Archive for September, 2009

Planning Underway for 2nd Annual Celebration of Seagrove Potters Which Takes Place Nov. 20 – 22, 2009, in Seagrove, NC

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Planning for the 2nd Annual Celebration of Seagrove Potters is underway and the participating artists are all busily working on special pieces for the Celebration, as well as on collaborative pieces to be auctioned on Friday night, Nov. 20, 2009. Last year’s event, the inaugural Celebration was a resounding success drawing over 400 people to the Friday night Gala and 5000 from NC and many surrounding states to the two day sales event. The event generated a total measurable financial impact of $452,967, including $3,400 to the Potters Relief Fund, $1,250 to local school art departments, $600 to the Seagrove Library and $51,917 of expenditures to local businesses, details are available at (http://celebrationofseagrovepotters.blogspot.com).

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The Celebration is unique in that it is a showcase of the artists of Seagrove, an area that covers the three county corner region of Randolph, Moore and Montgomery counties. Over 85 of the Seagrove potters that earn their living making pottery in the local Seagrove community will be participating in the annual event. Seagrove pottery has long been known for it collectability and the Seagrove name is recognized worldwide.

The town of Seagrove is at the intersection of NC Business Highway 220 and NC Highway 705, which in 2002 was designated as Pottery Highway because it runs through the heart of pottery country. Seagrove potters are located throughout the countryside, all around these two major roads, and are all easily accessible from them. The shops are diverse and interesting, and all worthy of a visit and most will be open throughout the Celebration weekend. The Celebration of Seagrove Potters will again be held indoors at the historic Luck’s Cannery, on NC 705, Pottery Highway, located a half mile south of the traffic light in Seagrove. The Celebration potters admire and plan to continue the spirit of the original Luck’s Cannery-people of the Seagrove area working together to provide a future for their community.

The Celebration of Seagrove Potters will open on Friday evening, Nov. 20, 2009, at 6pm with a Gala Preview Party. Meet the artists and enjoy the opening night festivities of this fabulous event as visitors have the first opportunity to browse and purchase from the thousands of pieces, sip a favorite beverage and enjoy hors d’oeuvres, while listening to the jazz band Lost Marbles. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to preview a select collection of unique collaborative pieces. This highly successful venture, teaming Seagrove artists, to produce highly collectible one-of-a-kind pieces was very popular last year. This artwork will be auctioned at 8pm on Friday evening. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance. They may be purchased on-line at (www.CelebrationOfSeagrovePotters.com).

Saturday, Nov. 21 the show is open from 9am-6pm and from 10am-4pm on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009. A second fundraising auction will be held at 4pm, Saturday. Food and beverage vendors will be set up including 3 Kings Barbeque, Blue Diner Grille, and Pacific Rim Noodle House among others. A special Kids area (only kids allowed in to buy Seagrove pottery at kids prices!) will raise funds to be donated to the Seagrove and Westmoore schools art departments, demonstrations and educational opportunities will be available, and more.

The following Seagrove potteries and artists will be participating: Avery Pottery & Tileworks, Ben Owen Pottery, Bluestone Pottery, Bulldog Pottery, Cagle Road Pottery, Caldwell-Hohl Artworks, Chad Brown Pottery, Chris Luther Pottery, Country Pots, Cross Creek Pottery, Crystal King Pottery, David Stuempfle Pottery, Dean & Martin Pottery, Dirtworks, Dixieland Pottery, Donna Craven, Pottery, Dover Pottery, Fireshadow Pottery, From the Ground Up, Gingerbread House Pottery, Great White Oak Gallery, Hatfield Pottery, Humble Mill Pottery, Jake’s Pottery, JLK Jewelry at Jugtown, Johnston & Gentithes Art Pottery, Jugtown Pottery, King’s Pottery, Kovack Pottery, Lantern Hill Pottery, Latham’s Pottery, Living Water Pottery, Luck’s Ware, McCanless Pottery, McKay Pottery, Nichols Pottery, Old Gap Pottery, Ole Fish House Pottery, “Original” Owens Pottery, Pat Newby, Pebbles Pottery, Potts Pottery, Ray Pottery, Riggs Pottery, Rockhouse Pottery, Seagrove Stoneware, Studio Touya, The English Potter, Thomas Pottery,  Tom Gray Pottery, Tripple C Pottery, Turn & Burn, Uwharrie Crystalline, Whynot Pottery, Windsong Pottery, and Zehmer Pottery. (Further info about most of these potteries can be found at Carolina Arts Online in our NC Commercail Gallery listings under Seagrove.)

