Gratitude for a caretaker. Hidden imagery. A tongue twister title.
There are many reasons supporters of the Dali Museum have an affinity for a certain piece in the museum's collection.
Guests shared their favorites with me at Los Vinos de Dali, an annual fundraiser hosted by the museum guild. Jody Morelli and Adele Visaggio co-chaired the outdoor event, which included samplings of wine and food from local restaurants and spirits dealers.
Tiffany Faykus loves The Hallucinogenic Toreador. "You could spend your life studying it and see something different every time," she said. "It has history, physics, religion and psychology."
Brad Morse, whose parents donated pieces from their private Dali collection to start the museum, has his own favorite: Nature Morte Vivante or Living Still Life.
"It has the perfect proportions," he said of the painting, which features food, drink and a long knife floating above a patterned table with a wrinkled white tablecloth. "It's incredibly mathematical. Dali was so far in front of the pack that there was no catching up."
Morse had plenty of time to study and grow enamored with Nature Morte Vivante. It hung in his bedroom as a child. There are even scratches on the frame because as a young, careless boy, he bumped furniture against it from time to time.
"I like the lobster telephone," said Dixie Passardi.
"I like them all," her husband, Floyd Passardi, added. "They will go with your mood. We've been here a 100 times or more and you can get a different feeling from (the art) every time."
The Weaning of Furniture-Nutrition is Laura Hine's favorite. "It's relatively small and really elegant," said Hine, the wife of museum director Hank Hine. "His nursemaid who took care of him is sitting outside and held up by a crutch." There is a rectangular hole cut out of the woman to illustrate all she gave of herself to Dali.
Janice Embrey Brown loves the painting titled Galacidalacidesoxiribunucleicacid. Having been a docent at the museum for 20 years, the name rolls off her tongue as easily supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Along with the melodious title, Brown loves the hidden picture of God at the top of the painting.
Betsy Schweitzer, another docent, loves hearing visitors' reactions when they step far enough back from Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea to see Dali's double image of Abraham Lincoln.
"You hear them get kind of excited and you know they got it," she said.
The Suncoasters civic organization was founded in the 1950s to promote St. Petersburg by hosting events like the Festival of States parade. Today, the group promotes the city and the arts by sponsoring the All County Music Fest and the Scholastic Arts & Writing competition in Pinellas County schools.
Since 1957, the Suncoasters have also recognized outstanding young women for their academic achievement, commitment to community and leadership. Previously called the Jr. Sungoddess Program, the program is now named the Suncoaster Leadership Program and awards $5,000 in college scholarships to the three top candidates each year.
This year's three finalists were chosen from a record number of applicants. Paula Parra, a senior at Palm Harbor High School, received a $2,500 scholarship, while Julia Mitchem, a junior at the same school, received a $1,500 scholarship. Veronica Clanzy, a junior at Dixie Hollins High School, received $1,000.