Archive for September, 2010

The Big Clay and Blog Exhibit to be Shown at the Campbell House Galleries in Southern Pines, NC, is Almost Here

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

I’m sure some of you can’t wait until this exhibit has come and gone and I know one of those people is Meredith Heywood of Whynot Pottery in Seagrove, NC. This was all her idea, and I’m sure she’ll be more careful about expressing those ideas out loud in the future. It’s been a lot of extra work and worry for her, but like all good things – nothing good comes easily.

Work by Angela Walford of Adelaide, Australia

I’m sure Meredith has ended many a day in the last months thinking – “Why didn’t I just stick to my day job?” But thank your lucky stars that there are people like Heywood in this world – they bring us the little extras in life which many times makes the difference. The difference that inspires someone else to do something extra. The difference that makes someone go the extra mile – the difference between do and didn’t.

So what did she do? Well, Meredith Heywood made the pottery “world” a little smaller and brought a taste of it to the Carolinas. And, all you have to do to experience it is go see the exhibit in Southern Pines, and if you can’t do that – at least explore the link mentioned at the bottom of this blog entry.

Works by Emily Murphy of Minneapolis, MN

But if you really want to participate you can click the link to go to the Arts Council of Moore County’s Clay and Blog Online Gallery – where you can buy pottery by participating artists.

Here’s an article we offered in the Oct. 2010 issue of Carolina Arts, plus a few photos of some of the pottery with a link to the potter’s blog.

Arts Council of Moore County in Southern Pines, NC, Offers Exhibit of Blogging Potters

Work by Hitomi Shibata of Seagrove, NC

The Arts Council of Moore County in Southern Pines, NC, will present the exhibit, Clay and Blogs: Telling a Story, featuring works by clay artists from throughout the world, on view at the Campbell House Galleries, from Oct. 1 – 29, 2010.

The exhibition was organized and curated by Meredith Heywood of Whynot Pottery in Seagrove, NC. It is hoped that the exhibit will give a glimpse into the unique community of 50 working potters 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.

Works by Hollis Engley of E. Falmouth, MA

Heywood offering the following about how this show came about. “Two years ago I was planning a show with a friend who is a collector. We had planned to pull together a show from the prospective of the maker, buyer and collector. My friend’s life became very busy and we had a fire at our pottery studio. For me during the ups and downs and trials of the fire, I found great strength through writing about what we were going through on my blog. But what pulled it all together for me were the comments which came back from the readers. The positive reinforcement that I needed was out there. I was not alone. I was also touched at how sharing the potters were. They were willing to share what they have learned and encourage other potters to step out and try new things.”

Work by Jim Gottuso of Louisville, KY

“I found that different potters blog for different reasons. The blogs run from very personal to very business- like, but none of them are without that personal element. The blogs are like daily or weekly diaries into the life of a potter. Some make me laugh and some make me think. But what I found was a real connection between me and what was being written.”

Work by Michael Mahan of Seagrove, NC

The idea to organize an exhibit featuring works by these blogging potters evolved and before Heywood knew it, the blog connections had spread from Seagrove throughout the US, into Canada and Europe – going as far away as Australia.

Works by Tracey Broome of Chapel Hill, NC

The exhibition includes works by the following artists and bloggers: Blanie Avery, Seagrove, NC; Tim Ayers, Lewisville, NC; Zygote Blum, Stockton, CA; Tracey Broome, Chapel Hill, NC; Kyle Carpenter, Asheville, NC; Meagan Chaney, Ocala, FL; Joe & Christy Cole,Mineral Point, WI; Barbara Edwards, Berkeley, CA; Hollis Engley, E. Falmouth, MA; Carole Epp, Saskatoon, Canada; Dan Finnegan; Fredericksburg, VA; Doug Fitch, Devon, United Kingdom; Bruce Gholson & Samantha Henneke, Seagrove, NC; Jim Gottuso, Louisville, KY; Tom Gray, Seagrove, NC; Peter Gregory, Otago, New Zeagland; Patricia Griffin, Cambria, CA; Mark & Meredith Heywood, Seagrove, NC; Kari Weaver Hopkins, Burnsville, NC; Paul Jessop, Ilminster, United Kingdom; Michael Kline, Bakersville, NC; Po-Wen Liu, Greensboro, NC; Chris Luther, Seagrove, NC; Michael Mahan, Seagrove, NC; Renee Margocee, Charleston, WV; Jeff Martin, Boone, NC; Hannah McAndrew, Castle Douglas, United Kingdom; Jennifer Mecca, York, SC; Pru Morrison, Brisbane, Australia; Emily Murphy, Minneapolis, MN; Ron Philbeck, Shelby, NC; Brandon Phillips, Abilene, TX; Gary Rith, Ithaca, NY; Mel Robson, Brisbane, Australia; Cindy Shake, Anchorage, AK; Kitty Shepherd, Granada, Spain; Hitomi & Takuro Shibata, Seagrove, NC; Judy Shreve, Johns Creek, GA; Annie Singletary, Black Mountain, NC; Alex & Nancy Solla, Trumansburg, NY; Linda Starr, Lecanto, FL; Joy Tanner, Bakersville, NC; Judi Tavill, Rumson, NJ; Julia Wilkins, Mountain West, UT; and Angela Walford, Adelaide, Australia.

