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Archives for February 20, 2015

Clarksville Chamber of Commerce’s Home and Garden Show to be held this …

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February 20, 2015 |
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Clarksville Chamber of Commerce Home and Garden ShowClarksville, TN – The Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce sixth annual Home and Garden Show, sponsored by Furniture Connection, is taking place this weekend, February 21st-22nd.

The show will be at the Wilma Rudolph Event Center, which is located inside Liberty Park at 1188 Cumberland Drive.

The Clarksville-Area Chamber of Commerce Home and Garden Show

The Clarksville-Area Chamber of Commerce Home and Garden Show

Show hours are Saturday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday from noon until 5:00pm. General admission is $5.00 and free for children 12-and-under and active duty military with valid I.D.

While it may feel like the winter has just begun, it is time to start thinking about those spring home improvement projects. Before you know it, the weather will be warm, the flowers will be blooming and you will be more than ready to get outside and enjoy the sunshine.

The show is an excellent opportunity to get a head start on home and garden ideas for the spring. It will offer the chance to meet vendors throughout the industry that can help with landscaping ideas, home improvement projects or tell you all about what is new and fashionable for your home.

There will also be several chances to walk away with some great door prizes, including a $500.00 gift certificate to Furniture Connection!

This event is a fun and inexpensive way for the whole family to get out and get ready for the warmer weather. Concessions, provided by the Choppin’ Block, will be available for purchase both days.

For more information about the show, please visit




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Yoga retreat will warm up WNY this weekend

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Whether you want wintery outdoor adventure or are just looking for an escape from the cold, here’s a look at what’s happening this weekend in Western New York:

  • Ready to up your ski and snowboard game? Watch thrill seekers do their thing on the hill? Red Bull will transform one of the runs at Holiday Valley into a terrain park for their All Snow tour event on Saturday. Each course features hand dug half pipes, side cuts, and natural hips. Registration is included in your lift pass.  Events start at 10, with an awards ceremony in the afternoon. Learn much more at
  • The Sabres have two home games at First Niagara Center this weekend, but if you’d rather take in a little outdoor hockey action, check out Buffalo River Works. The Labatt Blue Pond Hockey tournament will take over the rinks for the weekend. Almost one thousand skaters will compete on the refrigerated rinks over the next three days. There will also be a heated fan fest area for spectators with live music, entertainment, food, and Labatt Blue beer. For a full schedule of events, visit
  • Down in East Aurora, they are deep in the midst of a ten day long Winterfest! There are indoor and outdoor activities at places like the Healhty Zone Rink, Major’s Park, and Explore and More Children’s Museum. It runs through Sunday. Events include public skating, live music, art lessons, soccer camp, even a cupcake fight! Go to for a full schedule.
  • But if you’d rather stay inside and warm your body and soul, a first time yoga retreat in North Buffalo might be for you. “Heal Buffalo” will feature yoga classes, pop up shops from local vendors, and a clean eating seminar. It stands for Health – Energy – Art – and Love. It runs from 10 to 5 Saturday at the new Foundry Suites Hotel on Elmwood Avenue. Go to to register.

If you need a little “Spring-spiration,” how about this? The Western New York Home and Garden Expo is all moved into the Fairgrounds Events Center in Hamburg. You can get ideas for your lawn and garden, landscaping, flooring, furniture, even custom home building. Go to for details and ticket information.

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From artistic tables to landscaping, Home Expo offers wide variety

When Scott Yocco looks at a copper pipe, he sees possibilities way beyond plumbing.

Yocco, a retired Racine firefighter, has come up with techniques that turn 1½-inch copper pipes into sculptural table supports — each of which is a unique work of art, as well as a functional home furnishing. And he’ll give his first public showing of his Creations in Copper tables at the Journal Times Home Expo on Feb. 28 and March 1 at Festival Hall. 5 Fifth St.

