The Dish on Beaux Arts

February 15, 2006, 1:21 PM EST

The Art of Table Decorating exhibit at the Lowe Art Museum showcased Tina Carlo and Courtney Parmenter's table display—appropriately titled, "Elegant Evening by the Seashore,"—adorned with silver seashells and glass as blue as the ocean.

Art of Table Decorating fund-raiserLowe Art Museum at the University of MiamiThursday, 03.04.04, 7 PM to 9PM
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The heirloom china was neatly arranged, the linens pressed and the silverware polished to perfection. Hors d'oeuvres were fresh from the oven and cocktails made the rounds. The only thing missing, however, were the dinner guests. Yet, some 350 people arrived at the University of Miami Lowe Art Museum to gaze and marvel at 28 magnificently outfitted tables during the Art of Table Decorating event. The cocktail reception presented by Beaux Arts—the fund-raising arm of the Lowe—was a benefit to fund future art exhibitions, museum enhancements and to support the museum's community outreach program, which introduces underserved children to the cultural arts.

A mélange of clever themes, tropical scenes and unique items were on display throughout the museum's galleries, mixing well with the permanent art installations already on site. With masterpieces serving as backdrops and highly ornamented tables the main focus, there was no further need for additional décor except for all the props scattered about. There were neon-colored purses at each place setting at the Kate Spade table arranged by Burdines-Macy's, the event's sponsors. Silver Buccellati seashells, chambered nautiluses and starfish complemented the table created by Tina Carlo and Courtney Parmenter—chairs of the event—appropriately titled “Elegant Evening by the Seashore.” Le Basque Productions' table featured branches of red sea coral as its centerpiece, while Bloomingdales' included live fish placed inside goblets at its “Tropical Treasures” table.

Throughout the evening, Jerry Cortese, director of Burdine's Catering, nourished the artsy crowd with scrumptious hors d'oeuvres that were handed out nonstop by caterwaiters. And for those whose appetites weren't satiated with mango and brie pastry shells, feta and spinach pizzettes, empanadas or shrimp skewers, Burdines also set up an S-shaped buffet in the main gallery consisting of a meat station, assorted cheeses, crudites and grilled vegetables. Throughout the course of the event, a silent auction was held to raise funds from items donated by a mix of South Florida restaurants and retailers including Pottery Barn, Preston Scott Designs, Gardner's Market, Sara Sharpe Catering and House of Paper. Among other supporters were Southern Wine and Spirits and the Miami Herald, which joined forces with the others to make this one of the Lowe's more popular and profitable events, raising nearly $30,000 for the museum.

Jose Gomez

More Photos From the Beaux Arts Art of Table Decorating Exhibit:

Additional Table Décor

Trend: Bringing the Seaside Inside

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