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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Mint Hill Arts Crawl

It’s that time of year again. Time to enjoy a beautiful evening with the Arts Crawl  in Mint Hill. Not only can you visit the Mint Hill Arts opening on second Fridays, but now you will also be able to enjoy Pottery 51. Take a stroll down the street, appreciate the new sidewalks, stop for dinner at a local restaurant and come and see what Pottery 51 has to offer.

Potters have been busy all summer; some attending seminars, others attending work- shops, all improving their skills and bring- ing exciting new ideas into their work.

The Fall season featuring Brenda Roberts and Max McLeod.

A new patio is per- fect for spending an evening with friends and refreshments. Come join MH Arts for Arts Crawl, second Fridays beginning September 13.

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“Well Seen and Captured” opens at MHA

Visitors packed in Mint Hill Arts’ gallery last Friday night, February 8, to see more than 140 photographs for the opening reception of MHA’s annual photography-only show, “Well Seen and Captured.”

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The walls in MHA’s gallery were lined from ceiling to floor with original photographs on a wide range of topics, including architecture, abstracts, portraits, and landscapes.

The show was sponsored by Biggs Camera and Fast Frame of Matthews, who donated the prizes. First, second, and third place prizes were $100, $75, and $50 gift certificates to Biggs Camera, and all four honorable mentions received $25 gift certificates to Fast Frames.

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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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MH Arts celebrates America

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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.

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