MH Arts celebrates America


Mint Hill Arts hosted its monthly reception last Friday.  This month’s theme was America, and the exhibit runs through August 2.  Artwork included sculptures, woodwork, photographs, drawings, paintings, and textiles.  Landscapes, iconic images, and critiques came together in an expression of the complexities of the United States.

The organization recently voted for its executive officers: Tony Billotto, president; Larry Ferguson, first vice president; Marta Brown, second vice president; Becky Aranyi, secretary; Laura Sussman-Randall, treasurer.

“We just had an election for our executive committee officers, and one of the persons who has been instrumental since the day she joined mint hill arts, who is, I am inclined to say,  retiring from her office, is Laura Sussman-Randall,” said Sandra Smith.  “We thank you so much, Laura.”  Smith presented Sussman-Randall with a gift on behalf of the Mint Hill Arts membership.

“It’s been quite a ride, I’ll say that.  We’ve gone through a lot of manifestations, I think, this group. And it does always seem that the right thing happens at the right time for this group.  When we have trouble something comes through to pull us through, and we just need to keep doing that and keep acting as a community and I think we can continue to be great. I think we can do some really great things with this organization as time proceeds, so thank you,” said Sussman-Randall.  She was the president of Mint Hill Arts before becoming the treasurer.

Next month’s exhibit is Fire and Water Do Mix.  It is a juried show with two categories.  The fire category accepts artwork created with extreme heat, and the water category requires watercolor techniques.  Intake is Friday, August 3 from 4-6 pm, and Saturday, August 4 from 10 am to 12 noon.  Local artist Pam Winegard will judge the show.  There will be first, second, and third place prizes for both categories, and ribbons for honorable mentions.

September’s exhibit is a people’s choice show, and will collaborate with the Mint Hill Madness events.  The winner will be chosen by popular vote.

Photos by Amanda Waters.


Sunday Afternoon in the Park

The Sunday Afternoon in the Park Committee is soliciting artists and musicians to display, perform, demonstrate and sell their products at Sunday Afternoon in the Park, Sunday, August 26. The event will be held at the Mint Hill Park on Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road from 1-6 pm. There is a $5 fee to participate; artists need to provide their own tables, tents, displays, etc. There is no electricity provided. Only items handmade by the exhibiting artist will be allowed. Franchises, imports, and commercially produced items are prohibited. The committee reserves the right to reject any pieces that do not fit the family friendly event. Complete and return  application, along with the $5 application fee, and a photograph of your work, by August 20 if you are interested in participating in Sunday Afternoon in the Park. For further information, contact Tina Ross at 704-545-6231 or e-mail


Juried art show winners announced

The Binders juried art show at Mint Hill Arts held its reception last Friday.  The gallery packed in a large number of guests for snacks, wine, and the announcement of winners.

“Binder’s is appreciative of the opportunity to be involved with the art show and being able to contribute as well as to participate in the judging of the art show,” said a Binders representative.  “A lot of work was beautiful, technically sound, really compelling artwork.”

Of the 95 entries, eight won prizes.  The judges said numerous pieces came just one or two points away from placing, and the original scoring had tied winners.

Honorable Mention Winners:

Chris Shanahan, “Sorrento, View of Vesuvius”

Susan Verville, “She Crab”

Tim Rinehart, “Red Vase”

James Fales, “Je Suis Desole”

Linda Sacra, “Silver Raku”


3rd place – Laura Sussman-Randall, “Fly Away Home”

2nd place – Chris Pariano, “Carlyn”

1st place – Tony Billotto, “Strings Attached”

Best – James Fales “Le Printemp Est Arrive”


Billotto brings culinary expertise to Mint Hill Arts

Heidi Billotto demonstrated her culinary skills at Mint Hill Arts. She arranged vegetable bouquets and provided a hands-on learning experience.

Heidi Billotto brought her culinary expertise to Mint Hill Arts May 22.  The food writer, reviewer, instructor, and caterer offered a free lecture and demonstration on culinary arts.
Surrounded by heaps of limes, oranges, onions, peppers, and mushrooms, Billotto cut curves and lines into produce to produce beautiful dinner party decorations.  Zigzagging her knife, she displayed blooming onions, blossoming peppers, tulip carrots, and rose tomatoes.  The bouquet was presented in a watermelon basket.  Cucumbers were sliced into leaves to add to the vegetable foliage.
Billotto dished out useful food tips as she sliced and arranged.  For example, purple peppers turn green when cooked.  Mushrooms should not be washed, but instead wiped with a paper towel, as they absorb water and will brown prettier when not soaked.  The oil in onions reacts with oxygen to make eyes water, and most of the oil is concentrated in the root end.  To avoid tearing up in the kitchen, cut off the top of the onion, peel it, and throw away the root end.  To present a bloomin’ onion and avoid the strong smell, soak the onion in cold water before presentation.  When cutting designs, as Billotto did with swirls in her mushroom caps, odd numbers look better than even numbers.  Try five swirls instead of four.
Billotto entertained her Mint Hill audience as she instructed them.  She expertly provided culinary lessons, patiently assisted her students, and provided some laughs along the way.
Billotto offers lessons in her home as well as private sessions.  She is featured in the local magazine Charlotte Living.


Paws to Read

The Mint Hill Public Library is hosting Paws to Read Saturday, May 26, starting at 10:30 am.  Children between the ages five and 11 can read aloud to a volunteer therapy dog.  Reading times are 10:30 am, 10:55 am, and 11:15 am.  For more information contact Donna Reynolds or Jackie Hooker at 704-416-5200.


June Tunes scheduled for Town Hall lawn

June Tunes will be every Saturday in June this summer on the Mint Hill Town Hall lawn.  Concerts will begin at 7:30 pm, and visitors should bring chairs and blankets for comfortable seating.
Concerts are as follows: June 2, Sterling Bridge, a Mint Hill-based band that blends the sounds of bagpipes with rock and roll; June 9, Horsefly, a new Mint Hill band with a blues and classic rock sound; Charlotte Flute Choir, a group of professional and high-level amateur flutists that’s been around since 1964; Queen Charlotte Chorus, chartered in 1965; Lindsay Nicole and Highway 74, a Mint Hill native singer/songwriter; and July 3, Queen City Brass Band, a crowd favorite returns for a patriotic performance.