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Featured Artist

Sidney Woman Shares Gourd Creations


Carol Christensen is looking forward to the Sunrise Festival of the Arts on July 9.

Those people attending the Sunrise Festival of the Arts in Sidney on July 9 should be impressed by the gourd creations of local artist Carol Christensen.

Christensen, a native of Sidney, became interested in art at an early age, but her move toward gourds started only about four or five years ago.

"I like that there are so many things you can do with them," Christensen said, noting art work by painting, wood burning or carving the items.

Christensen, who now lives half of the year in Mesa, Ariz., was introduced to using gourds in art in that area. She has worked in the media of watercolors, oils and clay, but she had not heard or seen gourds out until then.

Christensen explains she uses a wide variety of apparatus including sanders' dremels, wood burning tools, clay and fossils, paints, inks, dyes and more.

Other materials she discovered work well include pine needles, wood, leather, queen palm and feathers.

Kristin Kennedy, the executive director for the Sidney Chamber, said, "It's such an unique art. It's really exciting that she agreed to be the featured artist."

Christensen said she was "pleasantly surprised" when she was asked to be the featured artist. She has attended the Sunrise Festival of the Arts for the past several years. "I think the Sunrise Festival is a great thing for artists all over and for the people to be able to go to."

Kennedy added, "She brings a different and unique medium to share. She is one of our many Sidney secrets."

Christensen explains she picks her gourds about an hour from her residence in Arizona.

"I look to see that it doesn't have a lot of bug holes and is uniform in shape," Christensen said.

The one she picks also is determined by the type of art work desired. For example, thicker ones are better for carving.

"The gourd's size, shape and texture determines the design," she explained.

Along with selling the gourds, Christensen donates some of her creations to the Wine and Food Festival as well as other charities.

Christensen is a member of the American Gourd Society and the Arizona Gourd Society. She attends workshops and displays her work at various shows throughout the year.


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