First Art Around the Block brings art and community together

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.51.19 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.51.25 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.51.36 PMBy Charles Kelleher Harris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Romie Mizell and Michael Hutchinson of Mint Hill Arts Fine Art Center initially brainstormed about the first Arts around the Block event, they were unsure how the community would respond.

By Friday evening the response was clear.
“I was surprised by the involvement,” said Mizell, “Everyone has been very supportive.”

“Our goal was to bring art into the community,” said Hutchinson, “We wanted to bring merchants and artist together to encourage more support of the arts.”

Local businesses, artist and craftsmen came together to arrange the Friday evening art crawl. Mint Hill establishments such as the Fine Art Center, Picket and Plume and The Looking Glass featured hors d’oeuvers, wine and pastry along with selections of some of the area’s best painter’s, photographer’s and artisans’ portfolios.

“We want to bring some culture to the people,” said Irene Café owner Kidane Sayfou, “There are so many local artists but nobody knows about them.”

Artist Barbara Travell, who helped arranged the event said that her goal was to actually change people’s impression of Mint Hill.

“We want to see Mint Hill being known as an art community,” said Travell, “We want people to know they don’t have to go into town for art, music and food.”

Artist Joyce Fischer, who has been painting since 1958, was on hand at Irene Café where some of her work is on display.

“I love this exposure,” she said, “A lot of times if people can meet an artist they take a second look at the work.”

Mint Hill resident Tracy Hill attended the Art Crawl with great interest.

“We just wanted to see what is available in Mint Hill,” she said, “And I wanted to meet some of my neighbors.”

Tony Scudder and Joe Cunningham owners of Picket and Plume opened their business which features home décor and custom artwork.

“One of our big visions was to have local artists featured,” said Scudder, “There are a lot more people than I expected.”

If residents missed out on the Art around the Block, they will have plenty of time to catch up. Mint Hill Arts has decided to hold the event the first Friday of every month.

 

Share

Mint Hill native says ‘yes’ to baseball park proposal

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.34.07 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.34.02 PMAndy proposed to Sarah at the Charlotte Knights Baseball game Wednesday night, July 30. Andy told Sarah he won tickets on the radio and she got to throw out the first pitch. Andy caught the pitch and then got on his knee and proposed to Sarah. She said “yes”. Sarah Rappe grew up in Mint Hill, graduated from Butler High School and Appalachian State, play softball at both Butler and App State, and is currently employed by OrthoCarolina. Andy attended Appalachian State and graduated from The Citadel. He is currently employed by the Columbia SC police department and the Air National Guard.  He served in the US Marine Corps for 6 years. No wedding date has been set yet.

Share

It takes me to a different place

By Charles Kelleher Harris

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.30.05 PMGlenwood Barnes loves working with his hands. For the last 12 years he has worked creating beautiful custom made cabinetry.  But his craftsmanship with woodworking is only the beginning of Barnes creativity.  “When I was a kid I didn’t do to good in school,” Barnes said, “But I was creative.”  Barnes was born in Lancaster, South Carolina but raised primarily in Philadelphia. Barnes was one of 13 children.  In his late teens Barnes began taking art classes at a Philadelphia night school. It was there that his true talent blossomed.  Recognizing his skill, Barnes tried, unsuccessfully to garner attention for his work. Frustrated, Barnes put his brushes away for a very long time.  “I stopped,” Barnes recalled, “I lost interest.”  Meanwhile, Barnes and his wife of 25 years, Vernere, raised theirñ three children.  During the lull in his painting, Barnes began practicing Tai Chi and focused on woodworking.  After returning to Charlotte in the 1990s, his interest in painting was sparked anew.  While continuing to work in cabinetry with Metro Woodcrafter Inc, Barnes studied at Mint Hill Arts under Carlos Cotera.  Continue reading

Share