MERF Taste of the Mountain and Art Auction

Local Artists, Young and Old, are the Focus of Mentone’s Taste of the Mountain and Art Auction

High atop Lookout Mountain, where the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains dip down into northeastern Alabama, is the picturesque town of Mentone known for its thriving art community. The artists that make up the vibrant art scene in the town will be the highlight of a fundraising event to be held as part of the seventh annual Taste of the Mountain and Art Auction on April 6, 2019, at the Moon Lake Elementary School (MLES).

Hosted by the Mentone Educational Resources Foundation (MERF), Taste of the Mountain and Art Auction features the works of local artists and MLES students while area restaurants and caterers provide a wonderful taste of their creations. Each year the event features a different theme and the 2019 theme is American Road Trip: Oh the Places We’ll Go. The decorating committee will transform the MLES gym with an elegant and fun décor reflecting the theme.

In preparation of the event, students have been studying and recreating artwork in the style of American artists such as Charlie Harper, Georgia O’Keefe, Peter Reynolds, Carolyn Steele, Mo Willems, Karla Gerard and Faith Ringgold. Local framers help bring out the beauty of the student’s work with matting and framing. There will also be some collaborative pieces where a group of students will make a painting together or create a hand-painted quilt. All of these works of art will be up for grabs in the silent and live auctions.

Dinner is buffet style provided by local restaurants and caterers offering a taste of a signature or creative dish. While the buffet is not “all you can eat”, and a “taste” doesn’t sound like a lot, trust me, the food alone is worth the price of the ticket! Some of the local flavors served up in the past have been tomato pie from the Wildflower Café, Green Leaf Grill’s award winning catfish, sauerkraut cole slaw from Plowshares Bistro, Mentone Market’s potato salad and barbecue, Mildred’s Meadows farm raised pork and 15 bean soup, Ms. Paula’s mouthwatering Biscuits, shrimp etouffee and rib roast from JoeJohn’s catering, delicious treats made by the Valley Head Culinary Team, and Mentone Inn and Fontana’s Catering showcased peach turnovers. 

After dinner, the bidding begins for the live auction. Along with creations from MLES students, the silent and live auctions consist of donated creations from local artists, such as Lydia Randolph’s vibrant paintings, Happy Art by Scott Thomas, a hand-woven poncho from Rita Winters, sculptures by Neal Whitt, Emily Guin’s hand painted furniture, amazing photography by Brad Lackey, Dowe and John Foreman’s Nightingale Pottery, artwork from Cynthia and Mickey Luck and Melinda Whitt’s handcrafted jewelry.

All proceeds from this event benefit MERF and its programs.  MERF’s mission is to enrich the learning and living in the community by identifying needs and coordinating resources. Programs include the arts program at MLES, field trips for MLES to professional performances, teacher workshops, free afternoon tutoring for MLES, Afternoon with the Artists at MLES, weekly senior citizen lunches at the MERF house, MERF moms (play dates for 1-3 year olds), and use of the MERF house for meetings and gatherings.  

For more information on MERF, how to get tickets for this event or any other information on the Taste of the Mountain and Art Auction, visit