The Creekstravaganza: Music, Art, Food, and Even A Little Dancing!

posted Sep 28, 2012, 11:13 AM by alina coryell   [ updated Oct 22, 2012, 7:25 AM by Laurie Johns ]

The Friends of Hurricane Creek celebrated the creek and local wood artists with the community last night at the Creekstravaganza. 

Christina and Heidi take care of business at the registration table.

                            Tricia Schuster chats with Wade Wells and his family over dinner. Mr. Wells assisted Tricia 
in preparing the wood for her students. His son (to the right) won "Best In Show" award last year 
for a woodcarving he made. We were honored to have them with us for dinner.

Young artists and older artists meeting together as equal partners in a 
project to reclaim tornado wood for good.

                    Adults and kids line up to eat delicious food prepared by Studio B Catering with locally-grown
vegetables. Unfortunately, they operate out of Birmingham. We are willing to bet that a local catering 
company who decides to cater with locally-grown produce would do very well at FOHC events.

It was great to have an event where young people are welcome as well as their parents.
The young have a lot to teach us about the value of our local creeks.

People expressed their love for the creek with drawings and sketches.

The sun set in all sorts of shades and colors.

Tricia Schuster exchanges wood thoughts with Mr. Watson, the owner of Watson's Bend
and the man whose wood made this entire project possible.

The Hurricane Creek Rescue Band, including Buddy Martin, Randy Palmer, Clay, got together 
for one night to play music and celebrate the creek.

After the sun had finally set, everyone sat down to discover the winners of the Creek Wood Art Contest. A panel of judges, including Bebe Barefoot, David Allgood, Claire Lewis Evans, Amos Kennedy, Soapy Jones, and Maurice Clabaugh (who recused himself from the selection for the Adult category) met earlier in the month and spent an evening selecting winners for three categories- 3rd-5th grade, 6th-8th grade, and Adult.

Alina Coryell, a Board member of FOHC, announced the winners and thanked the participants and sponsors of the event. The winners were as follows:

1st Prize: "Ironwood Blossom" by Maurice Clabaugh
2nd Prize: "Remembrance" by John Steven Kirkpatric
3rd Prize: "Hippo" by Tyler Aldijaini

1st Prize: 6th Grade of Holy Spirit School
2nd Prize: 8th Grade of Holy Spirit School
3rd Prize: 7th Grade of Holy Spirit School
Special Recognition: "Amor Es Caecus" by Louise Whiting

1st Prize: "Reoccupy Tree" by the 4th Grade of Holy Spirit School
2nd Prize: 3rd Grade of Holy Spirit School
3rd Prize: 5th Grade of Holy Spirit School

 Joshua Turner, a student at Holy Spirit School, created a dancing stick figure from tornado wood. He explained, “I kept thinking about all the trees that were down after the tornado and how I felt seeing them- thinking about the people who lost so much. This is me trying to make people smile.”

"Hippo" by Tyler Aldijaini won 3rd prize in the Adult Category.

"Amor es Caecus" by Louise Whiting won Special Recognition from the judges.

"Stringy Bird" by Anna Simon.

Marley, another Holy Spirit student who enjoys hiking Hurricane Creek, created a string wood art piece called "Resurrection". She wrote: “I hope that Hurricane Creek will resurrect back into the beautiful forest it once was so my family can go back and play. And also, people need to PICK UP THEIR TRASH!” We agree with Marley- and that's what Friends are for.

Sue and Len Blackshear, longtime Friends of Hurricane Creek and 
residents of Bee Branch, enjoyed the evening and the music.

Jimmy Watson receives his awards from Alina.

Landowner and conservationist Jimmy Watson was honored for his wood donations with a card and a prize-winning "Reoccupy Tree"  from the 4th grade class of Holy Spirit School, as well as painting of the creek made by a student at Brewer's Porch.

The Educators Alliance honored two local teachers with the First Annual Environmental Educator Award, given to Tuscaloosa County educators who show a remarkable desire to educate students about local ecology and natural resources across the curriculum.

Keith Summerford, a social sciences teacher at Southview Middle School, receives his EE Award. 
Keith also donated four wood paintings to the Art Exhibit and the Silent Auction Fundraiser 
which followed. His efforts alone raised over $100 dollars for FOHC and the 
Kentuck Arts Center. 

Tricia Schuster, the art teacher at Holy Spirit School, receives her EE Award. Tricia 
singlehandedly entered her almost all her students in this exhibit and proved what 
happens when a teacher combines reusing natural resources with her art lessons- 
everybody wins, everybody learns, and wood is reused for good.

                                    Maurice Clabaugh holds up his first-prize winning trophy, a sculpture made from 
Black Warrior River clay by local clay artist Hayes Dobbins. Event "MC" Alina 
Coryell observed, "It's great to reward good art with good art."

Jimmy Watson and his daughters, Dyane and Janet, enjoy the exhibit with 
Creekkeeper John Wathen. Dyane and Janet are new to the Board of Friends 
of Hurricane Creek.

John Wathen congratulates first prize winner Maurice Clabaugh.

Creekkeeper John Wathen celebrates with second prize winner John Steven Kirkpatrick.
Mr. Kirkpatrick donated his winning piece to the Silent Auction, where it brought
a hefty award for FOHC and the Kentuck Arts Center.