The Celebration of Seagrove Potters festival has received strong support from potters and the community at large. Special thanks to our 2009 Sponsors: Amicks Superstore, Asheboro Elastics, Autocraft, Community One, Embarq Corporation, First Bank, Insurance Associates of the Triad,  Life 103.1, NC Zoological Society, Progress Energy, Pugh Funeral Home, Randloph Arts Guild, Randolph County TDA, Our State magazine, Carolina Arts, Richard and Susan Garkalns, Upton Accounting  and Village Printing with more coming on board each week.

Visit (www.CelebrationOfSeagrovePotters.com) to learn more about the festival and potters and find links to the individual pottery pages.

Info About Carolina Potters Showing at USC in Columbia, SC

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Well this press release was a little late for consideration for inclusion in the printed version of Carolina Arts but it has an interesting collection of Carolina potters, so we wanted to let our blog readers know about and it will be on our web version of the paper at Carolina Arts Online on Oct. 1, 2009. Two of the potters are Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke of Bulldog Pottery in Seagrove, NC. They are also fellow bloggers – now with two blogs: Around and About with Bulldog Pottery and Three Corners Clay.

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“Fish Platter” by Bruce Gholson

“Why all the attention for Seagrove potters?,” the new reader to Carolina Arts Unleashed asked. Well, it’s a personal project, plus I’m getting people ready for a big event coming in November.

Here’s the article:

University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC, Presents Ceramics Exhibition

The University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC, will present the exhibit,Ceramics : Southeast, in the McMaster Gallery, on view from Oct. 12 through Nov. 19, 2009.

The exhibition brings together the creative talent of thirteen individual artists from Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Each has taken their own unique path that celebrates contemporary ceramics from traditional pottery to non-traditional sculptural forms. Chosen to represent multiple approaches to clay and backgrounds the artist represent both full time studio potters to practicing academics.

Artists included in this exhibit are: Alice Ballard (SC), Russell Biles (SC), Jim Connell (SC), Don Davis (TN), Lauren Gallaspy (GA), Bruce Gholson (NC), Samantha Henneke (NC), Frank Martin (TN), Scott Meyer (AL), Gay Smith (NC), Paula Smith (SC), Mike Vatalaro (SC), and Jerilyn Virden (NC).

Alice Ballard’s pods are a reflection of her relationship with natural forms, while Russell Biles’ figurative works provide artist as social critic.

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“Wall Podds” by Alice Ballard

Jim Connell serves up elegance with senuous curving vessels. Don Davis combines the figure with function. Lauren Gallaspy’s porcelain explores the mixed media of sculptures and drawing.

Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke are a couple that founded Bulldog Pottery and are exhibiting functional works with a painterly flair.

Frank Martin’s slip cast functional ware focuses on a painterly use of color. Scott Meyer’s interest turns to the sculptural – combining wood with clay. Gay Smith throws and sculpts geometric porcelain forms.

Paula Smith’s sculptural ceramics challenge us with the role of women. Mike Vatalaro deals with architectural thrown forms and Jerilyn Virden’s interest are in the notion of containment.

In conjunction with Ceramics : Southeast there will be a panel discussion and a workshop with Gay Smith as well. The public is invited. Call for further details.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, contact Mana Hewitt, Gallery Director at 803/777-7480 or visit (http://web.mac.com/mcmastergallery/McMaster_Gallery/Ceramics_Southeast.html).

Fred Johnston and Carol Gentithes Show Work in Raleigh, NC

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

Those Seagrove, NC, potters – they’re everywhere. Here’s an article about a show in Raleigh which features works by Fred Johnston and Carol Gentithes. There just never seems to be a month where there isn’t a Seagrove potter involved in an exhibit taking place in the Carolinas.

