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Blueprint: Artscape 2014 by artists and designers benefit Habitat for Humanity

This beachy chair was made by Laura Fage, Signature Events, Event planner for the Blueprint: Artscape Gala.
This beachy chair was made by Laura Fage, Signature Events, Event planner for the Blueprint: Artscape Gala.
Photographer: Laura Fage

BLUEPRINT: ArtScape, the new signature gala for Habitat for Humanity, is designed to be one of the most unique events of the season. Raymond James Financial is being honored as Habitat Pinellas’ “Partner of the Year.”

Mark Aeling and Kristin Northrup chairs
Sarah Dees

UPDATE: See over 300 photos from the event by photographer "Downtown Carol" Gallagher, including the final collection of chairs created by artists, featured in this article.

The emcees for the evening are Jerry Penacoli and Cyndi Edwards, co-hosts of "Daytime," NBC's nationally syndicated lifestyle show that airs in 140 cities including New York, LA, Chicago and Tampa. Many will recognize Jerry from his 13 seasons as a correspondent for "Extra." Two very special participants assisting with the program portion are HSN CEO Mindy Grossman and former Valpak CEO Joe Bourdow. "They’ve been involved with us (Habitat) for a number of years. They are huge partners. We are super excited about our level of sponsor participation," said Christine Sabo, Vice president for major gifts.

BLUEPRINT: ArtScape 2014 to benefit Habitat for Humanity
Saturday, March 15th
6 p.m. until
Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront
$150 per person

BLUEPRINT: ArtScape is the theme of Habitat's building program. The theme celebrates the artistic vibe of our local community. ArtScape will be set amid components of a "house build" and will also feature unique individual "dining environments" for ArtScape sponsors, created by many of the Tampa Bay area's most accomplished designers and artists. ArtScape's silent auction will feature wooden chairs from the Habitat ReStore that have been repurposed as one-of-a-kind works of art by over 20 artists from the Pinellas arts community. The live auction will feature several fantastic items including a 48" x 48" canvas painted live during the evening by Tampa Bay fine artist Carrie Jadus.

Sponsor support is vital to the success of a gala, and this event has received wonderful early sponsor support. Most sponsorships include a "designer" table, one of the unique features of this event. Sponsor table designers include:

Laura Fage is responsible for organizing artists to paint and decorate the "chairs for charity" that will be auctioned at the event, Blueprint: Artscape 2014. Fage distributed the chairs to the artists, who then painted them using their own supplies and imaginations. Artists who hand painted chairs for the unique silent auction:

"This is our largest fundraiser of the year, and at this event we will be honoring Raymond James for their partnership, awarding them our “Golden Hammer” award," said Christine Sabo, Vice president for major gifts.

“There are 12 designer dining spaces. As a special sponsorship level, designers put the table together soup to nuts, donating all of their time, services and materials. The Morean art center has enlisted their hot shop to make glasses vases, etc for the table settings. HSN is doing a designer table as well. I am sure they are using items they sell on air. Every designer is using every resource they have to outfit the table."

"Laura Fage is the one who recruited all the artists and designers for us. What we wanted to do is have a thing that would be attractive to the community," said Sabo.

"Pinellas County has become a mecca for the arts so we wanted to build on that synergy. One of the reasons we invited the artists to participate in this, is we hope the folks that are at the gala will not only support Habitat but reciprocate and remember the names of the interior designers and artists who participated. We will do a Best of Blueprint Designer Award."

“This is a remake of an event we’ve done over a number of years,” said Sabo. “Laura has been able to help us put this whole artistic flavor to the event. I think the idea was to make it more mission infused. For example, as you come into the event, you’ll feel like you are walking into a home build. The homeowners and the volunteers work together to build the homes. Our volunteers are the life blood of our organizations. When you walk in there are trusses, etc. Instead of a typical silent auction, we took chairs donated to our Habitat ReStore and the artists repurposed something that is typically given away and made something from it. That’s part of our mission of the ReStore – sustainability, recycling, however we can.”

"Blueprint is the idea, and Artscape is the theme for this year’s event," said Laura Fage, Signature Events. "We wanted to create our story. We picked art as we are the Pinellas County chapter of Habitat, and there is such a great art scene here."

"90% of my office is done from thrift store chairs." said Laura Fage. "We are building the frame of a house inside the hotel where the event will be held. The dining rooms are the heart of the home. We thought, let’s create the dining room environment. We have interior designers participating, and retail stores.

Laura Fage says that in her business, Signature Events, special events are created for each client. "I am an event planner. Event season is November through April. I mainly work on events during that time. During the off months, I work on my interior design business, and from time to time during the rest of the year."

"I’ve been doing events for 30 years. I created an event 10 years ago that is still being done and it is often called the best black tie event around," said Fage. "This is probably the most unique and difficult theme. It’s a lot of organizing to get this all together. I am really looking forward to this. It’s going to be beautiful and different."

"We only do 12 events a year," she said. "We are very selective about what we do and who we work with. We will create something very specific for the organization, whether they are corporations or non profits."

"We are still looking for sponsorships. We only have a few of our designer tables left," said Chris Sabo, Vice President Major Gifts., 727-536-4755, ext. 220

Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County, 

13355 49th Street N., Clearwater, FL 33762, (SE corner of 49th St N and Ulmerton Road, behind 5/3 Bank)
office: 727-536-4755, ext. 204

Laura Fage Signature Events and Design
912 Central Avenue, Suite 3
St. Petersburg, Florida 33705

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