You can make your own connection with these bloggers by visiting Heywood’s blog at ( At the top of her blog page is a link to the other 50 blogs.

For further information check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Arts Council at  910/692-4356 or visit (

Avery Pottery and Tileworks in Seagrove, NC, Offers Fall Kiln Opening – Oct. 16 & 17, 2010

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

The Avery Pottery and Tileworks Fall Kiln Opening – Tea Pots Big and Small & Tiles Shiny and Bright – will take place on Saturday, Oct. 16, from 10am-5pm and Sunday, Oct. 17, from 11am-4pm, at 636 Potters Way Road in Seagrove, NC.

Blaine M. Avery, resident potter says, “With the cooler weather coming on as fall approaches it makes me think of hot tea! I’ve been working on some large tea pots pushing the boundaries of function just for the fun of it! Making some individual use sized ones too, just the right size for a tea for two, three or more. Small tea mugs and cups are also in the works.”


“I’m also excited about some of the new glazes coming out on the tiles,” adds Avery. “Shiny, fluid and so vibrant they bring such life to the surface. For the first time I’ll have some hand painted tiles from the salt kiln too.”


“The leaves should be beautiful for this weekend a great time of year for a drive in the amazing countryside around Seagrove, I so love this time of year! The Poplar leaves are just now starting to turn their always the first to start. I’m looking forward to the cool crisp fall air and hot pots fresh from the kiln!,” says Avery.

Avery’s work has been exhibited nationally in several solo and group gallery exhibitions like the Strictly Functional National in Lancaster, PA, NC State Craft Center’s From These Hands in Raleigh, NC. His work can be seen in publications such as Ceramics Monthly and Lark Books’ 500 Bowls and Ceramics for Beginners: Surfaces, Glazes & Firing. Along with private and corporate collections, his work is included in the permanent collection of the Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC.

Avery has been a studio potter since 1991. He took a position apprenticing with Sid Oakley at Cedar Creek Gallery in Creedmoor, NC. After a year under Sid’s direction, he stayed on at Cedar Creek, renting studio space as a resident artist, and selling his work through the gallery, along with other galleries throughout the southeast. In 2002, Avery moved to Seagrove to open his own retail gallery and studio, Avery Pottery & Tileworks. Today, Avery sells his work primarily through his gallery, through select craft galleries and fine craft shows.

“Inspired by an amalgamation of ancient cultures, the gestural surface decorations on my work are applied with porcelain slip and under glazes at the green stage of the process. Layering the slip designs underneath the glaze creates a greater sense of depth that accentuates the contours of the forms. Pattern, rhythm, imagery and color are all used to complete the form, which is grounded in the bold and refined characteristics of traditional southern folk pottery,” says Avery.

For further information call 336/873-7923 or visit (

A trip to Salisbury, NC, for a 2nd Saturday Art Gallery & Studio Crawl on Sept. 11, 2010

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

It was hard to imagine how many major art events were scheduled for such a historic day in America’s recent history, but you can’t control the calendar and I chose to visit Salisbury, NC – in the daylight for once. Salisbury is the latest area to come on board to the Carolina Arts family, so I wanted to go and have a first hand experience of the visual art community there.

And, I can tell you right off – Salisbury is a very nice small city with a very big footprint when it comes to the visual arts. I would encourage those interested in the visual arts to go there for one of the 2nd Saturday events, but I think a trip there on any day would be a good adventure. I saw a lot of interesting places and shops I would like to visit.

Road To Salisbury

I decided to travel to Salisbury by interstate highways and then return by way of Hwy. 52. It took me just under an hour to get to I-26 from my front door, the cost you pay living out in the country, but once I reached the highway it way just short of a total of 4 hours to Salisbury. I left at 9am and reached Salisbury just before 1pm, traveling on I-26 to Columbia, SC, and then picking up I-77 to Charlotte, NC, where I got on I-85 heading toward Salisbury. I might have made it sooner if not for all the people traveling the interstate highways for college football games. They were everywhere.

The day was overcast and a light rain started by the time I reached I-85, but it was off and on and the lighting would be good for photographs. My mission was two fold – visit the art crawl and photograph some of the 2010 Salisbury Sculpture Show.

