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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Find favorite nativities at annual exhibit in Kirtland

In the week before it opened, artist Norbert Koehn constructs an Italian  nativity near the entrance to the Historic Kirtland Visitors Center.

Walking among the many nativities showcased each holiday season is always an interesting experience.  It's the same Christmas story told in hundreds of different ways.

Almost everyone has a favorite. When I heard about it, I  fully expected the Native American nativity featuring bear totems to be my favorite, but it turned out the one I liked best was the one constructed by artist Norbert Koehn just inside the entrance the to the visitor center.

Koehn and his wife live in South Euclid and are artists of great  stature. They've contributed nativities many years, but last year their work was missing from the exhibit.

One of the things I liked best about his nativity this year is that he sourced his figured from Spain. I'm pretty sure he got them in Seville, where an annual street market showcases everything nativity, from lush and detailed figures to fruits and vegetables and even cartoonish characters. When I saw that street market during my visit to Seville last month I thought of Historic Kirtland and its annual exhibit of loaned nativities. I knew that I would be writing about it upon my return to Ohio so as I walked around the nativity market in Seville I carefully checked out the various vendors and what they were selling.

Imagine my delight to meet the very figures I discovered in Seville at the nativity exhibit not far from my own backyard.  Catch the exhibit in Kirtland if you can. It's open every day but Christmas. Before you go browse the gallery of photos posted by News-Herald photo chief  Duncan Scott. You may find your favorite among the photos.


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