Chamber hosts reception for Dogwood Festival art

Mar. 17—Artist William Young unveiled "Alley Cat Blues" his new artwork for the 85th Annual Dogwood Trails Festival during a VIP champagne reception Thursday, March 16 at the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce office.

This year's art features a bobcat busker, with mini-Blues Brothers, in front of the Dr. Pepper mural, a Palestine landmark located in an alley between the Redlands Annex and the building next to Warren's Barbershop.

"I hope you like it," Young said. "This is one of my favorites. I like them all."

Other installations have featured a raccoon playing bass with an armadillo playing an accordion in front of a building representing the Palestine Chamber Office, an elephant playing a tuba in front of a representation of the Texas Theater, four fox musicians in an Abby Road pose on a Palestine street and a fox playing a violin and a dog playing cello at Palestine's historic Redlands Hotel.

The champagne toast was courtesy of Charles E. Dickens Fine Jewelry & Gifts.

Five years ago, the Chamber shifted the focus of the festival toward music and art, hosting an art show, inviting buskers to perform for tips along with concerts and held an art competition for local youth.

At that time, Young agreed to create an artistic poster as the event's main keepsake, like the "Blue Dog" posters used for the New Orleans Jazz Festival. He agreed to provide art for the festival for five years. This is the fifth and final installation in the series.

Through the agreement with Young and the Chamber, the art can be used to make posters people can purchase. A limited amount are numbered and signed by Young each year.

The Palestine Chamber of Commerce is set to host the 85th Dogwood Festival Saturday, March 18, kicking off the three week celebration of Dogwood Trails. This year's festival features live music, art, specialty products, food vendors, kids activities and more.

The Palestine Dogwood Festival is the longest running Dogwood Festival in the state of Texas and is held in the historic downtown and Old Town district. The three week Dogwood Trails celebration encourages locals and guests to explore Palestine and enjoy the season of beautiful Dogwood blooms of East Texas.

Copies of Young's festival artwork can be purchased from the Palestine Area Chamber of Commerce.

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