Archive for July, 2010

Joseph Sand Pottery Holds Inaugural Kiln Opening in Randleman, NC – Aug. 21 & 22, 2010

Friday, July 30th, 2010

It’s nice to see that Carolina potters are picking up on the fact thatCarolina Arts Unleashed is a good place to plug their events. I received such a request from Joseph Sand, a transplant from southern Minnesota, who has now planted his roots in the good soil of Randleman, NC, after completing a 3 1/2 year apprenticeship with Mark Hewitt in Pittsboro, NC. That’s a nice entry to have on your resume. Don’t forget you can find lots of info about what’s going on now and in the future at Carolina Arts Online.

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Joseph Sand with a very big pot

Sand and his wife Amanda, who helps put together jewelry pieces made from clay, have set up operations in Randleman, building his kiln – which you can follow the history of that operation in photos on their blog found at (www.sandceramics.blogspot.com). It’s an impressive kiln – a 40-foot anagama kiln. In the firing, he will have pots ranging from mugs to 5 1/2 foot tall jars, all wood-fired and salt glazed.

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Looks like a beached whale

The kiln opening and sale takes place on Sat., Aug. 21, 2010, from 9am to 5pm and Sun., Aug. 22, 2010, from noon to 5pm. Google Maps can help you along your way.

Joseph Sand Pottery is located at 2555 George York Road in Randleman, NC. For further info call 612/518-4051, e-mail at (joseph@jsspottery.com) and on the web at (www.jsspottery.com).

RedSky Gallery in Charlotte, NC, Offers Group Ceramics Show

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Here is yet another pottery exhibit taking place in the Carolinas. Short, but to the point. This is a good one – don’t judge the show by the length of the press release.

RedSky Gallery in Charlotte, NC, is proud to present a collaborative ceramics exhibition from a select group of North Carolina ceramic artists. The exhibition continues through Aug. 31, 2010.

This show features a combination of sculptural and studio ceramics from Donna Craven, Kim Ellington, Carol Gentithes, Fred Johnston, Matt Kelleher and Emily Reason.

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Emily Reason                        Kim Ellington

RedSky Gallery features original works on paper and canvas, sculpture, ceramic, glass, studio furniture, art-to-wear, jewelry, and more. Over 500 regional and national artists are represented at two gallery locations in Dilworth and the EpiCentre in Uptown.

For further call the gallery at 704/377-6400 or visit (www.redskygallery.com).

The Deadline to Enter the 2010 Carolina’s Got Art! in Charlotte, NC, is August 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

It’s less than a month away, and I know some of you artists out there will have to hustle to make the deadline. Almost 500 artists from throughout the Carolinas entered last year. It’s an electronic entry so you won’t have to haul your work to someplace just to find out if the made the cut. You won’t do that until you know you’re in! Put you have to enter first.

But, first – here’s a press release we received at Carolina Arts about last year’s event.

Unexpected things can sometimes change a life – just ask recent Winthrop University graduate, Jon Wald, who was awarded the top prize in the 2009 inaugural Carolina’s Got Art! competition.

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When asked about winning the $2,500 Best-in-Show award and subsequently selling his artwork during the show, Wald said, “First, I paid off my debts, which is a huge relief in itself. Then, I bought new supplies. One item was an Arduino (an easy-to-use microprocessor). I used the prize money to justify leaving work early every day to teach myself how to program the chip. Ultimately, I think it has helped lead me toward an entirely new method for making art.”

Wald was one of seven other artists from North and South Carolina who walked away with a portion of over $9,000 in prizes awarded by Carolina’s Got Art! that premiered in October, 2009. The initial success of the exhibition has motivated Carolina’s Got Art! founder and owner of Elder Art Gallery, Larry Elder, to launch the second annual competition, slated to open October 1, 2010, with an awards presentation to this year’s winners. The exhibition will continue through October 30, 2010, at Atherton Mill in Charlotte, NC’s Historic SouthEnd District.

