N.C. Artists Get Chance to Exhibit Work at State Historic Sites This Summer
Artists from across North Carolina are being invited to exhibit and sell artwork this summer as part of the Department of Cultural Resources “2nd Saturdays: History, Heritage, Arts and Fun” events scheduled on June 12, July 10 and Aug. 14.
A program of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources , “2nd Saturdays” will take place at all 37 museums and state historic sites. Most events are free.
Organizers predict that these events will attract attention and visitors and will generate sales opportunities for artists, including potters, weavers, photographers, painters, metalworkers, papermakers, jewelers and musicians.
Each location for “2nd Saturdays” has a theme for each month, which allows a good pairing of art form and site. For instance, at Fort Fisher at Kure Beach, the June 12 theme is “Exploring Our Historical Landscape.” Landscape artists will be featured, including collodion (“wet-plate”) photographers, and landscape or seascape painters.
An example of “2nd Saturday” events in the Piedmont on June 12 includes “Juneteenth” at Historic Stagville in Durham, which celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people. The day will include music, food, artists, games, crafts, storytellers and more.
Western North Carolina “2nd Saturdays” sites include the Zebulon Vance Birthplace in Weaverville, which will feature the theme “Recycle, Reuse and Re-purpose” on June 12. The site will look at how, in the 19th century, many items were saved and reused for new purposes. Featured artists have an element of recycling in their work by reusing items in the development of their products, such as rug weaving, quilting, soap making, jewelry and more.
“We are excited about combining the unique power of the arts and heritage with lots of hands-on fun each second Saturday during the peak summertime vacation months of June, July and August,” said Keith Hardison, director of State Historic Sites. “Families on a budget will find a lot of value for their travel dollar, whether it is for ‘staycations,’ ‘tank-of-gas-or-less trips,’ or a longer vacation.”
Farmers and growers of value-added products such as honey, soy candles, cheeses or herbs are welcome.
Cultural Resources Secretary Linda A. Carlisle proposed the idea of mixing arts and heritage in a pilot project last fall at Duke Homestead. Attendance at the site’s event almost doubled over the prior year, and 87 percent of the artists who participated said they would like to do so again.
There is no cost to participate, although artists are responsible for their own display materials, including tents and tables. The deadline to register as an artist/vendor for the June event is Friday, April 23, with later deadlines for the July and August events. Artists retain 100 percent of their sales at most sites.
Each “2nd Saturdays” program will reflect the unique character of the host place, whether it is storytelling at Town Creek Indian Mound in Montgomery County with American Indian crafts, music and food; or re-enactors, quilting demonstrations, music and fresh farm produce at the CSS Neuse in Lenoir County.
Partners in these programs include Our State magazine, the Golden LEAF Foundation, the Division of Tourism within the N.C. Department of Commerce, the N.C. Cooperative Extension, and the Tourism Extension Program in N.C. State University’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management program.
For information call (919) 807-7389. The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources is the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. Information is available at www.ncculture.com.
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