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Art Center Uses Its Imagination for Ball

June 19, 1988|MARY LOU LOPER | Times Staff Writer

Standing tall, the Art Center College of Design's president David Brown remarked, "I am so happy not to be the tallest thing here tonight." He's 6-foot-8. He was standing next to Alyce Williamson, chairman of the center's first (and not to be its last) Imagination Ball. In full, white regalia, she was the incredible Snow Queen--a mass of Ruben Panis feathers, beads, glitter, with a cloak of feathers and an ascending hat of feathers.

For months, the Art Center One Hundred committee has been planning this Imagination Ball. It was not to be your ordinary costume ball--not with 180 Art Center students invited to come in costume and compete for $500 awards amid the social crowd. Not with Wayne Foster's Orchestra to crowd the dance floor. Not with the Mums, the masters of juggling, swallowing fire and producing pigeons at a whisk.

Two days later, Alyce Williamson already had a full stack of thank-you notes--from those who rarely write. "I'm overwhelmed," she said.

So was the crowd. Many who had been to the LA Alive! party the night before remarked that two exquisitely novel parties in one weekend was a bonus.

It was a night for letting down pretense, starting with the Art Center One Hundred board of directors: Martha Chandler came as a bag lady, Judy Webb as a clown, Biji Wilcox as an outrageous bopper. Kelsey Hall wrestled with her feathered headdress most of the evening. Katy Gates, Kathleen Allen, Eleanore Colt, Beverly Fitzgerald and Mary Smeby shuttled to and fro checking tables, guiding guests, some of whom had trouble seeing through their elaborate paraphernalia.

Spud Williamson, Alyce's husband, will henceforth be known as Spuds--he wore a Spuds McKenzie mask. Dozens had been to Somewhere in Time to buy masks--like Dorothy Shea and Veva McKee (Veva said to Dorothy, "You have one more antenna than I do.")

Four students--Dennis Juett, Beth Fielding, Todd Grant and Mona Weir--came as a table, winning a prize. Art Center vice president Angus Whyte came in his power Levi's jacket. The Williamson offspring--Henry (escorting Robin Ferrante), Sandra and John Fallat, Ruthie and Lisa Williamson--were a mishmash of devils and mermaids and assorted wigs.

Dr. Robert Tranquada wore his academic Stanford regalia, Peter Adams a Peking opera hood, and Pam and Jim Boswell led a contingent of four brides and bridegrooms. Dr. Max Peagram and his Helen were river-boat gamblers; Hugh McNeil wore a Scottish kilt. More in on the fun were Dick and Virginia Stever, Kenneth and Bobbie Galpin (in from Brussels), Joan and Dave Traitel and Madge Burford dancing every dance.

MAJOR MOVERS: Chairman Irwin S. Field and the United Way board of directors have extended invitations for the annual meeting of the United Way. It's Wednesday at the Westin Bonaventure in the California Ballroom.

ON LOCATION: Marilyn and Harry Lewis, reflecting the flair that goes into their Hamburger Hamlets, go "On Location With the Encores," the revved-up support group to benefit the Los Angeles Theatre Center, on Saturday in Beverly Hills.

They're planning an intimate evening of diversions strictly limited to 125 guests. Sophisticated dress--black-tie or blazer--will suffice for the mixer and supper. The format will be Act I, Bill Bushnell, LATC artistic director; Act II, LATC cameo performance; Act III, IVORY sings Gershwin, and Act IV, touch dancing to Pat Longo. Three other mini "On Location" evenings are planned.

ALFRESCO: Don the garden party hats, the florals and prints, the elegant sports attire. It's time for the fifth annual Golden Mallet Invitational Polo Tournament and Garden Party coming up July 10. Again, the Day Nursery and Artisans Auxiliaries of the Assistance League of Southern California have nabbed the opening day of the prestigious United States Polo Assn. America Cup. And, again, the affair will be alfresco at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club. Leading the Southern California contingent to Santa Barbara will be co-chairs Gloria Holden and her daughter Geannie Sheller Holden. They're planning a pregame parade, prizes and gourmet luncheon.

ESCALATION: Among UCLA alumni, faculty and friends receiving awards at the 43rd annual alumni Awards for Excellence ceremony on campus were Joan Palevsky, vice president and director of community education at Immaculate Heart College Center; UCLA professor and Nobel laureate Donald Cram; UC regent Edward W. Carter, founder of Carter Hawley Hale Inc.; and UCLA Chancellor Charles and Sue Young.

UPSCALE: Black-tie or tango attire are appropriate Tuesday evening at Filmland Center when Occidental Petroleum Corp. and the American Film Institute celebrate Argentine cinema, invite guests to view the Tango Argentino Ballet and dance the tango during "Noche de Tango." Cocktails, dinner, dancing, with the blessings of Dr. Armand Hammer and Jean Firstenberg. . . .

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