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The holiday season found LUPEC busy, busy, busy in 2001! Hostessing this exhibition, hostessing that party -- it seemed we were called to duty nearly every weekend....not that we're complaining!

The following brief essay by our own Black Monday describes one of our most recent adventures -- as the official hostesses of the Blue Ruin Gallery Silent Auction Holiday Fundraiser.

Many are the naysayers of Pittsburgh but LUPEC asks: What other city can boast an erotic art gallery within walking distance of 1) a regional history center, 2) a market district with especially good Italian produce, and 3) and beautifully restored historic Greek Orthodox Catholic church?

This may not be a competition, but take THAT!

As both lovers of art and naughty, naughty schoolgirls, LUPEC was pleased to participate in the Naughty and Nice Auction for Blue Ruin Art Gallery. Woman owned and operated, Blue Ruin Erotic Art Gallery was recognized as Best Art Gallery in 2000 by the now defunct/maliciously defenestrated In Pittsburgh Magazine. Proceeds from the auction were to go towards operating costs of the gallery and the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. After much deliberation and discussion concerning our role in this event, LUPEC offered to make and serve punch.

Making and serving punch may not seem like a very effective way to support erotic art and AIDS research. Au contraire. If you have ever been to an art opening, you will realize that the normal beverages are wine, beer, and water. Effective, yes-classy, sometimes-but not punch. And not blue.

The goal became creating a blue punch classy enough to represent Blue Ruin, tasty enough to be enjoyed, strong enough to loosen the purse strings but not so strong as to result in fights or destruction of property. Saffitini came up with a variation on the Blue Alexander that we adapted to a punch

This was the first public serving of punch that LUPEC as a group had undertaken. Based on our experience, we have the following advice:

  • While we normally advocate using top-shelf products for cocktails, punch ain't no cocktail. Go lower. Much lower.
  • Invest in lots of extra ingredients: Never underestimate the popularity of a free, alcoholic drink.
  • Get a ladle with a spout on the sides, not parallel to the handle
  • Ice cream molds are pretty but sticky
  • Make sure the ice/or/ice cream mold is not so big that the ladle can't dip punch out of the bowl
  • Also, make sure you give the ice cream time to melt a little. Poor Megan tried a glass before the ice cream had mixed in. She hid under the table like a feral cat the rest of the night
  • Keep track of who is drinking how much. Don't let repeat offenders get offensive. It's ok to ask if they are driving. It's even more ok to not serve them.

So LUPEC learned a lot, served punch a lot, spouted our philosophy like street corner missionaries, and helped a great art gallery. Over 150 people came to the auction, most of who left with art of some sort or other. Co-owner, Tamara Moore, expressed her satisfaction the next day, pleased that "people who normally could not afford to buy art got to take home amazing pieces without having to sell their cars/souls to get them. We felt so Marxist!" Black Monday and Mr. Monday, for example, won a painting by that very talented artist Saffitini. Most importantly, however, Blue Ruin raked in the equivalent of 3 months rent-and LUPEC helped!

Yes, yes -- it can be better to give than to receive.

If you want to, you can pretend that's a pun.