Detail of a painting by Miki Boni
Palate 2 Palette chooses ‘The Wizard of Us’ as theme for Soutside arts sojourn
Walking through the Southside on Saturday night, don’t be surprised if you come across a Munchkin, a Cowardly Lion, or a little girl wearing ruby red slippers. Why? Because this Saturday, April 25, galleries across the Southside will be hosting the eighth annual Palate 2 Palette, and this year’s theme is “The Wizard of Us.”
Palate 2 Palette is a unique event designed to showcase the city’s best artistic talent and raise funds for the Craniofacial Foundation of America (CFA). One of Palate 2 Palette’s main events is the Gallery Stroll, which takes guests on a magical journey through various Southside galleries. Along the way, they can meet with featured artists, enjoy fine wine and cuisine, and learn more about the CFA and the families who benefit from it.
Terry Smyth, executive director of CFA, explains how Palate 2 Palette began: “A few years ago, our patient base started to grow more and more, so we decided we needed to start a new fundraiser. At that point, Chattanooga’s Southside was really coming to life, so we thought having Palate 2 Palette there would be a good opportunity to showcase the city, and we’ve had the event there ever since.”
This year’s theme is based on “The Wizard of Oz”—which is why you should be on the lookout for Munchkins, a Tin Man, and the like—but with a twist. Each gallery on the stroll will tell a story based on characters from the movie and a family or child associated with the CFA. Since it has this unique personal touch, this year’s stroll is called “The Wizard of Us.”
There are ten stops along the stroll, including Munchkin Land (Church on Main), the Field of Poppies (Gallery 1401), and Lion’s Den (Hart Gallery). After you have finished the stroll, you will find yourself at the Emerald City (otherwise known as Track 29), where you can dance to the music of Willie Kitchens and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, desserts, and champagne. Throughout the night, you can also bid on several different silent auction pieces created by patients of the CFA and local artists who have dedicated themselves to CFA’s cause.
One of those artists is Miki Boni, who has been involved with Palate 2 Palette for several years. Four years ago, her studio was selected to be part of the Gallery Stroll route, and three years ago she started working with CFA patients to produce works of art for Palate 2 Palette’s silent auction.
“Each year I’ve worked with a different child,” Boni says. “Working with each one has been so different and rewarding. I help them figure out what they’re passionate about, and then we put that on the canvas. This year, I worked with Hana. She told me stories about her life and what she likes, and a painting emerged from her stories.”
Boni’s studio is part of the Gallery Stroll again—this year as the Castle of Glenda the Good Witch—and a series of Boni’s paintings called “The Otherworldlies” will be on display. “The paintings in this series are all of little scenes and characters that you might find in Oz or some other place—who knows?” Boni says with a chuckle.
Boni has put a lot of work into Palate 2 Palette for the past few years, but she has loved every minute of it. “It’s really the best event in the city,” she says. “It’s the most fun, and it’s the best cause. So much work is put into this event by so many volunteers. Everyone should come out and have a good time for great cause.”
Proceeds from Palate 2 Palette will benefit CFA, a nonprofit organization that supports the work of the Tennessee Craniofacial Center (TCC). The TCC specializes in the treatment of patients of all ages with craniofacial deformities.
“We’re the only craniofacial organization where 100 percent of the donations stay local,” Executive Director Smyth explains, “and about 90 percent of our patients in the past year have been from Chattanooga and the Southeast region. One common misconception is that children born with facial deformities, especially those you see with a cleft lip or a cleft palate, are all from Third World countries. People think that doesn’t happen here in America, but it does, and the CFA is here to help.”
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For more information about CFA, visit craniofacialfoundation.org. And if you’d like to attend this year’s Palate 2 Palette, stop by p2pchattanooga.com for ticket prices