Rowan Arts Council

I had decided my first stop would be the Rowan Arts Council – a good bet for general information about the art community. As I drove up to the area, parked and got out of the car, I could hear the event had already started. The Salisbury Swing Band was in full swing welcoming visitors to the art crawl. At the Arts Council I found a map of Salisbury, a larger map of the Art Crawl than was printed in our paper (which I always carry with me) and a map of the Sculpture Show, among other items.


The Rowan Arts Council, Rail Walk Studios & Gallery, and Looking Glass Artist Collective share the same building located on N. Lee Street, between E. Liberty Street and E. Kerr Street. While listening to the swing band I strolled from one artist’s studio to the next at Rail Walk Studios and Gallery.


Some artists like working alone, but I have to think that there is some advantage to working in a complex where artists can network and bounce ideas off each other. Rail Walk Studios looked like it would be a nice place to work.


Between Rail Walk Studios and the Looking Glass Artist Collective, anyone should be able to find any kind of artwork they were interested in – in any medium. The Collective includes a display gallery, classrooms, and a black box theatre area that can also be used as an exhibit space.

These art venues are located in old warehouse spaces, so one of the advantages is that they have large loading doors that open on the street which come in handy when events like the Art Crawl take place. And, I learned later in the day that Salisbury also has a very popular first Friday event – where I’m sure these large doors are put to use.

Waterworks Visual Arts Center


My next stop was the Waterworks Visual Arts Center on E. Liberty Street, not far from the Rowan Arts Council – well within walking distance if you wanted to stay on foot, but because of the light rain I was traveling by car. It should be noted that throughout the day I never had any problems finding a parking space, but it should also be noted that Saturday it was raining and it was the first college football weekend in the Carolinas. And, we all know how much folks like their college football in the Carolinas.

Back when we first started doing Carolina Arts in 1997, I was traveling to deliver papers to Salisbury and one of my stops was the old location for the Waterworks Visual Arts Center which was housed on the old Salisbury waterworks building. This was my first visit to the new facility.

The Waterworks offers exhibitions under the heading of a theme. The current theme was History Makes Art, offering four exhibits which highlight and honor the rich historical heritage of Rowan County, demonstrating the community’s long-standing reverence for art and its continuing wealth of talent and creativity. I was seeing that for myself on this trip.

The four exhibits included: Collaboration with Historic Salisbury Foundation, featuring artwork and artifacts from the foundation’s collection; Reminders of History, featuring paintings by Marina Konovalova-Bare; Site Seeing, featuring ceramic sculptures by Lin Barnhardt; and A Vintage View of Today’s South, featuring photographs by R. Wayne Wrights. All four exhibit will remain on view through Nov. 20, 2010.

For me, these exhibits helped fill in some blanks as to what Salisbury and the area were all about and created more questions, which is good – it will bring me back again. Of special interest to me was actually getting to see some of Lin Barnhardt’s ceramic sculpture up close. Over the last decade, Barnhardt has always let Carolina Arts know where he is having exhibitions and he’s had them all over the Carolinas, but this was the first time I was actually seeing them beyond postcards and electronic images in e-mails. They were better than I imagined.


They wouldn’t let me take photos other than a general wide view of the exhibit space so I e-mailed Barnhardt to see if I could get some close up images and I did.

Rainbow Row and a detail


Salisbury Train Depot and detail


The real Salisbury Train Depot

It was interesting seeing sculptures of buildings in Charleston, SC, that I knew well, Rainbow Row and Catfish Row and the Salisbury Train Depot, which I saw up close when I left the Waterworks. It’s amazing seeing these structures in 3-D form. Some offered a better view of the buildings than you would get if you were standing in front of the actual buildings. You’re really getting an enhanced bird’s eye view. You can learn more about Barnhardt at his website (

2010 Salisbury Sculpture Show & Discovered Treasures

From the minute I left the Waterworks Center I was on the hunt for photos of the 2010 Salisbury Sculpture Show. I found one right outside the Waterworks and one around the corner by Gretchen Lothrop, an old acquaintance who lives in Pittsboro, NC. Lothrop’s sculptures can be found all over the Carolinas. I can usually identify a work as being one of her’s – about 95% of the time. Wayne Trapp’s sculptures, also in this show, is one of the only sculptors that can throw me off picking a Lothrop on sight.

A Subtle Miracle by Gretchen Lothrop of Pittsboro, NC

Steel Inverted Arch by Kenneth Thompson of Blissfield, MI

We Are the Problem, We Are the Solution by Jeannette Brossart of Durham, NC

Cattail Bridge by Jim Gallucci of Greensboro, NC

My tour of the Sculpture Show took me around different parts of downtown Salisbury. Near a piece by Jim Gallucci of Greensboro, NC, I discovered a hidden gem. On a lot across from Gallucci’s piece on S. Lee Street, between E. Fisher Street and E. Bank Street, I found what I would describe as an outdoor art garden. It may have been part of a previous sculpture show or some other art event, but it was an unexpected delight – falling right in with the idea that Salisbury is a city with art in its heart.




