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Trig Modern Raises Nearly $5000 for SAFE Haven for Cats During “The Cat’s Meow” Auction

The Dwell House by Grant Newton

Dubbed the “Dwell House,” a sleek composition of intersecting cubic volumes rendered in white laminate and natural wood, was one of six Modern cat houses created by architects and furniture designers to benefit SAFE Haven for Cats during The Cat’s Meow Cocktail Party and Auction sponsored by Trig Modern design center and showroom in Raleigh.

For the auction, the six imaginative houses were joined by a mixed-media painting by Louis St. Lewis of Raleigh and New Orleans, a large neon tabby cat sculpture perched on an old radio by neon artist Nate Sheaffer of Raleigh, and an iconic mid-century modern chair from Modernica donated by Trig Modern’s owner Bob Drake.

Under The Sea by i.S. Design

Approximately 100 cat enthusiasts attended The Cat’s Meow, along with

For Perching, Playing, and Napping by Little Associates.

two three-month-old kittens that SAFE Haven’s founder and director, Pam Miller, and a few volunteers brought to the event. Trig Modern provided an abundance of party food, wine, beer, and chilled water for the crowd as they perched on modern sofas and chairs throughout the showroom.

Mixed-media painting by Louis St. Lewis

With entertaining encouragement from professional auctioneer Ben Farrell, who donated his services to the cause, every item sold for prices that exceeded their designers’ expectations. Proceeds went directly to SAFE Haven for Cats in Raleigh, a non-profit, no-kill cat shelter and clinic that, to date, has found homes for nearly 8500 formerly stray and abandoned cats and kittens.

The auction itself netted $4525 with the “Dwell House” by Greensboro furniture designer Grant Newton commanding

The Cat Cave by Corey Baughman

the highest winning bid at $1150. Other donations brought in $274 and SAFE Haven sold $59 in retail items, making the grand total for the evening $4858.

Neon sculpture by Nate Shaeffer

“We want to thank Pam and the SAFE Haven volunteers; our delightful auctioneer Ben Farrell who made the auction entertaining as well as profitable; the architects, designers and artists who contributed their time and talent to the cause: and everyone who attended, especially all of the enthusiastic bidders,” said Bob Drake. “It was a wonderful evening and we’re looking forward to another Cat’s Meow next year.”

Background: This past February, Drake and Trig Modern’s interior designer Ann

Marie Baum, a SAFE Haven volunteer, invited architects and other designers throughout the Triangle to create “cool, modern” houses for indoor cats for the fundraising auction. According to guidelines, the houses had to be modern in style and of such quality that potential bidders would welcome them in their homes. They also had to be small enough to fit through a regular residential door and light enough for two people to carry them.

Multi-Use Play Tower by Arielle Condoret Schechter, AIA

The following designers created the cat structures:

The “O” by Bret Page Architecture

For more information on Trig Modern, visit www.trigmodern.com

For more information on SAFE Haven for Cats, visit www.safehavenforcats.org.

About Trig Modern:

Founded in December 2012, Trig Modern is owned and operated by furniture and lighting designer Bob Drake. Through its combination of modern and mid-century-inspired furniture, lighting, wall and floor coverings, and accessories, as well as Modern kitchen and bath remodeling services, Trig Modern’s mission is to present a realistic portrait of sensible living and offer an antidote to excess, formality, and convention. For more information, visit www.trigmodern.com, call 919.516.8744 and find Trig Modern on Facebook. The showroom is located at 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road, Suite 109, Raleigh, NC 27604.

About SAFE Haven for Cats:

SAFE Haven’s mission is to ensure the well-being of every cat through adoption, affordable spay/neuter services, community outreach and adherence to no-kill principles. The shelter receives no government funds and relies solely on private donations for 84% percent of its budget. Visit safehavenforcats.org for more information.


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Chapel Hill Author/Filmmaker To Serve As Judge for 2017 Film Festival

NC Author, lNC Filmmaker

Author Mark Spano

Mark Spano joins the jury for “OUT at the Movies Int’l LGBT Film Fest” 

March 30, 2017 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Mark Spano, author of the critically acclaimed mystery novel Midland Club and producer/director of the new documentary “Reimagining Sicily,” will serve as a judge for OUT at the Movies Int’l l LGBT Film Fest ‘17 presented by BB&T.

