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March Gourd Madness returns Saturday

Patch quilt: One of the centerpieces on display at this year’s March Gourd Madness is a “patch quilt” that comprises many smaller pieces of artwork, each one by a different local artist. Other examples of gourd artwork (below) include pieces with chalkboards for messages, a chicken and eggs, and a Native American dreamcatcher. (Photos by Scott Mims)

Patch quilt: One of the centerpieces on display at this year’s March Gourd Madness is a “patch quilt” that comprises many smaller pieces of artwork, each one by a different local artist. Other examples of gourd artwork (below) include pieces with chalkboards for messages, a chicken and eggs, and a Native American dreamcatcher. (Photos by Scott Mims)

It’s that time of year again—when gourd artists in Chilton County prepare for March Gourd Madness.

And no, it has nothing to do with basketball—unless, of course, you want to paint a gourd to look like one.

The second annual exhibit will be held every Saturday in March at the Chilton County Arts Council’s Rose Gallery, located at 703 Second Ave. N., Clanton, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Everyone who attends this Saturday will have the opportunity to meet and greet many of the contributing artists during an open house.

“Gourds have been in every society from the beginning of time. It’s nothing new. It’s one of the oldest continuously living plants still alive,” said Mack Gothard, local gourd artist and member of the Chilton County Arts Council’s Board of Directors.

Gothard is also a member of the Central Alabama Gourd Exposure, one of several “gourd patches” that compose the Alabama Gourd Society.

The three-dimensional art form incorporates not only painting but also wood burning, weaving and anything else the imagination allows to convert gourds into works of art that resemble animals, people, pottery and a limitless array of items. Several gourds can even be combined to form larger pieces such as the giraffes that stand in the gallery’s front window.

The artwork on display was created by award-winning artists from Chilton County and surrounding areas. Artists will be on hand to perform demonstrations and will have pieces for sale.

“You can buy gifts there,” Gothard said.

Thanks to last year’s March Gourd Madness, Gothard was able to meet other gourd artists in Chilton County he had not met before. He is hoping for an equally good or better turnout this year.

For more information, contact Gothard at (706) 299-4596 or chiltoncountyartscouncil@hotmail.com.