Fashion supporting art

Fashion and art often mimic one another creatively.

In Columbiana next month, three women’s clubs plan to use fashion to support art through the Have a Heart for the Arts event Feb. 6.

Novella club member Peggy Wood said organizers felt the two went beautifully together.

“We knew lots of women would love to see the latest fashions and we want to make everyone aware of the arts programs the council provides,” Wood said. “This helps us accomplish that goal.”

The Culture, Novella and Vignette Clubs of Columbiana plan to host the third-annual fashion show and luncheon Feb. 6 at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Columbiana.

This marks the third year of the show.

In just two years, the event has raised about $5,500 for the council.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Shelby County Arts Council. With the funds the council provides much needed services such as the Art Abilities and Take Back Our Kids programs. Education coordinator Susan Dennis said the council needs funds for a lot of things, but aims to keep these programs especially strong.

“They are two of the programs we really try and emphasize to the community because they are so near and dear to us,” Dennis said. “These children get to express and grow in ways they normally don’t get to.”

Art Abilities provides an artistic outlet for kids with special needs. Once a week, an instructor spends 1-2 hours with the kids to improve motor and critical thinking skills. Grants make it possible to offer this program at Elvin Hill, Meadow View and Creek View Elementary schools as well as Chelsea High School. The council hopes to extend the program to other elementary schools as funds become available, Dennis said.

Take Back Our Kids works with at-risk youth in middle and high schools. Dennis said this program opens creative doors for kids who have a difficult time expressing themselves.

The youth are taught photography and drawing, as well as discovering the “Roots of Blues” by learning to play the harmonica. Students at the Shelby County Alternative School, and those currently in the Juvenile Detention Center, currently benefit from this program.

Wood said the council needs community support for this and many other programs.

“I can’t wait until my grandkids are old enough to take art classes,” Wood said. “I take classes and see the kids come in there and the smiles that spread across their faces.”

Dennis wants to encourage people who couldn’t make it to the show to offer their support by other means.

“We are very grateful for grants,” she said. “But they don’t cover all of our needs. Private donations are able to provide things like private music lessons that are so important.”

The Art Abilities program was at one time in four different schools. The program currently runs in only one since funds weren’t available to provide it in more schools. This is why Dennis said donations from individuals and companies are so vital. Donations can be made via the Web site and are tax deductible, Dennis said. Corporate donors are also listed on the site.

The show will include 12 adult models showing off the latest fashions from Coldwater Creek. Twelve tinier models meanwhile will don sweet fashions from Strasburg Children.

Tickets for the luncheon and show are $25. They can be purchased by calling Bonnie Atchison at 669-9001, Peggy Wood at 669-9073 or Diane Moore at 669-1450. Tickets can also be found at Busy Hands, the South Shelby Chamber of Commerce and the Shelby County Arts Council gallery and Web site.