“We had no idea that Carolina’s Got Art! would generate such excitement for the local visual arts community,” says Elder. “We accepted over 1100 entries and our juror selected 135 original pieces to comprise the exhibition.” During the month of October, 2009, the exhibition attracted over 2000 visitors.

Columbia, SC-based Edens & Avant, owners of Atherton Mill, is once again demonstrating its commitment to the visual arts in the two Carolinas by offering their historic property for the host location. Artists are encouraged to visit (www.carolinasgotart.com) for complete details. Carolina’s Got Art!is accepting online entries for the 2010 exhibition until August 15, 2010.

This year’s juror will be Mario Naves, an artist, writer and teacher who lives and works in New York City. He is renowned for his torn and cut abstract collages, works of art that have been described by The New York Times as being “delicate and gorgeous” and by Art in America as “joyous, sophisticated, charming, and goofy”.

The Elizabeth Harris Gallery in Chelsea represents Naves’ art. His collages are included in private and corporate collections across the world. Naves has been the recipient of awards from The National Endowment for The Arts, The George Sugarman Foundation, the E.D. Foundation and The National Academy Museum. He was recently named a Distinguished Alumni by the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah.

A critic as well as practicing artist, Naves has written on the visual arts for over twenty years. He has contributed to The Wall Street Journal, The New Criterion, Smithsonian, New Art Examiner, Slate and, from 1999-2009,The New York Observer, where his sometimes prickly opinions earned him the reputation of being a “maverick dissenter”. He is currently a gallery critic for City Arts, a bi-weekly journal devoted to culture in New York.

Naves has taught and lectured at The Cooper Union, The New York Studio School, Montclair State University, Rutgers University, The National Academy and The Ringling College of Art and Design. He currently teaches at Pratt Institute and Brooklyn College.

For further information contact Elder Art Gallery (www.elderart.com) by calling 704/370-6337 or visit (www.carolinasgotart.com) or (www.facebook.com/carolinasgotart).

Big Arts Organizations Are Falling by the Wayside in the Carolinas

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

A few years ago it was the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art(SECCA) in Winston-Salem, NC, that needed the state of North Carolina to come its rescue by taking it over and putting it under the umbrella of the North Carolina Museum of Art, a division of the NC Department of Cultural Resources. At the time SECCA desperately needed repairs but had no funds to accomplish the renovation. It finally reopened on July 15, 2010.

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But how long it stays open depends on them attracting private funding and more people paying admission to get in the door to see the kind of art they will be offering.

Correction: Admission to SECCA is free, but they will still need funding support from areas other than the State of NC to stay healthy.

This spring, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in Charleston, SC, suspended operations, unable to finish the final event of its season. So far the musicians have refused the latest offer of the Symphony’s management to take another reduction in pay. Efforts are underway by a group of community leaders to reinvent the Symphony, while Charleston Mayor Joe Riley is trying to get the community to swallow a plan to renovate the aging Gaillard Auditorium (performance venue of the CSO) to the tune of $140 million + for the use of the Spoleto Festival USA (for 17 days a year), the questionable Symphony, and other groups who can’t afford the old auditorium fee. The Mayor who usually gets what he wants is meeting some resistance.

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In May, the trustees of the Fayetteville Art Museum in Fayetteville, NC, closed the doors of the museum – in debt, out of money, and with no future in sight. While they were trying to raise money for a new facility they forgot to raise money to operate the current facility. The local arts council cut off a major part of the museum’s funding after discovering some discrepancies in the museum’s financial statements. Community leaders there are trying to put the pieces back together.

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Who will be next?

Was it the economy that brought these organizations down? Was it the reductions in public funding? Was it a lack of public interest? Or was it bad management?

In these three cases it was probably a bit of all four factors and a few more. The economy has taken its toll on all in the arts. Reductions in funding are also a factor all non-profits have had to deal with in the last couple of years, but some arts organizations have failed to realize that as a part of the overall community they can’t just ignore the likes and dislikes of the community in general – of which they say they exist to serve, but are they?

