Last updateWed, 17 Dec 2014 11pm


Woman’s Club artists chosen for state competition

HIGH SPRINGS – Three High Springs New Century Woman’s Club Arts and Craft Competition winners have been chosen to represent the members of District 5 of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) at the state level competition in April.

The projects, all of which won blue ribbons at the local level in early January, went on to compete with other district clubs at the District 5 Arts & Craft meeting, hosted by the Gainesville Woman's Club on Feb. 23. The top winners were chosen during that meeting to represent the district in the next round of judging at the GFWC State Convention in Orlando April 11-15.

First place in the Mixed Media category was awarded to Joyce Hallman for her painting, “Flowers and Apples,” to Suzie Clark in the Fabric Craft category for her quilt, “Bugs in a Jar,” and to Carole Tate for two items, one in the Photo-Natural History category, “Natural Bridge” and the second in the Doll Making category for her “Yarn Doll.”

First place winning entries from the GFWC State Convention will be judged at the GFWC Annual Convention in Hollywood, Fla., June 30-July 2.

National GFWC winners receive bragging rights and $100 in prize money for first place, $75 for second place and $50 for third place winners.

Upon learning the news that two of her items had been chosen, Carole Tate said, “I am very surprised and pleased to have won at this level. It’s exciting to have my work recognized.” The Photography Category garnered more entries than any other, which made it one of the most competitive categories.

“Bugs in a Jar” quilter Suzie Clark said her quilt idea came from an old Australian folk magazine article about the use of novelty fabrics. “I had a bunch of bug fabrics in my stash. One of the fabrics is bugs in a jar that are in another jar,” she laughed. Another fabric she used has termites on it. Clark explained that it is an Australian aborigine fabric. “Each one of their fabrics has a complete story behind it.”

Another fabric featured in her quilt is a reproduction of a 1830s American fabric of honeybees in a honeycomb. “I guess people were fascinated by bugs even then,” Clark said. “I embroidered spider webs on the quilt, lady bugs on the jar lids, used buttons and other tchotchke to help bring the quilt to life.” The varied types of bugs are assembled on the quilt to appear as if they had been caught in Mason jars, “thus naming the quilt was easy,” said Clark.

“I’ve never been really competitive about my quilts before,” she vows, “but now I really want to win. It was a fun project to do and I enjoyed every minute of creating it.”

Painter and Art Committee Chairman Joyce Hallman expressed delight at her win at District as well. “This competition gives the women in our club a chance to display their creative talents,” she said. “It’s highly motivational to me as an artist.”

The club’s arts group and the culture of art in High Springs are but a few of the reasons Hallman sought a creative outlet closer to home. “I initially visited a group in Gainesville which was a sister group to my previous arts organization,” she said. She found the sister organization was not as good a fit for her in north Florida as it had been in south Florida, where she lived prior to moving to High Springs..

Seeking the company of like-minded artists and crafts people, Hallman said she found the Woman’s Club to be a creative group of women who use their artistic, organizational and business skills in ways that help others. “Craft projects and workshops not only allow our members to express their creativity, but also provide items we can sell to help raise funds for other worthy causes.”

The club, which has served High Springs for more than 110 years, is located in the Historic District of High Springs, next door to High Springs City Hall, and currently encourages youth and elder art projects and art shows in the community.

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Waldo’s glimpse into the past at Annual Cultural Affair

WALDO – “These are pants from the first war and this is a bayonet from the Civil War.” Robert Hill, 55, demonstrated the items he had brought for display on Saturday, Feb. 23. Donated to him and passed down by his relatives, Hill showed pictures of soldiers from the Civil War, mess kits and even a weapon carrier from the Spanish American War.

Hill was one of the many people with items on display for the cultural affair in Waldo. The week-long event began on Monday, Feb. 18, and ended Feb. 23, taking place in the Waldo Community Center located at 13550 NE 148 Avenue.

Sponsored by The Waldo Concerned Citizens for the Community (WCCC), Inc., the organization has aimed to get more involved with children and young adults. Students from the Waldo Community School in 3rd, 4th and 5th grades attended the fair on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to learn about The Black Heritage Trail, Tuskegee Airmen and African American History and poetry.

