Published May 1, 2014
By Annie Wilson, Journal reporter
The second annual Art and Wine on the Square in Belton hosted by My Giving Tree and Nolan Creek Winery featured the art of Texas artists and wineries and two young aspiring artists with a heart to help others. Proceeds will go to benefit AWARE Central Texas, whose mission is to prevent child and family abuse and neglect.
Carissa Torralva, 10 and Anika Sikka, 11 created their piece “The Tree of Hope” to be donated at the event. Torralva and Sikka were mentored by Joan Kelley, a local artist who also exhibited her work at the event.
“They had an interest in helping kids like themselves,” Nicole Torralva, mother of Carissa said. “Doing artwork and donating it to the cause was a good way to do that.”
The girls have been best friends for several years and both have had a heart for helping others.
“Well one day at school we were talking about how some kids in need because some kids in our class needed things and we donated a lot of things and we had like a food drive. We just remembered that and we thought we would do it for a painting,” Torralva said. “We thought it would be nice to give it to somebody to donate the money to help kids in need.”
“Doing art, gives me a good feeling when I do it and I like helping people,” Sikka said. “It’s just something I wanted to do.”
My Giving Tree owner Leila Valchar said she was excited to help out.
“Marion Grayson brought My Giving Tree gift shop and Nolan Creek Winery together to put on Art and Wine on the square,” Valchar said. “We are excited about doing it to raise awareness for our community. Belton has got a lot of charm to it. We are trying to create more events that will draw people here. We are hoping it is something that we will do every year.”
Valchar brought the artists together and to donate a few select pieces for the auction to benefit the cause, including Susan Saunders, whose work is nationally known.
“AWARE Central Texas is dear to my heart and so my portion of the show on all of the artist fees that they have paid, I am donating every penny to AWARE Central Texas,” Valchar said.
Attendees of the event with purchased tickets were offered six wine tastings from wineries such as Nolan Creek Winery, Alamosa Wine Cellars, Pillar Bluff Winery, Salado Creek Winery, Texas Legato Winery, Dancing Bee Winery, Pilot Knob Vineyard, Valley Mills Vinyards and Rancho Ponte Vinyard and Winery.
My Giving Tree Gift Shop and Art Gallery is located at 121 N. East Street and Nolan Creek Winery is at 219 S. East Street in Belton.
For more information about AWARE Central Texas visit their website at www.awarecentraltexas.org or call (254) 939-7582.