Friday, January 29, 2010

Main Street Conference and Carolina Creations

This was a great week at Carolina Creations!

The NC Main Street Conference met in town this week and they did a walking tour which included our home and studio, a new 2nd floor apartment in the next block (right beside our gallery), the Elks building renovation, Sky Sail - beautiful new condos next to the Hilton, and the new North Carolina History Center at Tryon Palace scheduled to open this summer. We were thrilled to be in this lineup.

As an extra perk was meeting Betty Hurst from Handmade in America. She stopped into Carolina Creations to meet us. She was doing a presentation at the Main Street Conference on Creative Retail Models - this is a description of her session -

Does your town need more vibrant retail? Does your downtown need more traffic to support the existing retail? Betty Hurst, director of rural entrepreneurship at HandMade in America, will present a range of creative retail models from small towns. Marshall High Studios, located on an island in downtown Marshall, N.C., Carolina Creations in Downtown New Bern and the Stars Come Out Over Bethlehem, N.H., are three of the models she will feature. If your downtown wants to increase its retail, this session can help you identify key elements essential to successful creative retail growth.

I got a chance to sit down and talk with her and tell her our story, she knew a lot of it by talking to people like Wendy Rosen, Arts Advocate from Baltimore, her group does the Buyers Market of American Craft in Philadelphia, and publishes Niche and American Style Magazines and looking at our website and reading this blog.

I was pleased that she was impressed with us!

Ten years ago the Main Street Conference was here and a room divider I made of the New Bern skyline was used on the poster for that conference.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Great Lineup of Events for the Year

January is a time for me to reflect on where we've been and where we're going with Carolina Creations. Every year we try to shake it up a little add new artists, add new art.

This year we're going to add more personal items like scarves and purses. We've already added new pieces by Martin Venzal (pictured). Martin creates hand woven, dyed and fringed scarves from 100% silk with natural dyes. They're beautiful!

We also got some hand painted scarves by Dee Boswell, these wearable works of art are each one of a kind. They have a luxurious feel yet are easy to care for.

I've been working on a years worth of special events for our 20th year! So far this is what we have coming up.

We started our new Rewards program, where you sign up for our newsletter and receive a point for every dollar spent. Reach 500 points and get $25 off your next purchase. Also through the year we'll have special giftfs for our rewards members. All you have to do is read the newsletter!

Art From Our Hearts - Friday, January 29, 2010
Of course this Friday, January 29, we have an opening for our Valentine Card Show. We'll have some of the student artists as well as the teachers. All cards sell for $3 and all the money collected goes back to the school art program. The show and sale runs through February 14.

The Glorious Garden - March 1 - April 29, 2010
A show of garden art. Art of gardens and art FOR the garden. We'll have our opening reception during the first ArtWalk Downtown New Bern, on Friday March 12 from 5-8:30 pm.

For this show we'll have new painting of gardens by our gallery artists, we've found some great birdhouses, hummingbird feeders, steel and rock bird garden sculptures, and more!

ArtWalk Dowtown New Bern - Friday, March 12, 2010
Lots of shops open, stop in and see our great show, The Glorious Garden, meet your friends and have some refreshments! 5-8:30 pm.

Spring Home and Garden Tour Reception - April 9, 2010 5-7 pm
Everyone is invited to a reception we hosting the Friday evening of the Spring Home Tour. My artwork is being used on the poster and brochure for the home tour. I'll have prints available of the original artwork for purchase. I also do tiles of the homes on the tour each year. We'll have refreshments too. To purchase a "Gull Harbor" and for more information click here.

Music Box Clay Workshop with Justine! - May 8th & 15th, 2010. A two day workshop. One of our favorite artists is doing a workshop at my studio. You'll make a music box, build it, we'll fire it and you'll glaze it. Sign up by May 1, space is limited. $130. Click here for more information or to sign up.

The Viennese Waltz - May 14-June 25, 2010 Opens during ArtWalk - Friday May 14 5-8:30 pm.
A show of large, hand built sculptures by Justine Ferreri. Using earthenware clay and stoneware, Justine works her magic designing characters that are colorful, fun, emotional, spiritual and sometimes just plain bizarre.

Putting her heart into every piece she sculpts, she creates art that uplifts the soul, provokes thought and brings joy to the beholder.

Justine talks abou the inspiration for her work for this show - In the beginning of the last Century, the art world went though it's greatest metamorphose. In Paris it was Cezenne, Monet, Degas, Manet, Pissaro and many others. They did not want to be told how and what to paint. They wanted to express light and feelings though their art. They started their own movement. They rented there own space and started impressionism.