Randy Adams, known as “The Wayward Potter,” had his display of unique and handmade pottery. A University of Florida graduate, he has been told that he is one of the best pottery artists in the southeastern United States and has participated in many folk art festivals.

“I like to make functional pottery art and I like being specific,” Adams said. “I see art different and I see people different.”

His pieces include chalices for ministers, an African Udu, jugs and pitchers that portray fish or the head of Abraham Lincoln and cups with scriptures.

Mary Ann Rich spoke about the history of some of the surrounding buildings. The Waldo Community Center, which was built in 1954, was once a cafeteria.

“We have this event on African American history every year on the last Saturday of February,” said Barbara Rainer-Lee, a member of WCCC.

All the items on display were donated by members of the community and are displayed every year matching up with Black History Month and its relation to Waldo’s own history. Bottles of moonshine, uniforms, pictures of the first black schoolhouse in Waldo were some of the select items chosen for this year.

“There are many more items that we didn’t show today,” said Rich.

Members of the WCCC include Mary Ann Rich, Barbara Rainer-Lee, Christine Mays and Larry O’Neal. Established in 1982, the annual cultural affair event began more than 10 years ago. This year was the first time that the event last an entire week.

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Author shares with High Springs students

W - HSCS annlazotte copyLocal author and librarian, Ann LaZotte visited Mrs. Wheeler's 2nd grade class at High Springs Community School on Wednesday, Dec. 12. She discussed what it's like to be an author and to be deaf.

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Scouting adventures at Camp Buc Tuocs

W - Buc Tuocs rocket 485W - Buc Tuocs Eddie Eagle 440W - Buc Tuocs candle 452MELROSE – The weekend of Feb. 1-3, Alachua Cub Scout Pack 88 attended the annual Camp Buc Tuocs campout held at Camp Shands near Melrose. Approximately 15 boys and their parents weathered 23 degree temperatures overnight and camped out in tents for the annual event.

Friday night the boys were responsible for setting up camp and cooking dinner. Afterward, they were free to run around the camp and play, ending the night with a campfire and s'mores.

Saturday morning they were up early making breakfast and breaking down camp before a fun filled day of activities. The camp staff set up various activity stations for the boys to experience new and exciting adventures.

The scouts started their morning with a flag ceremony and a lesson from Eddie Eagle about gun safety. Next they went on to candle making, archery, catapults, BB guns, rocket making and bugs. Each station lasted 50 minutes and included instruction and hands on experiences.

Saturday night ended with the traditional campfire. While some of the boys stayed Saturday night, others returned home after a long day of excitement and new adventures.

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Alachua Elementary honors Veterans

W - Alachua Vet - IMG 7336 copyALACHUA – Alachua Elementary School students celebrated Veterans Day with a lively ceremony Thursday.

The ceremony, “A Celebration of our Heroes,” was open to the public, and over 20 veterans attended.

Faculty members, dressed as Uncle Sam and Betsy Ross, shared facts about U.S. history as birds chirped in the chilly morning air.

Students sat on the pavement, waved miniature American flags and sang patriotic songs like “Grand Old Flag,” “God Bless America” and “God Bless the USA.” Veterans were recognized individually for their service.

School principal Evelyn Copeland said the ceremony is held every year out of respect for the country’s servicemen.

“It’s so that we can honor our veterans,” she said. “This is an important way to show the sacrifice veterans have made.”

She said students often invite fathers and grandfathers who have served in the military to the ceremony. Copeland said most veterans think the ceremony is nice and are thankful the school organizes it each year.

Marine Cpl. Charles Dampier said he enjoyed the ceremony. Dampier served 2006 through 2010, and he was deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

“I came for my cousin,” he said. “I liked seeing the kids with their flags.”

Dampier said he thinks it’s important to acknowledge Veterans Day.

“A lot of people don’t understand the hardships military [personnel] go through,” he said. “It’s important to recognize it.”

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