(Sunset, S.C.) – A gorgeous 40-foot evergreen in the Village Center at The Reserve at Lake Keowee was trimmed Friday night with festive lights, and encircled and lit by the community’s residents to celebrate the coming of the Christmas season. More than 100 families gathered around the Village Tree for this hallmark and anticipated annual event, which included caroling, a candle lighting ceremony, and a worship service in Founders Hall. Even Santa Claus made an appearance.

To make the evening even more memorable, John Smith, The Reserve’s 2010 Artist in Residence, presented a piece of his own work to The Reserve’s Community Foundation board members, for inclusion in The Reserve’s permanent collection.

Smith explained, “I have really enjoyed my time spent at The Reserve. Many opportunities were available to capture the natural beauty of the area with the lake setting. Most of all, I enjoyed the chance to meet and interact with the residents I came in contact with during my tenure. The picture “Quiet Morning on Lake Keowee” was just one of many images that presented themselves to me to photograph and turn into my art.”

“The Community Foundation truly enjoys the opportunity of working with a variety of artists throughout the year. The Artist-in-Residence program gives the community a unique opportunity to interact with the artists and learn from them. John was incredible at both capturing The Reserve through his camera’s eye, and engaging participants in a variety of photography classes throughout 2010,” said Kathryn Gravely, Executive Director of The Reserve at Lake Keowee’s Community and Charitable Foundation.

John Smith’s work is represented by Wickwire fine art/folk art (Hendersonville, N.C.), Blackbird Frame and Art (Asheville, N.C.), Mary Praytor Gallery (Greenville, S.C.) and LaCota Cove (Jasper, Ga.).

Now in its third year, The Reserve’s Artist in Residence program allows The Reserve to share the natural beauty of its community with artists so that they may experience a peaceful retreat that gives them outreach opportunities and time for reflection and inspiration. The program is funded by The Reserve’s Community Foundation and includes a visit to The Reserve, classes and field trips open to owners and the public, and other community outreach initiatives in and around the property. The Arts are one of four focus areas around which the Community Foundation was founded in 2008. The 2011 Reserve Artist-in-Residence will be announced in early 2011.

The Reserve at Lake Keowee Community Foundation is a non-profit organization created to enhance the quality of life at The Reserve and in the local area while fulfilling a sense of community and philanthropy here for The Reserve’s members. The Foundation sponsors regular cultural events including concerts, plays, lectures, and an annual art festival. The Foundation is funded and supported by a transfer fee of ¼ of 1% of every sale, provided in perpetuity, within The Reserve. The Foundation has four major functions: 1. Environment: to promote environmental stewardship and provide a greater understanding and appreciation of the area’s natural resources. 2. Education: to provide educational and enrichment programs for Reserve property owners and the surrounding community. 3. Arts: to promote cultural initiatives for property owners and the surrounding community, with both visual and performing arts. 4. Outreach: to assist charitable organizations and facilitate property owner volunteerism in Pickens County and surrounding communities.

About The Reserve at Lake Keowee
With a membership of more than 600 families from 30 different states, The Reserve at Lake Keowee is a lake, mountain and golf community stretching across 3,900 acres including 30 miles of shoreline on Lake Keowee. Created by Greenwood Communities and Resorts, The Reserve offers more than $100 million in completed, family-friendly amenities, including a 200-slip Marina, Village Center complete with Guest House and a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and more than 1,400 acres of parks, preserves, trails and green space. Homesites at The Reserve begin in the $100,000’s.

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