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Lauritzen Gardens Antique & Garden Show

 

Lauritzen Gardens Antique & Garden Show 2013

Antiques and Gardens Make a Matched Set as four-day show offers antique and garden displays, talks, tours and more

Appreciating beauty takes center stage during the 10th annual Lauritzen Gardens Antique & Garden Show running September 26-29 at the Omaha botanical centerLauritzen Gardens located at 100 Bancroft Street in Omaha's Deer Park neighborhood. just off of I-80 at 13th Street.

The show not only features almost 30 antique exhibitors from across the country and abroad but also this year will feature dozens of whimsical, original watercolor and gouache paintings by California based artist Harrison Howard whom the show commissioned to set the theme for the 10th anniversary.Visitors will have a feast for the eyes between displays by 27 antique dealers from near and far, dozens of watercolor and gouache paintings by commissioned Calif.-based artist Harrison Howard and the venue's 16 outdoor gardens.

Education and entertainment are on tap too. Uunder the Kimball's Kornerevent tent, where a roster of noted speakers will present ideas onfor home decordécor, gardening, antiques and design.

There are also walking tours, tram rides and special events, including a reception and preview party, lunch and brunch lectures, shop the show tours, demonstrations and an appraisal clinic. 

This year's theme is "Celebrating a Decade of Treasures."

The backdrop for it all is 100 acres of natural splendor and exquisitely designed gardens nestled in a rolling river-side landscape. 

2013 event co-chair Kyle Robino says attending the event is like "a great vacation" getaway without leaving the city.

Major support

The garden’s Director of Ddevelopment for Annual Giving Kim Davis says the show is the garden's largest annual fundraising event, netting more than $3.6 million since its inception. This year's show is anticipated to net some $450,000. Proceeds benefit the garden's annual campaign, which Davis says provides funding for seeds and seedlings, plants, water, mulch and equipment as well as for educational programming which helps to.

Davis says the garden's educational programs "spread our mission and message to the community that beauty inspires us and that nature matters," adding, "Our education department served more than 22,000 children and adults last year."

The show is a labor of love for organizers. That's especially true for Mary Seina, who co-founded the event with her late friend, Kimball Lauritzen, whose husband Bruce Lauritzen and his family are garden benefactors. Bruce Lauritzen's late mother, Libby, volunteered there. Just as the garden got in the blood of her mother-in-law, it got in Kimball's blood as well. The former Omaha Botanical Gardens was renamed Lauritzen Gardens in 2001 in recognition of the family's support.

Show roots

The inspiration for the show that has grown's come to be the garden's signature event came on a trip to New York City Seina made with her husband, Tony.

"We went to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and they were having an antique and garden show and I fell in love with it," she recalls. "I love gardens and I love antiques, they're two of my passions. The two just seem to fit together. They're both green kind of things, they have a timeless beauty. I thought, What a neat combination. So I came home and told my dear friend Kim Lauritzen that I wanted to do this and she said, 'We'll do it together.' We were starting something brand new. It was very exciting."

It helped, Seina says, that her friend "could convince anyone of anything" and she says Kimball soon convinced hubby Bruce and garden executive director Spencer Crews to back the show.

"Then we went about finding out how to do this thing," she says. "We got a show manager and he told us about finding the dealers. We went to a bunch of different shows. Then we talked about holding lectures, We wanted the Keno brothers (of Antiques Road Show fame) for our first show because we thought they would bring in a ton of people, which they did. They brought in a huge crowd."

Shortly before Kimball’s death in February of 2008, Kimball and Mary approached another dear friend, Cindy Bay. Kimball asked Cindy to do what she could to help the show continue to thrive and she has done just that. Serving as honorary co-chairman for the past six years, Bay has taken leadership of corporate and individual sponsorship at the show has turned her keen eye to marketing the show and increasing its reach throughout the community.Seina says the show "is a dream come true" for her because it fulfills the lofty ambitions she and Kimball had for it.

Tasteful design

"From the beginning one of our goals was for our show to be of the highest quality and to be the most beautiful we could possibly afford. We wanted to have great parties, beautiful booths, wonderful food. We also wanted renowned speakers that would entertain, educate and wow us. And we wanted the show to be filled with beautiful art, furniture, porcelain, rugs and all the things that make our homes more interesting."

It's hard for Seina to pick a favorite activity but she says, "I love the lectures – we work hard finding the presenters. Our speakers are the finest you could get anywhere." This year's lineup features fashion designer, style curator and author Carolyne Roehm, home decor expert Eddie Ross, interior home designer Kathryn Ireland and hostess extraordinaire and author Danielle Rollins. All are trendsetters and tastemakers.