Over on W. Fisher Street tracking down a few more sculptures, I ran into Salisbury’s Historical Mural, a 6,000 sq. ft. work created by Salisbury native Cynvia Arthur Rankin which depicts the town at the turn of the century. She created the mural over a four year period from 1978-1981. That’s quite a canvas to work with. Rankin and fellow artist Diane Monday are in the process of “touching up” the mural, a process necessary every 3-5 years.


You can check out the entire 2010 Salisbury Sculpture Show at this website (

Pottery 101

One place I really wanted to get inside of was the gallery Pottery 101, located at 101 South Main Street. The gallery represents more than 25 North Carolina artists, including the owner/artist Cheryl Goins.

During the last 3-4 months that I’ve been delivering papers to Salisbury I’ve been leaving nose prints on this gallery’s windows trying to see all the wonderful pottery inside. I was itching to get inside and now I was. This newly renovated space was a beautiful house for so much beautiful pottery. It was a feast for the eyes. The only complaint I had was that the potters were not identified and there were no prices posted.

I’m not a shy guy when it comes to art and I asked what I wanted to know, but I know many folks won’t. I understand why galleries practice this “ask for info” policy, but even window shoppers like to know the who and how much of things. This may not be a problem when the gallery is not full of inquiring minds, like the 20 minutes I spent there, but I learned that on the recent first Friday event, people were overflowing outside the gallery. It’s a little hard to get information under those circumstances.

As it turns out, I was pleased to know I could identify a few of the artists’ styles including works by Joy Tanner and Ron Philbeck and learned of new potters, before now unknown to me, such as Amy Sanders and Verna Witt. Witt made interesting vases which had vertical zippers and buttons up the sides, a carry over from the artist’s work with fabric materials – I learned by asking.

The gallery is currently offering the exhibit, A Twist on Tradition, featuring works by Bob Hasselle and Dale Duncan, on view through Oct. 22, 2010.

Robert Crum Fine Art & Off Main Gallery

My last stop of this day was to Robert Crum Fine Art and Off Main Gallery on E. Council Street.


Robert Crum offers paintings (portraits, landscapes, figure studies, still life, and architectural), drawings, and mosaics. There was a very interesting mosaic work based on the Wizard of Oz – several houses piled on top of a witch with ruby slippers sticking out at the bottom. Crum’s studio is open by appointment or chance, so the 1st Friday and 2nd Saturday events are a good time to catch him in.

Right next door at Off Main Gallery is an eclectic collection of paintings, antiques, books, and what not – every inch of space is filled, piled or covered with something. It couldn’t be in more contrast to Robert Crum Fine Art where everything is in its proper place.

The owner and resident artist of Off Main Gallery, Clyde (no last name) is also a contrast to Crum. Clyde has put up a display of mens underwear outside his gallery in the alley between the two buildings drawing attention from curious visitors. Clyde’s a kind of anything goes guy. He did have one interesting painting – a dark night scene of an old house with a lighted window on the second story. It made you wonder what was going on inside, but most of the rest of the paintings all looked the same.

Clyde says decorators love his place and I’m sure they do – you probably could find just about anything in there. I myself prefer the work being offered next door by Robert Crum – I think he takes things a little more seriously. I don’t subscribe to the adage that everyone’s an artist and anything can be art, but that’s a choice we all need to make for ourselves.

Road Back Home

As I stated earlier, I was going to take Hwy. 52 back home, which I knew would be slower taking me through many small towns. First it was Granite Quarry, Crescent, Rockwell and Gold Hill, a place where they discovered gold in North Carolina. When I got to Misenheimer and passed Pfeiffer University a bell went off in my head. There was an exhibit of children’s work on view at Waterworks Visual Arts Center, organized by a professor from Pfeiffer University.

Next, I passed through Richfield and New London before I got to Albemarle, a city close to the size of Salisbury. There was an art center there that I just learned about, but I hadn’t prepared before hand, meaning I didn’t have an address or a Google map, and I was too tired to go exploring.

From there it was Porter, Norwood, Cedar Hill, Ansonville, Wadesboro, Morven, McFairlan and then Cheraw, SC. Once I’m in Cheraw I’m back on one of my regular delivery routes – on my way back home. I know I said I was going back by Hwy. 52, but when I got to Florence, SC, I jumped on I-95 (like a horse running for the barn) and I cut a good half hour off my return trip which lasted a little more than 4 and a half hours, not bad considering all those small towns.

