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Oliver: Gallery in the Garden charms for a good cause

Published: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

– Jawaharlal Nehru

In McHenry County we don’t have to travel far to find beauty and charm, particularly in the summertime. Our area is full of adventures waiting to be discovered, from state and conservation district parks to festivals and special events.

One event combines some of my favorite things – art, music and gardens – into one lovely package. It’s also for a good cause, which makes it even better.

The eighth annual Gallery in the Garden runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 600 Lawndale Ave. in Woodstock.

The juried event, located a few blocks off the Woodstock Square, features more than 50 artists exhibiting works for sale, as well as musicians playing throughout both days.

The “garden” part of Gallery in the Garden comes in the form of the private garden of event organizer and artist Deb Glaubke. She, along with partner Gale Harris, who creates stoneware sculptures, started the event in 2006 with the help of Deb’s son, Rob, who is a photographer.

Glaubke’s three-quarter-acre lot includes a Japanese meditation garden, ponds and both native and imported plants. This year, it will spill over into a neighbor’s yard to the south. 

For a list of participating artists, visit www.galleryinthegarden.org.

Twenty percent of the proceeds will be donated to Court Appointed Special Advocates, which trains volunteers to advocate in court for abused and neglected children.

In the past three years, Gallery in the Garden has raised more than $14,000 for CASA, which, since its creation in 2005, has served 212 children in the McHenry County juvenile court system. To learn more about CASA, visit www.casamchenrycounty.org.

In addition to the art on display, music plays a vital role in the event’s wonderful vibe. We have a lot of great musical talent in our area, too, and if you haven’t experienced the music scene in Woodstock yet, here’s a chance to discover some great acts.

On Saturday, visitors can sit in the garden and listen to the Kishwaukee Ramblers play bluegrass from 10 a.m. to noon. Singer-songwriter Cassandra Vohs-Demann will perform from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., and here’s hoping she does her wonderful cover of Lucinda Williams’ “Can’t Let Go.” Singer-songwriter Ken Johnson takes the stage from 3 to 5 p.m.

On Sunday, singer-songwriter Tim Merkel performs from 10 a.m. to noon, Vohs-Demann returns from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., and fingerstyle guitarist Merv Collins will entertain event-goers from 3 to 5 p.m.

After you’ve looked around and enjoyed some music, you also can snack on a cookie from Jaci’s Cookies or enjoy barbecue or vegetarian lunch offerings from Porkie’s.

Gallery in the Garden combines beauty, charm and, for me anyway, an adventure akin to a treasure hunt. My husband can tell you about the many pieces of pottery, jewelry and photographs I’ve taken home over the years.

For me, it just doesn’t get much better than that.

• Joan Oliver is the assistant news editor for the Northwest Herald. She can be reached at 815-526-4552 or by email at joliver@shawmedia.com.

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