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The LongHouse Reserve Summer Gala Celebrates Southeast Asian Textiles and Culture

EAST HAMPTON, NY.- On Saturday, July 18, 2009 LongHouse Reserve will host its annual Summer Gala at its 16-acre East Hampton compound. The festive event, inspired by a recent LongHouse trip to Southeast Asia, will celebrate “Asian Laughter” and treat guests to a medley of Eastern delicacies and melodies. Attendees will have the pleasure of experiencing the natural beauty of the LongHouse Reserve, while honoring internationally acclaimed silk weaver and textile designer Carol Cassidy with the LongHouse Medal of 2009.

“Carol has lived and worked with rural artisans all over the world, most notably in Laos, where she is credited with actually reviving the art of silk weaving,” said Jack Lenor Larsen, LongHouse Reserve founder and himself a renowned textile designer. “LongHouse applauds her dedication and commitment to using an art form to provide hope and independence to the people of developing nations. Carol is an inspiration to us all.”

Cassidy, who went to Vientiane, Laos, in 1989 as a United Nations weaving advisor, sought to revive the lost art of weaving in a place challenged by years of social unrest, economic hardship and war. In 1990, the Lao PRD government granted Cassidy permission to start Lao Textiles, making her the country’s first American to run a business. Cassidy has used silk weaving to restore a sense of heritage and pride to people whose lives once revolved around the art form.

“Part of LongHouse’s mission is to educate and awaken people’s senses, allowing them to experience art and meet the visionaries behind it,” said Executive Director Matko Tomicic. “The gala is an opportunity to highlight an honoree’s accomplishments, as well as to showcase the work of many others – to experience all that LongHouse has to offer.”

More than 350 guests will have the opportunity to meet Cassidy and attend the always sold-out gala. The evening will begin at 5p.m. for “patrons,” “benefactors” and “sponsors,” who purchase tickets at $1,500 or more, at the Round House reception. Guests will view the unique property formerly owned by Jack Lenor Larsen, next door to Longhouse, and will each receive a one-of-a-kind, brightly-colored silk scarf, designed by Cassidy.

At 6:30p.m., Cassidy and the Round House reception patrons will proceed to the LongHouse Reserve grounds to join other partygoers arriving at the Asian-themed gala. The Angkor Dance Troupe will perform interpretive dances, leading guests on a journey through ancient Cambodia. Internationally-acclaimed Korean drummer Vongku Park also will take the stage with his unique ability to combine poongmul and samulnori elements of traditional Korean dance with Western drama. Of course, no evening at LongHouse would be complete without a stroll through the picturesque grounds to view many exciting works, including recently-installed sculptures: Magdalena Abakanowicz’s “Rabdomante ,” Eric Fischl’s “Tumbling Woman,” four Gonzalo Fonseca sculptures, and Johnny Swing’s “The Quarter Lounge.”

Food will underscore the theme, as patrons gather under an Asian pavilion, designed by renowned outdoor furniture company GANDIA BLASCO, to experience Taste Caterers’ creative Asian fare. Laurent-Perrier Champagne will provide Brut L.P., a crisp, fresh and elegant Champagne, reflecting the fundamental essence of Laurent-Perrier Champagne. Suntory ZEN green tea liqueur and Bacardi spirits will delight the guests, who are encouraged to wear colorful dress, including silks, batik, and ikat. Vibrant lanterns and banners will celebrate the richness of cultures committed to the spirituality and meaning in art.

All proceeds from the Summer Gala will support the LongHouse Reserve, whose arboretum, sculpture gardens, and educational programs, unite art and nature, aesthetics and spirit. The evening’s silent auction will feature many exciting opportunities to bid on art from renowned artists such as Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein and Dale Chihuly.

Benefit committee members who have made the evening possible include: Edward Albee (Pulitzer Prize-Winning American Playwright), Eleanor Alper, Alice Bell, Madelaine Bennett, Dianne B and Lys Marigold, Judy and Ennius Bergsma, Abby Jane Brody, Adelaide De Menil and Edmund Carpenter, Anthony Coron, Charles Cowles, Gardner Cowles, Jan Cowles, Laurel and Theodore Cutler, Lisa de Kooning, Helen Drutt English and Peter Stern, Eileen and Richard Ekstract, Nina Gillman, Jane and Louis Gropp, Susan Gullia, Barbara Hoffman, Bruce Horten, Jane Johnson, Roseline Koener, Jack Lenor Larsen, Elizabeth Lear, Elizabeth and Mark Levine, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Hilda Longinotti, Jonathan McCann, Scott McDonald, Alexandra Munroe and Robert Rosenkranz, Stephanie Odegard, Nancy Olnick and Giorgio Spanu, Michele and Steven Pesner, Barbara and Michael Press, Edward Roberts and Elaine Krauss, Alan Rogers, Anne and Charles Roos, June Rosner and Russ Bilgore, Charles C. Savage, Barbara Slifka, Annaliese Soros, Joanna Steichen, Lenard and Fern Tessler, Edwina Von Gal, Robert Wilson, Jane and Michael Wind and Neda Young. Auction items can be viewed online prior to the event, at Viewers can bid on certain items prior to the event.

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