Marianne Hickman isn’t sure whether her church is attracting or creating artists, but the result is the same. If only she can find enough room for them all.
Hickman is co-chairwoman for a new feature of the River Hills Community Church Autumn Bazaar, and artist showcase featuring the best work from painters and photographers. As artists began arriving Oct. 22, Hickman expected about 30 for the inaugural event.
“People either come here with this talent, or they develop it,” Hickman said.
Co-chairwoman Kathy White works full time and doesn’t often paint something she can’t complete in one sitting. Hickman once spent half a year on a family portrait.
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Both Hickman and White study under watercolorist Sandy Brindle, who teaches four classes a week in York and is entered in the showcase.
“Probably a good portion of what’s going in this show is from current or former students I’ve had,” Brindle said.
Event organizers met new local artists, too. Photographer Alex Pietersen, who moved from New Jersey more than a year ago, brought in scenes from Princeton University, New Mexico and a Dutch fishing trawler with fisherman hugging a cod, a shot he snapped 45 years ago.
“I was half asleep and my camera was just hanging there,” he said of the week at sea.
Artists include professionals, teachers and award winners at local, national and international levels. Some recently took up their craft. Others have spent a lifetime devoted to it.
“What we realized is we have a lot of talent,” White said. “Everybody has a hobby, and people are really good at it.”
The public can vote for the artist showcase winner through Oct. 30 at the church. Cash prizes will be awarded.
The artist showcase is part of the Autumn Bazaar Nov. 1 that will include 36 craft vendors, a silent auction, bake sale and more. The event is held every other year to raise money for local and international missions. Also for sale in the family life center will be $3 hot dog lunches and frozen homemade soups to go.
“We’ve done it about 20 years,” said Jayne Jones, event chairwoman. “We’re trying to expand it.”
The church sanctuary will host an attic sale with items as large as a piano and recliners. A children’s attic sale will feature furniture, toys and clothing. A Christmas room will have decorated artificial trees.
“All you have to do is put it up,” Jones said.
More subtle changes include taking credit card swipes along with cash or checks. What hasn’t changed is the commitment to missions – 80 percent of all proceeds go to local projects and 20 percent to international ones.
“We want this to be a community event,” she said.