In February our patch (or club) participated in the 13th annual Wuertz Gourd Festival in Casa Grande. This event is held at the Pinal Country Fair Grounds and nearly 10,000 people attend over the three days. The festival actually has two parts. The vendors; there were beautifully finished gourds for sale, supplies needed to create these beautiful pieces, and the gourds themselves. The other part of the festival is the competition by the Arizona Gourd Society. Hundreds of pieces in dozens of categories are submitted for judging. The Arizona Gourd Society has the highest membership nationwide, and most agree, the most talent. It’s definitely the show to see, and many renowned artists come to the festival to show and sell their work.
Our patch was well represented in both areas of the festival! We had three vendor sales booths to accommodate all our member’s work. We sold 110 pieces of art, and had several prospective new members and special orders to follow up on. All the members enjoyed working in our booth and showing the public our work.
In the competition tent our patch was also proud to have seven ribbon winners and some winning multiple ribbons. Results are:
President Vicki McKenna – First in the Advanced Division for Coloring Techniques. Vicki also won first in the Advanced Division for Illuminations
Leigh Hill – First in the Intermediate Division for Jewelry. Leigh also won second in the Intermediate Division for Miniature work
Joanne Miles – First in the Advanced Division for Mixed Media
Julie Hemer – First in the Intermediate Division for Mixed Media. Julie also won first in the Intermediate Division for Masks
Sharon Medhurst – Second in the Intermediate Division for Illumination
Carl Cooper, a real newcomer to the group, showed his work for the first time. And Carl won second in Novice Division for Mixed Media, 3rd in Novice Division for carving, and 2nd in the Intermediate Division for Wildlife/Living Fantasy.
Our patch submitted an entry for the first time in the Collaborative Category. The piece won first in the category and also Best in Category. In this piece Joanne Hayman created the Grandma Storyteller, and each of our members created a little minion. This piece later sold for $500.
Also at the festival were over 100 classes on gourd art techniques. Many of our members took classes. Our Vice President Lorraine Longmire visited with many of the instructors and was able to secure two special classes just for our patch. We so appreciate the opportunity to grow and learn with this art form.
To join our group, come to Sun Lakes Arts and Crafts Room on the third Thursday of the month from 4:00-6:00 p.m. for our regular monthly meeting. We also meet in that same room each Thursday from 10:00 a.m.-noon for workshop. You may also call President Vicki McKenna at 480-802-1632.