Artists brave high winds to show at Welcome Center

Ellen Finan and Heather Sprague. Finan, right, is a Saori weaver and Sprague is a photographer who manipulates her photos into more graphic design images. The four principles of Saori weaving are: Think on something made by a machine versus made by a human, be bold and adventurous, weave with a happy heart and learn from everyone in the group.

YUCCA VALLEY — The inaugural California Welcome Center Art Festival was held over the weekend in the center’s back parking lot area. Artists were also able to compete for a chance to show inside the center for a year.

Contest winners are Louis Hernandez, a jeweler; John Henson, who makes art with nails and wood; photographer Mitch Miller; Susan Priest, a jeweler and painter; Jayne Schelden, an oil painter; and Paperscaper, a light-box artist.

A panel of five professional artists served as judges for the contest: Bill Copeland, Ed Keesling, Michael McCall, Terry Lee Stone and Marcella Swett.

During the Saturday show, a dust devil tore through the booths, flipping three tents, damaging artwork and breaking a window of a truck parked nearby. Later in the day, another gust flipped another tent. Artists closed up early Saturday afternoon and as the winds rose on Sunday, they did the same.

The California Welcome Center is managed by the Desert Regional Tourism Agency. Kathie Ammar, the agency’s executive director and event coordinator, said, “We are planning on this being a yearly event. Next years’ art festival date is coming soon, so stay tuned. Also, we are always looking for new volunteers.”

Those interested in volunteering should call (760) 365-5464.

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