Here’s the article:

NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, NC, Features Works by Fred Johnston and Carol Gentithes

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, NC, will present the exhibit, To Prey or Not to Prey, featuring works by Fred Johnston and Carol Gentithes, co-owners of Johnston and Gentithes Studios in Seagrove, NC, on view at the Museum’s Nature Art Gallery from Oct. 2 through Nov. 1, 2009.

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Fred Johnston (might not be in the exhibit)

When talking to the artists about their work they both describe it in terms of storytelling and refer to a visual “language” that they each employ, albeit with startlingly different results. If they are using the same language it is with different dialects. Growing up in the rural South gave Johnston unfettered access to its rich history and colorful characters. Cross fertilize that with a fascination with Greek, Korean, Chinese and Pre-Columbian cultures and you get a playful mix of motifs and artistic styles. His origins in clay are rooted in the Southern folk pottery tradition and he is always striving to extend that tradition. Johnston’s pots tell stories in his personal language of the forms and motifs he has developed by exploring paintings, architecture, literature and sculpture. “I rely on intuition, spontaneity and what is visceral as a mode of creating, and believe that a pot truly reveals itself over time and use,” says Johnston. “Only through deep investigation can one begin to internalize their ideas into a growing personal vision.”

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Carol Gentithes (might not be in the exhibit)

Gentithes is best known for her unique sculptures, which she hand builds using clay coils to make animal forms that she then decorates with image transfers. There is often a narrative thread to her work that can veer into satire about subjects ranging from nature to humankind to politics. “To me art is a visual language. The origins of my artistic language emanate from life’s experiences, readings of literature and mythology, and visual interpretations of art history,” says Gentithes. “I leave it with the viewer to derive their personal interpretations.”

Though their work differs markedly from one another there is considerable overlap in their respective resumes. Both have earned degrees from Alfred University’s prestigious College of Ceramics. Both have exhibited separately or together at the Gregg Museum, (North Carolina State University in Raleigh), Mint Museum Potters Market, (Charlotte, NC), SECCA (Winston-Salem, NC), Blue Spiral 1 (Asheville, NC) and the Smithsonian Craft Exhibition, (Washington, DC). Charlotte Brown featured the duo in her book, The Remarkable Potters of Seagrove and the City of Greensboro commissioned each of them for work to go in the new City Center Park.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call 919/733-7450, ext. 360 or visit (http://www.naturalsciences.org/museum-store/nature-art-gallery).

Christopher Rico Exhibit Begins on First Fridays Event at Art & Light Gallery in Greenville, SC – Oct. 2, 2009

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Not too long ago I went to Clinton, SC, to witness a visual art event – a short site-specific installation – which was being photographed for a book and filmed at the same time. I did a blog entry of it on Aug. 27, 2009 – here’s a link to that blog entry.

Not long after that I got to see the first draft of the short film made that night. It was amazing to see how hours and hours of work edited down to a few minutes looked. You can also see that at this link, but I must warn you – it you have an old computer, it might not work, it you have a slow internet connection, it might not work and even for those who have a spiffy new computer and highspeed internet, you might want to turn the HD switch off.

The book will be called, The Forest and the Sea. Rico offers a read of the interview done for that book on his blog, Machinations of a Distracted Mind. Rico’s friend D. A. Adams did the interview which can be found at this link.

You can also see a preview of some of the works done for the show at Art & Light Gallery on Rico’s other blog found here.

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St. Theresa #2

Of course if you are going to be in the area of Greenville, SC, on Oct. 2, 2009, you could go to the First Fridays event, which takes place from 6-9pm. Art & Light Gallery is located at 1211 Pendleton Street, (for you fans of Google Maps) in the Flatiron Studios of the Pendleton Street Art District of Greenville.

Now, with all these links you have just about everything Christopher Rico – except the article we’ll be running in our Oct. issue of Carolina Arts. But, why hold that back? Most of you readers don’t ever see a printed copy of the paper unless you view it on our website – where you can see every page of every issue dating back to Aug. 04.

So here’s the article:

Art & Light Gallery in Greenville, SC, Features Works by Christopher Rico

Art & Light Gallery in Greenville, SC, will present the exhibit, Christopher Rico – The St. Theresa Suite and Other Works, on view from Oct. 2 – 31, 2009.