The movement slowly moved over all of Europe and reached Vienna. Vienna was slowly emerging from a depression and the government started a great building boom. They started workshops and employed artist, sculptors, woodworkers and craftsmen to made the city the grand model of Viennas culture. Gustav Klimt was among these designers and artists. He embraced impressionism, symbolism and Art nouveau. His paintings were full of erotica, decorative patterns and human forms. He loved to decorate his models in costume and paint from life. Many of his paintings of the elite women of Vienna were costumes made by his friend Leon Bakst.

The patterns in Klimt's paintings can be scene over again in the fabrics of Leon Bakst costumes. In fact when I first saw the costumes of Bakst I kept thinking of Klimt. Klimt has always been my favorite artist. His use of color, pattern, abstract forms and the surprise of gold detail can be
seen in both artists. Bakst was designing for stage and theater while Klimt was painting murals and canvases.

So I decided it would be great to create a body of work to celebrate the two of them. The Show is called "The Vienna Waltz". The waltz of two artist in three quarter time. A movement they started, The Secession , I hope to embrace the feeling of being in Vienna in the theater and at the salon. To bring you back in time and into my own world of recreation and inspiration.

Joining Justine in this show are Denise Bramley, clay sculptor and Cindy Miles fabric artist.

Plein Air Painting Workshop with Mike Rooney - May 17-19, 2010
This workshop is guaranteed to loosen up your style and transform your art. Learn to paint with a loose, quick and impressionistic style by learning how to capture light effects, simplify objects, working quickly, color and composition theory, and color palate choices. Sign up by May 7, space is limited. Email for more information.

ArtWalk Downtown New Bern -
July 9, 2010 5-8:30 pm
Out in the County is the theme for our show. We'll have landscape paintings, a few chickens, birds and other themes that reflect our area.

ArtWalk An Artist Paints New Bern for 20 years. Opening September 10 5-8:30 pm. Janet Francoeur, resident artist and owner of Carolina Creations arrived with her husband Michael in New Bern in 1989. Just a few months later she was displaying her work in Downtown New Bern. Now 20 years later Janet is still celebrating our beautiful town in her paintings and clay creations.

American Craft Week - October 1-10, 2010
We'll have a lineup of special events.

What is American Craft Week?

It's an opportunity to celebrate the wonders of American craft. Every day thousands of American artists share their vision and talent by producing amazing hand-made decorative and functional objects. And every day thousands of craft retailers share their love of these items by displaying, promoting and selling them. As one craft artist put it, "this is the creative economy!"

American Craft enriches our homes, wardrobes, offices and public spaces. It contributes to our nation's economy, our balance of trade, and the fabric of our national history. It is original, beautiful and enduring, so let's tell the world! Who is spearheading American Craft Week?

American Craft Week is a project of Craft Retailers and Artists for Tomorrow (CRAFT), (an organization which Janet Francoeur sits on the board of) in partnership with Craft in America.

ArtWalk - November 12, 2010
Christmas Show.

A Dickens of a Christmas Thanksgiving through December 24, 2010

Sunday, January 24, 2010

FISH a musical by Andrea and Phil Owens

We have lots of great local talent in our area and this new musical showcases the work of some of the areas best!

Written by Andrea Owens with help from Leslie Tall Manning, with music and lyrics by Andrea and Phil Owens, FISH is a modern-day fairy tale revolving around a family living in a small American town, a town very similar to New Bern. With the help of a ghostly grandmother, a mysterious gardener, and a rogue dolphin, the Evans family takes a collective journey to find a true, authentic life, perhaps the quintessential perfect life.

Directed by local singer, theatrical director and actor John Van Dyke, FISH is magical realism at its best. With an ensemble cast of fifteen gifted local actors and actresses, a gospel choir and a score of twenty-four songs, the musical incorporates a wide range of styles played by a band of street musicians, located directly on-stage.

It is a story that resonates with optimism and hope; one that will leave the audience uplifted, inspired and humming a happy tune.

The Owens’ new production company, Sweet Time Productions, will raise the curtain on this magical musical at the Scottish Rite Auditorium on Hancock Street in New Bern. Show dates and times are 8:00 pm on February 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27 and 2:00 PM matinees February 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28. Tickets are $18.00 in advance at The Bank of the Arts 317 Middle St. in New Bern (252) 638-2577 and $20.00 at the door on the day of performance.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

New Book by local author New Bern At Night

We like to support our local authors by carrying their books in our gallery.

The newest book we've added is "New Bern at Night", a beautiful hardcover photo/historical book created by New Bern photographer Nicholas Mathews.

It's a great remembrance of our beautiful historic district with photos taken at night.

