- Michele Walton, local art design teacher, was recently named grand prize winner in the national contest "Create a Decorative Design." Her winning design was chosen from more than 800 entries nationwide.

Depicting early settlement farm life, Walton's scene is being reproduced by The Lane Company on specially designed cedar chests; they will be available throughout the United States this fall.The competition was sponsored by the Cedar Chest Division of The Lane Company and conducted through "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine.

As grand prize winner, Walton received an eight-day trip for two to Jamaica and a Lane Cedar Chest filled with Laura Ashley bed linens.

In a telephone conversation, Walton said that her mother saw the ad about the competition and encouraged her to enter. But, as the deadline approached, Walton had not come up with a design.

"So I entered a design that I had already painted. In fact, this one had already been published in one of my decorative art books - one about early pioneer folk art."

Walton said she was very surprised when she received a call from "Better Homes and Gardens" notifying her that her entry was the grand-prize winner.

She also said that another Utah woman, Judy O'Brien of Bountiful, won first place in the same competition. Both designs will be reproduced soon in "Better Homes and Gardens."

Walton and family own Folk Art Finish, 6259 Highland Dr. Over the years, she has published seven books on decorative art. They are available in art and crafts stores.

- Sixteen art galleries will be participating in the spring gallery stroll scheduled for May 12 from 5 to 9 p.m. They are Brushworks, Dolores Chase Fine Art, Courtyard, Gallery 56, Marble House, Phillips, Pierpont, Southam, Utah Designer Craftsmen, F. Weixler, Gayle Weyher, Finch Lane, Art Masters, Blue Mouse Theater, Repartee and Williams Fine Art.

For the stroll, a number of these galleries will be offering new exhibits; they and others will offer special entertainment and refreshments. The participating galleries will be marked with bouquets of yellow balloons in front of their entrances.

Check the "Galleries" listing on this page for the shows being offered during this gallery stroll. Those not included are Brushworks Gallery, 175 E. Second South, 363-0600; Blue Mouse Theater Gallery, 260 E. First South, 363-4063; and Repartee Gallery, 1400 Foothill Dr., #232, 582-6810.

- The Contemporary Arts Group is sponsoring a series of events focusing on public art in the city. They are scheduled for May 13 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Artspace, 325 Pierpont Ave. Featured speaker will be Jerry Allen, director of the division of cultural affairs of the Park and Recreation Department in Dallas. Other talks will be given by CAG president Bob Hermanson and Stephen Goldsmith, founder and current director of Artspace. The free event is open to the public. For details, call 364-8284.

- Dates to remember:

UTAH ARTS FESTIVAL - June 21-25, Triad Center, Salt Lake City.

UTAH PAGEANT OF THE ARTS - June 12-22, American Fork.

THE FESTIVAL OF THE AMERICAN WEST - July 28, 29, 31. Aug. 1-5, Utah State University, Logan.

PARK CITY ART FESTIVAL - The 20th annual Park City Art Festival - Aug. 5 and 6, Park City.

- Jean "JA" Thorpe has developed a unique method of teaching clay sculpture to children over the past five years. And she is now sharing this method through her recently published book, "Kirtpatrick's Kritters that you make." It is filled with ideas, illustrations and descriptions that will appeal not only to children but to adults as well. Thorpe believes that clay sculpting is not only fun and creative but very relaxing, stress relieving and therapeutic.

The book is published by Art & Earth, 65 S. Main, Payson, UT 84651. For details, call 465-4633.

- Lectures, art classes, workshops, etc.

May 7, 4 p.m., Bountiful/Davis Art Center - "The Contemporary Landscape," first in a series of six video/lectures. This one will be presented by Nathan Winters. For details, call 292-0367.

May 8, 8 p.m., FAV 150, Utah State University - Visiting artist's lecture by photographer John Pfahl.

May 10, 7 p.m., Salt Lake Senior Citizen Center, 237 S. 10th East - Intermountain Society of Artists' monthly meeting featuring demonstrations by Ken Baxter and Dave Wade. $2 for members, $5 for nonmembers. Pay at door. For details, call 322-0365.

May 12-14, Anasazi: Photography workshop titled "Anasazi: Art and Architecture," taught by Bruce Hucko. Workshop will begin in Blanding and then move to Hovenweep National Monument. Fee: $150. For information, call (1) 259-7750.

May 14, 4 p.m., Bountiful/Davis Art Center - Tony Rasmussen will present his video "Abstractions from Nature" and lecture about his past and present work.