The Grayson Gallery will host an opening reception for artists and the public during the monthly F!nal Fr!days Art Walk on September 27 from 6 to 9 pm.
This event, which is free to attend (donations may be made at the door) will feature the original artwork of 30 artists from over a dozen cities across the Tri-State. A diverse mix of media will be on display and for sale.
A brief awards ceremony will take place at approximately 7:45 pm during which three $50.00 cash awards of merit will be given for the GGAC Board Choice, the Brandon Click Memorial Award and the ever-popular People’s Choice. Visitors may cast one vote for their favorite piece up until 7:30 pm.
After the announcements, the lights will be turned down for enjoying the music until closing. In addition, the Artist Market will be open during the evening for more opportunities to purchase unique gifts at affordable prices.
Special guests, musicians Crystal Shawanda, with guitarist Dewayne Strobel, will be in from Nashville to perform their mix of Blues and Country. Per Wikipedia: Shawanda was born in Wiikwemkoong First Nation, Manitoulin Island, Ontario.
She spent her youth in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, where she attended Korah Collegiate. Her surname translates to “Dawn of a New Day”.Many of Shawanda’s songs have been inspired by her connections to Wiikwemkoong and part of her 2016 album was recorded at the Debajehmujig Creation Centre in Manitowaning, Manitoulin Island.
Her first album, Dawn of a New Day, was released in Canada on June 24, 2008, and in the United States on August 19. The album entered the Canadian Country Albums chart at number 2, and the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart chart at number 16. It became the highest charted album by a full-blooded Canadian First Nations country artist in the SoundScan era.
Shawanda toured with various artists across Canada and the northern United States in 2008. In 2009, she toured Canada and the United States with Brad Paisley and Dierks Bently as a special guest on the Paisley Party 2009 tour.
Her first single, “You Can Let Go”, peaked at number 21 on the Hot County Songs charts. In mid-2009, Shawanda left RCA Nashville and, through her own record label, New Sun Records, and a distribution deal with EMI/On Ramp Records, released a Christmas album titled I’ll Be Home for Christmas.In 2010, Shawanda released a single, “Beautiful Day”, via her own label, New Sun Records. Shawanda also performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2010, performing “Let’s Come Together” and “This Is My Land”.
She then released another single, “Love Enough”, on August 15, 2011 in both Canada and the United States. Shawanda’s second studio album, Just Like You, was released by New Sun on April 24, 2012.