The Art Alliance of Idyllwild held its annual membership meeting, and a mix and mingle Saturday evening, Feb. 17, at the Idyllwild Community Church.

A high-volume harmonious hum vibrated while people mingled at the Art Alliance of Idyllwild’s annual Members meeting Saturday night at the Community Church.

AAI President Donna Elliot discussed an expansion of the Deer Sightings exhibition, and an overview of AAI’s agenda before a notice of the winners of awards.

Touching only on March for this article, AAI will have a panel of judges give insight into judging art on March 17, the grand opening of the

During its annual membership meeting, the Art Alliance of Idyllwild presented Cher Townsend with the Artist of the Year Award. Photos by Peter Szabadi

AAI Arts Visitors Center at the newly leased Courtyard Gallery will occur March 24, along with the Here and Now Art show.

Volunteer award winners Eileen Loiacona and Gary Kuscher, and Artist of the Year Cher Townsend were announced.

Begun in 2013, Idyllwild Deer Sightings is the first public art exposition sponsored by the AAI. “It celebrates the uniqueness, history and color of our lovely mountain community,” said Elliot. Each deer has a permanent base with a plaque listing the sponsor’s and artist’s names.

Now the herd is expanding as more businesses want their own deer. The original herd count was 13, and will be expanded to 20 or 21. Herd members begin as a metal statue painted white. Artists create their own interpretation of Idyllwild life on each deer.

The meeting was held with people sitting at round dining tables.

At this reporter’s round table was Eduardo Santiago of Idyllwild Arts, who shared about a fashion show he is putting together from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 10, at the Idyllwild School Gym. Students from the art school will create “upcycled” fashions and people from Idyllwild, from ages 7 to 70, will model the fashions. Proceeds go to the Help Center.

AAI board member Desert Chavez shared about an outdoor painting festival with free art demo; Jessica Schiffman will be leading a workshop; and Jana McCullough will be leading a walking artist sketch tour.

April Palmer shared about the Idyllwild Community Center’s Idyllwild’s Got Talent project for which auditions will come up in two weeks.