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Art fest to honor Mayfield

by Minden Press-Herald

Cultural Crossroads Executive Director Chris Broussard displays a painting of Percy Mayfield, Chickenstock-style. Mayfield is the focus of this year's spring arts event at The Farm, set for April 11-16. Jordan Wilson/Press-Herald

Cultural Crossroads Executive Director Chris Broussard displays a painting of Percy Mayfield, Chickenstock-style. Mayfield is the focus of this year’s spring arts event at The Farm, set for April 11-16. Jordan Wilson/Press-Herald

Chickenstock is just a few short weeks away, and this year’s festival is set to honor Percy Mayfield, a famous musician from Minden.

Mayfield, who lived just down the road from The Farm, wrote the song “Hit the Road Jack” for Ray Charles. Executive Director Chris Broussard says his legacy and life as a poet and songwriter will be the focus of this year’s event.

“Musicians and bands have been invited to participate by selecting one of Percy’s songs as a tribute to the man who said, ‘I am a poet and my message is love,’” she said.

Chickenstock starts April 11 and will go through April 16. The week is reserved for the nearly 500 fourth graders who will be bussed in to spend the day with professional artists. Students from all across the parish are provided “Kids Day at The Farm” free of charge, thanks to the generous contributors who have come to understand and appreciate the value of the arts.

Packets explaining the various art/poetry/crafts contests available to area students have been mailed to all schools within the parish. Chickenstock holds the honors of hosting the largest exhibition of children’s art in the parish.

“With few opportunities in the public schools for children to experience the benefits of creative expression, Cultural Crossroads has been filling that void for years through their efforts to bring the arts to the children,” Julie Vogel, president and co-chair of Chickenstock, said.

For 23 years, Cultural Crossroads has been providing the children of Webster Parish with their first real art experience. Every spring, The Farm is transformed into a children’s creative play area for the Chickenstock event. Tents housing a temporary children’s hands-on art museum will be set up where creative play and the use of the imagination are made possible.

There are several areas for children to enter.

n The Le Gogh Building Block Design Contest, sponsored by the Webster Parish Library, is open to students ages three to five years, six to eight years and nine to 12 years of age. Contact Jennifer Heard at 371-3080, extension 116 for a contest form or questions.

n The altered couture contest is “upcycled” clothing with a creative twist. Divisions are for students 13 years of age and younger and students 14 years of age and older. This contest will allow students to transform their existing garments into fabulous works of wearable art. For contest forms or questions, contact Janis Merritt at [email protected].

n The creative contests for children will offer cash and prizes to winning entries. Categories include pencil, colored pencils or crayon; paintings in watercolor, oil, acrylic or pastels; mixed medium; collages; sculptures; photography and digital art. Grade divisions are: Pre-K and K, first and second grade, third and fourth grade, fifth and sixth grade, seventh and eighth grade, ninth and tenth grade and eleventh and twelfth grade.

n The Poetry Contest is for grades 3-12, with a $25 cash award to all Best of Show in each division. Divisions include: grades third and fourth, fifth and sixth, seventh and eighth, ninth and tenth and eleventh and twelfth. March 11 is the deadline to enter.

n Craft Contest For Kids includes categories: jewelry, weaving, crochet or knitting, woodwork, quilting and miscellaneous. March 11 is the deadline to enter.

n A Quilting Contest is for the adults 18 years of age and older. Categories include baby quilts (crib size), bed quilt (twin to king), and wall quilt. All participants must pre-register their intent to participate no later than April 1. For entry forms or questions, contact Merritt.

Participants can submit their art and poetry entries to the committee between 4 and 6 p.m. Drop off is at Zenobia’s House at The Farm, located at 419 East Union Street in Minden.

Corporate sponsors are currently being sought to underwrite the cost of this week-long event. Admission to Saturday’s event (April 16) is $3 with all proceeds to go to the Minden High School band instrument project. Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m.

For more information, contact Broussard at 318-393-5991 or email [email protected].

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