That’s not bad for a day trip, but an overnight stay would have offered a chance to see so much more, but then that might not leave much reason to return, and I’m definitely interested in returning to Salisbury. It’s my kind of town.

Why don’t you go see what you find there?

And, finally I have to again apologize for talking to people when I should be taking more photos, but I’m not trying to take your adventure away from you.

The Story of the SC Arts Commission’s Failure to Develop a Major Artisan Center in SC Just Won’t Go Away

Monday, September 20th, 2010

I never intended for this to be a continuing issue, but others just won’t leave it alone. My first blog entry about the Kentucky Artisan Center got a lot of attention and then a regular reader pointed out to me that the State of West Virginia was first to create this artisan center concept on major interstate highways.

I knew when I wrote the story nothing would ever happen in South Carolina – it’s just too logical – especially since we have one of the best locations for it – the intersection of I-95 and I-26. Logic doesn’t stand well in our state – at least at the state level.

Now SC is strapped for money, but these states had their vision when times were good. I guess the SC Arts Commission doesn’t really keep up with what their neighbors are doing. And, our art community is left behind – way behind.

Now we introduce you to TAMARACK: The Best of West Virginia.

I haven’t been there yet, but I will go and check it out someday. But here’s some information I found on their website.

TAMARACK: The Best of West Virginia


Tamarack’s striking, peaked red roof and attractively landscaped grounds draw half a million visitors annually off I-77 and I-64 (Exit 45 at Beckley, WV) into a welcome respite of visual beauty, Appalachian sounds, and distinctive aromas.

A one-stop-shop for West Virginia culture, heritage, handcrafts, fine art, regional cuisine and music, Tamarack employs a rigorous jurying process to ensure product quality and authenticity.

Resident artisans work daily in observation studios to demonstrate textiles, metal, wood and pottery. Throughout the year artisan demonstrations and food tastings engage visitors in new experiences. The fine arts gallery offers a glimpse of the current art scene. Live musical, theatre, dance and storytelling performances, as well as West Virginia films, are scheduled in the intimate 178-seat theater.

Tamarack is not only a well-known tourist attraction but a major economic contributor. The Tamarack System, as a statewide economic impact component, affects all 55 counties to the tune of nearly $51 million in goods and services purchased to date. Craft sales have totaled $61 million.

Tamarack’s world-renowned partner, The Greenbrier, manages dining services, offering Tamarack guests delectable cuisine in the food court, during dinner theatre, at special events, and for meetings and special occasions in the Tamarack Conference Center.

Hospitable, accessible, accommodating and memorable—Tamarack is truly a showcase for The Best of West Virginia.

The Tamarack Vision for West Virginia

We envision a vibrant cottage industry in West Virginia where jobs, market opportunities, training, and educational resources abound for West Virginia’s artists, artisans, craftspersons, and food producers, and our rich cultural heritage and artisan skills and traditions are preserved and strengthened for future generations of West Virginians.


The Tamarack System will be recognized globally as a dynamic catalyst and premiere showcase for all aspects of advancing West Virginia arts, crafts and food products and those who produce or perform them.

History of Tamarack

TAMARACK: The Best of West Virginia is the nation’s first showcase of handcrafts, fine art and regional cuisine. It comprises a warmly decorated retail store, working studios for resident artisans, a fine art gallery, a theater, and A Taste of West Virginia food court, managed by The Greenbrier Resort.  Additional meeting space is available in the Tamarack Conference Center.

A visionary governor, Gaston Caperton, set the stage for Tamarack’s conception, and in October 1989, the Parkways Authority issued a $143 million bond; a small percentage was set aside to upgrade rest areas along the turnpike, and concession revenues from these – not toll revenues or tax dollars – were to fund tourism and economic development projects.

The Road

As the new director of Economic Development and Tourism, Cela Burge had an idea to connect West Virginia craftspeople with turnpike travelers.  When Cela suggested to the Authority’s Board of Directors that West Virginia products be sold in the new service plazas, the board agreed to the idea.  Nobody expected much to come of it. But, the crafts were a big hit. During the grand opening of the Princeton Center, complete with musicians and a big pot of apple butter cooking, Governor Caperton told David Dickirson, a member of the Parkways Authority’s  Board of Directors, that it would be wonderful to have a place with that type of atmosphere every day of the year.  Thus, the idea for Tamarack was born.

During the next six months, Burge and her helpers met with craftspeople far and wide; outlined a strategic marketing plan for developing the new center; began searching for architects; expanded warehouse facilities; and planned fact-finding visits to art and craft centers in several states. Dickirson approached Rod Stoner, director of food and beverage services at The Greenbrier, about providing their expertise.

A Design and A Name

In May 1993 Clint Bryan and his associates, Doug Bastian and John Harris, won the project. Their proposed design was arresting, innovative and eminently functional.  A Beckley firm, Radford and Radford, won the construction contract.

