This month Gabby cuts ribbons with DCAD and has a fab time at the Grand Gala.
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A Rare Gem Wrapped With a Ribbon
As a former art student, your Gabby Guy was excitedly anticipating attending the ribbon-cutting, opening and dedication of DCAD’s new Tatiana Copeland Student Center—not only to see the next big jewel being set in what is quickly becoming the precious stone necklace known as Wilmington’s Market Street—but also to finally meet the multi-faceted Copelands, Gerret and Tatiana.
Approaching the new student center, adjacent to DCAD’s main building, one’s attention is easily captivated by the color of the floors, walls and ceilings: the school’s official yellow. It’s somewhere between citrine and canary diamond yellow. Pow! On the chilly sidewalk, warm handshakes, hugs and air kisses were bestowed on the evening’s honorees by Senator Tom Carper, Congressman Mike Castle, New Castle County Executive Chris Coons, DCAD board chairman Stuart Young, and DCAD president Jim Lemke, who, before handing the supersized scissors to Mrs. C., asked the huddled guests, “With two-thirds of the Congressional delegation here, where’s Biden?”
When the chuckles subsided, Mrs. Copeland, husband at her side, cut the thin red barrier that stood between the new center and the patiently waiting, shivering student bodies. Once inside, the dignitaries and DCADers dashed to check out the cool, modern, airy, yet very inviting space, outfitted with low, black couches, chairs and elliptical-shaped coffee, hot chocolate, and soy latte tables. A two-story, glass-paneled wall leads to a private entrance to the new student residences upstairs, where six café-height tables and stools stood, each lit with spaceship-shaped, Nogucci-style hanging lamps. It was all conceived and designed by the Buccini/Pollin Group’s go-to architect, Todd Danner of arQutecture, who also did downtown’s Thoroughbred, Plexus Fitness, and is currently transforming the Queen Theater into a New World Café. Wilmington really will be the “in” place to be! According to Chris and Rob Buccini, the Queen should be open for business in 12 to 18 months.
Mr. C., wearing a magenta shirt, purple paisley tie and fuchsia pocket square, claims the only white shirts he owns are for formalwear. He reminisced about how he used to visit the student center site back when it was Mullin’s department store: “It was the place to buy Boy Scout uniforms.” Colorful is the absolute best way to describe the Copelands, besides caring and generous. Oh, did I mention they kicked in over $350,000 for the project?
It was time for the evening’s climactic moment when Tatiana and Stuart stripped away the beautifully draped wall fabric to reveal cool, brushed, aluminum raised letters that read Tatiana Copeland Student Center. The applause was surely appreciative, but you only had to look at the students’ faces to see just how much.
After the cake cutting and toasting with wines from Bouchaine, the Copelands own label, Rob Buccini escorted the honored couple and us back out to the sidewalk to view a few of the most recently completed buildings, or “gems,” in a 10-block long “necklace” that Harry Winston would envy.
Page 2: The Grandest Gala Faux Sure