Shelby About Town
Hold on to your carry-on bags ladies and gentlemen. The live auction items at Thursday's UNICEF gala are so enticing that gala guests will be willing to withstand the security inconveniences of commercial air travel in favor of bidding high and bidding often.
Becca Cason Thrash, chair of the black-tie soirée to be held in the art-fllled home she shares with husband John Thrash, has compiled a handful of other-worldly experiences starting with a splendid evening partying with Elton John at his Oscar night gala in Hollywood. The package includes seats for two at a $100,000 sponsor table at the Elton John AIDS Foundation gala where Elton will perform. Add first class air and two nights stay at the swank Peninsula Hotel.
The cache of magic carpet tours going to the highest bidder includes four nights (for as many as eight guests) at Ben Bourgeois' swellCasa Fiesta in Zihuatanejo; a four-day New York City fashion adventure for four with air, private residence accommodations and a custom fitting with designers Naeem Khan (who will be attending the gala) and Angel Sanchez; a four-night Hong Kong hejira for four including air, luxe hotel, out-island tour and grand dinner at the oh-so-private and terribly chic Club Bel-Air. And then there is Bali — six nights at your choice of Indonesia's sumptuous Amanresorts, plus a $5,000 shopping spree at Neiman Marcus.
Get those black American Express cards ready. These gems are worth a mint. And then there is the king's ransom in silent auction offerings — a $30,000 diamond and rock crystal ring, anyone?
When Mayor Annise Parker said, shortly after her election, that she would like to see more public art in Houston, she probably had no idea what was about to happen on Fannin. Grayco Partners, in conjunction with the opening of its twin seven-story towers Venue Museum District, is hosting Venue Paint Project, a series of nine 4X6 foot canvasses of Houston streetscapes. The artwork goes up Wednesday on the Fannin side of the luxury apartment building and will be on display through Feb. 11.
Artist Kermit Eisenhut enlisted eight other artists to participate — Salli Babbitt, Ruben Coy, Richard Fluhr, Jerrie Gast, Liz Conces Spencer, Suzanne E. Sellers, Tra Slaughter and Wendy Wagner. They will be honored at an artists reception at the site on Wednesday after the works are installed. Jeff Gray, founder and president of Grayco, is hosting this event and hosting the grand opening of Venue Museum District set for Feb. 11.
The artworks will be auctioned at that cocktail reception with proceeds going to Art League of Houston and Lawndale Art Center.
Do not get your Chinese-themed black-tie gear out just yet. The Yao Ming charity gala that was supposed to have taken place at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on Jan. 30 has been postponed. Scheduling conflicts, we were told. No further explanation. But stay tuned as the evening featuring headline entertainment is said to still be very much in the works.
Former Houstonians Karen and Mark Johnson, in from temporary home base in Beaver Creek, Colo., played hosts to a glam gaggle of pals Sunday night at Ciao Bello. The upstairs party room was packed with friends such as Dancie and Jim Ware, Clayton and Shel Erikson, Jane Brennan-Martinand Lynda Transier,who wined and dined on amazing Italian fare from the groaning buffet table.
Donna and Tony Vallone, Ciao Bello regulars on Sunday nights, took bows for the taste treats from guests, including Sheridan and John Eddie Williams, Beth Sanders Moore and Jess Moore, Ellen and Robert Wagnonand Diane Lokey Farb.
Mathew Knowles, Beyoncé's dad and soon-to-be amicable ex of Beyoncé's mom Tina Knowles, very cozy over dinner at Da Marco Friday night with a striking, tall brunette. Dare we say a younger woman. They played kissy-face and she couldn't resist hand-feeding the apparently smitten Knowles . . .
Artist Carl Palazzolo lunching at La Griglia with Texas Gallery owners Fredricka Hunter and Ian Glennie, discussing Palazzolo's show of new paintings in the gallery in April . . .
New kid on the restaurant block Canopy on Montrose doing a bang-up lunch business on Monday with diners that included Phoebe Tudor, chef Monica Pope, restaurateur Gary Moseley, LaVerl Daily, publicist Paula Murphy meeting with Canopy chef Claire Smith and more . . .
Brenda and Brad Jones and Heidi and Chris Hill head-huddling at chef Randy Evans' new Haven restaurant . . .
Jennifer Gilliam, Michael Holthouse and Claire Sullivan-Jackson lunching at Grotto 610.