The bright lights are going up and the Christmas bells are ringing! Each outdoor holiday display seems more colorful than the one before. But remember, some inside Yule events match this festivity.
Bright lights come up on the stage today at McClellan Theatre for CAST community theater’s “Steel Magnolias.” Next Sunday, the cantata “O Holy Night” will be presented at First United Methodist Church in Anniston, with the Wesley Bells handbell choir as one of the ensembles.
Speaking of color, hues of almost every shade fill the walls for the current exhibit at Nunnally’s Frame and Gallery in downtown Anniston.
‘Steel Magnolias’ final performance today
Although this touching Southern play is about women and how they support each other, the source of the story came from a man, Robert Haring, who wrote the play soon after his sister Susan died of complications from diabetes.
Both women and men can appreciate “Steel Magnolias” because it is about community, director Dylan Hurst said. “And Anniston is a close community of people,” he added.
“I think everyone can relate to the trials and joys in these women’s lives. And the story helps us put our lives into perspective.”
In the cast are Kimberly Davenport, Cindy Cater, Ryleigh Freeman, Sylvia Pancake, Rachel Pickering and Jennie Wall. The drama with humorous moments will be at 2:30 p.m. at McClellan Theatre. Tickets, available at the door, are $20 for adults; $15 for seniors, military and students; and $10 for students.
Storyteller shares holiday stories
Speaking of putting things into perspective, a program Tuesday at 2 p.m. stresses living with less stress during the holidays. Storyteller Dolores Hydock will talk about wish lists, package mix-ups and the delight of getting something totally unexpected on Christmas Day. The presentation will be at the Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County.
“Before things get too crazy in December, I want us to stop a moment and think of the traditions and generosity as our focus during this season,” said Hydock, who is from Birmingham. “I hope my sharing will get our spirits going in the right direction as Christmas approaches.”
Everyone is invited.
Art at Nunnally’s appealing, functional
It’s almost impossible to choose one favorite piece in the current art exhibit at Nunnally’s. There are enough categories of media and subject matter and functional objects to make the choice hard. Every corner in the gallery holds art or crafts.
There are handmade books and silver wire jewelry by featured artist Karen I. Peterson Henricks. Among other items, there are handcrafted soaps by Lori Benson Adams, baskets by Sara Rutledge, tassel ornaments by Laverne Lombardi, woodwork by Meredith Aderholdt and a large display case of shining jewelry by several artisans.
Jack Hadder had a double purpose in creating his painting “Monet’s Bridge.” “I thought that the subject would be interesting. And I could use it in my painting class to demonstrate the technique,” he said. His style is somewhere between impressionism and realism, he said. “I start with broad under-painting and then begin to add more detail as I move along.” He’s also concerned with composition and design detail, which he also teaches.
Henricks recently retired from her career as art history professor at Jacksonville State University. This has given her more time to pursue her interest in the fine craft of bookbinding and handmade books.
She became interested in bookmaking many years ago as an outgrowth of working with her hands and an interest in the history of the book and handmade paper. Initially self taught, she has since attended numerous workshops and studied with master bookmakers. Henricks particularly enjoys making books that include her love of nature and gardening along with the art of bookbinding.
Why the interest in making books? “I like the connection between image and text or image to image over the process of actually reading or moving through the book, noticing both similarities and subtle differences,” the artist responded.
It’s fine to touch and get the feel of her books, Nunnally’s verified. On the pages of “Dream” and “Imagination” there is a path through stars and other mindsets and a series of quotes from Edgar Allen Poe, Louisa May Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson, which accent the importance of imagination and dreams.
Nunnally’s Frame and Gallery is at 1014 Noble St. in Anniston.
Church cantata a tradition
Every second Sunday evening in December (this year on Dec. 9) at First United Methodist Church in Anniston, all of the church’s ensembles come together to present “O Holy Night,” coordinated by Kathy Murphy, FUMC music director.
This year the chancel choir will perform “Sing Christmas” by Joel Raney and Mary McDonald. The ensembles consist of musicians of all ages, grades 1-12 and adults, including saxophone and flute players.
The beloved anthem “O Holy Night” this year includes four stanzas with soloists from various ensembles. More about the cantata in next week’s column.
Hervey Folsom writes about the local arts scene every Sunday. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.