Event spotlights Mint Hill Arts and Pottery 51

The first gallery crawl of the season saw a steady flow of visitors to the Mint Hill Arts gallery as well as Pottery 51.

The Friday night event was held in conjunction with the opening of the “People’s Choice” show and the Mint Hill Arts Gallery was buzzing with visitors comparing notes and sharing opinions on pieces submitted by local residents. 

The winners of this show are selected by popular public vote. Categories include Best in Show, Most Beautiful, Funniest, Most Creative, and Best “Junk” Art, which will be awarded for the best use of recycled materials.
Judging continues throughout the month. Visit the gallery, located at 11205 Lawyers Road, Mint Hill, to view the pieces, then, cast your vote for your favorites by filling out the ballot and dropping it in the official ballot box.
David McGee was named Volunteer of the Month at the opening reception, and Ann Litaker from the Mint Hill Women’s Club presented a check for $250 to the Mint Hill Arts.
At Pottery 51, visitors had the opportunity to enjoy the newly completed covered patio. Potters had their pieces on display and for sale.
Visitors enjoyed tours of the studio, music, refreshments, and an opportunity to talk with the local potters.
Pottery 51 is located at 7714 Matthews-Mint Hill Road.
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2012: The Year in Review

JANUARY

 

Stinson-Wesley takes District 6 school board seat

 

At the beginning of 2012, Rev. Amelia Stinson-Wesley filled the District 6 seat left open by Tim Morgan. Stinson-Wesley was one of 12 candidates vying for the position, and was sworn in on January 10. She serves as director of World Connections for Women, a foundation she established in 1998.

 

New year, new laws

 

The beginning of 2012 saw changes to laws concerning everything from healthcare systems to gun laws. New laws provide incentives for physicians to organize Accountable Care organizations, North Carolina adopted standard deductions and personal exemptions, new energy conservation codes, new gun laws, and laws requiring employers to report new hires.

 

Independence senior wins writing prize

 

Erin Mullins, then a senior at Independence, won first prize in the eighteenth Martin Luther King Jr. Writing and Art Awards, part of a number of awards presented by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the MLK Jr. Citywide Committee. The theme was “Defending the Dream,” and students competed first at the school level, then district level.

 

New CMS starting times

 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools estimated that they will save more than $600,000 for the 2012-2013 school year by changing their bell schedule, at 10 schools. The effort was to use a tiered method of scheduling, in order to offer the same transportation services, but with 15 fewer buses.

 

Mint Hill resident named recruiter of the year

 

Aviation Structural Mechanic First Class Robert Orzescu, who lives in Mint Hill, was named the Raleigh Navy ROTC Enlisted Recruiter of the Year. Orzescu became a recruiter in 2009, and since has won the NRD Raleigh NROTC Enlisted Recruiter of the Year two years in a row, and also claimed the 2011 Warrior Challenge Recruiter of the Year.

 

Judges rule on redistricting

 

A three-judge panel decided that the May 8, 2012 primary votes stood as scheduled, despite a lawsuit challenging new legislative and congressional voting districts. Challengers were hoping that primaries be moved to July 9, in order to further discuss the new districts, which support Republicans. The districts were upheld, and served through primaries and the general election.

 

FEBRUARY

 

Local author signs books

 

Mint Hill author Ed Galloway, writer of Incident in Mint Hill, sold and signed the book at The Hill Restaurant in Mint Hill, February 8. The audiobook, which Galloway produced himself, is a story about “a strange object that falls from the sky and causes an entire golfing community to go into a 24-hour blackout. No cable TV. No phone coverage. And all while being surrounded by military and government personnel,” said Galloway.

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Hospital tells chamber timeline on track for 2014

Carol Timblin and Larry Ferguson, outside the general store at the Mint Hill Historical Society’s Carl J. McEwen Historic Village. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

“Step Into History, The Carl J. McEwen Historic Village,” a 12-minute video produced by the Mint Hill Historical Society, earned statewide recognition last month, winning a Paul Green Multimedia Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians.

It started with a need to take something to schools and other organizations, to show them what the Historical Society and the Historic Village had to offer.

With a matching grant of $2,500 from the Arts and Science Council, work was underway, with Historical Society co-founder Carol Timblin writing and producing, and member Larry Ferguson serving as director and videographer.

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It’s Your Business: Mint Hill Dance Center

Since 2010, Mint Hill Dance Center has offered the youth of Mint Hill instruction in a wide variety of dance styles.

Owner and director Whitleigh Cook has been dancing in the Charlotte area since she was six years old, going on to receive a B.F.A. in dance from the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

The Center is in its third year, and Cook says they’ve nearly doubled their students each and every year, starting with 10, and having nearly 60 this year. Teaching ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, tumbling, modern, and cultural dance, Mint Hill Dance Center offers classes every night of the week except Sunday, to students ages 3-18.

One of their more memorable performances is this year’s flash mob at Mint Hill Madness. The center is involved in many charities, giving to Relay for Life, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the American Heart Society, among others.

 

MHDC also has a competition team, which began in 2011-2012, has already won a number of awards, and has already begun auditions for the 2012-2013 team. Cook said the studio is currently looking to move from their current location at 4614 Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road to a larger, more central location in the McEwen shopping center on Lawyers Road.

For more info on what MHDC offers or how to register for classes, visit minthilldancecenter.com.