The festival will take place in Winston-Salem, NC, October 5 – 8, 2017, in the Aperture Cinema, 311 W. Fourth St.; Wake Forest University Welcome Center, 1834 Wake Forest Road; and the UNC School of the Arts ACE Film Complex, 1533 S. Main Street.

“Being asked to be a judge for the OUT at The Movies Festival is such an honor,” Spano said “There is so much going on in film and the arts in general across North Carolina. I’m always pleased to contribute in any way I can.”

From the films submitted and screened, the invited jury will award Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Fest Short, Best Actor, and Best Actress.

Mark Spano, owner/operator of Mark Spano Communications Inc. and Thunderfoot Press, has spent decades working in both film and television. He has produced numerous television series and programs, including “Models of Teaching,” a national television series on excellence in education funded by The Kenan Alliance for Partnerships in Education, and “Carolina Countryside,” a weekly public television series, among many others.

As a filmmaker, Spano’s work includes “The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell.” In homage to his Sicilian heritage, he recently completed the definitive documentary “Reimagining Sicily.”

A resident of Orange County, NC, near Chapel Hill, Spano met key people involved with OUT at the Movies during a book reading/signing event for his new novel Midland Club hosted by the North Star LGBTQ Community Center in Winston-Salem. After the event, he was invited to be a judge at the 2017 Film Fest.

About “OUT at the Movies Int’l LGBT Film Fest” —  Rex Welton and Lee Mecum founded Winston-Salem’s OUT at the Movies LGBT Film Series in 2004, screening films monthly. The Film Fest began as a way to celebrate 10 years of making quality LGBT movies available to the Winston-Salem community. Filmmakers, documentary subjects, and actors travel from as far away as California to introduce their films and participate in Q&A and meet-and-greet sessions. For more information, go to outatthemovieswinstonsalem.org.

For more information on Mark Spano, visit blog.markspano.com.

 


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North Star LGBTQ Community Center Hosts Mark Spano, Author of the Critically Acclaimed Novel “Midland Club” for Book Reading, Signing

Author Mark Spano

North Star LGBTQ Community Center in Winston-Salem will host a book reading and signing event with Chapel Hill’s Mark Spano, author of the new, critically acclaimed mystery novel Midland Club, on Sunday, March 26, from 3-4 p.m. The Center is located at 930 Burke Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Admission is free and open to the public.

Released on Amazon in December 2016 where it has maintained a 4.2 rating among Customer Reviews, Midland Club is a knotted tale of corruption, lies, and murder in a Midwestern town in 1958 — the kind of town where the author grew up, and at a time in history when homosexuality was never mentioned, much less acknowledged, in high society. Only one man is willing to reveal the truth about a murder that everyone else considers a suicide. But he’ll risk his own life to do so.

One reviewer calls Midland Club “…a dark and cynical tale that reads like a film noir classic.” Another considers the 120-page novel “a small jewel…melancholic, lyric, flawlessly smooth and realistic… an excellent piece of gay fiction of exceptional quality.” And an Amazon reader observed: “Spano is a very evocative writer. He re-creates a period of time, full of treachery and secrets. You can practically smell the cigar smoke and see the dark paneled walls and mahogany of the club. But this book is more than just a murder mystery: it speaks to the human condition.”

After introducing his book, reading a passage, and answering any questions, the author will sign books that will be available for purchase.

For more information on the book signing event, email Rayce Lamb, North Star LGBTQ Community Center’s Outreach Coordinator: outreach@northstarlgbtcc.com.

For more information on Midland Club, visit Thunderfoot Press’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ThunderfootPress/.

About North Star: North Star is Winston-Salem’s first LGBTQ Community Center. The Center opened on September 21, 2013, and offers many educational, social, and collaborative activities for the whole community in the Piedmont/Triad area. For more information: www.northstarlgbtcc.com.

About author Mark Spano: Mark Spano is a writer and filmmaker and the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. His films include “The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell” and the definitive documentary on Sicily entitled “The Sicilians.” MHe holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C. He now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina. For more information: http://blog.markspano.com.