Creative invention is something Yocco seems to have a knack for, having registered two patents, including one for a life-saving harness device for firefighters called the YocStrap. In addition to his 22 years with the Racine Fire Department, his background includes 10-plus years in the home construction business and it was Yocco’s father, Ray, who taught him everything he knows about carpentry, he said.

Yocco’s glass-topped copper tables grew out of a vision he had for making decorative copper balusters. When he shared his baluster idea with Dave Kellner, a master mechanic with the Racine Fire Department, Kellner built him a machine that uses an extrusion process to reshape round copper pipes into square shapes, Yocco explained.

These days, Yocco uses Kellner’s machine to shape legs for coffee tables, pub tables, rectangular console tables and more. He then uses an inverted miter box, which he designed and built, to saw some of the legs on an angle, exposing their polished interior. When welded and soldered together into geometric forms, the copper legs form the base which supports a glass table top.

Yocco’s table-making process also involves pre-polishing each pipe, as well as a second hand-polishing of exposed interior surfaces. He also uses a variety of acid washes to create different patinas on the exterior copper surfaces — a process he enjoys experimenting with to achieve various effects and one that can take up to three days to complete. “You are letting the colors work together during that time,” he said.

All together, Yocco estimates that he puts a minimum of 100 hours into each table he makes, working out of his Caledonia home. It’s time that is obviously a pleasure for Yocco, who said that being able to pursue this passion is one of many blessings he is grateful for in his life.

“There are a lot of good people out there with great ideas and I’d like to be an inspiration to them to follow through with those ideas,” he said.

Great vendor lineup

Creations in Copper is one of close to 70 vendors to be featured at this year’s Home Expo. Exhibits will feature everything from flooring and window options to state-of-the-art fireplaces, archival photo restoration, solar energy, home Internet service and medical supply items that can make homes safer and more comfortable for families.

“We have another great vendor lineup this year, including some very unique items featured by local Racine businesses, said Donna Mueller, Journal Times advertising director.

Free hour-long seminars, covering a range of topics, will be presented by vendors on both Saturday and Sunday (see accompanying box for schedule). And Sunday is Kids Day and will offer special activities for youngsters, including a Home Depot Kids Seminar at 2 p.m. Lollipop the clown will also be on hand Sunday, doing face painting and balloon friends.

Both kids and senior citizens can also take advantage of the Safe Assured ID program, which will be available for free on Saturday and Sunday at the Home Expo. Presented by the Volunteer Center of Racine County, Safe Assured ID provides children and seniors with an all-inclusive ID package that aids in the quick recovery of a missing person. For more about Safe Assured ID, go to

Prizes and give-aways, including a $250 Home Depot gift card and a Racine Raiders ticket pack, will be issued each day of the Expo (winner need not be present to win). Food and beverages, provided by Danny’s Meats Catering, will also be available for sale.

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Amazing pools on Animal Planet, gardening classes and tips for painting …

View full sizeAnimal Planet’s new series, “Insane Pools: Off the Deep End,” premieres at 9 p.m. Friday on Animal Planet.  

AMAZING POOLS: Animal Planet’s new series “Insane Pools: Off the Deep End” follows award-winning pool designer Lucas Congdon as he creates nature-inspired custom pools and gardens. His projects include a $25,000 koi pond that turns into a $165,000 pool remodel.

The six-episode series “Insane Pools: Off the Deep End” premieres at 9 p.m. Friday on Animal Planet.

Congdon, President of Lucas Lagoons Inc. based in Sarasota, Florida, began his career working in his parent’s landscaping business in Vermont almost 20 years ago. He has become nationally known for his award winning swimming pool designs and exteriors that include landscaping, lighting, ancillary water features, decks, outdoor kitchens and more.

Lucas Lagoons have been featured on HGTV and in Sarasota Magazine, Home and Garden and other magazines.

GARDENING CLASSES: Expand your plant knowledge during Indoor Gardening Weekend at Lowe’s Greenhouse. Three classes on various topics are being held on Sunday, March 1. Pre-registration is required.