Christopher Rico’s work has been exhibited nationally. He is part of corporate, public and private collections in locations throughout the Southeast. He has been a member of artists’ collectives from Memphis to Seattle to Texas. Rico has also designed professionally for the theatre, collaborated with modern dance companies and mounted ephemeral exhibitions in warehouses, construction sites and public outdoor settings. His work, while deeply tied to his materials, responds powerfully and uniquely to each environment it finds itself in and consistently creates a profound sense of encounter within the viewer.

“When people look at my work, I hope they ask themselves questions about my medium and my surfaces, because all of those choices are very specific and hold references to history or poetry or the body, and these references exist autonomously from whatever loose concept or abstracted narrative the painting may or may not have,” says Rico.  “I want people to bring their own interpretation, so their associations and relationships to these materials may be completely different from my own, but no less true.”

Rico adds, “I like to paint with my hands – without brushes – because I feel a real intimacy with the paint and surface that way. I think we make our own light in the world, our own meaningfulness. I’d rather people be concerned with this meaningfulness than worrying about objective meaning.”

The Art & Light Gallery is a fusion gallery/home accents boutique located in the heart of the Pendleton Street Arts District in Greenville.

For further information check our SC Commercial Gallery listings, call the gallery at 864/363-8172 or visit (www.artandlightgallery.com).

37th Art in the Park Takes Place in Myrtle Beach, SC – Oct. 10 & 11, 2009

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

The Waccamaw Arts and Crafts Guild will hold its 37th year of Art in the Park on Oct, 10 and 11, 2009, from 9am-4pm both days in Chapin Park, 1400 N. Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach, SC. The event is free and open to the public.

The event will feature works by over 60 artists from the East Coast and as far away as Tennessee with about 20 of those artists from the local Myrtle Beach area. Typical art will include original paintings, woodworking, photography, jewelry, fabric, glass, metal, pottery and stone.

The Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild is a non-profit, state-chartered organization. Sixteen artists and crafts people who wished to encourage and promote fine arts in the community organized it in 1969. Membership is open to professional, non-professional and student artists and crafts persons as well as associate members interested in the arts.

A Board of Directors oversees the operations of the Guild. The calendar of events for the year includes: Monthly program meetings from September to May on the third Thursday of the month. A variety of programs are offered including demonstrations, slide presentations, social gatherings with exhibitions of recent works by members, and panel discussions on subjects of interest to artists such as framing and making slides of your art, etc. Guests are always welcome at no charge; Two art shows, at least one of which has been ongoing for 33 years; Three Art in the Park shows are held in Chapin Park each year giving artists an opportunity to display and sell their work; and an annual Student Show held at The Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach.

Members are kept informed of events of interest by periodic newsletters and postcards.

The next Art in the Park event will take place on Nov. 7 and 8, 2009.

For further info about Art in the Park or the Waccamaw Arts & Crafts Guild, contact JoAnne Utterback at 843/446-7471 or visit (www.artsyparksy.com).

Real Estate Studio in Charleston, SC, Offers Women’s Caucus for Art Exhibit

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Well, there is always so much to publicize and too little space in the printed version of Carolina Arts – so, here’s another bit of visual art news.

The Real Estate Studio, located at 214 King Street in Charleston, SC, is presenting an exhibit for the Women’s Caucus for Art Charleston entitled,Gaea, Goddess of the Earth, on view through Oct. 30, 2009.

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Gaea, the Greek goddess of the earth and mother of the Titans, serves as the inspiration for an environmentally themed, juried show sponsored by Women’s Caucus for Art Charleston. The exhibit offers diverse works inspired by planet earth by Sandra Brett, Betsey Carter, Leigh Ann Davis, Stephanie Drawdy, Linda Elksnin, Laura Szweda, and Lillian Trettin. The exhibit was juried by Janice Jones Rossmann.

