By CATHERINE ELLERTON
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Pomegranate Arts Festival, the members of the Moapa Valley Art Guild decided it should be returned back to its roots and held in the Old Logandale School. COVID restrictions required that the festival be scaled back this year. But this was in keeping with the small-town heritage of the festival.
The first Pomegranate Art Festival took place in the parking lot of Home Hardware in downtown Overton. The festival quickly outgrew that location and was eventually relocated to the Old Logandale School where it was held for several years. The festival continued to gain in popularity and by 2008 it was bursting at the seams of the old school. So in 2009 it was moved to the Clark County Fairgrounds. It has become a beloved tradition in the Valley.
This year, the COVID-19 pandemic threatened to cancel the festival altogether. But the Art Guild members elected to keep the tradition alive and scale it back to comply with health mandates. It was, thus, moved again back to the Old Logandale School.
On November 6-7 the historic building was alive with the beauty shown in the paintings and crafts of the local Moapa Valley Art Guild members.
The paintings of Max Bunnell in his studies of the southwestern landscapes were on display. Also on exhibit were paintings by Marya Romero Hoffman including an oil painting called: “Awake, Pomegranate”. Others included Kimberly Arkens’ colorful “Desert Sunset”; Susan Perez’ beautiful lifelike flower paintings; Aimeelyn Potts’ “Arch on Blue”; Linda Birk’s colorful stained glass and Jacqui Worthen’s “Soft Desert Day.”
Celebrants came from across the country including Indiana, South Dakota, California, Utah, Las Vegas as well as a strong showing from the local community.
Jane Kipp from Las Vegas brought to the front desk a couple of the jeweled “Christmas Spiders” made by Susan Perez that reflected the old Eastern European story of how the tinsel on the Christmas trees was spun by a spider. Ms. Kipp enthusiastically offered that her seven-year-old grandson, Keibren Wilson, had to create a story about spiders as an assignment for his virtual school. He wrote about the spiders that came in through the door at night during Christmas and crawled to the yet undecorated tree. They soon spun a web and used that as a trampoline to carry the decorations from a box to the tree.
The tradition of the MVAG Scholarship Raffle was kept in tact this year as well as an important part of the Festival. Winning a beautiful pomegranate quilt made by Maggie Nichols was Moapa Valley resident Kayleen Schulz.
Other gifts raffled off were certificates from Sugars, a box filled with handmade cloth items by Tammy Barrett; a Breakfast Gift Basket donated by Annetta Romero and Bonnie Koopman and a box filled with jelly donated by the Art Guild.
Another group of raffle items were five books written by Dr. Larry Moses. Moses has supported the Guild for years and was also responsible for the renovation the Old Logandale School.
Also available at the unique event were two food trucks – a Hawaiian Food Truck and a Pizza Food Truck (Fired Up Creations) where one could buy a goody or two and take home to enjoy.
There are the many “unsung” heroes that work hard and diligently behind the scenes keeping the dream of the Pomegranate Art Festival alive and keeping the MV Art Guild growing. It is with a warm thank you that the Guild members recognize these friends and family members and businesses that join together to make these adventures successful.
Although the larger aspects of the Festival were missed by all, remembering the past and the roots it established will always be strength for growth and development.