Gourd art show, competition rolls into Opp today

Published 12:03 am Saturday, February 18, 2012

amp arranges one of her gourd art pieces she made for today’s gourd art competition. | Kendra Bolling/ Star-News


The art of gourd making will take center stage today in Opp at the second annual Heart of Dixie Gourd Patch show and competition.

Patch president Anita Ellis said there is only one other gourd show in the state in Cullman.

The local show will be held today from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Anita’s Home Gallery on Ellis Road.

Members of the patch and gourd artists from around South Alabama will showcase their gourd art creation, as well as creations by award-winning artist Terri Camp.

Members of the gourd patch said they enjoy showcasing the gourd art to help promote the art.

“It’s fun, and I like to participate,” said member Mary Pitts, who travels from Phenix City to participate. “You get to learn so much, and it’s also about a feeling of belonging with people who like what you do.”

Pitts said she found out about the patch and the show from Ellis, who is family.

Pitts said for those who are unsure what gourd art is, it’s something they shouldn’t miss.

“You need to come because it’s unbelievable what you can do with a gourd,” she said.

Camp agreed.

“It is amazing what you can do, and what you can make,” she said. “You can literally make anything out of them, if you have patience and take the time to do so.”

Camp said gourd art is forever-changing because there is always a new technique to learn.

“It seems like there is a new technique every day,” she said. “There’s always something new to learn if you want to be a good gourd artist.”

For Pitts, she considers herself a “beginner” and Camp an “amateur- professional.”

“Last year was the first year I ever made gourds,” she said.

But that hasn’t stopped her from submitting a variety of pieces into today’s competition.

Camp said each month the patch has a new class in which members share their techniques.

“It’s a great way to learn how to do these new techniques,” she said. “It’s good for the beginners and it’s good for those who have been in it awhile.”

The group even has former Opp High School art teacher Rhonda Bowland on board.

“This is my first time with them,” she said. “I’ve known Anita forever. This year, I have four gourds in the competition. I’m really excited about the show. I hope the weather holds off.

“I wish more people would come out and see what it’s all about,” she said.

Rain or shine, the show is a go, Ellis said.

“Don’t let the rain keep you away, come and let it brighten your day,” Pitts said.

Ellis said they are expecting participants from Huntsville, Dothan and the surrounding areas.

“We’ll have Glen Burkhalter and the Teels with gourds for sale,” she said. “We’ll also give away door prizes every 30 minutes, and we’ll have refreshments.”

Admission is free, but door prize tickets are $1 each or six for $5.