GumTree a success despite weather

Cellular South GumTree Festival winners
Best in Show
Richard McGehee

Watercolor/Mixed Media
First Place: Bill Bailey
Second Place: Jessica Stoddart
Third Place: Sloane Bibb

Traditional Crafts
First Place: Tim Arnold
Second Place: Tom Keesler
Third Place: Greg Harkins

Glass
First Place: Tom Fuhrman
Second Place: Cher Thompson Austin
Third Place: Charlie Yowell

Graphics/Photo/Drawing
First Place: Kathleen Fetters
Second Place: James Treadwell
Third Place: Jack Stoddart

Jewelry
First Place: Obayana Ajanaku
Second Place: Charles Pickney
Third Place: Ann and David Reif

Sculpture
First Place: C. Tanner Coleman
Second Place: Joseph Horn
Third Place: Robert and Delores Wells

Painting
First Place: Charles Gatewood
Second Place: Felix Berrora
Third Place: John Armistead

Clay
First Place: Helene Fielder
Second Place: Jason Wilson
Third Place: Daniel Livingston

Purchase Awards
Ray Fielder
David Nagel
Sloane Bibb

Songwriters� Competition
First Place: Danny Lee Foster
Second Place: Mackenzie Butler
Third Place: Cody Hickman

- Click here for a link to artist winners.

- Click here to read a PDF of the GumTree Writing Contest.

BY SHEENA BARNETT
Scene

TUPELO – After a rough night of storms, everyone was all smiles at the Cellular South GumTree Festival Sunday.

Seven artists' tents were completely destroyed, said festival director Tina Lutz, and a few pulled out due to weather concerns. But for the most part, the artists – and festival-goers – weren't shaken up by the storms.

“The artists are really sturdy and durable,” Lutz said. “Everybody hung in there, and we really appreciate it.”

Saltillo painter Lesley Dawson Tackitt packed up her paintings Saturday night, but left her tent in its spot.

Her tent was destroyed in Saturday night's storms. Another artist lent her a tent for the final day of the festival.

“The weather was scary, but we're still here,” she said. “I think this year is a good example of a group of artists helping each other. It says a lot about the festival and the community.”

Toney Harris, an artist who works with clay out of Mize, said he fared the storms well.

“It left a little water in the tent,” he said. “But it's been pretty good. I've met a lot of friendly people and had good business. I'm having a good time.”

This year was Harris' first appearance at GumTree.

It was also the first for Debra Farley, who kept a pretty steady stream of customers throughout Sunday.

Farley, a jewelry-maker, is based out of Pelham, Ala., but sells her jewelry at festivals all over the country.

“We've had a good response,” she said. “We hope to be back next year.”

Richard McGehee, an artist from Belden, won the Best in Show award for his sculptures. McGehee has been at GumTree for several years now, but this year was his first to take home the overall prize.

“I was surprised,” he said.

Lutz estimated that about 25,000 people visited the GumTree Festival this year.