Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

January 28, 2013

Art Expo both work of art and charity

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — Artists from around the area came to Tuscan Hills Winery Sunday for an art show with a cause.

The Art Expo, hosted at the winery, featured twelve local craftspeople and vendors, with proceeds from admission going to the Effingham County United Way.

"We wanted to include local artists and give to the United Way, which is such a great organization," said Tuscan Hills Winery owner Amanda Pitcher. "The money stays in our community which is great. We just wanted a way for people and artists to get together."

Visitors were able to peruse vendors booths, selling goods, such as bracelets, photography, scarves, clothing and other items.

Annmarie Pals of Effingham showed her work for the first time at the expo. She said her handmade collection of wine-themed art came about from her love of what she calls "upcycling."

"I don't like to waste anything, so I wanted to use the corks and wine bottles I had for something," she said. "It's recycling but making something better. I call it upcycling."

Pals' works, made entirely of colored and plain corks, were formed into wall-ready displays, looking like bottles of wine, half-filled cups and decorated antique bottles. She said she was inspired by other recycled art she had seen on a social networking website.

"I'm a big Pinterest follower," Pals said "I felt like doing something. I always have to be doing something with my hands."

Bonnie Siebert of Altamont displayed and sold her painted wine glasses at the expo. This was her third art show.

"I basically just have fun with it," she said about creating her intricately painted glasses. "It's a really great stress reliever."

Siebert said she began painting wine glasses as Christmas presents for friends and family before being encouraged to sell her work. Now, Siebert said she enjoys going to shows to be around people who appreciate and enjoy art.

"It gets your name out there and I enjoy the people," she said. "It's not even about if I sell any glasses. I just like to be around artsy people."

Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com.