Leah Bruns, of McPherson, won top honors in the Youth Division of the Show-Me Gourd Society gourd art festival held last week in Springfield, Missouri.  Her entry was a cut and carved gourd with a design showing two barn owls.

The SMGS is a chapter of the American Gourd Society, a national organization that has been active since the 1930's with over 25 state chapters.   This year more than 100 gourd artists competed.  There were five divisions of competition: Youth, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Masters.  

“The creativity of what can be created out of gourds was incredible.  It was a fun and educational show,” Merril McHenry said.

McHenry, competing in the Masters Division won Best of Show and Artist of the Year. His winning entry was a life-sized great horned owl made from seven different gourds and gourd pieces.

McHenry hosts the Kansas Sunflower Gourd Patch group four times a year here in McPherson.  This group is affiliated with the American Gourd Society.  Anyone interested in attending the quarterly meetings in McPherson is welcome to come. For more information on the Kansas Sunflower Gourd Patch group contact McHenry at mbmchenry@sbcglobal.net.