You can order online or stop in for a preview, all our copies are signed by the artist. $25.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More Events coming up in our Downtown

In my last post I spoke about some of the events coming up but failed to mention others. I'm always shocked when I hear someone say there is nothing to do!

Of course we're celebrating Valentine's Day with handmade cards from Craven County School Children - Art from Our Hearts. For the 4th year the Craven County School Children have created fabulous, one of a kind Valentines for your loved ones. These cards are sold for $3 each with all proceeds going to the Art Program of the Craven County Schools.

We're having an opening reception on Friday, January 29 from 5-7 pm. The cards will be on sale from January 18 through February 14. Come early for the best selection!!

The cards have arrived and they are GREAT!

Our gallery artists have created beautiful pieces of art for that special someone a crocheted, fine silver heart pendant by Randi Chervitz , a hand carved and hand painted heart mirror by Sarah Grant, a hand blown glass heart by Luke Adams, a Bella Twilight Charm Bracelet by Pearlstone Studios are just a few of the pieces our artists have created for this holiday season.

New Bern Civic Theatre presents "Noises Off" January 16, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30 at 8 pm, January 17 and 24 at 2 pm at the Theatre, 414 Pollock St. In this plot author Michael Frayn plays on the concept of a play within a play, in this case a dreadful sex comedy titled Nothing On - the type of play in which young girls run about in their underwear, old men drop their trousers and many doors slam open and shut. With a great deal of slapstick, Noises Off, follows three acts of Nothing On from dress rehearsal to the of the 10-week run. $18 in advance, $22 at the door.

BBQ In Blue Jeans offers an evening of good food and great music! The very popular annual fundraiser benefits the New Bern Firemen's Museum and will be held on Friday, January 22, 2010, beginning at 6 p.m. in New Bern’s Riverfront Convention Center.

Barbeque master Tommy Moore of Moore's Barbeque is the event’s major sponsor, donating barbeque and all the fixings. Tickets are only $25 per person and include all food and beverages, as well as dancing to some of the area’s finest bands. Doors open at 6 p.m. Dinner is at 7 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at New Bern Firemen's Museum, New Bern's Riverfront Convention Center or Mitchell's Hardware. All proceeds to benefit the New Bern Firemen's Museum.

The 21st Annual Sunday Jazz Showcase is coming up Sunday, January 31 at 1:30 and 7 pm at the Hilton. Tickets are $25 & $35, available at the Bank of the Arts, 317 Middle St, 638-2577. This year’s featured musicians are Ken Peplowski, group leader and clarinetist, Bob Alberti on piano, Bill Prince on trumpet, saxophone and trombone, Chris Russell on drums, George Sheck on bass and the ever-popular Lynn Roberts with vocals.

The same day, Sunday, January 31 we have Livingston Taylor in Concert, brought to you by and to benefit the New Bern Historical Society, 7:30 at the New Bern Riverside Convention Center. Did you know James and Livingston's ancestors lived at the Isaac Taylor house on Craven Street? Buy your tickets at the Historical Society.

I wish I had time to attend all these events!

Monday, January 04, 2010

2010 It's going to be a great year!

We're thrilled that we survived 2009 and we're looking forward to a fun and prosperous 2010.

Our Dickens of a Christmas was a huge success. The lights throughout the business district was great! We couldn't have done it without the city support.

Our expanded "A Christmas Carol" got rave reviews and got people strolling on 2 more blocks than last year.

Our mistletoe "Kissing Stations" got press as far away as Evansville, Indiana.

First night was a roaring success. We were open until 9:30 pm and had a great day.

A great start to the new year.

For 2010 we'll continue to celebrate Carolina Creations 20th anniversary with special events throughout the year.

Our home will be on tour for the Main Street 30th Anniversary Conference later this month. The Conference is outstanding and if you're interested in attending here is a link to the website.

Our annual fundraising show for the Craven County Schools Art Program opens on January 29 and runs through February 14. This is our third year for this event. Children from the Craven County schools create the cards, we sell them for $3 and donate all the money back to the school Art Program.

In March we'll host the NC Governor's Conference on Hospitality and Tourism, another great Conference and worth your while to attend. Click here to read all about it.

ArtWalks start the 2nd Friday of March and continue every other month throughout the year.

The 300th committee has a great lineup, click here for the years events.

I'm going to spend the year really concentrating on doing paintings and clay that depicts our beautiful town. I'll have a show that opens during the September ArtWalk which is the week before the "Jubilee" Weekend for the 300th.

Pictured one of my New Bern pots and my painting Pollock and East Front Street watercolor.

An article about social media appeared in Niche Magazine this month and I was quoted. They even had a photo of me!

More about each of these events as they get closer.