Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Shout Out to the Creative Arts

The New England Center (NEC) is known for its world-famous Big E Cream Puffs, but have you ever taken a moment to peruse the entire building? The NEC is home to Creative Arts. This year, there are an incredible number of displays that have been methodically arranged into a spectacular showcase. The moment I stepped into the NEC, I was awestruck by the amazing handmade creations. As I continued to walk further into the building, I was just more and more blown away by the talented artisans that had entered their masterpieces into competition this year.

The New England Center
I love do-it-yourself projects and creating handmade crafts; therefore, I have a huge appreciation for what the NEC represents. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I approached the walls of photography submissions, 208 in total. Good photography captures a glimpse of what someone else witnessed and has the ability to draw the audience into that exact moment. The Best in Division showcase is a breathtaking display. At first glance, you notice all the items, but as you take time to really analyze each one, you begin to admire the hours upon hours of hard work that were dedicated to making that particular piece.

Angelina Moore's handmade shawl
Close up of the beading
Creative Arts includes categories for hand-needle arts and more. Best in Show (for adults) went to Angelina Moore who knitted her own shawl.  But a shawl sounds like something anyone who knits could do, right? Well, she didn’t just knit an average, run-of-the-mill shawl. She started by hand-spinning her own yarn. She then dyed it, and knitted the intricate clothing accessory with beaded embellishments. That is the beauty of the NEC. Each item has a background story. The quilt that won its division was submitted by Herb Menzel. He has only been quilting for 6 years, but that hasn’t stopped him from being awarded the Best in Division ribbon for the past two years!

Herb Menzel's award-winning quilt 
This year, Creative Arts had a record-breaking number of quilt entries, 123 in total.  With each passing year, the number of entries and the quality of the work keeps getting better and better. Repeat contestants get inspired by what other participants are creating, understand what the judges are seeking and work hard to push their talents to the next level.

It’s truly an amazing sight at the NEC! Not only are there displays to browse through but there are always entertaining demonstrations to watch. And if you love to bake or are a foodie, be sure to visit the NEC to watch the food contests. This year the Gold Medal Cookie Challenge is Tuesday, Sept. 17, Fleischmann’s Yeast Baked Goods and Dessert Pizza Challenge is Thursday, Sept. 19, and ending the food contests is Bisquick Family Favorites on Tuesday, Sept. 24. All contests begin at 11am.

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