The classes are:

Building a Garden for the Birds (1-1:45 p.m.): Learn the basics of attracting birds to your landscape. What feed will attract more birds? Can the right plants help attract birds to my garden? Many other details of how best to create a bird friendly yard. Free.

Terrarium Workshop (2-2:45 p.m.): Elements of terrariums, what makes them work and what plants are appropriate for this environment. Participants will build their own terrarium to take home.

Materials cost: $25.00

Living Wreath Workshop (3-3:45 p.m.): A living wreath can be hung on an outdoor fence, sit on a table or anywhere you may want an interesting floral decoration. Participant will make a succulent wreath to take home. Materials cost $45.

Lowe’s is located at 16540 Chillicothe Road, Chagrin Falls.

HOW TO PAINT FURNITURE: Painting furniture is a popular and low-cost way to upcycle or refresh a thrift store find. But if it’s not done correctly, the chair or bureau will look worse than when you started. Country Living magazine has an online tutorial on how to paint a piece of furniture so it comes out looking great.

Here are the top tips:

1. Sand it. Don’t skip this step. Sand all surfaces with 150-grit sandpaper. Be careful not to gouge the surface. You’re just looking to rough it up a little so the primer has something to adhere to; you’re not trying to strip the surface.

2. Remove residue. Wipe down the surface with a tack cloth to remove any residue. Do not use a paper towel. Don’t speculate on whether something is a lint-free cloth. Just use the tack cloth.

3. Prime it. If you’re priming laminate furniture, use Zinsser B-I-N Shellac-based primer. Otherwise, use Zinsser Bulls-Eye 1-2-3 primer. Prime using a mini foam roller. Use a foam brush to get into any hard-to-reach areas.

4. Paint it. Use a mini foam roller to apply three thin coats of semi-gloss latex paint. Allow six to eight hours in between coats. It is important that you sand in between coats if you have any drips or residue on the piece.

5. Protect it. Finally, use a new foam roller to apply a thin coat of water-based protectant in gloss.

Read the entire article here.

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Outdoor living trends thrive at the Portland Home & Garden Show

There’s plenty to see at the Portland Home Garden Show, today through Sunday, Feb. 22, at the Expo Center. And plenty of ideas to take home.

One corner of a vast hall is dedicated to showcasing the 14 gardens entered in the Excellence in Landscaping Competition. Keeping with this year’s show theme, Hot Summer Nights, the gardens represent the latest trends in outdoor living, from kitchens to lighting effects, and lots of greenery suited to the Pacific Northwest.

A bath tub? King-size poster bed? Outdoor luxuries extend far beyond an al fresco kitchen.

Patrick Hughes of Wheel and Barrow Landscape Design and Maintenance teamed up with Dana Dokken of Bridge City Arbors and Stacey Bower of Eden’s Gate Design to create a garden with clean lines mixed with industrial salvage to represent the Association of Northwest Landscape Designers.

Take-home ideas:

Eco-friendly repurposed materials, reclaimed lumber and industrial salvage continue to be trendy.

Since the outside is an extension of the inside, outdoor rooms should match the quality of the interior space.

How do you know if you have the right plants? “When the garden dances.”

Debbie Brooks, a landscape designer with Creative Garden Spaces, paired up with Rick Snyder of Cornerstone Hardscapes to create a backyard living area in less than 1,200 square feet. There’s room to grill and dine under cover, and sit by the fire or relax by a water feature.

Take-home ideas:

Create a garden screen from old pallets to divide garden rooms and fill the slats with driftwood, sedums and sempervivums.

Construct a stylish barbecue shed to protect grills and refrigerators. Even those rated to withstand the outdoors can get beaten up by the elements here.

Combine different paving materials — like traditional concrete pavers with those that look like wood planks — to add interest and define individual spaces.

Marina Wynton of Olivine Land has created an urban garden in a patio entry to a townhouse adjacent to a carport.

Take-home ideas:

If space is tight on the ground, look up: Install an eco-roof structure.

Provide wildlife habitats with careful plant selection and sustainable design.

