Laura Quesada News Review Staff Writer– Be sure to check out the Still Exhibit when you go to the Desert Empire Fair today through Sunday. Your $5.00 admission covers this exhibit and a great variety of free entertainment. Make your way to Joshua Hall where the Still Exhibit shares the space with the largest model train display in Kern County. This is a juried event where folks win ribbons.
Christina Owens, Director of Exhibits, has been hard at work in her first year in this position. She’s having lots of fun and frequently says “lessons learned” when she shares her experience. This is a passion project for Owens, she tells us, “My mom, Pam Todd, passed this last year. She’s been doing still exhibits from around 2011 up until this last year. It was her passion. Every week she was doing something.” Todd worked on it year round. “She stretched it out pretty well.
“This year is very small considering what my mom has done in the past. But lots of lessons learned to share in that. It’s very possible people heard that my mom passed and they weren’t sure how this was going to work out this year. So hopefully lessons learned and great ideas.
“Still Exhibits showcase people’s hobbies, their creativity, different things that they have passions for. These are all local artists and families from Ridgecrest, Trona, Inyokern. There are divisions for food. There is a division for artwork, pencils, paintings; we even now have digital art divisions. We have quilting, sewing, crocheting, photography.”
One of the most unusual exhibits comes from nine year old Walter who entered the “Art through Trash” division with his model titled “Alien Moon Base.” His essay says, “Alien Moon Base has two aliens. One is in the rover. The other one is going inside of the house. There is an alien communication device that actually works …”
In an area filled with striking pieces, the huge quilt catches your eye. Jinny DeAngelis restored an antique quilt that was passed down through the family. Owens tells us, “She had to take the stitching out and fix some of the squares and add more squares because some of the squares couldn’t be fixed. She said it took her some time but it’s just absolutely beautiful.”
Right now there are two age categories for entrants: Junior, 5 years old to 12 and Adult. Owens would like to add a category for 12 – 18. All entrants follow guidelines in the Exhibit book that outlines requirements. Owens has hopes to encourage more youth to participate. This year Girl Scouts, St. Anne’s art class and the Roadrunner group had a lot of entries.
“I hope to get a lot of new eyes, new fresh faces, new ideas, lots more entries,” says Owens. “We’re talking about offering classes on how to do some of the stuff that we look at in the still exhibits such as canning, preserved foods. Hopefully I can find somebody to volunteer to teach cake decorating and sewing.”
Owens encourages anybody with interest in this arena to get involved in this community endeavor, “That’s what our community is about. We’re pretty close knit and we take care of each other. I just can’t wait for more involvement, because it’s going to be so much fun. I’m open to any and all ideas anybody has to bring in the community for next year.”
Reach them on Facebook at “Def Still Exhibits,” send an email to