Holiday offers slice of life

Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Olivia Jean Farrell, 3, waves during the Little Miss Marshall County Pageant with her mother Keisha Farrell of Chapel Hill.

More than a couple dozen artists and twice as many babies with parents and grandparents enjoyed a July Fourth afternoon at the Lewisburg Recreation Center for Arts A Poppin and one of the Chamber of Commerce's annual fund raisers.

Ann McClintock of Cornersville painted a Japanese Lady on china and was judged best of show, Marshall County Arts Guild President Ronnie Cheek reported from the room provided by the Chamber of Commerce. Beyond the Guild's 24-plus artists, there were 17 children's entries.

Three-year-old Olivia Jean Farrell, daughter of Kristopher and Keisha Farrell of Chapel Hill, didn't win the Chamber of Commerce contest she entered, but she placed well enough for recognition by the judge. Her mother was asked why she entered her daughter in the contest. She had a quick reply.

"Because she's cute," Keisha Farrell said, "and she has personality."

Mothers of daughters have explained that such pageants have a larger purpose.

"I think that, ultimately, it helps them in front of people and gives them self-esteem," Keisha Farrell said.

Joyce Farrell of Tullahoma nods as her daughter-in-law, Keisha, tells about their Independence Day and what she did when she raised her children.

"I put my daughter in ... pageants in Nashville for coordination," Joyce Farrell said.

"She didn't do too well because she couldn't hear," Joyce Farrell continued, explaining that the pageant was an experience that led to medical treatment. "After she had surgery, she did hear."

Joyce Farrell's daughter was Tiny Miss Tennessee.

She now works for a title company closing mortgages and has a daughter. Her grandmother was asked if that girl would also be in a pageant. "I doubt it," Joyce Farrell said.

Other youngsters' appearances gave them stage presence and that included the three-year-old daughter of Lewisburg residents Ryan Derryberry and Ali Forsyth - Rylan Grace Derryberry - who celebrates her fourth birthday on July 25 when she will undoubtedly receive presents from her grandparents Kim and John Wasserman of the Possum Trot Community.

The children's pageant was on a stage near a pavilion and the Exploration Station playground in the Rec Center's park.

Inside the air-conditioned Rec Center, leaders of the Marshall County Arts Guild explained they sponsored the Arts A Poppin art show.

"It's to promote the arts to the community," Guild Treasurer Joyce Crigger said.

In September the group will offer an art workshop.

Workshops have been offered before and they've proved to be instructional and amusing.

"The most fun I had was when I had you all draw each others' faces," Cheek said. "It wound up being a big 'ha ha.' We had students who hadn't drawn, let alone paint."

Classes will be developed in conjunction with the students' needs.

An announcement with specifics on the art workshop will be forthcoming, Arts Guild leaders said.