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Trig Modern Announces…

catsmeowheader_large

Architects and designers create cool, modern cat houses for an auction to benefit SAFE Haven For Cats.

Trig Modern design center and showroom in Raleigh announces “The Cat’s Meow,” an auction of modern, professionally designed houses for cats to benefit SAFE Haven for Cats, a non-profit, no-kill shelter in Raleigh dedicated to finding homes for homeless cats and kittens.

The auction will be held Wednesday, May 10th, from 6-8 p.m., during a Cocktail Party in Trig Modern’s showroom in Dock 1053, 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road. Raleigh. The Auction and Party are free and open to the public. Professional auctioneer Ben Ferrell is donating his services.

Ann Marie Baum, Trig Modern’s lead interior designer and a SAFE Haven volunteer, has issued Invitations to architects and designers throughout the Triangle area to create “cool, modern cat houses that people who love cats will be delighted to have in their homes. So we’re encouraging participating designers to think of their contributions as furniture or accessories that will contribute to, rather than detract from, someone’s décor.”

Modern design and quality construction are also imperative, she stressed, “so that the houses will fetch substantial prices. This is a fundraiser after all!”

Baum and Trig Modern’s owner, Bob Drake, were inspired to organize and present “The Cat’s Meow” after seeing the results of a similar event that architects in Los Angeles. “How cool can a cat house be? Just take a look at these,” she said, referencing Los Angeles Architects For Animals fundraiser for a local nonprofit.

“We are so excited about ‘The Cat’s Meow’ auction to help formerly stray cats find their home-sweet-home’ literally,” said Pam Miller, founder and president of SAFE Haven for Cats. “This is a creative, fun, and practical way to help abandoned cats and kittens find the first real home they have ever known. We’re so grateful to Trig Modern for hosting this event.”

Completed cat houses will be delivered to Trig Modern May 4-6 and remain on display in the showroom until the night of the Cocktail Party and Auction. Those interested in bidding may stop in the showroom anytime during business hours (Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) to take a close look at the little houses prior to the auction.

Anyone interested in participating in “The Cat’s Meow” – by designing a cathouse, providing in-kind donations, etc. – should contact Ann Marie Baum as soon as possible either by phone at Trig Modern, 919.516.8744 or by emailing her: annmariebaum7@gmail.com.

For more information on Trig Modern, visit www.trigmodern.com.

About Trig Modern:

Founded in December 2012, Trig Modern is owned and operated by furniture and lighting designer Bob Drake. Through its combination of modern and mid-century-inspired furniture, lighting, wall and floor coverings, and accessories, as well as Modern kitchen and bath remodeling services, Trig Modern’s mission is to present a realistic portrait of sensible living and offer an antidote to excess, formality, and convention. For more information visit www.trigmodern.com, call 919.516.8744 and find Trig Modern on Facebook. The showroom is located at 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road, Suite 109, Raleigh, NC 27604.

About SAFE Haven for Cats:

SAFE Haven’s mission is to ensure the well-being of every cat through adoption, affordable spay/neuter services, community outreach and adherence to no-kill principles. The shelter receives no government funds and relies solely on private donations for 84p percent of its budget. Visit safehavenforcats.org for more information.

 


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A Gift of Good Land: Bluebird Hill Farm Announces Essay Contest for Aspiring Organic Farmers

The owner of the Bennett, NC,  farm will award

full ownership to the winning couple.

farmhouse-lavender

Norma Burns, owner and operator of Bluebird Hill Farm in Bennett, NC, is holding a 200-word essay contest to award full ownership of her picturesque, 12.88-acre USDA Certified Organic farm in Bennett, NC, to a couple of aspiring farmers. The topic for the 200-word essay is: Why We Want to Own and Operate Bluebird Hill Farm. The deadline for entries is June 1, 2017.

1-monarda-barn“To me, there’s no better calling in life than raising organic food,” said Burns, an award-winning architect-turned-farmer. “I’m looking for a like-minded couple who have experience and training in organic farming and are willing and able to put in the long days and hard work that farming requires. The only thing they don’t have is an actual farm. I want to make it possible for these new farmers to get started.”