Some art organizations like to think they know what’s best for the community, but never seem to figure out why the community doesn’t support them with funding and paid attendance. Offering programming which is highly acclaimed by art critics, but not by the community is a sign of bad management. That old mantra of “the arts shouldn’t be profitable” has worn thin with taxpayers and business leaders who are feeling the pinch themselves.

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Yes, these arts organizations should expand our horizons, educate, and inspire, but not cram their tastes down the public’s throat – then wonder why no one shows up.

Of course their partners in this attitude are sometimes state arts agencies, like the SC Arts Commission, who also think they know what’s best for the community, by slanting funding toward organizations willing to express the agency’s views over the views of the community.

So angry taxpayers are in a mindset to revolt against those forces who want to tell them where their tax dollars are best spent and they are electing representatives with a like mindset to make reductions in government spending – while the arts and cultural agencies have a bull’s eye on their backs.

Yes, the folks who directly benefit from the funds these agencies dole out are protesting, but is the general public – when other services are also on the chopping block?

In the next few years we’re going to see what’s really important in the public’s eyes – arts and libraries or roads and property tax reductions. It seems we can’t have both any more.

I wonder how many of those folks who were protesting Governor Sanford’s veto cuts to the SC Budget actually took time to vote in recent primaries? Not many is my guess. But if people who love the arts want to turn back this tide of cuts to the arts – they better grab all of their friends and show up to vote this November – or your world, as you know it, will soon disappear.

And, they better get real on how they spend what little money is left and make sure the public sees that the spending is justified and worthy to them – not art critics.

It’s time for the arts to get smart – really smart.

The Deadline to Enter the 2010 Carolina’s Got Art! in Charlotte, NC, is August 15, 2010

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

It’s a month away, but I know some of you artists out there will have to hustle to make the deadline. Almost 500 artists from throughout the Carolinas entered last year. It’s an electronic entry process so you won’t have to haul your work to someplace just to find out if you made the cut. You won’t have do that until you know you’re in! But you have to enter first.

But, first – here’s a press release we received at Carolina Arts about last year’s event you need to read.

Unexpected things can sometimes change a life – just ask recent Winthrop University graduate, Jon Wald, who was awarded the top prize in the 2009 inaugural Carolina’s Got Art! competition.

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When asked about winning the $2,500 Best-in-Show award and subsequently selling his artwork during the show, Wald said, “First, I paid off my debts, which is a huge relief in itself. Then, I bought new supplies. One item was an Arduino (an easy-to-use microprocessor). I used the prize money to justify leaving work early every day to teach myself how to program the chip. Ultimately, I think it has helped lead me toward an entirely new method for making art.”

Wald was one of seven other artists from North and South Carolina who walked away with a portion of over $9,000 in prizes awarded by Carolina’s Got Art! that premiered in October, 2009. The initial success of the exhibition has motivated Carolina’s Got Art! founder and owner of Elder Art Gallery, Larry Elder, to launch the second annual competition, slated to open October 1, 2010, with an awards presentation to this year’s winners. The exhibition will continue through October 30, 2010, at Atherton Mill in Charlotte, NC’s Historic SouthEnd District.

“We had no idea that Carolina’s Got Art! would generate such excitement for the local visual arts community,” says Elder. “We accepted over 1100 entries and our juror selected 135 original pieces to comprise the exhibition.” During the month of October, 2009, the exhibition attracted over 2000 visitors.

Columbia, SC-based Edens & Avant, owners of Atherton Mill, is once again demonstrating its commitment to the visual arts in the two Carolinas by offering their historic property for the host location. Artists are encouraged to visit (www.carolinasgotart.com) for complete details. Carolina’s Got Art!is accepting online entries for the 2010 exhibition until August 15, 2010.

This year’s juror will be Mario Naves, an artist, writer and teacher who lives and works in New York City. He is renowned for his torn and cut abstract collages, works of art that have been described by The New York Times as being “delicate and gorgeous” and by Art in America as “joyous, sophisticated, charming, and goofy”.

