The Art of Celebrating Who We Are

Sentimental ties to the autumn season, familiar places and reminiscent things; they converge this time of year reminding me of all that evokes inspirations of heart and soul. I arrange the season’s hues upon my palette and record player exalts familiar sounds. The heart flutters and is filled with warmth as leaves fall, rushing to the ground.

A delicate plume of powder rises as the mixer spins butter, eggs and flour ’round. In the early morning hours sunlight dances ‘cross the kitchen surfaces inspiring a Macintosh apple’s glow. Dollops of batter poured into a bundt cake pan are sent into the oven. I retrieve the luminescent orb of red and chartreuse from the counter and make my way outdoors. With a stack of notes and collected research, may apple and a thermos filled with cider, I open wooden shop doors and begin my latest endeavor. Inspired by this time of year, it’s colors, fragrance and traditions, I am reminded of the things that I hold dear and the reasons.

Patchwork patterned quilts, wooden chairs and tables, Grandfather’s clock, an Aunt’s china, Great-Great Grandmother’s needlepoint works, and a well-read Bible; along with old cook books boasting recipes turned covered dish legends, these are the things traditions are made of. These are the stories that are passed down.

Along America’s back roads and rural lanes stacks of firewood are growing tall; soil is turned and prepped for the cold days as the last leaves begin to fall. Often, I take these roads. I admire the lands well kept, the front porches with a welcoming wreath, rocking chair and pumpkin. Primitive paths and humble abodes are the scenes I appreciate most. O’er the years, I’ve come to know quilt patterns as a heartwarming “hello,” even when I’ve been far from home. This sight has intrigued me and left me wanting to know more. Through research and appreciation of my own traditions, I’ve found this to also resonate closer to home. In some corner, closet, or wooden chest, we all have these time honored heirlooms or talismans reflecting who we are and where we’ve come from.

These treasured things hold keys to unlock our past and tell stories of our histories. Art forms themselves are gifts, just as much as fine works which adorn our walls. Skills, trades and crafts are interwoven into our culture and serve as representation of who we are. In modern times, these treasures might go overlooked and seem common, but it is we who are responsible to insure that they are not forgotten.

On a late October day, a glowing orb of red and green prompted my latest endeavor in Cultural Arts Enrichment. A patterned square present the opportunity to share, educate and preserve an art form passed down through the ages of time.

— Art is Life Expressed — Sarah West —

This Autumn, the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art will continue a celebration of Cultural Arts Enrichment with a series of events, workshops, classes and exhibitions.Gallery artists invite you to visit the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art to learn more.

The Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art


Quilt Trails


An Exhibition & Workshop Celebrating Cultural Arts & Crafts

October- December 2015

Quilt Trails Workshop

Saturday November 14th

Young Artists (ages 5-16) Workshop- 10:30- 12:00 pm est.    Fee: $30

Adult Workshop- 1:00- 2:30 pm est.     Fee: $45

All Supplies are Included. This Workshop is Open to the Public. No Art Experience is Required.

Reservations will be accepted through November 6th- 334-480–2008

Note: The written sketch above is featured in published form within the Citizen of East Alabama. We encourage a subscription to Alabama’s largest weekly distributed newspaper for East Alabama community news as well as Sarah West’s weekly column.