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Out on the Table:

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Art of the Table
503 Market Street
March 10th – 13th • $10-$75
bellamymansion.org

As the glasses clink in the kitchen, napkins are neatly folded, and the silverware is laid out in careful detail. The staff at 5th and Market streets’ historic white palace is getting ready for a big event. The Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts hosts weddings, banquets, and fund-raisers by the dozen every month, but for this particular party, things are getting a bit more creative in the form of their annual setting soiree, Art of the Table.

Every year, area businesses sign up to decorate a surface and show off their table-top talents. Isabel Becker, a staff member at the mansion, says this year is special and for two reasons.

“This is the Bellamy Mansion’s 150th anniversary, and The Art of the Table is our kick-off celebration,” Becker says. “Plus, we are excited to have celebrity designer Raymond Waites as our special guest.”

Waites’ designs can be found everywhere from his alma mater, Pratt School of Design, to the aisles of Bed Bath & Beyond. This week, he’ll be making the rounds at Bellamy’s schedule of anniversary events. Fellow designer and local business owner Debby Gomulka is this year’s chairperson and holds the list for the venues that will unveil their table designs.

“We are so grateful to have some of the area’s top designers, boutiques, florists and event planners,” Gomulka says. “Protocol, The Three Divas, Bella Rose Photography, The Fisherman’s Wife, Salt Harbor Designs and Island Florals by Roxanne, just to name a few.”

Other designing vendors will be Julia’s Florist, McKenzie Baker, Big Sky Design, The Sterling House, Rock ‘n’ Bloom, Cape Fear Community College Design Students, Blockade Runner, Larry’s Florist, Aunt Cake’s Cookies, aMuse Artisanal Finery, Temple of Israel, Creations by Justine, and Culinary Adventures with Liz Biro.

“We wanted to highlight the area’s most talented artists and have them tell a story of the historic character of the Bellamy Mansion for our anniversary celebration,” Gomulka says.

Other items on the calendar include a Thursday-night gala dinner and preview party, which takes guests on a tour of historic downtown homes and ends in a nearby restaurant. “Then, we return for champagne and dessert and a preview of the Art of the Table exhibit,” Becker says. “Raymond Waites will make an appearance and guests will have a chance to meet our other designers as well.”

A Friday afternoon tea will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., with sweets by The Three Divas preceding a book signing with designer Randy Trull. Finally, a list of interactive classes will be available on Saturday for the public.

“We are fortunate to have some of our local talent lined up to present design-related workshops,” Becker says. “Guests can learn about today’s design trends from McKenzie Baker Interiors, learn about flower arranging from Flowers by June and the Cape Fear Garden Club, or learn how to arrange artwork, prints and photos by Walls Gallery.”

General admission to the exhibit is $15, with workshops costing $10 a person. Tickets to the preview night gala go for $75 and Friday afternoon tea is $25. Visit www.bellamymansion.org for more details.

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