CANFIELD — Evelyn Franklin described the day she photographed a bumblebee.
“I was walking around the Cleveland Zoo and I heard the buzzing. I said, ‘Hi, little guy,’ and he didn’t pay attention to me at all,” she said.
It was the inspiration for one of 72 entries by 25 artists featured in “A Celebration of Faith Through the Arts”, at Canfield Presbyterian Church on May 13.
According to organizer Pat DiVito, the theme “Hopes for the Future” reflects “the need for something uplifting to bring people together again” after two years of COVID-19 lockdown.
As soon as the event was canceled in 2020, she said she and the rest of the vision and planning committee knew they had to do something when the pandemic ended.
Along with the artwork, attendees enjoyed musical performances by clarinettists Terri Cartier and Anna Durante, pianist Jaimie Daugherty, guitarist and banjo player Pastor Larry Bowald, and violinist Noah Lee, who performed “Czardas” from Vittorio Monti, accompanied on the piano by his mother, Emiko. Kobori.
Choir director Hae-Jong Lee expressed his pride in his son. “He endured training when he was young, and he didn’t give up”, and developed a talent sufficient for any orchestra.
Hae-Jong Lee led the chorus of the choir in a hymn commissioned especially for the event. Written by Max Franco, who lives in Austin, Texas, but grew up in Poland, the title is “I Hope. . . We Can”, expressing our desire for peace in the world and in ourselves. Lee described it as “a moving piece with very meaningful text”.
Given the difficult rhythms and harmonics, some choir members joked that it should be renamed “I Hope We Can Pull This Off”.
Akron resident Andy Schrum said the evening was “well worth the trip. It’s always exciting to hear new music.
Art instructor Edie Davison was the juror. Winners included Wayne Niemi for sculpture as well as acrylic painting; Susan Dryburgh for watercolor painting; and Justin McClellan for the design. Lana VanAucker won Cinematography and Best in Show for her photo, “Power of Music.”
Vision and Planning Committee member Don Wilson was just thrilled to see the crowd. “Coming out of the pandemic, it’s refreshing,” Wilson said.