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.