Decking the arts council's halls Fund-raiser: More than 70 wreaths, including one adorned with $1,269 worth of jewelry, will be auctioned to support the group's programs.

November 22, 1998|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Sports fans, gardeners, wine connoisseurs, artists, musicians, train collectors and others will find something to feast their eyes on at the Festival of Wreaths next month.

More than 70 wreaths will be unveiled in the Winchester Exchange Building in Westminster on Dec. 1. With their debut comes the discovery of how creative local businesses, artists, nonprofit organizations and Maryland's first lady Frances Hughes Glendening can be.

Sponsored by the Carroll County Arts Council, the Festival of Wreaths features wreaths adorned with dollars, dolls, Orioles tickets, theater tickets, angels, orthodontic appliances, gold, silver and pearls. They will be sold in a silent auction and proceeds will benefit the arts council's educational activities and scholarship programs.

"With the holiday time comes fund raising and countless craft shows. We wanted to try something new this year," said Sandy Oxx, arts council director. "This idea mimics the New York Red Cross Festival of Trees, which was also organized to raise money. We know the Festival of Wreaths will be fun, and hopefully it will be equally successful."

Many wreaths dropped off at the art gallery last week drew attention and praise from visitors, especially the wreath created by Kim Prehn, owner and goldsmith for Unique Jewelry.

At the center of the wreath is a miniature Christmas tree adorned with jewelry with an appraised value of $1,269. Nine pairs of earrings are the ornaments; a strand of freshwater pearls, a matching bracelet and a 14-carat-gold chain are twisted together for garland.

"I thought of the gorgeous trees on Rodeo Drive in California and I decided to do something much smaller," said Prehn. "I didn't want it to be too full or look too barren. Once I was finished, I just didn't want to take anything off."

A 14-carat-gold guardian angel tiepin rests on top of the tree and diamond studs serve as tassels. Sterling silver, amethyst and amber add to the tree's twinkle. Bids for the wreath will start at $450.

"I enjoy watching people's reactions," Prehn said. "Anyway, when you give something, it comes back to you eventually."

Many of the wreaths include gift certificates and collectibles, such as baseball trading cards, a poster of Orioles outfielder Brady Anderson, Beanie Babies and trains.

Bidding will start at $10 for many wreaths. The auction will begin at 10 a.m. Dec. 1, and close at 5 p.m. Dec. 5.

Strolling musicians, free children's crafts, face painting, refreshments and a visit from Santa will be part of the festivities' final day.

"The whole building, from stem to stern, will be decked in wreaths," Oxx said. "I hope the festival will bring more traffic to the building and to the art gallery. People can drop in all week, on their lunch hours or on the way to the dentist."

Pub Date: 11/22/98

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