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Third Annual Communion Celebrates Art
The Bakehouse Art Complex, Miami, Fl
by Mark Thompson & Robert Doyle
May 31, 2008   photo-album Bookmark and Share

What’s better than shopping for art, cocktail in hand, in the limpid light of the balmy Miami night?  Answer: shopping for a cause that benefits the LGBT community.  And Saturday night’s Communion Celebrates Art at the Bakehouse Complex in the Wynwood Arts District was a scene right out of “Sex and the City: Miami,” complete with a gaggle of gorgeous gals in their Jimmy Choos, assorted Mr. Bigs, a cabal of sultry ambitious artists, and enough deep-pocketed art-collecting homos to make Dolly Levi weep with joy.  The alcohol flowed (cocktails by Skyy vodka)—and wallets opened—and by night’s end, those who opened wide enough went home with new art.

For those who don’t know, the Communion Foundation works to develop empowering relationship within the LGBT community.  Last night’s designated beneficiaries were the Miami Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, SAVE Foundation (working to defeat the proposed anti-gay marriage amendment), and Project Cradle, which provides funding for pediatric AIDS.  With a roster like that, it was hard not to feel compelled to bid on the more than thirty silent auction pieces—but as much as the designated charities were laudable, so did the art more than speak for itself.  We’re talking art by the likes of art world favorites such as Romero Britto, Noel, Robert McKnight, and Jonathan Adler—all of whom donated pieces.  And yet, apart from these art world luminaries, there was brilliant art to be had (for a relative pittance) from artists on the verge of becoming major.  A piece by Ben Abounassif, called “Marilyn,” for example, an art cube in resin, stamped with Ms. Monroe’s iconic image, and Randy Barney’s compelling and forceful “Warrior,” a painted metal mask on base, surely meant for a plinth in the foyer of a Continuum penthouse—which might well stand alongside “Perpetuity,” a stunning vertical piece of resin on wood donated by Carlos Cesar Alves.  There was also Dale Stine’s latest sensual series, called “Metamorph”—and Tony Chimento’s luscious rococo hyper-realistic print, “The Artist’s Bedroom,” which far exceeded its appraisal and nearly had the boys fighting for the right to take it home.  All these, and more—and all you had to do was put down your name and number—and then figure out a way to pay—later.

Meanwhile, outside in the Robert McKnight sculpture-adorned courtyard, under the moonlight and away from the art-bidding frenzy, DJ Michael Rucker worked the crowd.  Waiters circulated with trays of provocative hors d’oeuvres (can we say olive penguins with penises—and mozzarella ball shooters?) as the 1930s towers of the American Baking Company rose against the Miami night sky.  Chaired by the lovely Glenn Petersen and Communion Foundation President, Murray Bowen, and supported by numerous volunteers from MGLFF and SAVE, the evening was a sort of Art Basel: Spring Version—and further evidence that art matters in Miami, and particularly to the LGBT community, which knows art when it sees it—and cares enough to support art and its creators.  Make art, not war—and next year, mark your calendars.  You won’t want to miss Communion Celebrates Art 4 @ the Bakehouse Complex.  With luck and good taste, you’ll leave with good art—and maybe even a husband.

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