Athens Review, Athens, Texas

March 28, 2014

Local artists involved

Artwork major ingredient for this year’s Cornbread Festival

Kathi Nailling
The Athens Review

Athens — Malakoff is preparing for the 17th Annual Cornbread Festival on Saturday, April 12. The festival sponsored by the Malakoff Rotary Club and Brookshires of Malakoff will be held in downtown Malakoff.

Malakoff resident Loretta Humble has spent many hours working on securing “O'Keeffe,” the one-woman show to perform at the Community Center the night of the Cornbread Festival. The Malakoff Area Garden Club is sponsoring the show as a fundraiser for the Bartlett House Project.

After all the Cornbread Festival happenings have ended, the Community Center will be filled. The show sold out for Saturday evening. Good news – by popular demand, there will be a Sunday matinee of “O'Keeffe” on April 13 at 2 p.m.

Humble admits her acquaintance with O’Keeffe has given her an excuse to spend more time with some local artists.

“Until I went to see the marvelous one-woman play. I didn't really know anything about Georgia O’Keeffe, except that she painted great big flowers, desert scenes and bones,” said Humble. “Since I saw the play, and particularly since I've been involved in bringing it to Malakoff, I have become a bit more familiar with the life of that remarkable woman.”

Humble said she had this idea to find a tie-in between the Cornbread Festival and Georgia O’Keeffe.  She said she hinted around that she was looking for some really creative artists to imagine what Georgia O'Keeffe's cornbread would look like.  Cheryl Hicks, a local artist, took her up on her challenge, and created “Beans and Greens and Cornbread.”  The painting is being used on all the Cornbread Festival advertisements, and is traveling the county for public display.

Humble has been able to create a fundraiser out of local artists painting portrayals of O'Keeffe. Selwyn Wilson was able to pull together a number of Star Harbor watercolorists to provide paintings to be sold at the Saturday-night performance of O'Keeffe, with a portion of the sales going to the Bartlett House project. “Celene Terry will be painting a shell,” said Humble.

Carolyn Ellis, proprietor of The Color of Ideas, has created an abstract homage to O’Keeffe, using pastel shades.

“Athens artist Sky Copeland showed me a nifty O'Keeffe tribute he has at the top of his art page,” Humble said.

Humble said she is hoping Charlie Bullock, or some of his students come up with an idea for portraying O'Keeffe.

Humble's efforts to get the community involved in the O'Keeffe show has paid off.  Hicks started doing Georgia O’Keeffe Zintangles.  She plans on doing a O’Keeffe Zintangles workshops at the Athens Country Club a couple of days prior to the opening of the play.

Christi Barrett, owner of the 211 Gallery in Athens,  has announced she was going to have two more O’Keeffe workshops, one for children, one for adults.  The two workshops will be fundraisers for the Bartlett House Project. 

“That is what is so great about artists—they haven’t forgotten how to play,” Humble said. “And sometimes, they help us remember how, as well.”

Daniela Matchael is going to do an O’Keeffe-influenced painting. Matchael is an internationally-recognized artist who mostly paints abstracts in strikingly-beautiful brilliant glowing colors.

For information on tickets for the Sunday matinee, show call 903-681-2880, or follow O'Keeffe in Malakoff on Facebook.