.

Who: UH School of Art director Rex Koontz and Daniela Koontz, Jereann Chaney, Susie and Sanford Criner, Krista Dumas, Rachel Clingman, Raffi Tcholakian, Caroline Graham, Jane Eifler, Nancy Luton, Carey Shuart, UH dean John Roberts, Carolyn Farb, Sharon and Gus Kopriva.

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