Two Nights. Lots of Wine

Take one house with a lot of history. Add five acres of gardens filled with blooming jasmine and contemporary sculpture. Throw in gourmet hors d'oeuvres and a five-course dinner paired with wine and you've got the recipe for PASA's Spring Fling Dinner.
The house belongs to Federal public defender and arts patron Michelle Vallot and sculptor Russell Whiting. Originally built by Russell Dupuis, the handmade house was a magnet for local artists. Columns carved by John Geldersma, David Alpha and Elemore Morgan, and other art fill the lovingly defined spaces. Whiting's work in metal ranges from the sinewy carved tables to dainty birds on a wire. The grounds are planted with Louisiana native species as well as Whiting's tomato plants.
The menu, by chef Jude Tauzin of Village Café, is pretty tempting:
Panko Fried Soft Shell Crab with Espuma of warm Tarter Sauce finished with Maldon Salt and lime zest; Roasted Carrot and Chestnut Soup with Foie Gras; Mixed Greens with Charred Lamb loin, oven dried tomato and Humboldt Fog crouton laced with Truffle vinaigrette; Rouelle of Hudson Valley Duck Breast with Bacon Lardons, Asparagus, Potato Mille-Feuille and Prune Emulsion; and Chocolate Torchon with frozen caramel mousse and cocoa nib brittle.
Wines are supplied by Glazer Companies of Louisiana.
PASA's Spring Fling Dinner is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, May 7, at 1090 Nursery Highway, Breaux Bridge.

The following week, PASA's Wine Tasting Tour in River Ranch - on Friday, May 14 - begins at 6:30 p.m. at the City Club and winds its way through four homes located in River Ranch, including the Mediterranean-inspired home of George and Roxanne Graham, the Arts and Crafts crib of Independent Weekly publishers Steve and Cherry Fisher May and the elegant home of Mike and Cheryl Thompson. PASA Wine Tour-goers will walk along the beautifully landscaped paths to the designated homes or climb aboard complimentary transportation to make their way from home to home throughout the evening.
At each stop along the way, an array of vintages represented by Glazer Companies of Louisiana will be paired with gourmet samplings from area restaurants, including Charley G's, Osaka, Tsunami, a la carte, Village Café, iMonelli, Zea's, Pamplona Tapas Bar and Restaurant, and Café des Amis.

The two events, billed together as PASA Wine Pairings, are important fundraisers. Money raised from these events helps support performances, as well as PASA's Daytime Performances for Students; PASA Plus, which provides free performances and activities for senior citizens; master classes and outreach programs; "Play It Again, Lafayette," a musical instrument recycling program, and more.

Tickets can be purchased separately or in combination. PASA Wine Tour tickets are $50, and PASA's Spring Fling Dinner tickets are $150.  For tickets, call PASA at 237-2787 or visit

Seventy-five pieces of art created by 26 artists will be showcased during the Southern Open 2010, in the Main Gallery of the AcA in downtown Lafayette beginning at 5 p.m. on May 8 and running through July 24.

Each year the AcA curator chooses a single juror who then selects which artwork will be included in the Open. This year's juror, Bill Arning, director of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, sifted through more than 1,000 pieces of artwork submitted by 250 artists to select the finalists.

During a reception being held on May 8 during ArtWalk, Arning will select the winners who will receive cash awards of $1,000 (first place) and $600 (second and third place). The $1,000 cash winner will also receive a solo exhibition as part of the AcA's Side Gallery Series during May 2011.

The following artists have been selected to participate in Southern Open 2010:
Cynthia Alleman, Patricia "Muffin" Bernstein, Bess Bieluczyk, Jessica Bizer, Ralph Bourque, Blake Boyd, Bradford Daly, Stephen Paul Day, Lee Deigaard, Heather Delahoussaye, William Depauw, Keith Dorwick, Maja Georgiou, Jay Gould, Rachel Jones, Chris King, Stephen Kwok, Ariya Martin, Colin Miller, David Rae Morris, Stephanie Patton, Adrian Price, David Sullivan and David Webber
Mark Renner and Cameron Frederick Sands
Bradford Daly
For more information on Southern Open visit Open.