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Scottdale: Hundreds visit town during Fall Festival

| Monday, Sept. 22, 2003

SCOTTDALE -- Hundreds visited the small town of Scottdale this weekend to enjoy the annual Scottdale Fall Festival. Visitors lined the streets as they watched the annual parade at noon Saturday. The festival concluded on Sunday.

The first ever, decorated bike contest was held prior to the parade, and there was a model car show as well.

The smell of a variety of foods surrounded the festival. From hot sausage sandwiches to funnel cakes, the smells filled the air.

Entertainment was also on tap. A variety of popular bands visited the famous gazebo to provide musical enjoyment for the visitors. And all this happened on the streets of the borough.

But while much entertainment was found outside during the Scottdale Fall Festival, other worlds through art were focused on the inside.

The Laurel Art Club has held a show during the festival for at least 10 years, according to Sharon Yoder, club president.

This year, the club displayed 89 paintings from artists in their club to anyone coming off of Pittsburgh Street after the parade and into the former Scottdale Bank building, where the exhibits were displayed.

The five key categories for the artwork displayed were exhibits in oil, acrylic, watercolor, photographs and mixed media.

A week before the show, the exhibits were awarded by an independent judge, Constance Merriman of the Pittsburgh area, for first, second, third, honorable mention, best of show and the juror's award, which Yoder won for her water color titled "King of the Mountain."

While many of the exhibits are for sale, Yoder's prize-winner is not, as well as a personal pencil-and-coal portrait titled "Turning the Page of Grandma's Sketchbook," which is of her grandson. Also on the portrait is a sketchbook that a hand is about to turn, telling the viewer that there's more to be drawn.

Helen Alt of Connellsville has been painting for more than 30 years and had one of her latest creations winning second place in the water color category.

"Zucchini" is the name of Alt's painting, and the inspiration came to her when she was looking at her garden.

Alt says the judge told her that the painting was special because it came from herself and not from a copy or an existing picture.

"I just wanted to do something different and beautiful, and that's about it," Alt says and adds that her love and enjoyment of painting comes from losing herself while she works on a painting.

When you concentrate on the painting, says Alt, "everything else is in the background."

Louise Shultz has been a member of the club for about seven years and finds painting both challenging and fun. While she paints, she forgets about her back aching and everything else is shut out, she says.

Although Shultz didn't win any prizes for this year's show, she joked, saying she'd rather hear people say she was robbed rather than what the judge thought about her paining.

Her favorite painting on display at the show is called "What's Out There?" It shows three ducks in a pond looking to the side where the painting ends.

What Shultz does is work on her painting from a picture, but uses her imagination to make the picture more creative.

For example, "What's Out There?" was a picture from a friend that had many ducks, and Shultz just decided to use the three that interested her the most and even changed much of the color for the painting.

Those who had their paintings awarded received monetary prizes. The people's choice awards for the paintings were held on Sunday, the last day of the festival. There were also gift certificates given out as prizes.

Yoder says the club is open to the public to join. It meets once every month. Guests can go to the meetings with no obligation to join, and the dues are $12 a year. For more information, contact Yoder at 724-887-4335.

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