Rossmann earned a BFA in studio art from the Louisville School of Art in sculpture, photography, and ceramics, and a master’s degree in art history from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Rossmann taught art history and art appreciation at The Citadel and was Curator of Education at the Gibbes Museum of Art. A professional photographer for many years, she taught photography at the Art Institute of Charleston, Trident Technical College , and Ashley Hall. Rossmann currently uses her photographs to create two-dimensional mixed-media works, which incorporate printmaking and pastels. She is also Gallery Director for Coleman Fine Art in Charleston.

The Women’s Caucus for Art, founded in 1972 in connection with the College Art Association (CAA), is a national member organization unique in its multidisciplinary, multicultural membership of arts, art historians, students/educators, and museum professionals. For further info visit (www.nationalwca.org).

The Charleston Chapter is one of 20 chapters, some of which are cities (i.e., Boston, Washington, DC, Chicago) others of which are states or regions within states (i.e., New Hampshire, Connecticut, Northern California; Peninsula, California). This is the third exhibition hosted by WCA Charleston. The chapter hosted two exhibitions at the Saul Alexander Gallery, most recently the 2008 Piccolo Spoleto Intuitive Responses show.

Members of the WCA Charleston are committed to: Providing opportunities for the exhibition of women’s work; Creating a support network for women in the visual arts in the Charleston area and State of South Carolina; Expanding cultural dialogs to encompass all forms of creative expression; Publication of women’s writing about art; Inclusion of women in the history of art; Professional equality for all; Respect for individuals without discrimination; Support for legislation relevant to our goals; and The education about the contributions of women.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings at Carolina Arts Online, call 843/722-5618 or e-mail to (concierge@dunesproperties.com). Additional information about WCA Charleston can be found at (www.wcacharleston.blogspot.com).

Update on Future Pottery Sales from Potter Ronan Peterson

Monday, September 21st, 2009

I received an update on future pottery sales from Ronan Peterson, a Chapel Hill, NC potter and blogger.

Peterson wrote: “I’m sending out one more quick reminder about the 3 Guys* and Some Pottery Sale this weekend and a short blurb about the Circle of Eight Sale the next weekend. Come out if you can and bring a pottery loving friend or two with you.”

Now Peterson’s blurb needed some cleaning up and a little extra work on my part to make it more informative for you readers, but that’s OK – I’m a seasoned translator and it’s my job.

First off, the * after the 3 Guys* is pretty simple. After doing this sale a number of years with three male potters – this year a female potter has joined the group.

The sale will take place at Doug Dotson Pottery – not near Pittsboro or Chapel Hill, NC – it takes place at 326 Mockernut Road, Pittsboro, NC – to be exact. A Google search of that address gets you a map for directions. The event – the 7th Annual 3 Guys* and Some Pottery Sale begins with a reception on Sept. 25, 2009, from 6-9pm. The sale continues on Sept. 26, 2009, from 10am-4pm and on Sept. 27, 2009, from noon-4pm. For further info or help, you can call 919/542-6439.

Peterson goes on to say, “I will have my highly decorated functional earthenware for sale alongside the earthy and comfortable soda fired stoneware of Doug Dotson and the elegant, yet familiar and colorful porcelain of Kelly O’Briant. We will be joined by Matthew Thomason who will have handmade journals, cards and some paintings on hand. Last year’s sale was great and we are looking forward to another weekend of hanging out, snacking and selling some pots (and prints!). Come on out into the woods and join us, bring your friends and spread the word about this special studio sale.”

The Circle of Eight Sale

Peterson also offers, “The next weekend, Oct. 3, 2009, I will join the Circle of Eight for their Fall Sale as an invited guest artist. The Circle is a group of Charlotte area ceramic artists which include Amy Sanders, Ron Philbeck, Julie Wiggins, Jennifer Mecca, Greg Scott and Adrienne Dellinger.  (Sandy Singletary is also a member of the Circle of Eight, but was not mentioned – perhaps she is not participating in this sale. Also, that adds up to seven potters – so I guess the 8th person represents a guest potters – don’t know.) I’m excited to be part of this sale and I am looking forward to hanging out and selling some pots with these talented potters in the Queen City. The sale will be from 10am-4pm at 1225 Dade Street, Charlotte, NC.”

Again, a Google search will get you a map. You can call 704/650-5662 for more info.