The Elizabeth Harris Gallery in Chelsea represents Naves’ art. His collages are included in private and corporate collections across the world. Naves has been the recipient of awards from The National Endowment for The Arts, The George Sugarman Foundation, the E.D. Foundation and The National Academy Museum. He was recently named a Distinguished Alumni by the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah.

A critic as well as practicing artist, Naves has written on the visual arts for over twenty years. He has contributed to The Wall Street Journal, The New Criterion, Smithsonian, New Art Examiner, Slate and, from 1999-2009,The New York Observer, where his sometimes prickly opinions earned him the reputation of being a “maverick dissenter”. He is currently a gallery critic for City Arts, a bi-weekly journal devoted to culture in New York.

Naves has taught and lectured at The Cooper Union, The New York Studio School, Montclair State University, Rutgers University, The National Academy and The Ringling College of Art and Design. He currently teaches at Pratt Institute and Brooklyn College.

For further information contact Elder Art Gallery (www.elderart.com) by calling 704/370-6337 or visit (www.carolinasgotart.com) or (www.facebook.com/carolinasgotart).

HAM Festival on July 24, 2010

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Somehow we got the date wrong for the HAM Festival taking place in Seneca, SC. See the posting – two down. It’s not July 14 – it’s July 24, 2010. I’m sorry for this mistake and hope no one misses the event due to that mistake.

Caldwell Arts Council in Lenoir, NC, Invites You to a Porch yART Sale – July 16 & 17, 2010

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

If you’re looking to do some early shopping, the Caldwell Arts Council in Lenoir, NC, would like you to think – Christmas in July – by attending their semi-annual Porch yART Sale.

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Area artists have cleaned out their studios of pottery, greeting cards, paintings, handmade jewelry, sketches, framed & unframed artwork, needlecraft, and unneeded art supplies. This work will be available to you at great prices!

Do your holiday shopping early and include an ARTistic gift for everyone on your shopping list (including yourself). 50% of sales will benefit the Caldwell Arts Council. You get great art, artists get clean studios, the Arts Council gets much-needed cash early in our new fiscal year, and we all have fun!

For the best selection, plan to attend the Preview Party & Sale on Friday evening, July 16, 2010, from 5-8pm ($10 per person entry fee). Wine and cheese will be served while you shop. No sales will be made prior to 5pm. On Saturday, July 17, 2010, the sale continues 9am-3pm (no entry fee).

The Caldwell Arts Council is located at 601 College Avenue SW in Lenoir.  For further info call 828/754-2486 or visit (www.caldwellarts.com).

3rd Annual HAM Festival Takes Place in Seneca, SC – July 24, 2010

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Correction: The date of the Festival is July 24, 2010 – not the 14 as previously stated.

The 3rd Annual Heritage, Arts & Music Festival (HAM) will take place on July 24, 2010, from noon to 5pm at Duke Energy’s World of Energy, located at 7812 Rochester Highway in Seneca, SC. The theme of this year’s festival is focused on quilts and proceeds benefit the Blue Ridge Arts Center and the Oconee Heritage Quilt Trail.

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We first reported on South Carolina’s first entry into a national quilt trail project back on Feb. 15, 2010 – here’s the link to that blog entry (http://carolinaarts.com/wordpress/2010/02/15/launch-of-national-quilt-trail-in-south-carolina-feb-16-2010-in-walhalla-sc/).

Since that time a lot of activity on this project has been going on and I recently received a fairly long article about some of those activities and upcoming events, but we’re going to feed them to you in shorter bites.

So first up is the HAM Festival.

The Heritage, Arts & Music Festival (HAM Festival) offers a number of free activities for the whole family including: Quilt Historian Laurel Horton will give a talk from 1 to 3:30pm; Hands-on Art Station for Children; Oconee Heritage Quilt Trail Painting; Artisan’s Sidewalk Sale; Quilt-Themed Art Show, Featuring a Variety of Mediums on view through Aug. 20 inside lobby of World of Energy; Live Music by Conservation Theory and Four Mule Pileup; Oconee County Storyteller Phil Cheney Performs at 1pm; and National Award Award-Winning Youth Storyteller Rixon Lane Performs at 3pm.

