First Congregational hosts arts festival

The First Congregational Church in Anoka will hold its first arts festival.

Artist Rebecca Buchanan of Andover will display her works at a gallery showing as part of First Congregational Church’s first arts festival. The Anoka church will host the event from May 12-19. Admission to the gallery showing is free. Photo submitted

Artist Rebecca Buchanan of Andover will display her works at a gallery showing as part of First Congregational Church’s first arts festival. The Anoka church will host the event from May 12-19. Admission to the gallery showing is free. Photo submitted

The week of May 12 through 19 will be packed with a gallery showing and literary readings. The event ends with the last performance in the Arts at First concert series featuring the Gustino’s Singers.

FCC has so many talented folks in the congregation, said Rev. Sharon Fazel, festival chairperson in an interview.

“I thought, wouldn’t it be fun if the week preceding the concert we have an arts festival.”

Gallery showing

Local artist Rebecca Buchanan of Andover will display 100 pieces of her artwork in a gallery showing.

The pieces include pastels, acrylics, water colors, pencil drawings and wood carvings. They will be exhibited in the lower level of fellowship hall and meeting rooms.

Growing up, Buchanan was to be seen and not heard. “So my art is my voice to this day,” Buchanan said.

As a child her first crayon drawings were on her bedroom wall while she was supposed to be napping.

Buchanan has been displaying her artwork since she was 15 years old.

For her, the best part of painting is “to be able to create emotions in people, or release the feelings in people that make them excited happy, angry, whatever it is, the viewer feels something,” she said in an e-mail.

To date, she has sold more than 1,000 pieces of her artwork. She has paintings in the American embassies in the United Kingdom and in Colombia, South America. She also has two paintings in the Pentagon, according to Buchanan.

Her pieces will be for sale during the showing. Prices range from $25 to $1,000.

Hours for gallery showings are May 12, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Meet Buchanan at 10 a.m. on a gallery walk.); May 15, 3 to 5 p.m.; May 16, 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.; May 17, 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.; and May 19, 3 to 7 p.m. (Meet Buchanan at 3 p.m. on a gallery walk.)

Free admission to gallery showings.

The writers

Writers will read their original works in literary salon readings.

Expect to hear prose, poetry, short stories and essays penned by authors in the church’s Writers Group.

Readings will be held in the library/fireside area of fellowship hall. May 15, 7 to 9 p.m., and May 17, 7 to 9 p.m. Free admission.

The Singers

The festival winds up with a concert “Back to Broadway” by the Gustino’s Singers, a dynamic group who entertained diners at the Minneapolis Marriott during the ‘80s and the ‘90s.

“It really is a sample of the Twin Cities best singers,” said Don Shier, chairman/founder of the FCC concert series and former member of Gustino’s Singers.

The audience will be treated to a night of opera, solos, Broadway tunes and a mix of musical numbers sung by auditioned, professional singers. The group will pay tribute to a former member singer, the late Miriam Langsjoen.

“It’s going to be a really special concert,” Shier said.

The Gustino’s Singers will perform at First Congregational Church May 19, 7 p.m. Adults $10, children 13 and under $5. Tickets are available at the door or at the church office during business hours. FCC is at 1923 Third Ave., Anoka. For more information, call 763-421-3375.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com


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