You can also learn more about Ronan Peterson by visiting his website.

Hurricane Hugo the Art Critic

Monday, September 21st, 2009

It was 20 years ago today – no this is not the opening to The Beatles song,Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but it was 20 years ago today that Hurricane Hugo struck just north of Charleston, SC, in the middle of the night and then proceeded to rip a path through South Carolina – all the way up through Charlotte, NC, at 100mph. Pictures from space showed the size of Hugo covered the entire state of SC – it was a big mother.

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The joke back then was that weather forecasters used to say that when a hurricane hits the mainland its strength tends to fizzle out – not this time. We live in Bonneau, SC, in Berkeley County – about 45 minutes northwest of Charleston – at least 30 feet above sea level – so we had no worries about storm surge that far inland. The only problem was Hurricane Hugo didn’t know about that fizzling out thing. But, we still had an office in downtown Charleston on East Bay Street, a half a block from Charleston harbor – so we had big worries about our office space. We were still running IF Labs, a custom black and white photo processing business and were two years into our new business – Charleston Arts, a newspaper about the arts community in Charleston. That’s right, back then we covered all the arts.

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Linda and I had been through some close-call hurricanes when we lived in downtown Charleston. She was from Myrtle Beach, SC, and had been in hurricanes all her life – I was a transplanted Yankee from Michigan and from what I saw of them – they were kinda cool – Mother Nature’s fury and all that. Of course we were renters back then. We used to go down to the Battery in Charleston and watch the waves crash against the wall – during those close-call hurricanes. Hurricane Hugo was directed right at us, a more powerful storm, we now were home owners, had a two-year old son, and with an office almost on the harbor – this was different – not so cool.

We did all the things you are suppose to do in preparation for a hurricane and then waited. We didn’t think about evacuation back then – remember we were 30 ft. above sea level, 45 minutes inland and the fizzle factor, but we learned a lesson that night.

Long nightmare short. During the middle of the storm a very large pine tree in our backyard decided it might be safer to come inside the house – entering through the roof, we ended up huddled in a hallway with a mattress over our heads singing children’s songs to drown out the noise until we all fell asleep. The next morning we could not recognize our neighborhood – couldn’t even find the road in front of our house. Life as we knew it a few days before would be over for years.

You don’t want to hear about dealing with insurance companies, FEMA, and waiting in lines for everything – it’s not a pretty story.

Our office in Charleston? It took a week or so before we could even get into Charleston to check it our, but amazingly enough we learned where we were located in Charleston was one of the highest points in the city. The historic building had walls that were nearly two feet thick and we just suffered a little bit of leaking around a couple of windows – no real damage – except there was no business for our businesses.

Our Oct. 89 issue of Charleston Arts was at our printer – they lost the roof of their building and that copy of the paper. We ended up doing a few 8 1/2″ x 11″ pages, copied at Kinkos, of info about the storm and its impact on the art community which was shut down for almost a year. Our headline was – Hurricane Hugo the Art Critic.

The final word is – we survived, recovered and learned some lessons about insurance, good neighbors, FEMA, and hurricanes that fizzle when they hit mainland. The next hurricane with Charleston’s name on it – we went as far as Alabama to get out of its way. And, a Thank You! shout out to the workers who drove up from Jacksonville, FL, from Florida Power and Light who came and restored power to our community in a few weeks instead of the months it would have taken our local power company to put things back together – and an upgrade on equipment too. They worked long hard hours to give us power.

Hurricane Hugo was no Hurricane Katrina, but when it comes to hurricanes – there are no good ones. I’m glad we have had none come our way this year – knock on wood till November. An experience like that should be good for a hundred years.

NC Potters to be Featured in a Nationwide TV Broadcast

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

After our elation over the University of Michigan football victory over the Irish (don’t even mention that Carolina Panthers’ game) and frustrations over messed up Beatles’ CDs – it’s back to the business of bringing you news about the visual art community in the Carolinas.

It seems that the pottery community in Seagrove, NC, including the North Carolina Pottery Center, is much more significant – statewide and nationwide – than a few individuals would like the NC Legislature to know. Cream will always rise to the top no matter how much you stir the pot. Of course if you stir it too much – you get butter. And, who doesn’t like butter? Butterrrr.

