Painting from Orchid Alliance Project "bridging art and science" donated to club's silent auction.
Apparently, it was not enough for the North Haven Rotary Club to expand its major fund raiser known as A Day of Wine & Roses from a simple wine tasting with a free rose for the ladies 13 years ago into today’s highly competitive contest among nearly 50 wine makers in a particularly festive atmosphere.
Oversize tents with tables and chairs donated by Quality Tents and the Breakfast Nook Restaurant provide comfort for hundreds of patrons at an international food festival courtesy of local restaurants, markets and food trucks. The venue offers raffles of exotic flower arrangements, themed baskets laced with gift cards, and outstanding entertainment featuring notable vocalists such as Rich DiPalma, Raymond Santino, and this year’s special appearance by Roberto Iarussi.
However, these days, even the silent auction is making a magnificent sound with the recent donation of an attractive oil painting said to have a $2,500-$4,000 value. Artist Patricia Laspino and her husband, marketing expert Andrew Laspino, formerly of California, but now residents of Branford, recently donated a large painting from her collection that blends art and science in what was described as her “ambitious endeavor” known as the Orchid Alliance Project.
 A Fine Arts major, who graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1977, Patricia also studied botany and horticulture, and calls herself “an artist/scientist”.  She explained that she skillfully “applies as many as 70-80 transparent layers of oil paint like veils to animate and illuminate from within.”
Laspino’s web site proclaims that her paintings are exhibited “in fine art galleries, retail establishments, and private and public collections across the United States’’ including the “Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History, the U.S House of Representatives, the U.S. Botanical Garden, the American Orchid Society, and the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale.”
Expanding upon the floral theme at the club's weekly meeting, the co-founder and annual host of the event, Luigi Nuzzolillo, owner of the Forget-Me-Not Florist, reminded everyone that the ladies who attend the fundraiser scheduled for September 28th from 1-5:00 pm will continue to receive a free rose.
PHOTO: Nick D’Ambrosia, president of the North Haven Rotary Club, gratefully accepts an oil painting for the silent auction at the 9/28 Day of Wine & Roses fundraiser from Andrew and Patricia Laspino.