Artists convene in Springfield for 14th Annual Gourd Festival

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When most people look at a large kettle gourd, they see, well, a gourd. But others see potential in the odd shape and imperfections of the fruit, and artfully transform that gourd into a birdhouse, or carve out a bowl and paint it with stunning detail and color.

Nationally recognized artists will be showing and selling their gourd art at the 14th Annual Gourd Festival on April 28 and 29 in the E-Plex Building of the Ozarks Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, Missouri.

The festival is put on by the Show-Me Gourd Society, made up of more than 180 members statewide who share their knowledge and appreciation of gourds.

Items for sale at the Gourd Festival.

Gourd art can range from a whimsical imaginary bird (above) to geometric, but it’s all art. The 14th Annual Gourd Festival Comes to Springfield on April 28-29 at the E-Plex at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds.

If the judged gourd art competition inspires you, everything to get you started will be for sale, including dried and raw gourds, tools, dyes, accessories, and books. You can attend one or more workshops on April 27-29, for beginner growers to advanced crafters. Kids can create gourd art all weekend in the craft area.

Festival hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday,, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for ages 12 and up, and is good for both days of the show. Parking is free. For more information on the gourd festival or to get involved, go to www.showmegourdsociety.com or contact Pat Kamier, tigers.pat@sbcglobal.net.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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