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On Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009, at 8 pm, PBS TV, will air a nationwide broadcast of a brand new episode of the Peabody award-winning series,Craft in America, that features two well-known North Carolina potteries.Craft in America producer, Carol Sauvion, explains why. “North Carolina pottery has inspired and influenced potters from all over the world,” says Sauvion, “It is authentic, original, and powerful in its simplicity. By including Jugtown and the Hewitt pottery in its new episodes, the Craft in America series showcases their significant contribution to the history of craft in America.”

Jugtown potters, Vernon and Pam Owens, and their children Travis and Bayle, and Mark Hewitt in Pittsboro, NC, are proud to represent the state’s pottery tradition in this stunning documentary that serves as a tremendous affirmation of North Carolina’s role in shaping the ceramic heritage of United States.

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Vernon and Pam Owens

Both Pam Owens and Mark Hewitt are on the board of the North Carolina Pottery Center (NCPC) in Seagrove, NC, and have helped organize a series of simultaneous “viewing parties” across the state on Oct. 7, 2009, to coincide with the broadcast, and to raise funds for programming at NCPC.

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Mark Hewitt

These “viewing parties”, described as, “a collective group hug for all the potters and pottery lovers across the state,” demonstrate a remarkable show of support from North Carolina pottery guilds and patrons across the state. This support acknowledges the camaraderie among North Carolina potters, and validates the role that the North Carolina Pottery Center plays in promoting public awareness and appreciation of the history, heritage, and ongoing tradition of pottery making in North Carolina.

Eight pottery Guilds, from the coast to the mountains, are hosting “viewing parties” for their members and supporters, including the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild in Wilmington, NC, the North Carolina Pottery Collectors Guild and the Triangle Pottery Guild (both in Raleigh, NC), Durham Clayworks, Carolina Claymatters and Carolina Clay Connection in Charlotte, NC, and the Potters of the Roan in Bakersville, NC, and Penland, NC. There will also be a gathering at UNC-Asheville in Asheville, NC.

The Umstead Hotel & Spa in Cary, NC, is partnering with NCPC, Craft in America, and UNC-TV, to host a Gala Dinner, Dessert and Viewing Party.

In addition, there are seven parties being held at the homes of NCPC patrons in cities across the state – in Edenton, Fayetteville, Seagrove, Asheboro, Winston-Salem, Charlotte, and Pittsboro.

Visit (www.ncpotterycenter.com) or phone 336/873-8430 for more information about attending one of these events. To contact Jugtown Pottery visit (www.jugtownware.com) or phone 910/464-3266, and to contact Mark Hewitt visit (www.hewittpottery.com) or phone 919/542-2371.

The Murder of a Beatles Album

Monday, September 14th, 2009

If you’re an American babyboomer, you grew up with The Beatles. In junior high I went to sock hops where The Beatles music was first played – the first time I danced with a girl was to the Beatles. Later in high school I joined a rock and roll band and we played a lot of Beatles tunes – until the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album came out and there was no way anyone was going to be playing their music again. I listened to those early albums until I absorbed them. I knew every word and I knew how the next song started as the last song ended. I didn’t know until years later that I was listening to “American” Beatles albums.

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It turns out that we in America got albums with different covers, different arrangements, different song lineups – all thanks to Capital Records who owned the distribution rights to The Beatles in America. British and European albums were different. Near the end of their career The Beatles created their own record company Apple Records which is now called Apple Corps. When the invention of CD’s came along Apple released the albums with a British take. I first noticed something was wrong when I went to build up my CD collection getting all The Beatles albums in CD format – I have all the vinyl albums.

At the time, it was not easy finding all the albums on CD. I eventually had them all but one – Yesterday and Today. But beyond not being able to find that last album – there was something else wrong. I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, but something was different. One of my favorite Beatles album was Rubber Soul – I sang a lot of those songs in that band so I knew that album well. At first I figured it was the CD factor – all songs on one side. You don’t have to flip the album to hear side two. But, after a certain amount of frustration in finding Yesterday and Today I resorted to making a special order. It’s was then that I learned what was up. I was told that the songs from Yesterday and Today were placed on the CD versions of Rubber Soul, Revolver and Help.

