DOBSON — Extension Community Association (ECA) members have announced the winners in their annual Cultural Arts Event as they continue their tradition of not only offering cultural enrichment classes but another outlet for creative expression locally for rural families.
“This is an event where ECA members can participate in to show what they have learned from classes they have taken through the organization,” said Surry County Coordinator Susan Johnson. “In previous years we were known as the Extension Homemakers. We’ve had a great turnout this year and we’re very pleased.”
Johnson said ECA life enrichment efforts are expressed through eight clubs in the county and the recent event featured 30 exhibits which ranged from quilting, sewing and knitting to painting.
“You’ll see a variety of cultural and heritage skills represented here,” added Johnson. “We even had exhibits of pressed flowers, creative writing and poetry. There’s just a little bit of an edge of competition in this. We had two from the same club competing and it’s cute to see them talking as they are trying to figure out who will win.”
She said the arts event’s exhibits often are influenced by what is trending among the ladies. This year she said there was an increase in needle arts projects. Johnson said it is good see the impact of workshops and classes influence the exhibitors. First, second and third places were awarded to exhibitors. First-place winners will advance to the district competition and district winners advance to state competition.
“Anytime ladies get together in the county with these organizations there’s a lot of fellowship going on,” said Johnson, who said traditionally these events were part of the social fabric of rural counties. “Because of all that is usually going on in our lives, you’re always eager to see who is at the county meetings and catch up. Everyone who entered this year received a ribbon. We think that’s important.”
Johnson said membership is open to anyone in the association’s clubs. Persons who want more information may call the extension office at 401-8025. She encouraged interested persons to visit the clubs. Johnson said membership, overall, has been declining in the organization and speculated that demands on people’s time because of work schedules may be a factor.
Gloria Bryant won first place in the sewing category with her machine applique and wall hangings. Susan Johnson was first in the handiwork category with her “Glory” cross-stitch. In the knitting category, Mary Sue Chapman was first with a red sweater. Susan Johnson was second with a good neighbor scarf. Carolyn Martin and Marilyn Gieger tied for third in the category with scarfs as well.
In the crochet category, Ann Davis took top honors with a red afghan. Sue Chandler and Carolyn Martin tied for second place. Chandler’s entry was a red, short cape and Martin had a flowered afghan. Vera Mears and Marilyn Gieger tied for third with prayer shawls.
Ida Johnson won the embroidery category with a pendant ribbon. Becky Hill was first in heritage skills with a pressed flower display. In the Christmas decorations category, Martin was first with a Christmas candle arrangement, Johnson was second with a beaded snowflake and Marie Poole was third with a glittered tree.
Jean Ingram was first in the jewelry category with a bracelet and Ida Johnson finished second with her necklace entry. Gloria Bryant took first place in the quilt category with a hand-pieced quilt she made from feed sacks. Gloria Bryant also took first place in this category with her wall hanging titled “Petal Play.”
Marie Poole’s standing wreath earned her top honors in the flower arranging category and Goldie Sparger was second with flowers in a bowl arrangement. In photography, Nancy Downs was first with a color photo of a squirrel and Marilyn Gieger was second with a color photo titled crocus in snow.
Mary Sue Chapman was first in the fine arts category with her oil painting of a bluebird. In the miscellaneous category, Nancy Downs was first with a tie-dyed green scarf and Susan Johnson was second with a card. Marilyn Gieger was first in the creative writing category with her poem “Bloom where you are planted” and Joy Hemmings was also first with a short story.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.