Festival to raise funds for children in Haiti

The fall festival season is definitely in full swing. If you enjoy casually strolling among beautiful paintings and enjoying good music, food and wine, put Christ Church of Norcross' festival this Saturday on your calendar.

It's not only a fun event, it's for a good cause.

The event is "Fete Des Arts et Du Vin," which translates from French into "Festival of Art and Wine." It will be headquartered in the church's youth center and will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Proceeds from the event will go to children in Jasmin, Haiti's St. Joseph of Arimethea Episcopal Mission. Christ Church is at 400 Holcomb Bridge Road in Norcross.

The festival will have a significant number of local artists represented, as well as artists from Haiti.

"I am gratified by what has happened even before the event takes place," chair Cindy Perriman said. "Artists have responded enthusiastically and generously, even though this is the first year for the Fete. Wonderful local artists from Duluth, Suwanee and Norcross will be exhibiting as well as major artists from Atlanta."

Collectors might want to take note of the artists offering work for the silent auction. These names include Laura Abadie, Martha Bator, Lucy Brady, Dawn Davis, Toddy Erickson, Scott French, Anne Gordon, Millie Gosch, Charlie Harbin, Gia Lillie, Angela Nichols, Cindy Perryman, Elsie Porter, Ann Post, Maxi Reed, Jane Scott, Gayle Smart, Vernon Smith, Gwen Wong, Betty Wolze and Loraine Woodall.

"We are hoping visitors will be thinking of early Christmas shopping as they peruse the original paintings, pottery, photography, jewelry and textile work on display," Perriman said.

Vernon Smith of the Hudgens Center for the Arts' pottery department will also be on hand to sell his elegant pots and conduct demonstrations on a wheel. Another Hudgens artist, Angela Nichols, will be selling fine crafts made from recycled vintage fabrics. Nichols is the education director at the Hudgens Center.

There is also Haitian art, including a quilt from Peacequilts, plus paintings, various metal work and some small carved pieces.

The festival benefits children attending St. Joseph's School in one of Haiti's poorest regions. Jasmin, Haiti, is in a mountainous region that is without clean water, electricity and a reliable food source. Christ Church has been supporting the school since April 2008.

"As suburban Atlantans, it is possible to live day to day without witnessing the extreme poverty that continues to exist on our planet," said Christ Church's rector Ceci Duke. "The Art Festival provides a way to honor the creative efforts of our local artists while supporting a vital mission."

Walt Thompson, the "wine guru," of Total Wine and More will provide the wine.

For more information about this event, visit the Christ Church Web site at www.ccnoross.org.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. E-mail her at hcalmes@ mindspring.com.