More than 200 attend Main Line Art Center 75th soiree, auction celebration

(left to right) Andrew Herman, MLAC Executive Director Judy Herman, Steve Herman, Kate Tichauer and Kyle Adair welcome incoming guests.
(left to right) Andrew Herman, MLAC Executive Director Judy Herman, Steve Herman, Kate Tichauer and Kyle Adair welcome incoming guests. Josh Fernandez /

More than 200 residents from across the region flocked to the Main Line Arts Center Saturday, April 14, decked in their best party and 1930s attire for the center's 75th Soiree and Silent Auction celebration.

The 1930s-themed bash honored the center through its "Out of the Attic: 75 Years of History," and its Executive Director, Judy Herman, who is retiring in August.

"It's so amazing to have so many wonderful friends gather at the art center to celebrate these 25 years I've totally enjoyed," Herman told Neighbors.

Guests began to arrive around 6 p.m. and were treated to hors d'oeuvres and beverages while they wandered around the center to admire the exhibition gallery art and check out the items like art, jewelry, autographed sports and entertainment memorabilia, performance tickets, wine and gift certificates available for the silent auction, introduced for the first time during the annual soiree.

Though not everyone sported the turn-of-the-century clothing, the classic jazz band, The Gin Canaries and their swing dancing friends brought the 1930s atmosphere that kept the soiree's theme alive. They performed in the outside tent, where additional beverages, food and auction items caught guests' eyes.

Before 7 p.m., a handful of attendees swarmed the exhibition gallery with MLAC's various board members to honor Herman for her work at the center.

"Judy is going to leave a lasting impression on the Art Center and the art community for many, many years," MLAC Board President Steve Holstad said during his speech.

Holstad announced that the center was introducing the Judy Herman Emerging Artists Prize to honor the executive director's committment to art. The Board President said the donors of the prize have helped raise $5,000 so far, adding that donations and contributions were still being accepted for the award.

After Holstad finished his remarks, Herman was presented with a more tangible gift – a mirror covered in literal and figurative colorful quotes about the exective director, all written by friends, family and colleagues.

If that weren't enough for Herman, the board and staff of MLAC also showed a video to guests, "A Tribute to Judy Herman." The video was full of praise, with those familiar with Herman betting her the winner in a fight with Superman and Batman, as well as comparing her to artist Jackson Pollock or saying that were she a famous artist"she'd be unlike any artist we've seen."

The almost 30 minutes celebration of her work left Herman smiling and teary-eyed.

"Thank you for being so supportive and so wonderful," Herman said to her audience. "The teachers and artists are what makes this art center so recognizes artists as part of this community. I look forward to all we're building and doing, and I'm proud to have been in charge for 25 years."

To see the soiree's photo gallery, click here.