Tamarack was named in the late spring of 1993 by The Arnold Agency in Charleston, WV.  Linda Arnold, a Beckley native, and her creative team of Dick Allowatt and Carrie Stollings proposed the name of a tree, also called the American larch, known for its qualities of strength, beauty and versatility.

Organizing Artisans


Meanwhile, Cela Burge and her associates were meeting and learning from another group of people who were integral to the project – the artisans.  The jury process to select products sold at Tamarack, has been in place since the beginning to insure quality and authenticity of WV-made items.

Artisans were also involved in the construction of Tamarack.  West Virginia artisans created structural elements – and were paid by contract – a year before visitors ever touched Tamarack’s handcrafted door pulls.

The Challenge

From the first, Tamarack – both the building and the concept of a centralized marketing system – aroused strong reactions. Governor Caperton consistently voiced high hopes for Tamarack.  And in October 1994, The Crafts Report devoted its cover feature to “West Virginia’s Bold Experiment.” A few months later, the national publication honored the Parkways Authority with its Crafts Consciousness Award.

Building a Dream

At the official groundbreaking on August 8, 1994, visitors sampled food from The Greenbrier, including the fried green tomatoes that have become a signature of Tamarack.

Behind the scenes, Tamarack’s staff and jurors continued their work. Artisans who passed the jurying process then received an initial order. For some, it was the largest order they had ever received. By June 1995, Tamarack had placed orders with more than 900 artisans. By the end of 1996, more than 1,300 West Virginia artisans were selling their wares at Tamarack, over 450,000 people had visited, and sales had topped $3.3 million.

Tamarack’s David L. Dickirson Gallery represents over 500 juried West Virginia artists. Exhibitions rotate every six to eight weeks showcasing the best of West Virginia fine art.

Tamarack’s popularity as a gathering place and the more than fruitful partnership with The Greenbrier sparked the idea of adding a conference center. The grand opening for the Tamarack Conference Center was held on June 20, 2003.

Tamarack has continued to grow.  Over 2,800 artisans from all fifty-five counties have become part of the Tamarack family.  Gross revenues have topped $78 million and purchases for goods and services have exceeded $65 million.  And as of June 30, 2007, Tamarack had enjoyed almost 5.2 million visitors.

This history was created from excerpts of Tamarack at Ten by Colleen Anderson.

TAMARACK: The Best of West Virginia is located at: One Tamarack Park, Beckley, WV  25801. Admission and parking are free. Retail hours are: Jan. 5 – Mar. 1, 10am-7pm and Mar. 2 – Jan. 4, 8am-8pm. Food Court hours are: Breakfast – 8am-10:45am; lunch and dinner – 11am-closing.

For further information call the Center at 304/256-6843; 1-88-TAMARACK; or visit (

OK – It sounds like this kind of project is not only a cultural boon to a state, but an economic one too. I can envision one of Charleston, SC’s finest restaurants providing the food end of things and the thousands of people who travel those interstate highways the support. All we have to do as a state is to build it, but if the powers that be ever come to that conclusion – I hope they leave the SC Arts Commission out of the picture. They never had such vision – why should they change their color now. It will take the vision of people who know about tourism matters – the artists of SC will contribute the artistic end of things.

Bad Night in Michigan

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Notre Dame 31 – Michigan State 34

Spartans Rule!


7th Annual Hilton Pottery Festival Takes Place in Newton, NC – Oct. 9, 2010

Saturday, September 18th, 2010

Here’s another item we received about a pottery event at Carolina Arts.

The 7th Annual Hilton Pottery Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct, 9, 2010, from 9am to 5pm, at the old Hilton home place in the community of Blackburn, outside of Newton, NC.

Work by B. R. (Bob) Hilton

Work by B. R. (Bob) Hilton

Featured potters are B. R. (Bob) Hilton, 4th generation potter of the Hilton family, John Hilton, grandson of famed post-Civil War potter John Wesley Helton, Sybil Scronce Hedspeth of Pottery by Sybil, and Melany Dawn Crouse, Image One NC Photography.  All potters will feature pieces for sale all during the day.

Bob Hilton, who resides at the home place, has renovated an old building on the property that he uses as a gallery full time. Seven years ago he decided to do the festival to honor his heritage and share some of the long history of the Hilton family with others who are interested in pottery as traditional vessels. The Hilton’s were known for usable, functional pieces, and Bob continues his work in that same tradition, as the family has for close to 150 years.

John Hilton at kiln

All of the featured potters have a connection to the Hilton family.  John Hilton is the grandson of John Wesley Helton, who began the pottery industry for the Hilton family after the Civil War. The home place is about two miles from the original site of John Wesley’s pottery shop.

