CALA blossoms for the holidays

CALA brian

An art lover admires artist Mary Richardson’s hand-bound books and other works at the first CALA Christmas arts festival Saturday.

BRIAN HUGHES | News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 02:09 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Okaloosa Arts Alliance-North members pronounced the first CALA: Crestview Area Loves the Arts Christmas festival a success. The Saturday event at the Crestview Public Library drew a steady stream of visitors who admired local artists’ works and did a bit of Christmas shopping.

Arts alliance President Rae Schwartz said the event’s reception means it likely will be repeated at the beginning of December 2013, perhaps with some tweaks.

“This was our first holiday season CALA,” Schwartz said. “We didn’t get as much publicity out as we would’ve liked, but we still had a good turnout. People like supporting this type of quality artwork and these gifts are unique. They aren’t things you’re going to find in a chain store.”

Live entertainment was provided by Paulette Loomis, matron of the Loomis Brothers, whose circus recently visited Crestview, and Jenna Lewis, the latest generation of a singing family whose grandmother, Saundra Daggs, recently sang with the DownBeat Jazz Orchestra.

However, next year, organizers may add tables in the center of the room to provide for more artists, and reserve entertainment to background, pre-recorded seasonal music, Schwartz said.

“The vocalists were lovely, but I think for this event it will be better to just concentrate on the artists and their work,” she said.

Works on exhibit at Saturday’s event included a variety of pieces in multiple dimensions including Keith Gutshall’s turned woodworking, Trace Connelly’s jewelry and painted ceramic ware, Mary Richardson’s hand-bound books, and fabric art by the mother-daughter team of Christie and Jasmine Maughon. Attendees also browsed photography, painted phonograph records, needlework and crocheted works.



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