For further information call the World of Energy at 800/777-1004 or visit (www.duke-energy.com/worldofenergy/).

So what’s been going on since last we reported? Well you could probably learn a lot by attending the HAM Festival or visiting the Oconee Heritage Quilt Trail website at (www.oconeeheritagequilttrail.com), but here’s a little of what was in the recent press release.

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Quilt Square placed on Blue Ridge Elementary School – a Jackson Star

Residents of the area are beginning to see something new in Oconee County (Seneca, Salem, Walhalla, Westminster) – Quilts. Not the cloth and batting kind of quilts, but rather historic quilt patterns painted on specially prepared boards and mounted on buildings in the area. Thanks to members of the Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild (LMQG), the Blue Ridge Arts Center (BRAC) and some dedicated volunteers, the Oconee Heritage Quilt Trail (OHQT) has been established.

The Oconee Heritage Quilt Trail is in the process of creation of these “painted quilts” and hanging them where they can be enjoyed and admired by local residents and visitors alike, either one at a time or by following the Quilt Trail through the county.  Once finished, the Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative installs the quilt blocks on their new homes. The blocks are then listed on the trail map in OHQT brochures and on the Oconee Heritage Quilt Trail website.

Besides creating painted quilts, the Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild and the Blue Ridge Arts Center are inaugurating the Quilt Trail in a number of ways. Mrs. Jenny Grobusky of Walhalla, SC, has been named Oconee Quilter of the Year, the first recipient of this honor. As part of the reward process, her first quilt pattern, a Dresden Plate pattern, was painted and mounted on the barn at her family farm, becoming part of the Oconee Heritage Quilt Trail. She was honored in May 2010 at a reception at theBlue Ridge Arts Center, and will be recognized again at the upcoming Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild Festival held on Sept. 17 & 18, 2010, at the Shaver Center in Seneca. The (LMQG) represents guilters from Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens Counties in SC.

We’ll offer you more about the history of the Oconee Heritage Quilt Trail and info about the Lake and Mountain Quilt Guild Festival later.

For further info about the Oconee Heritage Quilt Trail you can call Cynthia Leggett at 864/985-1271; Laurel Horton at 864/882-9933; or Martha File at 864/885-1018. You can e-mail to (info@oconeeheritagequilttrail.com) or visit (www.oconeeheritagequilttrail.com).

Upcoming Events in Seagrove, NC, for Those Who Plan Ahead

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Believe it or not – there are a few folks who don’t know about Seagrove, NC – the center of North Carolina pottery. I mean – most around the world who know anything about clay – know about Seagrove, but some folks still don’t and a few others appreciate a heads up on events taking place there.

When I want to know what going on there I just check out a few of the blog links we have listed to the right including: Around and About with Bulldog Pottery; Whynot Pottery Blog; or Three Corners Clay. You can usually find info there or at any number of the blog links offered by these blogs.

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Then I go to the website of the Seagrove Area Potters Association where they have an events section which is pretty informative.

And, of course you can always check us out – we usually have posted something about Seagrove – just click the Category – About Seagrove Pottery on the right side of the page.

So, what’s up or what’s coming up?

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Well a good first stop in any visit to Seagrove is the NC Pottery Center. They are currently offering the exhibit, The Pottery of Buncombe County, A Historical and Contemporary Overview, on view through July 31, 2010.

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Work by Kyle Carpenter

Plus, you can always find out what’s going on at the NC Pottery Center. They are an important resource for info about North Carolina pottery and pottery activities all over the region.

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Works from Caldwell-Hohl Artworks

On July 17, 2010, there is the Caldwell-Hohl Artworks Garden Party. This is a fun day of music, pottery, garden art and light refreshments. the event is held at their studio in Seagrove from 10am – 5pm. Enjoy tours of the studio and log cabin. For more information call 336/879-9090 or e-mail to (caldellhohl@rtmc.net).