Jeanne Bell, who served as the show's first event chair and continues volunteering with it today, says you don't have to be a collector or designer to enjoy the presentations. "I am still not an antique collector but because of hearing these speakers I'm more educated about antiques. They teach me how to be more discerning about antiques and how to incorporate antiques into every day life in my own home."

Dealers galore

Seina says the show's success over a decade's time has given it a reputation that makes luring dealers easier than it was at the start. "We started out begging for dealers to come to Omaha and now we have waiting lists of people that want to come from all over the world." 

Robino says. "The antiques exhibitors from all over the country and the world that come here are fixtures. Many have been coming for years and they have been impressed by our hospitality." 

Event co-chair Jan Vrana says, "Having antiques from across the country and beyond come to Omaha is a special treat."

Everyone associated with the show agrees that the gardens make a sublime setting for activities centered around beauty and art.

The event has's grown over the years and as Jeanne Bell likes to say, with each new activity the show gains "added value." New this year is an expanded and updated Friday night event, Cocktails and Collectibles program for folks looking to start collecting antiques.

 

Show schedule:

Thursday, Sept. 26

4:30 to 6 p.m. Collector's Circle Reception

Sponsored by Porsche of Omaha

An elegant champagne reception exclusively for sponsors at the Lily level and above.

 

6 to 9 p.m. Preview Party

Sponsored by Omaha Steaks

$125 per person. Reservations required.

Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres served amid the gardens and antiques.

 

Friday, Sept. 27

Show open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

10:30 to 11:15 a.m. Shop the Show with Carolyne Roehm

$30 per person includes show admission all three days. Reservations required.

An informal, intimate tour of the antiques on display led by Roehm, whose curator's eye will identify how to incorporate pieces in one's home.

 

11:30 a.m.to 1 p.m. Luncheon and Lecture with Carolyne Roehm

Sponsored by First National Wealth Management

$75 per person. $125 patron package. Reservations required.

Patron package includes a set of Harrison Howard notecards. Does not include priority seating. Roehm will sign copies of her books following her lecture.

Ms. Roehm’s appearance is sponsored by flowers magazine.

 

5:15 p.m. Shop the Show with Eddie Ross

$30 per person includes show admission all three days. Reservations required.

Ross will point out how to integrate antiques into your living space.

 

5:30 to 8 p.m. Cocktails and Collectibles with Eddie Ross

Sponsored by Nan C/Brunello Cucinelli

$30 per person. Reservations encouraged.

An exciting, high-energy evening for new collectors, emerging philanthropists, and art and design enthusiasts featuring cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and a private viewing of the show.

Ross will lead a designer's tour for new collectors, emerging philanthropists and art-design enthusiasts.

 

Saturday, Sept. 28 

Show open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

All Day Designer Day

Designers presenting their business card receive free admission.

 

10 to 10:45 a.m. Floral Arranging Demonstration by Danielle Rollins

Free with paid show admission.

The ultimate hostess will work her magic and share secrets for entertaining.

 

10 to 10:45 a.m. Shop the Show with Kathyrn Ireland

$30 per person includes show admission all three days. Reservations required.

Ireland gives her spin on making antiques work with your budget and home.

 

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Brunch and Lecture with Kathryn Irelanmd

Sponsored by Suzanne and Rudy Kotula

$75 per person, $125 per patron package

Patron package includes a set of Harrison Howard notecards.Does not include priority seating. Ireland will sign copies of her books following her lecture.

 

2 p.m. Garden Walking Tour

 

Sunday, Sept. 29

Show open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. What's It Worth? Appraisal Clinic conducted by Jackson's International Auctioneers and Appraisers of Fine Art and Antiques

Sponsored by Flexjet

$15 per session with paid show admission. Reservations encouraged. Get one to three items appraised during a 5-minute verbal session. Large items can be examined by photograph.

 

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mimosa Sunday

Free with paid show admission.

Enjoy a complimentary champagne cocktail while shopping the show along with doughnuts and coffee from Dunkin' Donuts (while supplies last).

 

2 p.m. Lecture by Danielle Rollins

Sponsored by Anne Thorne Weaver

$30 nonmembers, $15 members. Reservations encouraged. Rollins will sign copies of her book following the lecture.

 

2 p.m. Garden Walking Tour

 

For tickets, visit www.lauritzengardens.org or call 402-346-4002, ext. 21.

 

Read more of Leo Adam Biga's work at leoadambiga.wordpress.com.

 

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"From the beginning one of our goals was for our show to be of the highest quality and to be the most beautiful we could possibly afford. We wanted to have great parties, beautiful booths, wonderful food. We also wanted renowned speakers that would entertain, educate and wow us. And we wanted the show to be filled with beautiful art, furniture, porcelain, rugs and all the things that make our homes more interesting."

~ Mary Seina

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