Gallery Aglow

If you haven’t had a chance to stop in at the Gallery at the Park yet this holiday season, don’t worry—the gallery will continue to feature its Gallery Aglow exhibition through December.

In November, local and regional artists submitted hundreds of paintings and fine crafts to Gallery Aglow, a show that has been an annual tradition at the gallery for more than 30 years. Now, you can visit the Gallery at the Park to see beautiful decorations and to purchase unique, handmade gifts.

You can also buy wreaths, trees and other holiday décor made by Allied Arts volunteers. All proceeds from these items go towards funding the Allied Arts Association and its various community outreach programs, like Beads Behind Bars and Empty Bowls.

Lucy Dole, a jewelry artist for the Gallery at the Park, started Beads Behind Bars in 2008 as a way of helping young people incarcerated at the Benton Franklin Juvenile Detention Center. Every Sunday, Dole brings beads, clasps, wires and other jewelry pieces to the detention center and teaches beading classes to eligible youth.

These classes give participants the chance to explore their creativity and experience a greater sense of their own value. They see the result of their good choices in designing their jewelry pieces, and each person ends up with creative, artistic, wearable works of art. The classes also allow the youth to have a positive connection with the community.

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Fundraisers such as Gallery Aglow are one of the ways in which Allied Arts is able to offer plenty of quality supplies for the Beads Behind Bars program.

Another program these fundraisers benefit is Empty Bowls, a national movement that aims to promote awareness and raise money for the fight to end world hunger. As part of our community’s contribution to this project, the Gallery at the Park displays and sells handmade bowls to raise money for the Tri-Cities Food Bank.

This December, you can view beautiful works of art, finish up your holiday shopping and support your local community all in one trip by visiting the Gallery at the Park, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.

Emma Barnes