58th annual Palate & Palette Fall Festival brings fine art, wine, and comradery


Artist Jean Stroud of Imperial admires a painting of the late great Queen frontman Freddie Mercury at the 58th annual Fall Festival of Palate and Palette. Photo by Noel Bravo

EL CENTRO — Spirits were high and bright Thursday at the 58th annual Fall Festival of Palate & Palette hosted by Saints Peter & Paul Episcopal Church in El Centro as guests were treated to a night of art, fine wine, craft beer, live music, and an assortment of cheeses, all to raise proceeds benefiting outreach in the Imperial Valley.

The evening attracted people from all over the Valley looking to enjoy a good time, mingle around, and meet new faces while taking advantage of the opportunity to indulge in a variety of beverages and tasty desserts. Craft beers were provided by Alford’s Distributing and Humble Farmer Brewery and various wines were courtesy of Young Market, Southern Wine & Spirits, and P.R.P Wines.

But it wasn’t just the wine, beer, and cheeses that brought people together. One of the main attractions of the event was a display of artwork created by local artists.

Forty-six individual pieces of varied mediums were admired by guests inside the church’s halls and sanctuary. From oil paintings to acrylic, water color, and photography, the talents of nearly 20 artists were on full display, with some even available for purchase.

Calexico High art teacher Eddie Shiffer, one of many local artists whose works were displayed at the 58th annual Fall Festival of Palate & Palette, stands next to one of his pieces, “Unknown Soldier.”

One of the artists featured was Calexico High School art teacher Eddie Shiffer. In total, Shiffer had three pieces exhibited that evening: one oil painting, one acrylic painting, and one drawing. With 12 years of experience in art behind him, Shiffer has taught art for a total of six years for both high school and college. For five years straight, Shiffer has been a featured guest at the Palate & Palette Fall Festival and is always prepared with new and original works of art for the public to view.

“The weather changes, we can be outside, there’s lots of wine, and you get to see other artists that you don’t get to see but once or twice a year, and you get to see them at this event,” said Shiffer. “It’s a good event and you meet your old friends, old artists that have been around for quite a while, and you see what they’re up to.”

“It’s a good way to drink a little wine, talk about art, and do a little comradery,” added Shiffer.