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Art show highlights association
Members display creations at annual event
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Sue Cubberley, left, and Jane Tiedeman look through items for sale June 9 during the 10th annual Bellezza art show. The event, sponsored by the Sawnee Artists Association, gives local artists the chance to show off and sell handcrafted pieces. - photo by Autumn McBride

Barbara Means picked up a pottery leaf, set it down and examined another.

“I just love these leaves,” said Means, admiring the work of the artist. “I can’t decide which one.”

Means was one of the many visitors to the Sawnee Artists Association’s 10th annual “Bellezza” art show.

The group, which does not have a building of its own, displayed its art June 9-10 in the old Blockbuster building at Lakeland Plaza.

All the works in the show, which were made by members of the association in several different types of media, were for sale.

Sally Whitlow, an eight-year member of the group, watched as guests viewed her beaded jewelry creations and girls’ tiny purses.

Whitlow said she never makes two jewelry sets alike and intends for them to become “heirlooms” both of her art and for families.

“A piece of us goes into each piece,” she said of the members’ work.

What she loves about the association’s big show each year, Whitlow said, is how it all comes together.

“I like how the pieces coordinate, the colors come together and they just pop,” she said.

The artists’ works ranged from wood carvings and mosaics to more unique art forms, including several painted screen doors.

Member Margaret Cameron said she got into screen doors when she moved to Georgia and wanted to install one at her home.

She heard from a friend about an art form popular in Baltimore and decided to paint a lighthouse on her entryway.

“The next day, I had traffic stopping,” Cameron said.

At Bellezza, she had a variety of designs on display, including a bear, Victorian woman and country scene.

Cameron, who has belonged to the association since about 1997, said the show’s turnout was steady.

Sue Cubberley, who was visiting Bellezza for the first time, said she thought it was a great way to support local artists and find a few pieces to take home.

“It’s very nice,” Cubberley said of the show. “There’s a lot of unique things.”