The Arts Council of Moore County offers local residents a chance to learn about Lowcountry life next week in a series of presentations and events.

The Lowcountry is a geographic and cultural region along the coast of South Carolina, which includes Charleston.

“If you like to walk, there’s no more beautiful place on Earth to walk than Charleston,” says organizer John Earp. “If you like to eat, amazing cuisines are around the corner.  And in Charleston, like Southern Pines and the Sandhills, people tend to look up, smile and say hello.  That goes a long way.”

World-renowned master chef Nathalie Dupree and architects and historians Jenny Bevans and Christopher Liberatos will headline a weeklong program exploring the influences of the Lowcountry’s culinary and architectural styles.

Concluding the week’s activities will be the Arts Council’s gallery opening dedicated to the rich character of the coastal Carolinas.

“Please join us in celebrating the true spirit of the Lowcountry here in the Sandhills,” says Chris Dunn, executive director of the Arts Council.


“Charleston Architecture: History, Sustainability and the Future,” a free event, takes place Tuesday, Sept. 28, at 6 p.m. at the Sunrise Theater, 250 NW Broad St., Southern Pines.

Charleston, like many historical communities, struggles with holding its old-world charm while adapting to the reinventions of architects and developers. Patrick Webb, Christopher Liberatos and Jenny Bevans will examine Charleston’s architectural evolution and the efforts to sustain its heritage and community.

Bevan and Liberatos specialize in traditional architectural design, both holding Master of Architecture degrees from the University of Notre Dame. They have tutored programs at Notre Dame and the Charleston Library Society, and have designed for some the most renowned classical architectural firms.

Webb is a heritage and ornamental plasterer, and an advocate for traditional handcraft in preservation, natural building and contemporary design. He is a professor for the Classic Planning Institute, adjunct professor at the American College of the Building Arts in Charleston, and lecturer and research associate at the Center for Traditional Craft in Savannah, Ga.

Performing that night will be Roderick Brower and Together-N-Unity Choir, a gospel music choir based out of Fletcher’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Hoffman. Their music is contemporary gospel with jazz undertones, influenced by religious and secular artists.


Cooking Demo

A cooking demonstration of Lowcountry cuisine, with master chef Nathalie Dupree and Angela Webb, an SCC culinary instructor, will be held Wednesday, Sept. 29, at 4 p.m., in Little Hall, on the campus of Sandhills Community College.

As space is limited, reservations must be made by calling (910) 692-2787.

South Carolinian Nathalie Dupree is a master chef, best-selling author and popular cooking show host. She is the author of 14 cookbooks, selling more than a million copies and has hosted over 300 shows for The Food Network, PBS and The Learning Channel.

Among many honors, Dupree was awarded the prestigious “Grand Dame” of Les Dames d’Escoffier, as well as 2013 Woman of the Year from the French Master Chefs in America. She’s the winner of four James Beard Awards and in 2019, she was honored with the IACP Lifetime Achievement Award. But it was her love for a simpler palate that inspired her best-selling book “New Southern Cooking” and started an entire culinary movement. Focusing on the heritage of Lowcountry foods, Dupree has become an ambassador for promoting the culture and community that are the heart of the Lowcountry values.

Angela Webb is a culinary instructor at Sandhills Community College. For the past 14 years, she has worked as a chef, caterer and wine educator in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and Charleston. She holds a level three certification from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust of London and is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, and, along with Nathalie Dupree, is a former board member of Slow Food Charleston.

Lowcountry Luncheon

On Thursday, Sept. 30, at noon, there will be a Lowcountry luncheon, featuring shrimp and grits, at 195 American Fusion, 195 Bell Ave., Southern Pines. There is a cost of $55 per person, and all proceeds support Arts Council youth programs. For reservations, call (910) 692-2787.

Anna Pilson and chef Decker Platt, inspired by Nathalie Dupree’s “New Southern Cooking,” have reimagined a traditional Lowcountry meal by returning to its roots. Fresh organic produce from the local farms and market-fresh seafood from the Carolina coast will be the key ingredients.

Joining the luncheon, Dr. Ryan Book, chairman of the Fine Arts Department at Sandhills Community College, will fill the room with sounds of his classical guitar.

Also on Thursday, children’s author Kelly Starling Lyons will be visiting various schools throughout the county as part of the Authors in Moore Schools (AIMS) program. These programs are for students only. Lyons is the N.C. Triangle Region’s 2021 Piedmont Laureate.


On Friday, Oct. 1, at 10 a.m., at the Moore Montessori Auditorium, 255 S. May St., Southern Pines, The Country Bookshop hosts Nathalie Dupree and Angela Webb, as they discuss the heritage and appreciation of Lowcountry foods as a cultural resource, followed by book signing.

Gallery Opening

The Arts Council of Moore County announces the Campbell House Galleries October exhibit “Lowcountry Styles,” featuring paintings by Evelyn Dempsey, Carol Ezell-Gilson, Jill Hooper, Mark Horton, Alana Knuff, Ron Anton Rocz and Patrick Webb. Campbell House is located at 482 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines.

A meet-the-artist reception is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m (COVID-19 precautions permitting).

Evelyn Dempsey was born and raised in Charleston, and presently lives in Pinehurst. She has studied with Denise Baker, Jeffrey Mims and Paul Brown over the years and says, “The result of years of study is now on view, but any inadequate work lies solely with the artist who defiled the canvas, not with those whose teaching tried to enhance it.”

Charleston artist Carol Ezell-Gilson studied under Manning Williams at the Gibbs Art Museum and Marshall Glasier at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. After art school, she taught at the Gibbes Museum, worked as public historian at several sites in Charleston and has been a licensed city guide for over 40 years, conducting walking tours in the Charleston historic district.

Artist Jill Hooper grew up in Southern Pines and showed a fondness of drawing and draftsmanship at an early age. She worked under Jeffery Mims for an extended time as well as in Florence, Italy.

Presently she lives and works between downtown Charleston and London, where she is the artist-in-residence at London Fine Art Studios.

Mark Kelvin Horton was born and raised in rural North Carolina and moved to New York after graduating from East Carolina University to begin a career in advertising and design. After deciding to devote himself to painting fulltime he moved to the Lowcountry of South Carolina, where he paints beyond a literal interpretation of a scene to portray nature in a way that reflects his own ideas and sensibilities.

Alana M. Knuff recently relocated to Pinehurst from Charleston. At the age of 9, she took second place in a national art contest sponsored by Kellogg. She excelled in life drawing in college and graduated with a degree in mathematics. Knuff followed a career in capital project management, directing the design and construction of buildings for Harvard University and the University of Texas. After joining a group of artists painting en plein air in Italy, her love of art was awakened and the desire to focus full time on painting. Her primary subjects are marine art and portraits.

Ron Anton Rocz’s photography career began in Charleston in the early 1980s, starting as an avocation and following up on a professional social work career in anti-poverty programs, mental health and human resource development. Often it is said that he seems to “paint” with the camera and film.

Patrick Webb, who will speak at Monday’s event on architecture, and Jill Hooper will display a plaster piece from their collaboration on a sculptural ornament project inspired by the symbology of Charleston’s historic architecture.

All events are free and open to the public with the exception of the Lowcountry luncheon fundraiser for the Arts Council’s youth programs.

Masks and physical distancing requirements vary according to venue.

For more information, call (910) 692-2787 or

Contact Faye Dasen at (910) 693-2475 or

(1) comment

Sherry Dales

I love living in our charming small town environment, but my heart and dreams will always belong to Charleston and Summerville.

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