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Bowen Center hosts food-focused festivities
Food Exhibit pic
Diane Kulish, right, instructs Katie Spillane, from left, Megan Gallamore and Anna Rose Spillane on how to make a decorative cupcake Thursday at Bowen Center for the Arts Lets Decorate with Food workshop. - photo by Chelsea Thomas Dawson Community News

While paintbrushes and canvases were absent, food of all shapes, colors, smells and tastes was aplenty at Bowen Center for the Arts.

The "Let's Decorate with Food" workshop held Thursday by the Dawson County Arts Council offered art enthusiasts and culinary connoisseurs a chance to mix their mediums.

With seven different stations set up, guests were taught how to make and bake various culinary creations to dice up their dishes.

Mary Bob Fox, past president of the arts council, said the event was more than just tasty, it was informative.

"It is certainly one of the most different things that we have had in this art center and it was so enjoyable. People forget that food can be a part of art," she said.

More than 50 guests came out to learn how to make artistic appetizers, charming meal complements and "dazzling drinks."

Arts council volunteer Pat Cavanaugh taught participants how to make "party penguin" appetizers, or hors d'oeuvres made with black olives, carrot slices and cream cheese.

She also instructed guests how to build a veggie tree, or a Christmas tree-inspired 17-inch tall structure composed of lettuce, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, bell peppers and more.

Dawson County Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix said the culinary event was enlightening. She visited all the stations to pick up new food decor tricks.

"Everything was so well-organized and creative. The food was delicious and their ideas were very cute," Nix said.

Fox agreed: "I am not a fancy cook, but it certainly gave me some ideas."

A complement to the evening's food-focused festivities was the visual arts exhibit currently on display.

Bowen Center for the Arts is showing "The Art of Food," a juried show focused on the connection between food and art.

To be displayed through Sept. 27, the center is filled with culinary-inspired paintings, sculptures, fiber art and written word. Entries were submitted from artists across Georgia and the country.

Director Marcia Chelf said the exhibit has been a first for the center and has had a great community response.

She said Thursday's culinary workshop had a great turn-out as well.

"All ages loved it and I think everybody learned something on how to be a better hostess," she said.

Fox said that the center is always looking toward the future and is hoping to draw new participants in.
"The arts center is often looking for things that are different that will attract another group of people. I think this is one of those things," Fox said.

Another culinary workshop titled "The Art of Entertaining" will be at 1 p.m. Sept. 14.

Food blogger Juliete Cardenas will make a presentation on the latest tips in entertaining.

The event will be $5 for members and $10 for nonmembers.

Bowen Center for the Arts is located in the Old Rock School building at 334 Hwy. 9 North in Dawsonville.

For more information, call (706) 216-2787 or visit

The center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.