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VOL. 132 | NO. 74 | Thursday, April 13, 2017

After Successful First Year, ‘Art by Design’ Returns

By Don Wade

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As a board member of ArtsMemphis, Greg Baudoin had contributed other fundraising ideas, including one for a culinary series showcasing the city’s best chefs.

But the fundraiser “Art by Design” was even more of a natural for him. As the owner of Greg Baudoin Interior Design, he knew the potential for this event as well as anyone.

“I’m an interior designer. I knew there was a lot of talent here,” Baudoin said. “We found a perfect setting at Propcellar (2585 Summer Ave.). Huge open space.”

So a year ago, “Art by Design” debuted as about a dozen local interior designers were each provided a 12-by-16-foot space to show their work. The event raised $120,000, said ArtsMemphis development director Will Murray, and the goal this year is $140,000.

“We greatly exceeded expectations,” Murray said. “And we’re well ahead of last year.”

The funds go to support some 60 local arts organizations and artists.

“Everyone from the Brooks Museum to Hattiloo Theatre to Indie Memphis,” Murray said.

This year’s event starts on Thursday, April 27, with a VIP dinner at Propcellar, which is billed as a vintage furniture and décor emporium. The following night there is a cocktail party at Propcellar and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, the public can view the designers’ creations. Tickets for the dinner are $250, cocktail party tickets are $75 and Saturday general admission tickets $20. Go to https://www.artsmemphis.org/artbydesign/ for more information or to purchase tickets.

The designers are not directed as what to create in their spaces.

“They are showcasing their work – bedrooms, bathrooms, a library … it’s really wide open,” said Elizabeth Rouse, president and CEO of ArtsMemphis. “And it’s all Memphis-based designers.”

Missy Steffens, of M. Steffens Interiors, did a dining room space last year. This year she is part of the steering committee for the event.

“I enjoyed meeting other designers,” she said. “It’s a very open environment and everybody’s confident in their own designs.”

Members of the general public, however, might not be so confident in what they can do with their own living room, dining room, or perhaps some space that is difficult to even define. That makes Saturday’s event an opportunity to, well, steal some really good ideas.

Besides the designers, other speakers and vendors will be participating. Cambria, which produces natural stone surfaces, and is serving as sponsor for the Friday, April 28, kickoff party, will be displaying its products.

“With the advent of more technology and Pinterest people are more visual,” said Steffens. “This is a good opportunity to get to know our interior designers in town, no strings attached.”

Baudoin says sponsorship support has greatly increased from year one to year two. Iberia Bank is the lead sponsor and Murray is optimistic about where the event goes from here.

“The sky’s the limit,” he said.

Rouse believes Art by Design already has enhanced the profile of ArtsMemphis. Murray believes the event also has, is, and will continue to have a ripple effect across the community at large.

“It’s a great opportunity to expand our reach to constituencies and our vision that every resident in Memphis will feel the impact of art in their life,” he said.

Featured designers at Art by Design this year include: Ami Austin Interior Design, B. Gaines Interior Design, Blu D’Or Interiors, Carlton Edwards, Driscoll Design & Decoration, Elizabeth Malmo Interior Design, Garden District, Greg Baudoin Interior Design, Parker Design Studio, Spruce, Vignettes Interior Design and York Binkley Interior Design.

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