WMG’s 20th Anniversary Gala: a Feast for the Eye, the Heart, and the Mind!

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WMG Board of Directors: (right to left) Board President Audrey Godwin; Ginny Sykes; Marty Bash, Secretary; Kathleen Waterloo, Vice President; Janet Snow-Godfrey; Erin Waser; Shannon Downey, Linda Hillman (not shown are Tammi Franke, Treasurer, Marcia Grubb, and Mary Keefe)

Woman Made Gallery’s 20th Anniversary Gala, celebrating 20 years of supporting women artists, was a beautiful and memorable event. Salvage One, a most interesting space with thousands of architectural elements saved from the wrecking ball, provided a most suitable backdrop for the carefully arranged live and silent auction items, so generously donated by artists, businesses, board members and other supportive individuals.  Soulful music by the Jazzifiers added to the festive atmosphere, and delicious appetizers and sweets by our one and only Amazing Edibles satisfied the most demanding taste-buds. Among the 200+ guests were representatives of the Women’s Caucus of Art with Brenda Oelbaum and Dale Osterle; Michelle Bibbs, Cultural Grants Manager from the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture; Barbara Ransby, University of Illinois at Chicago, Gender and Women’s Studies Program; Cleo Wilson, Executive Director of Intuit; and Alison Zehr, Principal at BOTA: Business Of The Arts.

The Gala Committee under the guidance of Co-Chairs, Beate Minkovski and Kathleen Waterloo did a fabulous job. Hardworking Committee members included Mary Ann Anthony, Marty Bash, Caroline Brown, Jan Snow-Godfrey, Audrey Godwin, Marcia Grubb, Linda Hillman, Erica Lacy, Kunoor Ojha, Ruby Thorkelson, Becca Waterloo, and Carla Winterbottom. WMG’s Honorary Chairs were Margo Jeanchild, Ann Regan, and Amy Stoeffler.

WMG honored Beate Minkovski, Co-Founder and Executive Director, who has guided the organization and its programs since 1992. Former Board Member and Honorary Chair, Amy Stoeffler, who had the dual job as WMG’s Emcee and Auctioneer, introduced Board President, Audrey Godwin, who expressed her thoughts:

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Beate Minkovski and Amy Stoeffler (live auction stage with painting by Andrea Harris on the left, and encaustic by Kathleen Waterloo on the right)

“This year marks a significant milestone for Woman Made Gallery as we celebrate 20 years of first rate exhibitions, innovative programs and community involvement. But tonight we also celebrate the wonderful and important achievements of Beate Minkovski, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Woman Made Gallery, who started the organization 20 years ago as a way to support women in the arts. Beate, your vision and passion are an inspiration to us all and have worked so incredibly hard all these years to assure the success of the gallery. We are grateful for everything you have done……”

After accepting a wonderful  gift, Beate addressed the crowd to express her gratitude: “Thanks to all of you for being here tonight. I am honored to be celebrated together with 20 years of Woman Made Gallery: 20 fabulous years of showcasing women’s artistic contributions. Every exhibition, every event was memorable and has impacted many people’s lives. I am proud to have played a role in this; I am humbled to be acknowledged.

This all would of course not be possible without the support, ideas, work, love, money, and devotion by thousands of individuals. But let’s start at the very beginning: Thank you dear Mary Stoppert for being my teacher and mentor and planting the seed that women artists deserve equal treatment. What did I know about it… being a housewife and raising five children… Thank you Kelly Hensen for making art with me and for starting the WMG adventure together, and thank you Janet Bloch and Pamela Callahan for the enormous contributions you both have made to what the Gallery is today. It wouldn’t be here if it were not for you! Thank you Alison Zehr for your guidance and wisdom to help us be a better and stronger organization!

Each board member throughout the years has made a huge impact on the Gallery. Each staff has contributed uniquely to what WMG is today; each intern, each volunteer has left positive footprints, and with the support of granting organizations, foundations, businesses, and individuals, and the participation of artists, poets, and art appreciators WMG Gallery is truly an example of what is possible when we all participate in something that has a mission, that is creative, positive, and productive.