After nearly 18 years of running Bluebird Hill Farm — growing herbs, 3-aerial-view_2specialty vegetables, cut flowers, native plants, value-added farm crafts, and food products – Burns is ready to move back to Raleigh and into a more urban lifestyle. But she wants to leave her beloved farm in the care of a “committed couple of any description with the life experience and physical stamina that active farming requires,” she said. And she’s insisting on a committed couple because “experience has shown that Bluebird Hill Farm can’t be operated successfully by a single individual.”

The winning couple will receive the Certificate of Title, free and clear, to Bluebird Hill Farm, which, according to Burns, has been estimated to be worth $450,000. The property is also subject to an agricultural conservation easement.

2-aerial-view_1Calling her essay contest “A Gift of Good Land,” in homage to American novelist, poet, and environmental activist Wendell Berry, Burns has established a website dedicated to the contest – www.essaybluebirdhillfarm.com — that explains all the details about the prize, including the eligibility requirements, entry fee, and how to enter.

Burns will not be involved in the selection process, she noted. Instead, a panel of judges consisting of one attorney, one conservationist, and one agricultural professional will choose the winning couple.

Aspiring farmers and others can learn more about Bluebird Hill Farm and see a gallery of photos on its Facebook page — www.facebook.com/pg/BluebirdHillFarmNC. The essay contest winners will be announced on the Facebook page on June 30th.

“When my late husband [NCSU Professor Bob Burns] and I purchased the farm, it was a derelict property,” Burns said, “a barn without a roof, a neglected house, and abandoned gardens. After nearly 18 years of work, love, and care, the farm has become what we envisioned it to be. It would mean so much to me to see it in the care of someone committed to its continued improvement.”

For more information on Bluebird Hill Farm’s Essay Contest, visit www.essaybluebirdhillfarm.com.

GARLIC, HERBS, FLOWERS copyAbout Bluebird Hill Farm:

Owned and operated by Norma DeCamp Burns, Bluebird Hill is a small USDA Certified Organic farm that specializes in growing herbs, specialty vegetables, cut flowers, native plants, value-added farm crafts and food products. The farm incorporates the principles of permaculture to maximize the use of space in its raised beds. Burns grows many types of fruits and vegetables, emphasizing diversity and quality over quantity. The farm is located in Bennett, NC.

 


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Murder, Corruption, and The Unthinkable in The 1950s Heartland Suddenly Resonate Today…

fiction/mystery/gay literature

Thunderfoot Press announces its premier title, “Midland Club.”

December 12,  2016 (Chapel Hill, NC) — Since November 8th, LGBTQ citizens have come to fear a surge in hate crimes after reports of homophobic attacks, some verbal, some physical. Sadly, the potential is evident.

But in 1958, that potential was a frightening certainty, especially in Midwestern cities where homosexuals were considered “perverts” and “degenerates” and law officers ignored assaults on them – law officers not unlike the fictitious Sheriff Pat Brundy, who quickly pronounced the death of an old, gay, black man as suicide. No investigation. Case closed.

In Midland Club, a new murder mystery by Mark Spano, one man refuses to believe Puce Bordeaux’s death was suicide, despite Sheriff Brundy’s assertion. That man is Rich St. Pierre, a member of the wealthy, white First Family of the town who was locked up, along with Puce, after a raid on a dive where the town’s otherwise hidden homosexuals hung out. He’s certain that Puce, the quiet, genteel “Negro” who served as a waiter in the exclusive Midland Club for decades, was killed. He’s certain that the subsequent death of Puce’s priest, Monsignor Corliss, was murder.

Ostracized by his influential family, Rich St. Pierre also knows that his own life will be in grave danger if he attempts to prove his assumptions by unraveling the town’s secrets, lies, and corruption.

fiction/mystery/gay literature

Author Mark Spano

“I set this book in the neighborhood of my childhood,” said Spano, a gay man who knew life before the Stonewall riots of 1969. “I came of age in the era of gay liberation. My story is a glimpse back at how it used to be.”

Published by Thunderfoot Press, Spano’s 120-page book is a quick page-turner that suddenly stops the reader in his or her tracks with such moments as art dealer and self-described “queen” Luther Beaumont’s drunken rant on human instincts:

“We were taught that the only two instincts we humans have are self-preservation and species preservation.

