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Columbia Museum of Art Announces Fundraising Gala: Soirée du Soleil and Online Auction Featuring a Week in Provence

COLUMBIA, SC.- Guests experience the world of the French Impressionist artists at the Columbia Museum of Art’s Soirée du Soleil fundraising gala on Saturday, April 18 from 7:00 p.m. until midnight. The Museum transforms into an indoor garden with European studio vignettes and French countryside fare to recreate the ambiance of France during the time of the artists included in the exhibition Turner to Cézanne: Masterpieces from the Davies Collection, National Museum Wales. Tickets are $150 per person and $175 the night of the event. For more information, call 803.343.2210 or visit

The festive black tie evening turns the entire museum building into Provence and La Côte d’ Azur and features live music by the band Synergy from Atlanta, entertainment from local performance artists, champagne and French cuisine from Southern Way Catering. Complimentary valet parking is available.

An online auction coincides with the Soirée du Soleil fundraising gala and is only available to gala attendees and museum members. Auction items include: a week in Provence, a set of French china and Baccarat crystal, a watercolor portrait from a Columbia artist, a French dinner at historic Aberdeen, van Gogh-inspired stained glass work, vintage jewelry, custom couture fashion, and French-inspired furniture. Early bidding is now available for members and Soirée du Soleil ticket holders at Bidding closes Sunday, April 19 at 6:00 p.m.

Soirée du Soleil is sponsored by generous donors. Platinum Sponsors (Parrain de Platine) are BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Southern Way Catering and Van Jean Womenswear. Gold Sponsors (Parrain d’Or) are Shawn Allen and Carolyn Holtschlag Allen. Silver Sponsors (Parrain d’Argent) are ACS Sound and Lighting, Gail and Steve Anastasion, AT&T, John and Kay Bachmann, Mary and Clinch Belser, Dr. Suzan D. Boyd and Mr. M. Edward Sellers, Carolina First Bank, Columbia Music Festival Association, Doctors Care, Joyce and Bob Hampton, Susan B. and C. Carroll Heyward, Mr. and Mrs. R. C. McEntire, Michelin North America, Dr. and Mrs. Ronald C. Rogers, Dr. Jack M. and Sarah Smith, Brude and Ann Stoever and Westend / Evon Kirkland Interiors.

A volunteer committee of over 80 people from the community is organizing the event. Carol Shropshire serves as the gala chair and honorary chairs are Melissa and Joe Blanchard, who are presenting sponsors of the exhibition in Columbia. Committee chairs include: Bruce Bahr, Steven Ford, Shani Gilchrist, Martie Kapp, Mary Kessler, Beth Kibler, Willson Powell, Hannah Rogers, Judy Seibels and John Whitehead.

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