What?

Then it sank in – that’s what’s wrong with those albums – the order of the songs was all wrong. Then it got even worse. Apple not only did away with Yesterday and Today – apparently an American only album, but they had messed up Rubber Soul, Revolver and the Help album – the soundtrack of The Beatles’ movie Help.

It was a real mess – songs from Yesterday and Today and even Rubber Soul were all over the place – except where they were supposed to be.

I could not get my head around this. Why did they do this? Perhaps they were trying to save the consumer some money by doing away with one of the albums, but with Apple Corps track record of making alternative Beatle albums to sell – I don’t think that was the case. Saving us money – right.

As much as I tried to adjust to this new line up of songs and the lack of a whole Beatles album – I couldn’t – that line up of songs was imprinted in my brain. For my own sanity – every once in a while I had to drag out the old vinyl records and play these albums the way I was used to hearing them. Years later, I came across a turntable that had a USB hook up for a computer and I was able to “remaster” my own CDs. Finally, I could listen to a CD in my car and hear The Beatles the way I loved them. I further learned that there were lots of differences between “American” releases of Beatles songs and albums and those released in Britain or in other parts of the world. It was like the history we were taught in school – more American marketing than reality.

9/9/09

On 9/9/09 the video game Rock Band released its newest game – The Beatles. At the same time Apple Corps was going to be re-releasing all The Beatles albums again – remastered to what they would sound like if you were in the recording studio. I was fooled by the word “all”. Our son was dying to have the new game and I was interested in what these remastered albums would be like – so on 9/9/09 – we were in the store. I soon learned nothing had changed – Yesterday and Today does not exist.

I know for most people, they’re thinking – what’s the big deal. Get over it. But, I’m sure there are others like me in feeling a little bit of my past has been taken away.

The Truth as Americans Knew it.

909beatlesyesterdayandtoday

The Beatles album Yesterday and Today was released after Rubber Soul and before Revolver. There was a controversy about the album cover. The first cover image was banned – it showed the four Beatles as butchers with blood, toy baby parts and meat.

The songs on Side One were:
Drive My Car
I’m Only Sleeping
Nowhere Man
Dr. Robert
Yesterday
Act Naturally

Side Two
And Your Bird Can Sing
If I Needed Someone
We Can Work It Out
What Goes On?
Day Tripper

That was a heck of an album.

When Rubber Soul was made into a CD, Drive My Car, Nowhere Man, What Goes On?, and If I Needed Someone were added to its line up. Revolver gotI’m Only Sleeping, And Your Bird Can Sing, and Dr. Robert.

The songs Yesterday, Act Naturally, We Can Work It Out and Day Tripperwere sent to other albums. Yesterday, We Can Work It Out and Day Tripper were also offered on a CD which included single hits called the Red Album 1962-66. These same songs can be found on The Beatles #1 hits CD.

Two other victims of this rearranging of album line ups was the songs I’ve Just Seen A Face and It’s Only Love – they were removed from Rubber Soul to make room for the songs from Yesterday and Today. They ended up on the album Help with Act Naturally (from Yesterday and Today) and the songs from the movie soundtrack of The Beatles’ movie Help.

What a mess – just to get rid of one album.

I myself am tired of people rewriting history. What would you think if the wizards at Apple Corps decided that after all this time they liked Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds to follow Sgt. Pepper’s Only Hearts Club Bandinstead of With A Little Help From My Friends? What’s the difference?

Well, one thing is for sure, Rock Band The Beatles will introduce a whole new generation of young folks to The Beatles of old and a lot of old folks like me will be singing old songs they grew up with along side their children and grandchildren. But, I keep reminding my son, Rock Band is a great video game, but it is not like being in a real rock band – playing a real guitar, singing in front of an audience who has paid money to hear you play. That’s a totally different thing altogether. It’s really great and doing Beatles songs is really special.

Linda (my better half) and I got mostly 100-98% scores – on the easy setting – singing all 45 songs – in one night. Our son Andrew did just as well on guitar and bass. Hey, maybe we’ll be the next Partridge Family – not!