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Monday, March 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Pottery on parade

The event features everything from sculptures to plates.
 (Courtesy of CAGNI / The Spokesman-Review)
The event features everything from sculptures to plates. (Courtesy of CAGNI / The Spokesman-Review)
By Simone Ramel Correspondent

The Fourth Annual Mud and Spirits Christmas Pottery Event sponsored by the Clay Arts Guild of North Idaho is all about clay. The show features mugs, bowls, pots, ornaments, bells, chimes, sculptures, plates – anything and everything imaginable created by potters.

The two-day event begins with a gala opening Friday exhibiting the works of 25 potters from Montana, Washington and Idaho. Complemented with wine and hors d’oeuvres, it’s a “meet the artist” style evening – a time to relax and leisurely view art, talk with artists about their pieces, and place custom orders if desired. Tickets to the gala are $10 each.

Saturday’s show is free of charge and features live music and hourly pottery raffles. Potters will be exhibiting a variety of functional and sculptural pottery available for purchase.

The Mud and Spirits event is being held at The Old Church Arts and Cultural Center in Post Falls. Holiday decorations are provided by the Presbyterian Women’s Group.

The old church was originally two churches in separate locations, one built in 1890 and the other in 1899. After World War I, the two churches came together and became one – the Community Presbyterian Church – and in 1921 the buildings were moved and connected at their present location.

Restoration of the old church was spearheaded by Susan and Dwayne Jacklin and the Post Falls Community Partners. The church is now a regional cultural center, and although church services still take place, they are held at the new Presbyterian Church next door.

A highlight of this year’s show is the unveiling of a mural that was begun at the Mardi Gras Kids Carnival in February. The annual kid’s carnival is presented by the Coeur d’Alene Arts and Culture Alliance and Art on the Edge, an arts program offered by St. Vincent de Paul.

Well-known potter Amy Lou Rancho of Post Falls and her colleagues at CAGNI were approached by Art on the Edge organizers to create a kids clay activity for the Mardi Gras event. Rancho wanted to have a piece that kids could work on and ultimately see displayed after the entire firing and assembling process was completed.

The mural is now a reality and will be on display for the entire Mud and Spirits event. The hope is that the piece will be purchased and permanently mounted in a public place.

As many as 250 children grades K-5 and 14 CAGNI members participated in the mural’s creation. The piece visually represents the Coeur d’Alene valley with its rivers, historic places, and the creative imaginations of 250 children. It is made from 300 pounds of clay and is comprised of five panels.

CAGNI members are currently are raising money to start a scholarship program with North Idaho College.

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