Art teacher's paintings on display in exhibit at Department of Education

If you paint it, they will come.

That's the way it was for Lisbon Elementary School art teacher Shawn Costello, during the opening of an art exhibit at the Howard County Department of Education Oct. 26. Friends, neighbors, fellow educators, parents and even some of the oil portrait subjects, showed up for an artist's reception which highlighted Costello's stunning oil portraits of her students.

Taylor Ord-White, a seventh-grade student at Glenwood Middle School was among the crowd of admirers. Taylor, one of Costello's former students, enjoyed viewing her own portrait which the art teacher rendered when Taylor was a fifth-grader at Lisbon Elementary. More than 200 portraits line the walls of the Department of Education gallery.

The paintings earned "oohs, aaahs, wows" and admiration from the guests who enjoyed the exhibit. Remarkably, Costello has painted individual oil portraits of all of her fifth-grade students over the past four years. Although Shawn calls them "quick portrait sketches" most would agree to describing the paintings as top-notch.

If you would enjoy viewing the portrait exhibit, come to the Gallery at the Department of Education, 10910 Route 108 in Ellicott City, weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Dec. 5. The Gallery will be closed Nov. 24 and 25.

As Thanksgiving approaches, word of good neighborly service begins to fill my in box. Neighbor and friend Dennis Whittaker alerts the community that the West Liberty United Methodist Church, on Sandhill Road in Marriottsville, will be the site of a food distribution point Nov. 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In conjunction with the Maryland Food Bank, members of West Liberty United Methodist church members will distribute food for those in need. Participants are urged to bring their own bags.

Even with an unusual blanket of October snow on the ground, fourth-grader Ellie Feaga's charity bake sale for The March of Dimes went off without a hitch. The youngster was delighted to welcome representatives from The March of Dimes organization, along with neighbors, friends, family and passers by.

The bake sale ended up with a tally of more than $1,300 raised for The March of Dimes.

Well done, Ellie.

Apples in butter and Pinot Grigio … Potato Novelle with Parsley Pesto and Mozzarella. Don't these just make your mouth water?

This is the sort of thing being whipped up in the cooking classes at Westwood Unique on Triadelphia Road. The class for Nov. 11 includes a series of Contorni Nuovi (New Sides) for the holiday table. Chef Alba Johnson leads the classes which meet from 6:45 to 9 p.m. Each month there are a variety of gourmet cooking classes offered.

If you would like to learn more about this wonderful local culinary opportunity, go to the website at http://www.westwoodunique.com or e-mail Ingrid Melber at

You can't go wrong with pancakes. This year organizers of St. James United Methodist Church's annual "Shop for the Holidays" have sweetened the pot. Not only is a bake table, a craft room, a Christmas Shop and an assortment of vendors on the roster, but tables are at the ready for serving up pancakes, sausages, applesauce and beverages.

The meal is $6 and will be served from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the event. The holiday sale will be held Saturday, Nov. 12, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Interested? Call Nancy Thompson at 410-442-2020 or e-mail to

Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the monthly dinner at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church will be held Nov. 17 this month. Take a break from holiday meal preparation and come out to St. Andrew's for a family dinner from 6-8 p.m. It's Fall Feast night with all the trimmings from 6 to 8 p.m., donated by Smokin' Hot Catering of Glenwood, at 2892 Route 97, in Glenwood.

Its dine-in or carry-out, whichever works best for you. Organizers will post balloons to guide the way to the church which is between the Glenwood Post Office and Union Chapel Road.

Cost is $9 per person or $30 per family. Proceeds from the November dinner will fund the St. Andrew's music program.

Questions? Call Lynne Quinn at 410-292-8202 or e-mail Lynne at

If the recent nip in the air has you yearning for a spring garden then this just might be the perfect time to sign on with Georgia Eacker's popular Master Gardener training sessions which will begin Jan. 25.

The classes for this training,, which is offered by the Howard County branch of the Maryland Cooperative Extension office, meet from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Extension office in Ellicott City. Classes will run from late January until late March.

If you would like to become a Master Gardener, call the office at 410-313-2707 for a registration packet. The registration deadline is Dec. 16.

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