Skip to main content

Idaho Enterprise

Evening of the Arts Spotlight: Chesley Lewis and Shelby Gunter Blackner

A watercolor of Albert's service done by Blackner.

This year’s Evening of the Arts, sponsored by the Nell J. Redfield Hospital Foundation, will feature two young artists who have brought their talents back to benefit their home town. The Evening of the Arts will be on Thursday, April 4, from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Event Center. Admission is free to this event that provides the opportunity to see works of art by some of Oneida County’s outstanding artists, including Chesley Lewis and Shelby Gunter Blackner.

Chesley Lewis

Chesley Lewis grew up in Malad and moved back six years ago.  He began creating wood work art while taking a high school woodworking class taught by Larry Nalder. He perfected his craft while working in home construction with two men he considers his mentors:  Don Hubbard and Tim Gauthier.

Chelsey says that he enjoys the quick satisfaction of creating decorative items, such as tree ornaments, home décor, signs for doors and yards, refrigerator magnets, shelving, and ornamental organizers. He created small lovespoons in many different designs for the Malad Valley Welsh Festival. He also designs and creates toys.  On a practical note, he says that is nice not to have to
buy everything.

The meshing of technology and woodworking is intriguing to Chesley.  He uses laser technology to design his pieces as 3-D models, often of his own creation after he has perused online sites to get ideas.  Then the challenge of customizing pieces to meet his and his customers’ satisfaction is exciting.

Chesley’s home-based company is B.A.D. Signs with the initials standing for the middle names of his three children.  Often his wife Karlie assists him in finishing his works of art. Chesley is a professional pilot and after working as a crop duster for a few years, he now works as a life-flight pilot in the medical emergency field. He enjoys everything about being outdoors, including hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting.

Shelby Gunter Blackner

Shelby Gunter Blackner was born and raised here in Oneida County, as the oldest daughter of Scott and Elaine Gunter. She graduated from Malad High School in 2010 and attended Utah State University for a few semesters. Shelby met her husband while living in Logan and they were married in 2012. After a brief stint in Montana the couple returned to Utah where they had their first son Charlie. Eventually, they decided to relocate to Malad to be closer to Shelby’s parents and sisters. They soon saw the birth of their second son, Jack.  Shelby explains that she loves living in such a friendly community. 

She will be presenting her watercolor artwork at this year’s Evening of the Arts fundraiser. Shelby is a self taught artist who has been painting for almost 5 years. She specializes in custom family portraits, and she loves to share her talents with others, especially during times of hardship. She really likes having the ability to combine people together from different photos, and making one cohesive painting with all of them together. It’s often a wonderful opportunity to make a family photo when there is not an original with everyone
all together. 

Shelby started off by “painting my own family and friends, then as I grew in skill, I started to take commissions from others to make their family photos into watercolor paintings as well. I have recently started to practice digital art, turning candid photos into lasting memories that can be shared with others. I occasionally dabble in architectural drawings as well, such as homes or temples.” 

One of her favorite paintings was a watercolor piece she did for a childhood friend. The two have been friends most of their lives, “and her grandfather owned Albert’s Service. After he passed, I painted his workshop for her and her family as a gift. The Ekstrom family then requested a digital copy of the artwork to be put into Albert’s casket. I felt extremely humbled to be asked to contribute to his final resting place. Since then, the painting has been made into work shirts for the family owned business.”

Shelby is a current employee at the Oneida County Clinic front desk. She works as a receptionist during the week while her boys are in school. "I have worked there for almost two years now and have throughly enjoyed getting to know all of the wonderful people that work at the clinic and hospital. They are knowledgeable, and kind hearted individuals who work hard to serve our beloved community,” she says.

Shelby concludes, “I’m deeply honored and surprised by the invitation to be a part of this years art exhibit. It’s an honor to be surrounded by other spectacular artists and their trades. I hope to continue to grow in my artistic abilities. I’m especially grateful to my husband, Joel, and his continued support and praise. Without you, I would never have had the courage to try something new. You’re my favorite!”

Other artists who will display their works at this year’s Evening of the Arts are Jerry Camp (oil painting), Allison Eliason (photography), and the Oneida Quilters (fabric). Art by the 4th and 5th grade classes of Malad Elementary and by the Malad Middle and High School art students will also be displayed. Popcorn treats will be provided by Malad High School’s Culinary Arts students.

Besides enjoying beautiful and unusual works of art, attendees will be able to bid on baskets donated by local businesses, organizations, and families. Silent and live auctions will provide opportunities for people to win art work, trips, restaurant coupons, household items, vehicle accessories, decorations, gardening supplies, and other useful and unique gifts for themselves or others. All proceeds from the auction will be used in the remodeling of patient rooms and the purchasing of equipment for the Nell J. Redfield Memorial Hospital.

2024 MHS School Sports Schedule
Upcoming Events Near You

No Events in the next 21 days.