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Showcase of talent

by BILL BULEY
Staff Writer | April 23, 2010 9:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - Chelsea Cordova is looking forward to this weekend's Spring Artist Showcase, but not because she's in it.

Because of who else will be there.

"I really enjoy seeing what the average person in our community does, all the hidden talents," said the plein air painter.

Cordova, who has been part of the showcase since it began nine years ago, said over the years she has come to know people who work, have families and other responsibilities, but have a passion for art not many know about.

They create through sculptures, drawings, photography, paintings, pottery or carvings.

"Their stories are amazing," she said. "It's a fun thing to be able to paint and enjoy that with people as well."

Those stories and the people behind them will be on stage this weekend in the ninth annual Spring Artist Showcase that runs through Sunday at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds.

The show is presented by the Coeur d'Alene Art Association and will feature new paintings and sculpture by 40 local artists including a new small works section, which are mini paintings framed 8 by 10 inches and smaller.

An artists reception is scheduled 5 p.m. Friday, with music by Turning Tide, a Celtic band. There will also be a raffle and door prizes, vote for the Peoples Choice Award, and a chance to watch demonstrations by various artists and chat with them as well.

The Coeur d'Alene Art Association is a nonprofit group whose goal is to promote the arts through the education and participation of its members in shows, workshops and community events.

Pat Desjarlais, association president, said work that is displayed is judged prior to the show, so the public will see only the best of local artists.

Each artist will have anywhere from 5 to 10 pieces for sale.

"These people are really talented," he said.

Desjarlais, a painter, joined the 80-member association two years ago. He believes the show continues to get better as it gives locals an avenue to show the public what they can do.

"This is a club where everybody gets together and encourages one another," he said.

Sandy Bergeron, show chairwoman, said this year's showcase could be the best yet.

"I really feel excited about it," she said. "The quality of the work is fantastic,"

She said there will be originals, reproductions and limited editions for sale at the show, and prices will range from as little as $25 to more than $1,000.

It will be a mix of longtime artists and newcomers trying to break in and sell their first piece.

"It's a nice blend," said Bergeron, an oil painter with more than 40 years experience.

The Coeur d'Alene Art Association meets the third Monday of each month at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. It has a "paint with a friend" program on Thursday, when members pair up and head out for plein air painting.

The results of their efforts be up for public review this weekend.

"I think the public will be very much impressed. They just have to give us a chance and come out and see us," Bergeron said. "And they'll have some fun, too."

Artists very much appreciate purchases.

"Not only is it an encouragement to our artists to continue with their passion, but your purchases would help us to provide financial support to a young artist as part of our youth community benefits," according to a flier.

Show hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 to 4 on Sunday.

Parking and admission are free.

Information: www.coeurdaleneartassoc.org

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