The Daily Bee: Carousel art reflects Sandpoint community

Spokane’s Looff Carrousel curator, Bette Largent, expresses astonishment at the discovery of the 1920 Allan Herschell Carousel, known as the Carousel of Smiles, by Reno and Clay Hutchison in Sandpoint. Largent, with over 30 years of carousel preservation and painting experience, is contributing to the pony painting portion of the community-led restoration. The wooden bodies of the ponies are meticulously restored by dedicated teams, including the “angels of the carousel” hand-sanding team and the “Godfather Squad” tasked with pony head removal for proper restoration. Local artists, guided by Carousel of Smiles art director Gabe Gabel, contribute to the art panel project, reflecting iconic aspects of the Sandpoint community. The open house showcasing the progress of the restoration drew a large crowd, and the Carousel of Smiles is set to move to Cedar Street Station in Ponderay, offering a public view of the ongoing restoration process.

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Sandpoint Reader: Carousel of Smiles reception this weekend

The Carousel of Smiles team hosted a reception at 113 Main St. in downtown Sandpoint to showcase the initial restoration work on the 1920 carousel. The event spanned from December 14 to December 16, with specific times for each day. Highlights included the unveiling of the first group of painted ponies and art-panel paintings by local artists, celebrating the dedicated volunteers and the revival of Sandpoint’s historic Carousel.

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The Daily Bee: Carousel efforts are riding high

Two years after its release from a 64-year slumber, the historic 1920 Allan Herschell Carousel, now under extensive volunteer restoration by the Carousel of Smiles, will be showcased in its partially restored state during a reception and open house in Sandpoint. Clay and Reno Hutchison, the saviors of the carousel, invite the public to witness the progress made on the restoration project. The “Godfather Squad,” tasked with the wood restoration, has been diligently working on fourteen ponies, with three nearing completion and ready for display. The event will also showcase submissions from the art panel project, emphasizing the vital role of these panels in defining the carousel’s character. The overwhelming enthusiasm and support from volunteers have played a crucial role in the restoration efforts, with the event serving as a celebration of their hard work and dedication. The champagne reception on Friday and open house over the weekend will take place in the historic building at 113 Main St., highlighting the renewed vibrancy of Sandpoint’s beloved carousel.

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