FLAGSTAFF - When 21-year-old Coconino Community College student Jessica Guillory signed up for a ceramics class last semester, her talent for drawing people and her interest in mythology came together in a sculpture that is drawing a lot of attention. This month Guillory's Bacchus is the signature piece for CCC's Sixth Annual Palette to Palate, the college's largest fundraising event that culminates in an evening of art, entertainment and food, 5 - 8 p.m., Friday, April 25 on the Lone Tree Campus.
Bacchus is the Roman god of wine who represents the grape vine and the social aspects of wine. Guillory's Bacchus is a small Romanesque-style sculpture of the god draped over a wine barrel and indulging in grapes. It took about five weeks for Bacchus to emerge from a block of clay; hours were spent just rolling tiny balls to form grapes.
"I like ceramic artwork because it's three dimensional. You can touch the different levels of the clay instead of just working on a flat medium," Guillory said. "It's meant to be touched."
"Jessica's Bacchus is the most fun and inventive work of art a student has created for the Palette to Palate signature image to date. The selection committee loved it," said CCC Fine Arts Department Chair Alan Petersen. "I think the sculpture really captures the dynamic and exciting nature of the Palette to Palate event."
Bacchus will be going home with the highest bidder. Other artists who are donating artwork to the evening's live and silent auctions include Curt Walters, Bruce Aiken, Mark Arnegard, George Averbeck, and Joni Pevarnik.
Meantime, local chefs will vie for the Palate of Choice Awards for best hors d'oeuvre, dessert and presentation. The new community orchestra, Orchestra Northern Arizona, will debut as part of the evening's entertainment. The CCC Jazz Band and the college's dance company, Encore, will perform as well.
"Palette to Palate is a super-charged celebration of the arts that brings together good food, wine, art and our community to raise funds for our fine arts students," Petersen said. "This year, money raised at Palette to Palate will help Encore travel to Italy to participate in an international dance festival in Venice."
Tickets are $25 for general admission and $15 for students. For more information, call (928) 226-4322 or log on to www.coconino.edu.