Spirit of the Desert Gourd Patch news

Colleen McKnight

Spirit of the Desert Gourd Patch is starting the new year off on a run. January was a VERY busy month for us gourders.

As a patch, we’re preparing to host the Arizona Gourds Society’s annual competition at the Wuertz Gourd Festival in Casa Grande, February 9-11. Over 220 entries are expected into this competition from all over the United States. The acclaimed judges will award ribbons in over 50 categories and divisions. Over 12,000 people visited last year and were treated to the huge state competition, lots of entertainment and food options, kids’ activities and vendors selling everything from gourds and supplies to unbelievable finished gourd art. It is pure imagination and talent – definitely not to be missed! Plan a trip to the festival at Casa Grande Fair Grounds, February 9-11. For more information, check online at wuertzfarm.com.

Besides running the competition hall, dozens of our patch members are entering work into the competition. We will also have a huge triple booth in the Vendor Barn. This will feature artwork for sale from our membership. Last year, we had over 200 gourds for sale and nearly sold out! Members now are finishing up projects and getting ready for the big show. Hope to see you there.

At the festival many of our members will take some of the 75 classes offered, and we’ll be anxious to learn from them in later months. We are a group based on learning from each other and have many workshop opportunities each week. Working together with another artist is the best form of education.

Our patch meets on the third Thursday of the month from 4:00-6:00 p.m. in the Oakwood Country Club Arts and Crafts building, in the Sewing Room. All residents of the valley are welcome to join our patch. Dues to join our patch are $25 per year, and that includes your membership in the Arizona Gourd Society. No experience is necessary to join, and nearly any type of art you enjoy can be completed on gourds. They are really Nature’s Canvas!

Visit us at our booth at the festival, at the monthly meeting or online at SpiritDesertGourd.com.