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Santa Clara celebrates art, heritage

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  • George R Cannon Jr
    NOTE the last two paragraphs about our own Joyce Whittaker, Past-President of the Washington County Historical Society! From the St George Spectrum:
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2009
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      NOTE the last two paragraphs about our own Joyce Whittaker,
      Past-President of the Washington County Historical Society!

      From the St George Spectrum:
      http://www.thespectrum.com/article/20090502/NEWS01/905020328

      Santa Clara celebrates art, heritage
      BY KEVIN JENKINS • kevin@... • May 2, 2009

      SANTA CLARA - City heritage and artful imagination combined Friday as officials, school children and visitors dedicated a pioneer mural at the Town Hall.

      The mural depiction of pioneers settling the Santa Clara Valley honors Swiss immigrants in particular, but the hardiness of all the city's founders in general, said Kathleen Nielson, the Santa Clara Heritage and Parks chairwoman in charge of the event.

      "It just puts you in touch with your heritage and offers to everyone the opportunity to reflect on your ancestors," she said.

      "The artist, Julie Rogers, opened her life and continually invited people to come and watch the mural develop," Nielson said.

      Work on the mural began in December after Rogers beat out two rivals to win a selection committee's approval for the project.

      Jane Juber, who organized the city's 2nd Annual New Visions Art Show and Sale as part of the event, helped to promote candidates for the mural and said each of the three finalists was an award-winning artist of some renown.

      Rogers was named the top American woman artist two years ago, she said, and the two others had worked on murals for the renovation of the state Capitol.

      A variety of presenters' works are on display at the art show, which continues today from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

      "There are only great artists here," Juber said. "This caliber of show ... I can only get them to come once a year."

      The city also sold 42-inch by 10-inch signed prints of the mural. Fourteen canvas versions available for $125 sold out, with orders for 10 more by Friday afternoon. Two paper versions of the mural sold for $75 and more were still available.

      As part of the ceremonies Friday, Santa Clara Elementary students wove two colorful maypoles on the front lawn as people were arriving, and later sang a medley of pioneer songs.

      Descendents of the original Swiss immigrants spoke about the conditions settlers faced when they first came into the valley.

      Joyce Whittaker represented the Wittwer family, which donated $50,000 to the mural project.

      "She brought tears to the eyes of a few people because (her stories) put you in touch with what they went through to establish a community," Nielson said.
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