Spirit of the Desert members enjoyed a busy February at the Wuertz Gourd Festival in Casa Grande. The highlight of the festival is the Arizona Gourd Society state competition and, as usual, our patch was well represented in the Winner’s Circle. Congratulations to winners from our patch:
Novice Division: Diane Wimmer – 1st place, Deanna Dawes – two 1st place and one 2nd place
Intermediate Division: Pattie Langdon – 1st place, Carl Cooper – two 1st place, Teri Pate – 2nd place, Lorraine Longpre – 1st place, Carol Reese – 3rd place
Advanced Division: Phyllis Mills – 3rd place, Sharon Medhurst – 2nd place and 3rd place, Pattie Langdon – 2nd place, Joanne Miles – 1st place, Joanne Hayman – 1st place, Julie Hemer – 2nd place and 3rd place
Masters Division: Julie Hemer – 2nd place
Another of our patch members won a very special award. Past President and Grand Master Vicki McKenna was awarded the American Gourd Society Artistry Award for 2018 – very well deserved!
Our patch was also beautifully represented by all the volunteer work done to put on this state competition, one of the largest gourd competitions in the country. Vicki McKenna and Lorraine Longpre were again co-chairs of the competition. Their chairs were Pattie Langdon – registration, Linda Taylor – judging, Joanne Miles – security, Teri Pate and Carol Reese – food and beverage for volunteers. This was the second (and last!) year in these roles, and everything ran as smoothly as expected, thanks to their hours of dedicated work.
Most of our patch members attended the festival. Most helped as volunteers in the competition area. Most shopped over 100 booths for supplies and ideas. Many took one or more of the over 70 classes offered. Most worked at our patch booth. From our triple booth, we sold over 100 pieces of art produced by our members. As excited as we are getting ready for the festival, we are always happy to have this crazy busy week behind us and back to our quiet studios and workgroups now and enjoy being artists!
Patch member Carl Cooper led a workshop on February 4 showing leather braiding on a gourd bowl rim. It was very fun, and Carl handled the class of 15 very well. It wasn’t easy to get 15 artists to follow directions all at the same time, but he did it! Thanks, Carl!
Look for several of our members and their beautiful gourd art at Art on the Lake in Cottonwood on March 3.
Our patch meeting is Thursday, March 15, 2018, in the Oakwood Sewing Room at 4:00 p.m. We will have a fun hands-on demo from Patti Langdon on making a stained-glass gourd Easter egg.