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October Sundays bring new classes to Mint Hill Arts

Retired CMS drama teacher Marta Brown and student practice improvisation. PHOTOS COURTESY OF MINT HILL ARTS

This month, Mint Hill Arts will be offering something entirely new. “A Month of Sundays” is a program at MHA that will feature a different class, taught by a different teacher each Sunday.

Sundays in October, from 1-4 pm at MHA’s Lawyer’s Road gallery, classes are free to attend and will show different techniques of painting, drama and drawing.

The program is an effort to expand awareness and showcase the array of classes Mint Hill Arts has to offer and an experiment in expanding hours to Sunday.

“I’ve had many people say to me, ‘I wish you were open on Sunday afternoons, because that’s when I have free time and that’s when it would be easier for me to get over there and look around and see what’s going on.’” said Judy Mizell, organizer of the program. “So I thought, before we try to take it on as a full-time thing, let’s give it a month and see what kind of reaction we get. Can we get people to come out on Sundays?”

October 7 will start the program with “Watercolor Fun and Easy,” taught by Vicki Crossman, who has been teaching watercolor at MHA for several years.

The second Sunday will feature an improv class, taught by Marta Brown, a retired middle school drama teacher and current MHA teacher.

“A Month of Sundays” organizer Judy Mizell teaches a workshop at Mint Hill Arts.

“The main reason I chose to do the improv on Sunday is because I think it’s a really good skill for people to know how to do,” Brown said. “Because you have to think quickly on your feet, and I think this is something that anybody—adults, any ages—would enjoy doing.”

Week three will be a hands-on drawing demonstration with teacher Ginny Edelen, featuring three different types of drawing: drawing by shape, from the imagination, and by spatial relationships, which will be presented at 1, 2, and 3 pm, respectively.

Edelen, who teaches home schoolers at MHA, said, “I do anything I can to promote it (MHA) because it’s a wonderful service to the community, and this is one way of bringing people in on a day that they might be available.”

The last Sunday, October 28, will be taught by Mizell, who has been teaching at MHA for four years, and will demonstrate pouring techniques in watercolor using different surfaces and

materials to show “some of the exciting results you can achieve when you allow the paint and water to do the work.”

Mint Hill Arts is hoping that the turnout for “A Month of Sundays” will provide enough activity for the gallery to be open on Sundays regularly, and that it helps people to rediscover MHA at their new

facility.

“We would like to get it so more people know where we are and what we have to offer the community,” said Mizell. “We moved from our other location back in the spring to this new location on Lawyer’s road and we’re sort of trying to get people to find us there and that’s part of the reason we wanted to do this.”

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Board presented with public arts ideas

The Board of Commissioners was approached by two organizations last Thursday about displaying public art in and around the new town hall building.  On the agenda at the last board meeting, Nicole Bartlett of the Arts and Science Council and Tony Billotto, Laura Sussman-Randall, Marta Brown, and Romie Mizell of Mint Hill Arts asked the board to consider representing Mint Hill through art.

Bartlett explained that many cities and towns install permanent pieces of public art for their communities.  Charlotte has numerous pieces, including the typewriter keys at Imaginon.  The Writer’s Desk, as it is called, is a monument to local writer Rolfe Neill.  She also offered examples from Rock Hill, Davidson, and other Charlotte locations, as well as types of art, including statues, plazas, photography, and tapestries.

Bartlett said one of the most important aspects of public art is the connection to the community; it is very local.

She outlined a basic plan for the creation of public art for Mint Hill.  Funding would come from the county, the Arts and Science Council would manage the project, and the design would come from a volunteer board of citizens from the town.

Mint Hill Arts representatives asked the board to consider letting them display art in the two gallery hallways in the new town hall building.  They offered some details as to how the town could partner with the organization for professional displaying and no extra work for the town.  The arts group currently displays work in the old town hall building.  Mizell presented professional hanging devices that would eliminate the need to put nails in the walls.  Billotto explained the intake process for their monthly art shows, demonstrating the professionalism and detail-oriented organization of Mint Hill Arts.  The all-volunteer group is made of dedicated artists who would jump at the opportunity to display local work in the new space.

“I got an the opportunity to go into the new town hall, and wow, was I blown away.  We have been looking for a new facility that was larger where we could really exhibit art the way it needed to be exhibited, where people could come in from the community and see it.  And here it was, two beautiful galleries built one above the other that had great lighting, a beautiful place to hang it,” said Mizell.  “That’s why we are requesting the opportunity to do this for you and for the community in this facility.”

They also presented the board with the idea of a permanent piece of artwork with the working title theme of Life in Mint Hill.  Mint Hill Arts and the town would ask artists to come forward in a juried show where the board was the panel.  The winner would receive the prestigious award of having artwork forever displayed in the town hall.  Billotto suggested the area around the grand stairway as a good location for such a display.

“Public art is the expression of the spirit of the community in which it takes place,” said Sussman-Randall.

The mayor thanked the arts representatives for their presentations and ideas, and said they will continue the conversation in the future.

The public is invited to get involved with this month’s Mint Hill Arts show during Mint Hill Madness.  Last Friday was the opening reception of the new show, but winners were not announced.  That’s because the public has not yet voted.  It’s a people’s choice show, and everyone is invited to cast a vote.  Visitors can see the gallery, located at 11205 Lawyers Road, Suite A, to gain an understanding of what Mint Hill Arts is, what local artists are doing, and how they can get involved.

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