Music and art complement food at Taste of Chewelah – The Independent



(SALLY BEANE/Chewelah Arts Guild)

Dave DeVeau performs during a previous year’s “Taste of Chewelah.” (File photo)

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT FOOD: Check out the music and art in Chewelah, too!

While the focus is food, music and art also flavor Chewelah Arts Guild’s Taste of Chewelah, scheduled this year for Thursday, June 20, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The music at Taste adds to the festive air and is provided by generous volunteers such as Dave Johnstone, a local teacher and musician. Johnstone was born and raised in Southern California, but became a Chewelah-ite in 1991 when he moved with his wife, Kim, who opened a medical practice here.

He currently teaches junior high math and high school algebra, but in the past also has taught music-oriented classes such as band, choir and music appreciation.

Though Johnstone says, “I don’t really consider myself a piano player,” Taste-goers might disagree, having enjoyed singing along with his music at every Taste event.

“I started playing piano in college to help out in the singing department and learned to play in a group piano class for music majors who weren’t piano players,” explains Johnstone. “After that I didn’t touch the piano again until I started playing for my church about 20 years ago. Now I sing and play every week at church.”

Dave’s true passion is playing the tuba; which he expresses by playing for the Woodland Theater productions, as a member of Chewelah’s local brass quintet, and with a once-a-year excursion to play in a tuba festival.

However playing the keyboard is a bit more practical than trying to play a tuba at Taste of Chewelah. “Taste is fun,” Johnson says, “because I can play a variety of music and it’s very low key. I feel like I’m just practicing in front of a crowd.”

This much-anticipated event also offers a once-a-year opportunity to buy art at a silent auction, including original works of art by local and regional artists. Quality items have become the hallmark of the auction.

A sample of the excellence to be found this year includes:

“Seal Beach Storm” a digital art photography piece created by Gail Youngbluth

Handmade antler wine basket crafted by Emma Giessen

Handcrafted shawl fashioned by Susan Chamberlin

Taste-goers can browse the auction at Quartzite Brewery while enjoying a delicious dessert that’s included in the price of the ticket. The auction begins at 4:30 and ends at 8 p.m. with winners announced at 8:30 p.m.

This year, ten eateries will be offering tasty samples to try while perusing art exhibits, listening to music, and visiting with friends. Tickets are $15 per person, but children under 9, accompanied by a ticket holder, are free. Tickets can be purchased at Valley Drug Co. and Akers United Drug. All proceeds go to fund the art-related activities and scholarships sponsored by Chewelah Arts Guild throughout the year.


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