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A Glance At Local Artistry

Celina local Ed Haluska has been a woodworking hobbyist all his adult life. He started out by making wooden toys for his children. His interest blossomed into making small bowls, small bud vases, magnet signs, cutting boards, and wine balances that, after moving to Celina, led to a small woodworking workshop in his backyard.

“I’ve always had a compelling need to be creating something, but since I have absolutely no artistic ability or musical ability…, I had to stick with…[being] an artisan,” Ed says.

Most of Ed’s work up to this point has been wooden crafts that he sells through craft shows or word of mouth in the area, but he will now be tapping into custom charcuterie boards after stumbling into a partnership with much-anticipated Celina restaurant, The Forge.

Ed says he is often happy to donate his work to local silent auctions, fundraisers, and things of the like to engage in his community, so the anvil-shaped boards made specially for The Forge will be one of Ed’s contributions to his community that Celina can look forward to when the restaurant opens in the spring.

Local musician Matthew Bell grew up around music and has always loved it. Although his love for music burned since childhood, he didn’t write his first song until after college.

Once Matthew left the corporate world to pursue music, he started out by playing cover songs for gigs, but eventually wanted to start writing his own music. Matthew said that throughout his journey, he has learned that making music looks different in different seasons.

“I want to do music for my whole life, not just this brief moment,” Matthew said.

With his faith and family being his top priorities, he does not gig out often, but when his family can come to close-by gigs, he does. However, this has allowed more time for writing and producing personally.

“If there’s one musical aspiration I have, it would be to write songs, not just for myself, but for other people,” Matthew says.

He just released his first worship single and is working on the beginning stages of a full-length worship album. He says his goal is to get to people who can use it at other churches to help people grow in their faith and draw closer to the Lord in music.

To check out his music, Matthew has releases on all streaming platforms under Matthew Bell for his solo releases and for his band Matthew Bell & the Next of Kin.


For the past 4 years, Erika Tolbert has been the woman behind the brush of Downtown Celina’s holiday window paintings on the Square.

Erika went to school for art and after college, she worked in a photo studio and found herself painting backdrops in Muskogee, Oklahoma. One day, she decided to do a holiday painting on the windows of the studio.

Much like Celina, Erika said Muskogee had a small-town feel where her window painting quickly drew attention and took off. Eventually, her window painting got so busy that, during the holidays, that was the only thing she did.

“It’s the one job where you show up, and everybody’s happy to see you,” Erika says.

While she still does indoor mural work in homes and for businesses and commissions paintings throughout the year, holiday paintings are her full-time job from October through December.

To see more of her art, Erika is on Facebook at Golondrina Studio Denton.