“That is not so. There are more than those. The third instinct is just as primitive but has somehow been ignored by all these research people as being part of the human creature. It’s the preservation by the tribe of those things beautiful about the tribe. That’s why we’re decorators and designers and art dealers. While the rest of the world is cranking out babies like there’s no tomorrow, queers are at home saving what’s beautiful in the world so there’ll be something to look at or listen to tomorrow.”

Midland Club has all the elements of a good mystery: vibrant characters, a familiar setting, and a plot in which the solution to the mystery is ultimately revealed. Beyond a good mystery, it also addresses the pain of one gay man, alone in a town that despises him. And if the reader is paying attention, that pain foreshadows the conclusion.


Review copies of Midland Club are available by contacting

publicist Kim Weiss at Blueplate PR: blueplatepr@gmail.com.

Paperback and Kindle editions are available for purchase on Amazon.


About The Author:

MARK SPANO is the author of five works of fiction and a memoir. As a filmmaker, his work includes The Quality of Light: A Biography of Claude Howell and the definitive documentary on Sicily, “Reimagining Sicily.” He holds advanced degrees from Marymount University of Virginia and the American University in Washington, D.C., and now resides in rural Orange County, North Carolina.

Media Contact:

Kim Weiss, Blueplate PR

919.819.0064; blueplatepr@gmail.com


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Trig Modern’s Ann Marie Baum To Moderate Furniture Makers’ Panel Discussion

Trig Modern

Trig Modern interior designer Ann Marie Baum

“Craft and Furniture Makers for the 21st Century” is part of summer-long exhibition at the Contemporary Art Museum in downtown Raleigh.

On Sunday, July 24, from 4-6 p.m., interior designer Ann Marie Baum of Trig Modern design center and showroom in Raleigh will moderate an informal conversation among area furniture makers at the Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) in downtown Raleigh entitled “Craft and Furniture Makers for the 21st Century.”

Free and open to the public, the event is part of CAM’s summer exhibition “20 Years of Horse & Buggy Press,” an award-winning printing shop and book production studio in Durham. The exhibition will run through August 7.

Baum’s conversation will include Al Frega, Scott Howell, Ben Galata, Jessica Ullom from Hawks & Doves, and Anthony Ulinski of Dovetail Woodworks — five of the furniture makers who created custom works for a “living room-esque” space in CAM where the conversation will take place. Each of the five will talk about their work. Dave Wofford of Horse & Buggy Press will briefly discuss books as original artifacts. And Baum will lead a question-and-answer session following the individual presentations.

Originally from Hopewell, Virginia, Ann Marie Baum co-founded Cherry Modern Design in Raleigh in 2004. During her years at Cherry Modern Design, she collaborated with Clearscapes Architecture on the interiors of The Hudson condo building in downtown Raleigh and worked closely with architect Thomas Pheiffer and the NC Museum of Art staff to furnish the museum’s new wing and Iris Cafe. She joined Trig Modern in 2014, where she serves as lead interior designer.

Baum and Trig Modern’s owner, Bob Drake, frequently work with local and regional furniture and casework designers for their interior design projects. They also carry local designers’ work in their showroom.

“It’s going to be a fascinating discussion,” Baum predicted. “I admire the work of each of these artists.”
For more information on this and other events associated with the exhibition “20 Years of Horse & Buggy Press,” go to camraleigh.org/exhibitions/. Even though the event is free, anyone interested in attending should RSVP to Melissa Roth at melissa.roth@camraleigh.org.

For more information on Ann Marie Baum and Trig Modern, visit www.trigmodern.com.

logo_smAbout Trig Modern:

Founded in December 2012, Trig Modern is owned and operated by furniture and lighting designer Bob Drake. Through its combination of modern and mid-century-inspired furniture, lighting, wall and floor coverings, and accessories, as well as Modern kitchen and bath remodeling services, Trig Modern’s mission is to present a realistic portrait of sensible living and offer an antidote to excess, formality, and convention. For more information visit www.trigmodern.com, call 919.516.8744, and find Trig Modern on Facebook. The showroom is located at 1053 East Whitaker Mil Road, Suite 109, Raleigh, NC 27604.