Thursday, February 5, 2009

Art Uplifts Us During Difficult Times

By Elizabeth Shugg

A new year offers the promise of new dreams—whether professional, spiritual or emotional. But our nation’s economic woes have squelched the means to make many of those dreams come true—for now.

Don’t despair. Look to your community’s creative resources to lift and renew your spirits. There are plenty throughout Chapel Hill and surrounding areas that continue to offer inspiration.

University Mall’s Scrapel Hill Art contest, scheduled for April 2 through June 28, will feature works of art created by 15 carefully chosen artists who will use recycled and non-recyclable materials to celebrate and inspire imagination and creativity within our community. A steering committee represented by public arts officials, waste management, recycling businesses, art gallery and independent artists chose the artists who will compete in this juried, inaugural contest.

Turning Point Gallery in Chapel Hill will showcase the work of experienced potter Sylvia Coppola during the 2nd Friday ArtWalk Feb. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. and Feb. 14 from 1 to 3 p.m. Coppola, a potter of 32 years, is known for incorporating her love of texture from weaving and basket making into the art of pottery. She will demonstrate handbuilding Feb. 13 and wheel throwing Feb. 14. Turning Point Gallery will also offer a free mini pot created by Coppola for every $100 of her pottery purchased.

Another of Turning Point Gallery’s featured artists, painter Maeve Harris, was recently featured in New Homes and Ideas magazine, which included words of wisdom from Turning Point Gallery owner Jerri Meldrum about selecting art for a home.

Aspiring young artists can journey into creative expression via art lessons and camps located throughout the Triangle. Visit Triangle TRACKS’ Art and Music link for an exhaustive list of instructors and programs. While you’re there, check out Triangle TRACKS’ newest addition: a group of TRACKers who will blog regularly about subjects such as education, youth sports, trends, family dining and health.

Check back next month for ways you, as a new resident of Chapel Hill, can make connections throughout your community.