Sybil Scronce Hedspeth at the wheel

Sybil Scronce Hedspeth of Pottery by Sybil grew up in the Blackburn community and now lives and turns in Granite Falls, NC. Melany Dawn Crouse of Image One NC Photography has published works of many of North Carolina potters.

Light refreshments will be served, live turning demonstrations will occur throughout the day, and many historical pieces will be on display at the B. R. Hilton gallery.

The address is 4026 Old State Road in Newton.

For directions, a map or any other information, call 704/462-1304 or visit (

Tradition Turners Pottery Festival Takes Place in Lincolnton, NC – Oct. 9, 2010

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Here’s is another pottery festival taking place in NC. This one is a fundraisers for students. Make plans now.

The Tradition Turners Pottery Festival (Keeping the Tradition Turning for Future Generations) will take place at West Lincoln Middle School, 260 Shoal Road, just off West Hwy. 27, in Lincolnton, NC, on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010, from 10am to 4pm.

Admission is $5 and children under 10 get in free. The admission fee enters you for the pottery door prizes to be given away at 4pm.

Work by Jeff Young

The Vale community is located in the Catawba Valley Pottery Region. There is a rich history of men who have carried on the old-fashioned style of pottery-making. Within a distance of 50 miles from West Lincoln Middle School, one can find over a hundred potters busy at the wheel, whether as full time artists or as hobbyists.

Work by Olivia Walker Mourglea

The Tradition Turners Pottery Festival committee wanted a way to showcase the talented people from this area and beyond who are caring on the legacies started by such men as Burlon Craig, Harvey & Enoch Reinhardt, John Wesley Hilton, O’Henry, EJ Brown and Sylvanus Hartsoe. The Committee is comprised of those who have a love for pottery whether by collecting, turning or just admiring all aspects of pottery making.

Monies raised will support the West Lincoln Middle School Student Involvement Fund. This fund will be used for various aspects of the school and student needs.

Potters scheduled to participate include: Lorrie Anderson, Thomasville, NC; Deborah Appleby, Hayesville, NC; Gene Arnold, Mt Airy, NC; Marvin Bailey; Lancaster, SC; Libby H. Baxter, Vale, NC; Bobbie Black, Denver, NC; Ronnie Blackburn, Shelby, NC; Bruce Bley, Monroe, GA; Pebble Bryson, Carthage, NC; Renee Clemmer, Stanley, NC; Sandy Cole & Kevin Brown; Sandford, NC; Roger Corn, Lula, GA; Arnold Correll, Lenoir, NC; Hal Dedmond, Lawndale, NC; Kim Ellington, Vale, NC; Walter Fleming, Statesville, NC; Pat Foeller, Reidsville, NC; Kimbrell Frazier, Lincolnton, NC; Vicki Gill, Gastonia, NC; Deborah Gerard, Forest City, NC; Cora Hedgepath, Fort Lawn, SC; Wayne Hewell, Gillsville, GA; Gene Isenhour, Connelly Springs, NC; Freeman & Maggie Jones, Black Mountain, NC; Susan Jones, Shelby, NC; Craig & Michelle Kovack, Seagrove, NC; Michael Ledford, Shelby, NC; Richard Lee, Gastoina, NC; Kim & Rodney Leftwich, Mills River, NC; Ronald Lesley, Shelby, NC; Cynthia Link, Gaffney, SC;  Sally & Don Lufkin, Asheboro, NC; Suzon Martin, Eden, NC; Mark & Coni Merritt, Macon, GA; Raine Middleton, Denver, NC; Vicki Miller, Creston, NC; Thomas Minton, Vale, NC; Olivia Walker Mourglea & Carolyn Walker, Vale, NC; Otis Norris, McBee, SC; Wayne Norris, Coats, NC; Dianne Poovey, Vale, NC; John & Scottie Post, Vale, NC; Jim Rientjes, Greensboro, NC; Jack Sexton & Grace Carr, Mt. Holly, NC; David Slater, Madison, NC; Robert Stevens, Lancaster, SC; Randy Tobias, Sylva, NC; Steve Turpin, Homer, GA; Lin Venhuizen, Rutherdfordton, NC; Mark Williams, Bogart, GA; Rob Withrow; Brasstown, NC; and Jeff Young, Vale, NC.

For further information e-mail at ( or visit (

An Anniversary Blog Entry

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Notre Dame 24 – University of Michigan 28


Way to go



FRANK, the Franklin Street Arts Collective in Chapel Hill, NC, Offers 2010 North Carolina Clay Invitational – Sept. 7 – Oct. 24, 2010

Friday, September 10th, 2010

I learned about this new gallery in Chapel Hill, NC, when visiting the blogAround and About With Bulldog Pottery written by Bruce Gholson and Samantha Henneke. It’s that blog networking thing. So I contacted the gallery and here’s the press release they sent. We get our info at Carolina Arts from a variety of sources.