It seems like there is not much going on in July, but we learned during our coverage of the 2nd Annual Cousins in Clay event, that a lot more may be in the planning – we just don’t know about them yet and some folks seems to be shy about getting the word out. So, it’s always good to beat the bushes for last minute updates as to what’s going on.

Now, getting back to what we do know. The NC Pottery Center will be opening a new exhibit entitled, Pottery from the Coastal Carolina Clay Guild, on view from Aug. 13 through Nov. 13, 2010. So if you’ve visited the Pottery Center recently you’ll have a reason to return – as if you need one.

You can get a two for one by visiting Seagrove on Aug. 14, 2010, for the second Seagrove Potters for Peace event. This event was first inspired by Greg Mortenson’s book Three Cups of Tea and his Central Asia Institute (CAI) which builds schools in remote, impoverished areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Some of the potters of Seagrove wanted to help build schools too. This year’s event, Turning Stoneware into Schools, will be held on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010 from 9am to 5pm.

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Young girls from Pakistan

Twenty-four potteries, a jeweler and a soap-maker are part of the Seagrove Potters for Peace this year. (Please note this group could grow with time.) A variety of vessels, including mugs, tea bowls and tumblers will be for sale, as well as miniature vases, jewelry and handmade soap. Proceeds will be donated to CAI. Copies of Mortenson’s books will also be available at some potteries.

Each pottery will produce a unique item, specially signed for this event. The pottery will be for sale at the individual shops on Saturday. There will be no early sales, but any remaining items can be ordered by e-mail or telephone on Monday, Aug. 16, 2010 from participating potteries.

To learn more about Greg Mortenson, his books, or the Central Asia Institute  – click on this link.

Related Event: The Randolph Friends of the Library will hold a community discussion about Afghanistan and Mortenson’s work on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010, at 7pm, at the Randolph Arts Guild, 123 Sunset Ave in downtown Asheboro, NC (just 12 miles from Seagrove). The discussion will be led by Dr. Jeff Jones, associate professor of Russian and world history at UNC-Greensboro. All ages are welcome. Copies of Mortenson’s books and a variety of pottery vessels will be for sale. Change will be collected for “Pennies for Peace”. Refreshments will be served.

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Sid Luck

The next event in August will take place at Luck’s Ware Pottery Shop on Aug. 28, 2010 – Luck Legacy 12th Annual Kiln Opening, featuring Sid Luck, his past and present apprentices, and a groundhog kiln opening. The event starts at 9am and continues until 3pm with the Kiln opening taking place at 10am. Join them for BBQ, cold drinks, and bluegrass music by Steel Magnolia. For further info call 336/879-3261 or e-mail to (lucksware@rtmc.net).

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Image from 2008 kiln opening

I’m going to skip September for now, only because I don’t know of anything going on in Seagrove in that month, but I’d bet my paper that something – several events will be taking place during that month.

So, at this point I’m jumping to October, 2010, and to Southern Pines, NC – not far from Seagrove, to an event which is the brain-child of Meredith Heywood of Whynot Pottery in Seagrove. Clay and Blogs: Telling a Story is an exhibit which will be presented at The Campbell House Galleries, from Oct. 1 – 29, 2010. This is the home of the Moore County Arts Council in Southern Pines. (That’s right, you’re thinking golf.)

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Work by Jennifer Mecca of York, SC

This exhibition will give viewers a glimpse into a unique community of 50 working potters (some from Seagrove) who are separated by distance, but brought together through the common language of clay and the written word in a digital world. These potters share their lives, skills, thoughts, triumphs and defeats through an on-line medium called a blog or web log.

So here’s a chance to see some international pottery. Oh, and did I mention Carolina Arts is a media sponsor of this exhibit? Well, we are.

For more information and a list of participating blogging potters visit
(http://whynotpotteryblog.blogspot.com) and click the link at the top of the page.

Make your plans now.