Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Unexpected Rewards (and Awards!) of Internet Surfing.

I was off in cyberspace a while ago and came across a call for entries from the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences in Rocky Mount (NC).

Rocky Mount lies between Raleigh and the North Carolina coast. It's a town rooted in tobacco and cotton...the hometown of musician Thelonius Monk and novelist Kaye Gibbons. If you're looking for a burger and fries, it has the oldest operating Hardee's fast food franchise.

But the arts? Not exactly - or so I thought.

Still, the description of "Handcrafted," a juried national show intrigued me.

The show celebrates traditional and non-traditional craft media and so I took a chance, sent in some images. I was delighted when "Out of the Mouths of Babes: Purple Lips" and "Under the Watchful Eye of Queen Charlotte" were juried in.

Husband Joal and I had the pleasure of attending the opening and seeing the Arts Centre firsthand. We were stunned by what we saw:

a 135,000 square foot state-of-the-art cultural facility that houses an arts center, children's museum / science center, and community performing arts theatre.

The Centre occupies the former sites of the Imperial Tobacco Company and Rocky Mount's Braswell Memorial Library.

The huge iron doors of tobacco furnaces and the high-ceilinged exposed brick galleries are a perfect backdrop for the center's eclectic collection of sophisticated contemporary art and craft.

The show itself was a treat, with its mix of metal, ceramics, glass, and - of course - fiber.

Including "Emergence" by Nancy Kimpel (Oconomowoc, WI)...

Laura Gaskin's (Fairview, NC) "Lost"

and a stunningly different piece, "Nasar," by Leslie Pearson (Leland, NC). This intriguing scroll (10 feet long?) was accompanied by a time-lapse video showing the scroll as it was being created.


Of course, I was delighted to see my pieces hung in the gallery as well...

Both "Out of the Mouths of Babes..."


"Under the Watchful Eye of Queen Charlotte."

And if a lovely day at a wonderful opening wasn't enough, "Queen Charlotte" won 2nd place!

A very happy ending to be sure....