Rick McCutcheon of The Wall says retaining walls can “tame” once unusable slopes. He has teamed up with Larry Borlin of Borlin Landscape Services to show how to incorporate patios, walkways and beautiful landscaping.

Take-home ideas:

Create year-round living spaces with fire pits, water features and low-maintenance landscaping.

Turn your bland yard into a garden with raised planter beds and walkways to access planting areas.

Still need ideas?

There will be seminars presented by gardening gurus and the Portland Orchid Society and vendors will display rare orchids.

There will also be three tiny houses on display and nurseries will have ornamental and fruit bearing trees and shrubs, perennials, bulbs, grasses, ferns and water plants in the Original Plant Sale.

The Portland Home Garden Show at the Expo, 2060 N. Marine Drive, Portland

Hours: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19 and Friday, Feb. 20, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22.

Admission: $10 (kids age 12 and under free; $2 off discount coupon

For more information: 503-246-8291,

Tips to better enjoy home and garden shows

  • Bring snacks to keep your strength up.
  • A backpack or large bag can hold brochures and small items.
  • Comfortable shoes will allow you to see more displays.
  • Tote a camera or smart phone to record ideas you’d like to copy or follow up on.
  • Don’t forget a notepad and pen.

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Master Gardener: Community gardens for everybody

According to the US Census Bureau, 75% of Americans report that they are gardeners; it is a very popular hobby. It is easy to see why, since gardening can provide time outdoors in nature; a more beautiful home inside and out; stress relief; exercise; and fresh flowers, vegetables, herbs and fruits. As public gardens seek to serve as many gardeners as possible, exhibits on “accessible gardening” are becoming more popular. I have visited three wonderful examples in the U.S.: the Beuhler Enabling Garden at the Naples Botanical Garden in Florida, the Ruwitch Garden for All, an accessible garden that is part of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Plimoth Plantation accessible herb garden in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Visiting the Beuhler Family Foundation Enabling Garden, which promised to demonstrate how gardening can be for people of all ages and abilities, I saw creative gardening techniques such as raised beds, vertical gardens, sensory plantings and tools adapted to make gardening easier for everyone. As an herb and vegetable gardener, I am familiar with raised beds and thought of the scent of herbs, but this garden held so much more. These raised beds are made from wide pavers, easy to sit on and just wide enough that you can reach halfway across the bed from the edge. Fruit trees are espaliered in ground-level beds on 4-foot by 4-foot wire attached to wooden supports. The vertical garden, with edible herbs and ornamentals offering fabulous colors, textures and scents all growing in a compact and accessible location was, in my opinion, the star of the show.

When I visited the Missouri Botanical Garden, home of the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening, there were 23 residential-scale demonstration gardens including the Joseph F. Ruwitch Garden for All. In this garden, plants are easily accessible to people of all ages and abilities, including persons requiring walking aids and wheelchairs. Innovative ideas for the most diverse and enjoyable gardening experiences included raised beds, planters and benches of varying heights and sizes, and signs in several languages including braille. My favorite part was the culinary herb garden, with a smooth brick path for easy access, masses of each herb planted to the edge of the beds and benches in each of the four corners. There is a display of gardening tools with modified grips as well as 2-foot long extensions on trowels, hoes and hand cultivators. Included in the Garden for All is the Zimmerman Sensory Garden, designed to offer an engaging sensory experience for both the young and the young-at-heart. There are delightful smells from heavenly scented flowers to spicy herbs, engaging sounds, including the trickling of a lovely small fountain and ringing of tree bells, and wonderful things to touch and feel among the texturally engaging annuals, perennials and herbs.

In July of 2014, I visited the Plimoth Plantation, a living museum of life in the 17th century, in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The exit from the village takes visitors through a simple but lovely accessible herb garden. I was walking down a ramp, and there were humble wooden planters built on the railing filled with 17th century culinary and medicinal herbs. When I looked closer, I found the metal signs listed the common name, botanical name and uses, in both English and Braille. This garden required no big expense, just a little thought. It is an accessible, educational, sensory garden that anyone can build.

