The Denver Art Trail, an annual tradition that offers residents an opportunity to meet with artists from the surrounding community, will take place 1-5 p.m. Oct. 19-20. Maps are available at local businesses as well as at each of the stops on the trail.The Saturday-Sunday event will feature new artists who have moved to the area, in addition to more established local artists. “We have a number of talented artists right here in the Lake Norman area, and we are lucky to live in a community that values art,” said Raine Middleton, a potter and owner of Hartzog Pottery. “Art is storytelling, and North Carolina is known for storytelling.“It is worth noting that Lincoln County has a rich heritage with the arts, such as architecture, furniture, weaving and textiles. You can see evidence of that in the Lincoln County Museum of History in the Cultural Arts Center in Lincolnton, where they have furniture designed and made in our county.“Closer to home, Denver residents have come out in numbers to share the day with us and to support local artists, and the Art Trail is just one part of a grassroots effort to get people to buy local, to spend money in the neighborhoods where they live,” said Middleton, 56.“As artists, we have to be our own promoters and that is a challenge because artists are busy making art,” she adds. “We work alone in our studios, but occasionally we have to put on a different hat in order to acquaint folks with our work. We also want to share the passion and the fun we experience ourselves as we pursue our craft.”Middleton will host five artists at Blue Heron, the bed-and-breakfast she and her husband, Terry, own on Lake Norman. It’s one of several stops on the Art Trail. At each location, artists will display their work, which is for sale, and be available to meet and greet interested art collectors. “It’s gratifying to hear feedback from folks who have purchased our work,” she notes.“Art is for everyone,” said Middleton. “We have works at every stop that people can afford, as well as more expensive works which we refer to as ‘collectibles’.“The Art Trail is a good way to decorate your home with the works of local artists, and a way to get a head start on Christmas shopping. When you know the artist who created your work, it becomes more than a possession, it becomes a story.”Middleton herself discovered her artistic capabilities just a few years before she retired from her career as a high school counselor.“I never thought of myself as being an artist,” she said. “It’s just something that came to me later in life. I’ve been able to reinvent myself because retirement has allowed me to pursue something entirely different than what I did professionally.“I had taken a few pottery lessons and I loved it. I was a ‘crafty’ person and I’d tried various crafts but always given up because they didn’t inspire me. But there was something about throwing clay that I responded to in a different way,” she explained. “Because I came to art later in life, the joy in the creating process is a big part of what I do. I have the luxury of being more art-driven than concerned with making a living. I can explore my creativity without being confined by trends or expectations.“It’s very calming, and there is so much to learn about the various facets of the process. “There is a wonderful camaraderie among potters, too. The world of pottery is like the world of wizards, and a gathering of potters at a convention is like a reunion at Hogwarts School in ‘Harry Potter.’”Interested individuals can begin the Art Trail at any of the stops. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to meet with the artist and hear the story behind their work.
Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013
Denver Art Trail tour is Oct. 19-20
The Denver Art Trail The Art Trail will includes these stops, some of which will host multiple artists. • Fat Cat Kilnworks, 1732 Verdict Ridge Drive; 704-489-9494. • Diane Pike Studio, 1141 Southwood Lane; 704-809-1226. • Bh Black Pottery, 8890 Graham Point Lane; 704-483-3246. • Fabric & Drapery Designs, 1440 North N.C. 16; 704-966-0357. • Blue Heron B&B, 4339 Little Fork Cove Road; 704-483-4408. Maps of the Art Trail are available on Facebook ( facebook.com/DenverArtTrail), at all stops on the trail and at many Denver businesses, including The Sports Page, in the Harris Teeter shopping center at N.C. 16 and N.C. 73, and at Verdict Ridge Country Club, 7332 Kidville Road.
Bruce Dunbridge is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Bruce? Email him at email@example.com .
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