Artist's mom takes prize; art to fill streets Friday night

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By Jenny Hartley

Like daughter, like mother.

That's not necessarily how the old saying goes, but that's how it is for local artist Christina Chastain and her mother, Phyllis Chastain.

Phyllis Chastain, 57, took first place in the annual Marian Hagins juried art competition with a painting called "4 Jens." The piece was created with a combination of oil and acrylic paint and pastels. It sat in a closet, unfinished, for about two months, until Christina encouraged her mother to finish it.

And when Christina called to tell her mother about her win, Phyllis Chastain couldn't believe it.

"I was totally shocked," she said. "I really thought she was teasing."

And no, Phyllis' daughter didn't have anything to do with the decision.

Karen Derken, assistant gallery director for Winthrop University, did the judging.

"There is a great boldness of shape, color and texture," Derken said of Chastain's piece.

Phyllis Chastain has been painting for the past two years, taking classes from her daughter. Painting offers a break from the stress of her job in sales and service for national accounts for Blue Cross North Carolina.

"Health care is very high stress these days," Phyllis Chastain said. "Painting is more of a stress relief. It really helps you relax. You get absorbed in it."

But she'll keep her day job, thank you.

"I'm not chasing the artist's dream, OK?"Phyllis Chastain said, with a laugh. "I'll leave that to Christina."

Arts walk highlights

Chastain's painting will be on display at the Springs House, home of the Lancaster County Council of the Arts, during the arts council's fall arts walk tonight.

The walk begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Springs House, 201 W. Gay St. There will be maps available at the Springs House to take you to the other nine businesses participating.

Other locations open during the art walk include Caldwell Banker, Picture Perfect, Edwards-Scott House, Robert Stevens Pottery, Earth Pure Day Spa, the Purple Rooster, Bob's Backstreet Studio and Fuzzy Mabel.

The evening ends at Chastain's Studio Lofts on Main Street, with live guitar music by Ken Blinko.

Local artists whose work will be on display are: David Ghent, Tiffany Copen, Robert Stevens, Damian Ducommun, Jenny Hartley, Bill Price, Rodney Hammond, Brenda Jones, Casey Ballard, Maggie Bowers, Brittany Taylor, Heather Mullins-Teasley, Deah Stogner, Fran Gardner, Christina Chastain, Ben Davison, Barry Lockman, Dianne Mahaffee, Alan Noll, Micheal Elbeck, George Young, Dianne Moore, Robin Zavada, Rob Gillette, Samantha Woodson, Lisa Stamper, Lorie Brewer and Nancy Howell.

Refreshments will be served at many locations.

The event is free but donations for the arts council are appreciated. For details, call the Lancaster County Council of the Arts at 285-7451, extension 27.

Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at jhartley@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 283-1151