Linda Lee Alter, 2012 First Annual Bebe Benoliel Founder’s Award Honoree

Linda Lee Alter, Founder’s Award Honoree, CFEVA

Linda Lee Alter, First Annual Bebe Benoliel Founder’s Award for an  Outstanding Arts Collaborator Honoree

March 28th 2012, The Center for Emerging Visual Artists hosted their 10th Annual Benefit Auction at the University of the Arts, a swanky affair with wonderful art and experiences up for auction to generate operating revenue for the non-profit organization dedicated to emeging Philadelphia artists.  The grand hall was beautifully decorated with flowers and saffron colored lanterns and umbrellas, the smells of barbecue and mac-n-cheese wafted through the crowd enticing them to eat while browsing the auction items.  But before the big auction, artist Linda Lee Alter was presented with the First Annual Bebe Benoliel Founder’s Award for an  Outstanding Arts Collaborator and renowned art connoisseur and curator Eileen Tognini presented the award, a lovely equine sculpture by artist Julia Stratton.

Eileen Tognini, Julia Stratton and Linda Lee Alter First Annual Bebe Benoliel Founder’s Award for an  Outstanding Arts Collaborator Honoree

Eileen TogniniJulia Stratton and Linda Lee Alter at First Annual Bebe Benoliel Founder’s Award for an Outstanding Arts Collaborator Honoree presentation.

Eileen Tognini presented the award, she has been an artistic advisor to CFEVA since 2008 and this year was the chair of the Founder’s Award committee.  Eileen addressed the audience, “Welcome, it’s so wonderful to see so many friends of CFEVA this evening.  Thank you so much.  As much as this event is about fund-raising, it’s also about celebrating the community of talented artists, acknowledging those who determine that their legacy is one steeped in supporting the artists journey.  Without the passion and dedication, these individuals, to recognize their support of not only artists but also the broader community and it’s beneficiaries.  The introduction of the Annual Bebe Benoliel Founder’s Award for an Outstanding Arts Collaborator is seen as a genuine desire to honor an individual who actively supports artists and their careers through a commitment to collecting, exhibiting and philanthropic activities.  The award has been established in the spirit of the ideals and mission and her own passion that Bebe set forth when she founded the Creative Artists Network, now CFEVA, nearly thirty years ago”

“Each year a CFEVA alum or current fellow will be selected to create this award through a CFEVA stipend and be recognized at this event alongside our honoree…this First Founder’s Award was created by CFEVA alum Julia Stratton.  Julia attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, graduating 1994 with honors…”

Center for Emerging Visual Artists 10th Annual Benefit Auction at University of the Arts

Center for Emerging Visual Artists 10th Annual Benefit Auction at University of the Arts

“…coincidently, Julia and I are not strangers to one another , yet neither one knew of each other’s participation in this honor, so the magic is even more meaningful.  Our honoree, Linda Lee Alter was born and raised in Philadelphia and has been a working artist for over fifty years.  Starting her career as a fibers artist creating large scale work.  Lee’s artwork is represented in numerous private and public collections throughout the United States and in 2008 the Allentown Art Museum held a retrospective exhibition of Lee’s work.”

“In addition to creating her own work, Lee has made it her mission to help other women artists.  In the mid 1980s, she began to collect art by women with the goal of building a collection that would be of interest to museums.  Lee’s intention was to donate the collection to an institution that was enthusiastic about increasing it’s representation of art by women.  As a way to help women’s art become more visible and recognized, and better appreciated.  In 2010, Lee gave the collection to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.  In 1991, Lee started a non-profit foundation to fill a need that she felt was unmet by other local foundations.  The Leeway Foundation supported women in art by making grants to individual women artists living in the Philadelphia Region.”

2012 First Annual Bebe Benoliel Founder’s Award to Lee Alter

Eileen Tognini concluded, “Today, The Leeway Foundation is a community led foundation supporting women and trans artists, creating social change in the Delaware Valley Region.  To be standing here in front of all of you introducing an individual who possesses both vision and passion, it is truly both an inspiration and a sincere honor for me.  I would like to present the 2012 First Annual Bebe Benoliel Founder’s Award to Lee Alter.”

After a rousing round of applause, Linda Lee Alter said, “Thank you very much, I admired Bebe very much for her commitment to emerging artists and even more for the kind of person she was. I feel very fortunate to have known her and to have had our lives overlap one another.  I knew Bebe a long time ago and she was an inspiration then to me and she continues to inspire me.  So, this award has very special meaning.  And Julia Stratton‘s sculpture is a beautiful symbol of the Bebe award.  I believe that for every happening, every action, everything, is the result of the contribution of a lot of people.  I certainly feel that about my own efforts in the arts and it’s in that way that I feel very grateful for this award and I accept it with many thanks.  Thank you all vey much.”

Linda Lee Alter,  2012 First Annual Bebe Benoliel Founder’s Award Honoree, Center for Emerging Visual Artists 10th Annual Benefit Auction at University of the Arts

Center for Emerging Visual Artists 10th Annual Benefit Auction at University of the Arts

CFEVA 2012 Signature Cocktail:  Orange Hurricane

  • 1 oz. Bacardi 0
  • 1 oz. Bacardi 8-year dark rum
  • 1 oz. Triple Sec
  • 3 oz. Orange Juice
  • 3 oz. Pineapple Juice
  • 1/2 oz. Grenadine

Mix above ingredients; pour over ice into a Hurricane glass.  Add a splash of Club Soda.  Garnish with Orange Slice and Maraschino Cherry. (Small umbrella optional.)

Heavy Bubble at 2012 First Annual Bebe Benoliel Founder’s Award Honoree

Heavy Bubble was in the house at 2012 First Annual Bebe Benoliel Founder’s Award and 10th Annual CFEVA Benefit Auction.

Written and photographed by DoN BrewerDoNArTNeWs Philadelphia Art News Blog

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