Here’s what we learned:

FRANK, the lively new Franklin Street Arts Collective in Chapel Hill, NC, will spotlight more than 30 of the state’s accomplished ceramic artists in the2010 North Carolina Clay Invitational. The exhibit will open Friday, Sept. 10, 2010, at 7pm and run through Oct. 24, 2010.

Work by Bruce Gholson.

Work by Ken Sedberry.

North Carolina is known internationally for its large and vibrant community of contemporary potters and artists working in clay, as well for a rich ceramics heritage dating back to the early settlement of the state. This exhibit will present not only the work of FRANK members and consignment artists, but also that of leading ceramic artists from across the state.

The Invitational will feature every type of work, from functional pottery to sculpture. Among the celebrated artists are Cynthia Bringle, Holly Fischer, Steven Forbe de Soule, Mark Hewitt, Nick Joerling, Leah Leitson, Suze Lindsay, and Mary-Ann Prack. Admission is free, and many of the featured artists will attend the public opening to answer questions and discuss their work.

Work by Mark Hewitt.

Work by Nick Joerling.

FRANK’S popular TGI Thursday Salons, held every Thursday from 5pm to 8pm, will feature talks by noted clay artists and throwing demonstrations by FRANK member Susan Filley. At the salons, musical performances will include the 1930′s band, Skeedaddle.

The TGI Thursdays schedule for this exhibition includes:

Sept. 2, 2010, at 6pm – Brand Fortner, Professor at UNC will talk about the physics of color and discuss the breakdown of histograms.

Sept. 9, 2010, at 6pm – Daniel Johnston, will talk about making large pots – traditional techniques from NC &Thailand.

Sept. 16, 2010, at 6pm – a representative from STARworks Ceramics, located in Star, NC, will give a talk about, Where and what is clay? The process of making the material.

Sept. 23, 2010, at 7pm – Mark Hewitt, a renowned studio potter, will offer a talk on his favorite NC pots.

Sept. 30, 2010, at 6pm – Terry Zug, author of The North Carolina Pottery Tradition will give a talk.

FRANK will also collaborate with Kidzu, offering a special event for Kidzu kids to see the clay exhibit, watch a throwing demonstration, and then return to Kidzu to make their own project in clay.

Work by Samantha Henneke.

FRANK, featuring works from more than 80 artists, is the newest gallery for the visual arts in the Triangle. The 3400-square-foot gallery occupies the former Kerr Drug retail store on historic Franklin Street. The gallery offers ceramics, paintings, photography and sculpture as well as a wide selection of fine art, crafts, wearables, and gifts. FRANK hosts changing exhibitions, educational programs and community networking opportunities.

FRANK is located at 109 East Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. Hours are Tues. – Sat., 11am – 6pm; Thurs. till 8pm and Sun., 1-5pm.

For further information call Barbara Rich, Gallery Director, at 919/636-4135 or visit (

An Opinion About Maple Syrup

Friday, September 10th, 2010

I was glancing through my copy of The Post and Courier newspaper this morning and when I got to the business section there was this short item which got me thinking of my good friend Pati, who I recently visited in Interlochen, Michigan, She and her husband Jim operate a maple syrup farm – Trees of Gold – Pure Maple Syrup (


Here’s what was in the paper:

Vt: New Log Cabin Syrup Not Real Deal

MONTPELIER, VT – A new Log Cabin syrup looks like the real thing that’s made in Vermont, right down to its packaging in a plastic jug with an “all natural” label.

But Vermont officials say Log Cabin All Natural Syrup contains unnatural ingredients plus a mere 4 percent maple. They want the Food and Drug Administration to investigate whether Log Cabin Syrup, a division of Pinnacle Foods, is violating FDA labeling laws.

Pinnacle Foods spokeswoman Michelle Weese said the company thinks the new syrup complies with all FDA regulations. The FDA says it doesn’t have a definition for “natural.” – wire reports

Well, doesn’t that give you faith in the FDA.

From my recent, although limited, understanding of the “process” of making maple syrup – maple syrup, or what we know to be maple syrup which comes out of a plastic or glass container isn’t a “natural” thing – it’s a processed result of a natural substance tapped from maple trees. That sap has to be processed into maple syrup.

But I guess the point the folks in Vermont are concerned with is the label on a bottle of a substance saying its “all natural syrup”. Pinnacle Foods didn’t include the word “maple” in its new brand name. That’s clever.

I’m just saying – you can also get some pretty close to natural maple syrup in Michigan, and it taste real good. You folks in Vermont – you might want to send the folks at the FDA a dictionary.

What next?