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Danny Jamison plays “Happy Birthday” to WMG

To me, WMG is really a great piece of art. I am only one of the many artists who has used creative energy and lots of work to make it shine. Thank you efficient staff members, Ruby and Emanuel, thank you dear generous WMG board: Audrey, Kathleen, Tammi, Marty, Shannon, Marcia, Linda, Mary, Jan, Ginny and Erin – we do have the best board; thank you Gala Committee with Kathleen Waterloo as my Gala co-pilot, thank you Mary Ann and Marty and the entire Gala Committee for all the work with preparing the auction, thank you Becca Waterloo for creating our program booklet, thank you Amy Stoeffler, for being our Auctioneer tonight. Thank you all generous sponsors, much gratitude to all individuals who have donated to the live and silent auction, thank you Amazing Edibles for your great service, thank you to Goose Island for your contribution, thank you Jazzifiers for your beautiful music, and thank you Salvage One for making our Gala event so very special.

There are many more names to be called out to express my gratitude, and I cannot name them all, but I want to make sure to end my little speech by giving thanks to my husband, Michael Minkovski and to all my children and their partners who have supported me and therefore WMG all through the years. And finally, I am grateful to all our nine grandchildren, who make me realize that there is more to life than Woman Made Gallery. Thank you for being here!”

Danny Jamison, one of the Jazzifiers band members, played “Happy Birthday” on the saxophone, and then Beate was asked to blow out candles that garnished a tower of cupcakes before the live auction began. WMG’s auctioneer, Amy Stoeffler did a fabulous job, presenting the six items that were lined up on stage. Up for bids were a beautiful color pencil drawing by Beth Shadur, an acrylic on panel painting by Janet Bloch, a 72 x 36 inches, cold wax and oil on canvas painting by Andrea Harris, and a large encaustic work by Kathleen Waterloo. A Flying Adventure with Alex Waterloo, and an ABC 7 Chicago Studio Tour & Lunch with Steve Dolinsky complemented the offerings.

Ginny Sykes presenting artwork by Beth Shadur

Pre-arranged under the guidance of Mary Ann Anthony, the nine silent auction tables looked beautiful beneath an array of elaborate and elegant chandeliers. Donations included paintings, photographs, pottery, sculpture, jewelry, an assortment of gift baskets, gift certificates to a variety services, and much more. Here are the contributors to the silent auction: Alioto’s Gift Shop, Ananas, Mary Ann Anthony, Marty Bash, Ellen Wade Beals, Jennifer Bisbing, Black Ensemble Theater, Janet Bloch, Cara Boldarini and the Starbucks Team, Cabot Creamery, Pamela Callahan, Sarah Chapman, Chicago Massage Works, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Stephanie Colunga, Diane Cooper, Nina Corwin, Tami Dollase, Shannon Downey, Shari Filoni, Julia Nash from Fly Bird/Yellow House, Tammi Franke, Joan Friedberger, Fuga Salon, Shelley Gilchrist, Audrey Godwin, Jon Goldsmith, Marcia Grubb, Sarah Hahne, Cam Harper, Andrea Harris, Sarah Hauser, Julie Herwitt, Linda Hillman, Dorothy Hughes, Ursula Kammer-Fox, Mary Keefe, Adele Kiel, Melissa Kolbusz, Gini Kondziolka, Littlerock Construction, Sarah Levin, Tara Mallen, Baila Miller, Beate Minkovski, Dianna Mooses, Careful Peach Boutique, Anita Nagler, Nora’s Shoe Shop, Mary O’Connell, Carmen M. Perez, Clara Pichardo, Julie Pitzen, Poetry Foundation, Karen Rechtschaffen, Marah Rohovit, Larissa Rolley, Kathy Blankley Roman, Shedd Aquarium, Kristi Sloniger, Janet Snow-Godfrey, Soulistic Studio and Spa, Spacca Napoli, Amy Stoeffler, Sharon Swidler, Ginny Sykes and Jonathan Goldsmith, Takara, Keith J. Taylor, Maria Testaguzza, Cindy Trim, Sharon Uselman, Erin Waser, Lari Washburn, Sandra Washburn, Kathleen Waterloo, Marcia Winograd, and Carla Winterbottom. We are so very grateful to all our live and silent auction contributors.