These are wonderful examples of gardens that allow participants of all ages and abilities to fully participate and enjoy the gardening experience. They can provide access to the youngest gardeners just starting out or to those of us who may lose agility or ability as we age but don’t want to give up our life-long hobby. There are lots of resources available to encourage accessible gardening, from tools to plans for raised beds and benches, web pages and books and lending libraries. Some are specific, like gardening from a wheelchair; some are more general and provide lots of tips on gardening after a stroke. See below for a list of resources that will get you started and help you find what it will take to keep gardening!

Accessible Gardening for Therapeutic Horticulture, a fact sheet by University of Minnesota Extension:

Carry On Gardening, a website by Thrive, a UK non-profit to help people “Carry On Gardening” after stroke or heart problems, with a weak grip or one handed, visually impaired, seated or working from a wheelchair: Visit this site’s shop to learn how to select tools and equipment for various tasks:

Gardening from a Wheelchair, a webpage from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation: Gardening from a Wheelchair: Be sure to download the PDF of websites, articles, books and videos at the bottom of this page.

Gardens for Every Body, a website by University of Missouri Extension: This website includes a Special Considerations page with tips for gardening with seniors, kids with disabilities, gardeners who are visually impaired, have arthritis or heart or lung problems, or garden from a wheelchair. The Tool Shed page contains helpful information about modifying garden tools.

Solutions for Living – Tools for the Enabled Garden:, a fact sheet University of Wyoming Extension:

The Universal-Accessible Garden, a fact sheet by Penn State Extension:

Kathy Randolph is a Master Gardener Volunteer with University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. For questions about gardening and landscaping in Nevada, contact a Master Gardener at mastergardeners@unce.unr.eduor 775-336-0265, or visit

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This week’s gardening tips: plant gladiolus corms, control thrips on onions …

Plant gladiolus corms through the end of March. Plant groups of corms every two weeks during the planting season to extend the display of flowers.

Notice the early spring-flowering trees, such as red maple, Japanese magnolia, Taiwan flowering cherry, star magnolia and others blooming now. This is a great time to plant small flowering trees should you decide you just have to have one.

Lichens are harmless plant-like organisms that form a gray-green crusty or hairy growth on the bark of woody plants, such as trees and shrubs, wooden fences and rocks. Don’t be alarmed. They do not hurt the plants they are growing on.

Onions, shallots, garlic and leeks are susceptible to thrips, an insect that causes small white marks on the foliage called “stippling.” Heavy infestations can damage foliage to the point that the harvest is reduced. Control thrips with a spinosad insecticide.

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Garden Tips: Moldy lawns showing up this spring

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Sentencing delayed in 2013 car crash that killed two Grandview teens

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Rooftop garden designer: Water-wise native plants a good choice

This landscape architect is down to earth — and up on the roof.

Karla Dakin of Boulder County designs residential and commercial gardens, and her unique way of using plants also can be seen atop Denver’s Museum of Contemporary Art and the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.

Dakin is the keynote speaker for the ninth annual Western Landscape Symposium; her presentation will be at 9:15 a.m. March 14 in the Fortino Ballroom at Pueblo Community College.

Dakin, co-author of “The Professional Design Guide to Green Roofs,” will talk about her use of native and climate-appropriate plants and other elements in the private and public gardens she designs.

“Plants are one layer,” she says. “A lot of the work involves water features, walls. We’re seeing a lot of rain-harvesting gardens now, and food plants: I like to use fruit trees, and strawberries as ground cover. I’m looking at a property where I’d like to put wine grapes and hops. I designed an Ayurvedic (traditional Hindu medicine) garden in Boulder.”

Dakin sounds excited as she lists the possibilities, but she says water is a major factor in how much enthusiasm some Colorado gardeners have for their options in the arid West.

“The water is a huge driver,” she says. “Institutions like Denver Botanic Gardens and Colorado State University provide the necessary education. People are growing vegetable food gardens because of the recession. My main problem is people still want lawns.

