Down Art Avenue: Prudence Hilburn's program at Anniston library; Visual Arts Society's exhibit ends July 5
by Hervey Folsom
Special to The Star
Jun 25, 2013 | 1132 views |  0 comments | 114 114 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Food is an important part of our culture. When people move away from the South, the elements of life they often say they miss are the food, the fun and the friendliness, in that order. But to a cook, there’s a deeper meaning to serving a good menu: a good meal can mean enjoying the company of others-- around the table, at a picnic, or wherever people gather. That’s why the Public Library of Anniston and Calhoun County’s program June 17 by Prudence Hilburn was so important, both to her and those who attended.

“It was bad weather that day, but they kept on coming in,” Hilburn said about her growing audience in the Ayers Room who heard her demonstration on preparing new recipes. “And, as the program went on I liked it because people participated. I gave them ideas and they gave me ideas, too. The interaction was valuable.”

When asked what kind of kitchen equipment she works with, the Piedmont resident answered that hers is a standard home kitchen, “like those who read my recipes and my column”. She likes to be creative, she said,“with the simple things in life”.

One of the interesting features of her program Monday was on how taste relates to the sense of smell.

The books from which Hilburn, who has written for The Anniston Star for 27 years, found the recipes for  the Library demo were written by JoAnne Fluke.

This writer’s books feature murder mysteries which are solved by the owner of The Cookie Jar Bakery in Minnesota. The books feature varied recipes along with exciting mysteries. This series, including Cinnamon Roll Murder (February 2012) and Red Velvet Cupcake Murder(February 2013) has been known for its recipes, its comedy, and endings.

Readers of Hilburn’s columns may not know of the range of her accomplishments in the culinary arts. She has also been food writer for The Gadsden Times for 24 years and food writer for the Gadsden Style Magazine as well.

She has taken pen to paper for 12 cookbooks(one nationally published by Harper Collins, NY) and has taught cooking classes at JSU (Continuing Education Dept.) and at several area churches.

She speaks at civic and church events and is a 6- time finalist in Pillsbury Bake-Off (no longer eligible -there is a 3-time cut off now) The writer for the Star’s Wednesday Food Section is winner of about 25 other state, national, and international cooking contests. She received culinary training in New York City and in the South of France.

Hilburn is a former spokesperson for Pillsbury and Domino Sugar (promotion of their products) and received media training for the spokesperson jobs in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Since tasty food is always in demand, Hilburn’s career is a perpetual pleasure to her and those who want good recipes and new versions of recipes. It’s not surprising that the library program drew interest from lots of cooking enthusiasts. Hilburn will again be feaatured at the library this fall as the holidays approach.

Visual Arts Society artists in JSU Gallery

Jim Davenport’s photo “Nashville at Night” in Hammond Hall Gallery brought back more than a trace of travel memory to my mind. It reminded me of a backstage tour at the Ryman Auditorium, seeing a show at the Grand Ole Opry, taking a walking tour downtown where guides pointed out the nightclubs Patsy Cline sang in -- when she was just starting out to stardom..It was fascinating, also, to browse through an exhibit on Egyptian Afterlife” at a center for visual arts in the city’s historic post office and visiting a friend in the Vanderbilt Library Seeing The Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home, would have been a photographer’s dream. Both the estate and the guides, dressed in the attire of their day, provided a contrast from the mood of Nashville.

“Nashville at Night” is one of three works by the Jacksonville photographer that hangs in this exhibit, which continues through July 5. He shoots landmarks, nature, and general news photos as a avocation he’s been enjoying after retirement. “I do a little bit of everything,” he explained. “But I find a photographer has to have a broad knowledge of the technique and subject to do any of it well.”

On his website photos of football, waterfalls, and swimming and boating are posted, among other scenes. His spectral travel with Betty, his wife, includes points in Maine, Washington D.C., and Mount Vernon in Virginia. Closer to home, he photographed a Native American Pow-Wow at Germania Springs that afforded good character study, he said, and “lots of other happenings people don’t know about.” He is not a commercial photographer now but at one time Davenport owned a camera shop, laboratory and studio in Memphis, Tenn. Davenport loves history, too, and looks forward to Civil War re-enactments.

Going to the exhibit openings at Hammond Hall are open to the public and are always opportunities to meet these interesting artists and hear of their experiences; this exhibit was certainly a prime example.
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