Panache 2016 makes a big splash for Escondido Municipal Arts Gallery

Checking out the silent auction items.

Around 200 art patrons and Escondido Arts Partnership and Escondido Municipal Art Gallery lovers flocked to the latest incarnation of the group’s annual major fundraiser, Panache 2016 on Saturday, March 19.

Networking and noshing, auction bidding and general arts partnering went on for hours as patrons couldn’t get enough of art while a good time was had by all.

“I live in Mira Mesa now, but I used to live in Escondido,” said artist Gladys Jimenez, who displayed an abstract multi-pastel background painting with two arcing blue lines. “I still come here for the arts center and every Second Saturday (art walk). For Panache only, artists who have received awards are invited to display, so it’s a big honor.”

Artist Petey Dietz in the house, her work over her left shoulder.

Artist Petey Dietz in the house, her work over her left shoulder.

Petey Dietz, a 50-year Escondido resident who retired after 32 years of teaching at San Pasqual High School, proudly displayed a mixed media piece of two painted 3-dimensional blocks.

“I’ve volunteered here 15 years,” Dietz, a long-time southwest Escondido resident said. “I love it here because it’s a gallery that’s opened up for everybody, from students to people just straight off the street. People can share art here.”

For San Diego artist Lana Wilson, who came to America from Kiev, Ukraine in 2001, Panache was an opportunity to check out the Escondido art scene. “This is my first time,” she said, “I am an artist myself probably will try to participate next time.”

For gallery director Chris Moats, ably aided by gallery supervisor Hayley Janacek, it was all systems go, go, go as she dashed about to keep the good times going. “It’s going good,” she said as she pointed out directions to a a piece of work to someone.

Alan Miller, Chris Moats hand out beer and sympathy

Alan Miller, Chris Moats hand out beer and sympathy

Meanwhile, a Cheshire cat grinning Alan Miller made sure the libations continued to roll as well, classy wine and craft beer flowing as part of the sponsorship lagniappe.

Volunteers with large trays filled with tasty, and often exotic, hors ‘dourves named the gallery, Everything from cucumbers slices with salmon and cream cheese to a gushing chocolate bar for pastry dipping, cheeses and artisan deli slices gave a culinary accoutrement to the evening’s festivities.

A lot of the night’s festivities centered on the Panache 2016 art auctions. Niki de Saint Phalle headlined the efforts of 40 award-winning local, national and internationally acclaimed artists donated works for the gala fundraiser. Auctioneer Dovi Lichtenstein was large and in charge.

Saint Phalle, a French artist with strong ties to Escondido, died at age 71 in 2002. Her original signed lithograph “Pink Martini” was the live auction’s cornerstone presentation.

Ukrainian artist Lana Wilson at the big show.

Ukrainian artist Lana Wilson at the big show.

The splashy Panache 2016 will provide valuable funding for the Municipal Gallery, a free resource center for local artists, tourists and the general public, It helps make possible the Escondido Arts Partnership’s busy calendar of exhibits, educational programs and special activities benefiting residents and visitors.

Sponsors included The Niki Charitable Art Foundation, Escondido Sunrise Rotary, Don Manor, Cosmic Solar, Murphy’s Fine Woodworking, Bulldogge & Co.,Grand Galleria, Stone Brewing Company, and SunCatcher Design.

EAP’s Municipal Gallery is at 262 E Grand Ave. For more information call (760) 480-4101 or visit http://www.escondidoarts.org.

Patrons checking out Gladys Jimenez’s abstract art work for auction.

Patrons checking out Gladys Jimenez’s abstract art work for auction.

Patrons at the big show.

Patrons at the big show.

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