Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

By Lisa Britton

For the Baker City Herald

Crossroads was a flurry of activity this week as classes of students toured the Persistence in Clay show before it's gone.

The exhibit, which showcases ceramic art by Montana artists, will close at 5 p.m. Friday. It has been on display since the beginning of July.

This week Crossroads staff and volunteers gave tours to students from Baker City in Grades 4, 5, 6, and high school, plus Haines Elementary students from kindergarten to Grade 6.

Persistence in Clay debuted in 2011 at the Missoula Art Museum to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts, a public, nonprofit, educational institution founded in 1951 by brickmaker Archie Bray.

The show features 40 pieces from 19 Montana artists.

Baker City was the exhibit's last stop on tour - this weekend, Crossroads will be closed while the pieces are (very carefully) repacked for shipment back to Montana.

When news came that Persistence in Clay was coming to Baker City, Ginger Savage, executive director, secured a number of grants to help advertise it and bring people to town.

She estimates that about 5,000 people viewed the show during the last two months.

And quite a few pieces sold - something the people from Montana didn't expect to happen.

As per the contract, Crossroads doesn't receive a commission from the sales.

But bringing a show of this size to Crossroads builds its reputation as an art center.

"It was all about relationship building," Savage said.

As one show comes down, another goes up - the 14th-annual Art at the Crossroads opens at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7.

Part of the show is the annual Edible Art Contest - this year's theme is "Cupcake Wars!"

There are two divisions - adult and junior (ages 8-15). First place in both divisions will receive a private baking session with Jenny Mowe, owner of Sweet Wife Baking.

Second place entries will receive gift certificates to Crossroads.

Edible art entries should be turned in by 4:30 p.m. Sept. 7. (Non-judged food is also welcome for the refreshment table.)

Art at the Crossroads also features a raffle of original artwork by E'Jay Weber.

For information about the show or raffle tickets, call Crossroads at 541-523-5369.

Another September event is Crossroads' gala fundraiser on Sept. 28 at the Baker County Event Center, 2600 East St.

This year's "Home on the Range" theme offers a meal of "upscale down-home cooking" as well as a live and silent auction.

Tickets are $35 and must be reserved by Sept. 21 by calling 541-523-5369 or emailing xrds@q.com.