Living Columns & Blogs

The week was like a box of chocolates

If the calendar of events for October is just a sampling of what is in store for the rest of the “season” for Macon and Middle Georgia, you will barely have time for Halloween fun before a frolicking New Year’s Eve is here. To borrow a philosophical nugget from Forrest Gump, our wealth of arts and cultural activities is like a box of chocolates — if only we could squish each one, and see what’s inside, before tasting it.

Hay House again hosted “Toast and Taste,” billed as a “lavish auction evening,” on Thursday, Oct. 19, which was sponsored by Waites and Foshee Insurance Group and by State Bank and Trust Company. Each year the number of vintners, brewers and distillers, that bring their crafted beverages for tasting, increases as does the number of fine restaurants serving specialty items to complement the spirits.

Georgia Trust

Among the local cuisines represented were the lobster rolls from Dovetail; handmade bread and jams with seasoned cheese prepared by Tedi Wohlford and yummy bites of dessert from Fountain of Juice. Some paired well with the handcrafted beer; others were enhanced by the peach vodka or by the rich bouquet of a Middle Georgia red wine.

One lucky group walked away from the auction with a one week stay in a luxury villa in Umbria, the fertile farming area of Italy that borders on Tuscany. Other popular auction items included weekend getaways for golf or to the seashore and aesthetic medical procedures. Bidding was brisk, with patrons vying for favorite services and destinations, the results of which are evident in the healthy infusion of funds to the educational and preservation initiatives at Hay House.

Great day for Jazz and Arts on Riverdale

Breezy, balmy weather, with a hint of fall in the air, greeted patrons on Riverdale on Saturday, Oct. 21 when the gates opened at noon to the strains of the Mose Davis Trio. For jazz fans, there was a taste of everything from classical to ragtime; for those in the crowd patting their feet, Baatin and Top Secret and the Phillips Jazzy Jazz and Concert Band got some of the dancers out of the chairs. Consensus was that the music for this year’s event was the best ever!

The annual fundraiser helps fund the Young Jazz Musician scholarship, the Bob Barnette Memorial Music scholarship and educational programs in area schools. This year, all of the booths were rented by painters, photographers, potters and by craftsmen, displaying their wares between the food trucks and along the avenue from Ridge to Overlook. Nina Sandefur, a student at Mt. DeSales Academy, had her sophisticated, avant garde photography in one booth, manned by her parents, Kim and Terrell, while she deftly handled the PR.

En plein air at Macon Arts Alliance

Among the dozen or so plein air painters whose works are exhibited in the gallery of the Macon Arts Alliance, the universal plaint is that plein air painting is a challenge. En plein air, translated from French, means painting outside — in the open air — where the subjects change because of light and movement. Painting a model or a still life, from a collection of objects collected on a surface, is much simpler — nothing changes and the light can be manipulated.

Emily Herron, a Mercer student walks by the fountain in Tattnall Square Park on Monday after a day of studies. Of the weather Herron said, "It's finally starting to feel like fall." Woody Marshall

Sydney Sams captured the majesty of the fountain in Tatnall Square Park, as one of her subjects for the show which opened with a reception on Sunday, Oct. 22. Even with the challenges, Sams said plein air painting has become her favorite way to paint, and she can always expand on the subject in her studio.

The view of the Dempsey Hotel from the corner of Cherry and Third Streets has always been one of that regal building’s best angles, one little noticed because of the hustle-bustle of getting through the intersection or crossing the streets. Maureen Persons, another of the plein air painters, had a singular experience in her several trips to the site. A few of the residents of the hotel cheered her on and made sure she felt comfortable among strangers while she completed her watercolor. See these and other paintings by the plein air artists through the end of this month.

Katherine Walden is a freelance writer and interior designer in Macon. Contact her at 478-742-2224 or