So, where does one go for color-copies-of-original-art-to-be-given-as-Christmas-gifts a few days before Christmas? Well, I went to Siloam Springs Printing. They do all sorts of printing jobs, from letterhead, envelopes, business cards, sale bills, auction handbills and copies, to name a few. My favorite part of the experience is the free notepad customers receive-it's such a nice touch. The shop also sells used books for 50 cents in order to raise money for the Talbot Library & Museum in Colcord, OK.
I never fail to be charmed by the comfortable and welcoming atmosphere of the shop, and it certainly makes me feel special to have the service and attention of the owner herself. Glenita Guthrie has owned Siloam Springs Printing since 1968, making the establishment quite an institution on Broadway.
Glenita is always helpful and friendly, and it comes as no surprise that she says the best part of her job is that she loves the people she meets. She has spent her whole life in our neck of the woods, living in Cincinnati, AR and attending Siloam Springs schools. Glenita actually got her start in life just blocks from her shop. She was born in the current Drake Renovation and Construction building, when it was the John Brown University Hospital. Apparently, they ran out of baby beds and had to put her in a drawer! Thankfully, she harbored no ill will towards downtown Siloam Springs for the lack of proper accommodations, and she has provided a vibrant and dependable institution on a street that has seen many changes in the past 40 years.
While visiting with Glenita, I noticed that Siloam Springs Printing has received several years worth of "Best of the Best" awards for "Favorite Print/Graphic Design Shop." They certainly deserve that distinction, and I want to remind everyone out there to fill out the current survey with all of your favorite downtown businesses. That's a great way to show Main Street some love. Also, have you noticed the wonderful holiday music being piped into downtown? I believe we have Holly Bos, from Four Corners Frame & Design to thank for that. Thanks, Holly! It really makes it magical.
On Wednesday evening, I attended a wonderful exhibit at Local Flair Art Gallery, showcasing work by JBU's Senior Photography Class students. Seven artists were represented, with as many styles and viewpoints. The show, organized by student and photographer Alexa Lambert, offered a wide array of talent. I was really blown away by the creativity and vision exhibited by these artists.
Natalia Castelar offered a collection of photographs called COLORS that combined color, fashion and photography. Each photo portrayed a woman dressed in a gorgeous, monochromatic dress and shoes with color-coordinated accessories.
Alexa Lambert, the organizer, had several photographs that replicated famous works of art, such as da Vinci's Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, and Edvard Munch's The Scream. She did an amazing job of conveying these master works through color, lighting, subject matter and attention to detail.
(the) Matthew Smith had some amazing professional-quality portraits. My favorite was of some guys wearing hunting hats with ear flaps. There was something dark and mysterious about the photo, and I was struck with the desire to know more about it.
Josh Adams chose to focus his work on Siloam Springs, its history and people. He has interviewed several local individuals (my husband and sister, to name a few) and he plans to show his full collection on March 14, 2010 at the Sager Creek Arts Center.
Kyle Weir created a completely original and inspired interactive piece. It was a triptych based on Galations 5:1- It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Viewers were drawn to stockade-like openings in a black fabric wall. After placing one's head and hands in the first set of openings, an image would appear of the viewer bound in chains. The second opening would show them free, but the third would show them bound once more. The images were developed in a darkroom process called "liquid light."
Christina Bunker's work struck a personal chord with me, with her expertly photographed cookbook of favorite family recipes. I've often dreamed of creating something like this for myself. It's a beautiful and intimate collection of recipes, bound as a hardcover book (by blurb.com). I was even able to sample the delicious peanut butter and chocolate "buckeyes" from the cookbook at the refreshment table.
Hannah Hudson rounded out the show with various pieces of art that illustrated verses, quotes and poems. They were all very different from one another, yet they shared a common theme of the beauty and meaning of words. My favorite was one with Love as the word of choice.
The English Tea Room is staying busy this holiday season with a host of events. Here are some ladies from Siloam's Fellowship Bible Church, enjoying The Windsor Tea. It is quite a delightful spread that includes a pot of tea, quiche, finger sandwiches, fruit flan, cheesecake and scones with fruit and clotted cream. Delicious! Gifts were exchanged, and all enjoyed the beauty and tranquility offered by The English Tea Room.
There is also a new Saturday night tradition in the making- Indian Curry Night, Saturdays from 6-10. For $6.95, you get curry, rice and a drink. The Tea Room is also hosting live music each Friday night, beginning at 7:30. For a $5 cover charge, guests can enjoy a dessert and unlimited tea or coffee, plus an evening of live music. Each musical group receives 20% of the night's revenue and they are required to donate that money to the charity of their choice. Last week's donation went to the Sager Creek Church Youth Group, and this weeks' donation will benefit the Nest Club. Please note: this week, the live music night will take place on Thursday, December 10th, not Friday.
The 2009 Christmas Parade took place on Saturday night, and it was wonderful. The town really outdid itself. The parade is absolutely one of my favorite holiday traditions. I really liked this year's addition of a fireworks blast immediately after the lighting of Siloam Springs, and I greatly appreciated Mayor Allen's admonishment to the town to keep in mind the true meaning of Christmas- the celebration of Jesus' birth. Thank you very much, Heritage League, for putting together such an outstanding event, and thank you to all of the businesses and individuals who participated.
Waiting for Siloam Springs to "Light Up"
The Panther Youth Cheer float, one of this year's winners
McDonalds' float, this year's corporate winner
One of my favorites- the Boy Scouts' "UP" float
Overdrive Church's parade spectacular- they performed awesome music, complete with a revolving drum kit and a multitude of mascots
The Heritage League hard at work passing out candy to the kids
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"
Special thanks to Hope Johnstone for providing additional photographs.