“I grew up in California in the 1970s and everybody got rid of their lawns. A lot of people come here from the East Coast and the South and they still want lawns.”

Dakin says when she designs residential gardens “each project is a puzzle.”

“It has archetypal pieces like context, the weather. It’s so much about the client: what the architecture of the home is like, the exposure (to the elements).

“I don’t have a predisposition. I’m not out to design modernist gardens or Victorian gardens. My goal is to make these people fall in love with their gardens.”

Sky-high gardens

On the public garden side, her green roof “Sky Trapezium” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver was as an art commission that taught her about plants.

“I worked with horticulturists at Denver Botanic Gardens to develop a really obscure plant list. I worked with nurserymen and it really opened me up to a completely different world of plants, I discovered this amazing world of plants. I think I had only one plant course in landscape architecture school” at the University of Colorado-Denver. Dakin previously worked for 15 years in the arts in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Green roofs present their own set of challenges, Dakin says. The winds — the scourge of many Colorado gardens — are higher. The temperatures are much hotter. The planting media dries out quicker yet still must be fast-draining.

On the plus side, many native plant communities — including prairie and alpine species — are ideal for rooftop gardens.

Dakin is the owner of K. Dakin Designs in Boulder. Her credits include the 10,000-square-foot green roof at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust (in collaboration with Belzberg Architects), the gardens around the Whole Foods store on Pearl Street in Boulder, and more than 100 gardens at private residences. She teaches garden design and architectural theory and has volunteered for agriculture-related projects in Brazil and Ethiopia.

Other Western Landscape Seminar topics are cacti for Southern Colorado; apples; stone fruits; emerging insect problems; and crevice gardens.

The seminar schedule can be viewed online at and a registration form downloaded. Advance tickets are $18 each or two for $30 and can be purchase at CSU Extension-Pueblo County, 701 Court St. Tickets won’t be available at the door.

For more information, call 583-6566.

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NJ conservationist to present garden design at Visual Arts Center in Summit …

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will present “Bringing the Garden Back to the Garden State” on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m., as part of the art center’s spring Salon Series. Christina Chrobokowa of Dragonfly Designs LLC, will share her experience and environmental design principles that can turn a backyard into a healthy, sound landscape in harmony with nature. Pictured is ‘Moonlight Garden’ by Charobokowa. (courtesy photo) 

The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey will present “Bringing the Garden Back to the Garden State” on Thursday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m., as part of the art center’s spring Salon Series. Christina Chrobokowa of Dragonfly Designs LLC, will share her experience and environmental design principles that can turn a backyard into a healthy, sound landscape in harmony with nature. The program is held in conjunction with current international garden exhibition by Australian artist, Gary Carsley: The Garden of Dr. Con Fabulator.

Free for members, $5 for non-members. All presentations are held at the art center and begin at 7 p.m. To register, call 908-273-9121 or visit

The Thursday Evening Salon Series is held twice a month at the art center and features lectures in the humanities by artists, art historians, curators, philosophers, writers, musicians, stage designers, and more. Now in its eighth season, the Salon Series provides an opportunity for everyone to gather, get comfortable and learn more about the world of art.

Born in Summit, Christina Chrobokowa (pronounced crow-bow-cove-ah) is the founder and owner of Dragonfly Designs LLC and specializes in crafting plans where function, design and nature align. Christina has served as Board President of the Raritan Headwaters Association for six years and has been a member for 15 years. She has chaired horticulture and conservation committees for the Garden Club of Somerset Hills that earned her a NJ Zone Conservation Award. Christina received B.A. from Ithaca College in New York and cultivated her design expertise at Rutgers University. She enjoys sharing her love of natural resources and wildlife conservation through lectures.

For more than 80 years, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey has been exclusively dedicated to viewing, making and learning about contemporary art. Recognized as a leading nonprofit arts organization, the art enter’s renowned studio school, acclaimed exhibitions, and educational outreach initiatives serve thousands of youth, families, seniors and people with special needs every year.

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