5 things you should do this week

Staff Writer
The Kansan
"Oranges" by Dalia Emad Abu Diab is part of The Carriage Factory Gallery exhibit titled "A time for peace, a season for hope."


1. Take in the exhibit

The Carriage Factory Gallery is hosting a unique exhibit, featuring art from the middle east in an exhibition titled "A time for peace, a season for hope."

The exhibit, more than two dozen works by Iraqi refugees and Gaza youth, will be on display at the gallery at 128 E. Sixth through Jan. 17. 

Twenty-six paintings and sculptures, all the work of 11 Iraqi refugee artists and four Gaza youth, will be featured. All work will be for sale, with 80 percent of the sales going directly to the artists. Some prints and greeting cards will also be available.

Mel Lehman, who founded the non-profit organization Common Humanity in 2009, acquired the paintings on consignment through relationships he formed with the displaced Iraqi artists eight years ago in Syria.

"They were living in poverty, not knowing where their next meal would come from, worried about what was happening to their loved ones in Iraq, with no idea what the future would bring,"  Lehman said. "And yet, they were finding a kind of salvation through the beauty of creating art. This is another part of the Middle East that we need to see. There is a lot of beauty, a really sophisticated aesthetic, and a sense of color and vitality in the paintings."

2. Ring in the new year

The year 2016 is coming to close, and yeah, it feels like yesterday when it started. This weekend find some time to say goodbye to 2017 and welcome in 2017 — and be safe as you do. Specifically, hand the keys to the hosts or a friend before partaking of of adult beverages and don't celebrate the New Year with a trip to the emergency room either for yourself, or caused by you.

3. Get some photo tips

Mark Kreider will be presenting "Colorado Photography" at 7 p.m. on Dec. 27 at Newton Public Library, 720 N. Oak.  Mark's photos were taken during recent summers working on trails all over Colorado, as well as images from backpacking and hiking trips in the area during the last several years. Mark began attending Fourth Tuesday Photography meetings at Newton Public Library during his high school years and continues to attend when he's back from Goshen college where he is now a  Junior. This program is free and open to all.

4. Bingo!

The American Legion hosts Bingo games every Thursday at the American Legion Wayne G. Austin Post 2, 400 S. Spencer Road — and that includes this week.

Early bird games begin at 6:30 p.m. and regular games start at 7. The full regular game package is $10 and the early bird package is $5. Anyone age 8 or older is welcome to play. The Legion will have food including hamburgers, pizza, desserts, candy and drinks available.

5. Master a toast

Newton Toastmasters Club will meet at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 29 at the Newton Recreation Center.  Meetings allow attendees opportunity to improve their public speaking skills.  For more information Call 288-9496