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Olivia Landgraff and Annika Pappas

Throughout the evening adorable raffle ticket sellers, Annika Pappas and Olivia Landgraff, with the charms of little Ava Steinback made it impossible for guests not to buy more raffle tickets. Congratulations to the three lucky winners, Anton Waser, Terri Schroeder, and Helene Boldarini.

Thanks to the many generous Gala sponsors who contributed at different levels:

Margo Jeanchild

Gensler, Mary Keefe + Bob Scales, Suzanne Massey, Amy Stoeffler + Ralph Lauterbach, David B. Sykes Family Foundation

Marty and Jim Bash, Ann Berg, Shannon Downey, Kelly Hensen + Nancy Anschel, Fitzgerald & Hewes, Bobbi + Steve Meier, Beate + Michael Minkovski, Valentin Penchev Mihov, Kathleen + Dan Waterloo, Women’s Caucus of Art (WCA)

Roberta Reb Allen, Kathy Bergold, Elaine Collina, Cairy Brown, Patricia Callahan, Vicki Curtis + Bill Siavelis, Marcia Fensin, Carrie Giordano, Andrea + Dick Ginsburg, Linda + John Hillman, Susan + Charles Ifergan, Sandra + Michael Perlow, Ann Regan, Wilma Stevens, Elena Aguirre + Jacob Sznajder, Christy Webber

Andrea Bempong, Janet Bloch, Jo-Anne Cairo, Pamella Capitanini, Rebecca Carlins, Kathy Deane, Nicole Gotthelf, Kathy Greenholdt, Pearl Hirshfield, Anita Jenke, Janet Schumacher, Lorna Shepard, Joyce Simon, Sharon Uselman, Ted Wolff, Women’s Caucus of Art, Cleo F. Wilson, and Charles Yager.

Gala Ad Program Contributors helped offset the printing expenses, and we thank DeLux Bar and Grill, Dr. Patricia Gilleran, Marcia Grubb and Grubb Properties, George Huene, Ralph Lauterbach, Spacca Napoli, Annika Pappas, Amy Stoeffler, and Tom Van Eynde. A very special thanks to Becca Waterloo who did an amazing job with our Gala program booklet!

We are grateful for the contributions made by: Andrea Herrera and Amazing Edibles, Barbara Aubin, Kim + Carlo Basile, Ellen Wade Beals, Jennifer Bisbing, Morgan Mills Blank, Cabot Creamery, Jo-Anne Cairo, Lynn Fesenmyer, Goose Island Beer Co., Heywood Hoffman, Sandra Holubow, Holy Cow Sports, Inc., Fujiko and Setsuko Isomura, Jazzifiers with Dan Bradley, trumpet; Danny Jamison, saxophone; Maurice Harris, bass; Laurin “Mac” McPhee, drums; Bill Lamme, piano; Paul Kolenda, Newton Manufacturing Company, Dale Osterle, PD Packard, Pamela Stoeffler, Eugene Tashjian and Color Image, Laura Tipre, Karin Kuzniar Tweedie, Sharon Uselman, Arlene Wanetick, and Deborah Weber. We appreciate photography by Cassandra West; Marsden Giolas and Will Grucza.

Everything went smoothly, both check-in and check-out, set-up and clean-up, and all the in-between. Thanks to the great help of WMG’s terrific interns and volunteers, Cara Boldarini, Erica Brooks, Christen Calloway, Megan Carty, Christi Chong, Joy Coombes, Nina Corwin, Sheila A. Donovan, LuEllen Joy Giera, Danielle Marchewka, Jen Mooses, Carmen Onida, Monica Padilla, Elizabeth Pease, Suzanne Pressler, Marilyn Spachman, Camille Swift, Jen Wagley,  Nicole Weydert, and Michael Minkovski.  We are indebted to all of them.

The evening brought great results. With the hard work of many and generous contributions by hundreds of individuals, WMG was able to raise approximately $45,000, money so very much needed for our important programs, providing exhibition opportunities to women artists.

(Photo credits: Marsden Giolas.)

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