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Artists readying new exhibit for Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend is not just a holiday for Lawrence Countians, it is really one big homecoming.

As people return to the area to visit family and friends and see the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade, one local group is giving people another reason to congregate in Ironton on Memorial Day weekend.

The Tri-State Artistic Friends will have an art exhibit at the Ironton City Center. The idea is to showcase area artistic talent and to inspire community and national pride.

"The mayor (John Elam) called and asked if I would do something to commemorate the parade," TSAF President Cristi Murphy said. "The idea was for the painting I did to be auctioned off and the proceeds go to the (Ironton) port authority."

From there, the idea grew into something considerably larger.

"We want to have this every year," TSAF treasurer Helen Sellers said. "We get a lot of people who come home for Memorial Day weekend. And then, too, we have a lot of really good artists in this area. We want to build enthusiasm for this and for our city."

Both professional and amateur artists are invited to enter to win ribbons and prizes. Those who want more information or want to obtain an entry form may call 532-8495.

Skaggs Contracting of Ironton is donating two $50 prizes, one for the entry judged Most Patriotic and one for the People's Choice Award. Another Ironton business, Frank's Construction, is donating the ribbons for other winners.

Artists will keep the money from the sale of their works. Registration fees will be used to pay for prizes.

Prints of Murphy's painting will also be for sale, with that money benefiting the port authority as well.

Those entrants who register prior to May 20 will pay $15 or $20 at the door. Students will pay a $5 entry fee, which will be waived if they help set up for the exhibit.

Murphy said she particularly encouraged students to showcase their talents.

"The big thing for me, I want these kids to have pride in our city and pride in our country," Murphy said. "When we teach them to be patriotic, it continues with them the rest of their lives."