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Dinner With Architect Michael Graves Benefits Foundation

January 14, 2010
Somerset Art Association, in partnership with Somerset Medical Center Foundation, will host the unveiling of a five panel painting of renowned architect and designer, Michael Graves, by award-winning artist, Mel Leipzig. The special presentation will take place on February 17, 2010, from 6 p.m. – 7 p.m. at The Johnson Gallery located at 2020 Burnt Mills Road in Bedminster, N.J. The event is free and open to the public. 

The unveiling will be followed by an intimate dinner at the Pluckemin Inn with Leipzig and Graves. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Somerset Medical Center Foundation and the Somerset Art Association. 

“It is a tremendous honor to unveil the painting of such a remarkable American icon,” said Robyn Tromeur, Director of the Somerset Art Association. “Michael Graves transforms everything he touches into a true work of art. It’s fitting that his portrait be done by an acclaimed artist like Mel Leipzig whose talent, creativity, and accomplishments in the art world mirror those of Graves’ in architecture.”

Since founding his practice in Princeton in 1964, Michael Graves has been at the forefront of architectural design. His work has directly influenced and transformed urban architecture winning him a variety of prestigious awards including the 2001 Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects and the 1999 National Medal of the Arts. Mr. Graves has worked with numerous Fortune 500 companies including Disney, Black and Decker and Phillips Electronics. Additionally, Mr. Graves designs a variety of household products for Target as well as medical products for Drive Medical bringing his creativity and innovation to everyday items.

Mel Leipzig is a nationally recognized artist based in Trenton. His works are featured in collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, N.Y., The White House Collection in Washington, D.C., and the Yale Art Gallery in New Haven, Conn., amongst others. Mr. Leipzig holds many honors including the Fulbright Traveling Fellowship award, Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and a grant in Painting from the National Endowment of the Arts.

“It is an honor to be a part of this night to recognize Mel Leipzig and Michael Graves for their extraordinary contributions,” said Paul Huegel, President of Somerset Medical Center Foundation. “We are thrilled to partner with the Somerset Art Association for this unique event, which will help to support both of our organizations in our efforts to serve the greater Somerset County community.” 

The painting, titled “Michael Graves,” is only available for viewing the night of the event at The Johnson Gallery. Upon conclusion of the presentation it will be housed at Gallery Henoch, Leipzig’s gallery in New York City.

Limited seating is available for dinner with Leipzig and Graves at the Pluckemin Inn, with tickets ranging between $300 and $500. For tickets to the dinner or for more information, please call the Somerset Art Association at 908-234-2345.

About Somerset Medical Center
Somerset Medical Center is a nationally accredited, regional medical center providing comprehensive emergency, medical/surgical and rehabilitative services and a broad range of community programs to Central New Jersey residents. The medical center is a major clinical affiliate of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a clinical research affiliate of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey. For more information please visit

About Somerset Art Association
Founded in 1970, the Somerset Art Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the awareness, understanding of and participation in the visual arts by providing opportunities for people throughout New Jersey for artistic creation and art appreciation in a welcoming environment. For more information please visit