Union County

Waxhaw Arts Council to benefit from Studio Tour

Supporters of the Waxhaw Arts Council prepare their bids and enjoy the art at an earlier Preview and Art Auction. The 2015 event will be held at the Waxhaw Womans Club on May 1.
Supporters of the Waxhaw Arts Council prepare their bids and enjoy the art at an earlier Preview and Art Auction. The 2015 event will be held at the Waxhaw Womans Club on May 1. COURTESY OF LAMBETH MARSHALL

The Waxhaw Arts Council will hold a free “Sneak Preview Night and Art Auction” 6:30-9 p.m. May 1 at the Waxhaw Womans’ Club at 200 E. South Main.

The evening’s activities will benefit the council, a nonprofit group that promotes the arts through adult and children’s programs and classes in western Union County. The preview and auction are the kickoff to a three-day event designed to familiarize people with the depth and diversity of art in the Waxhaw area.

There also will be a Studio Tour on May 2-3. More than 40 artists will participate, and artists from Waxhaw, Weddington, Marvin, Wesley Chapel and Mineral Springs will open their studios to show their creations.

Maps and brochures are free at the studios, galleries and some local businesses. For information, visit the Waxhaw Arts Council websites online at www.waxhawartscouncil.org or on Facebook.

Verna Witt of Marvin is one of the artists who will open her studio, a converted two-stall barn behind her house.

Witt said she made the transition from textile designer to full-time ceramic artist about a decade ago, after retiring from Springs Industries. Witt’s creations are an amalgamation of her former life in the fashion business and her present one in her studio.

“I was first a sculptor, then made baskets, and then became a textile designer,” Witt said. “All of those disciplines have resurfaced into my use of clay.

“I create one-of-a-kind pieces. My handbags and totes are 100 percent clay, including zippers and clasps. I use a metallic glaze and leave the natural brown-textured clay unglazed, to give the look of leather.”

Witt was one of several visionaries who formed the Arts Council.

“I became a member of the Waxhaw Arts Council when there were only about 12 members about four years ago,” Witt said. “We now have over 50 members. It is exciting to be part of that growth.

“What is interesting to me is that there are many talented artists in our area coming from many diverse disciplines. As an artist, I enjoy that diversity. The council has now become an integral part of the community”

First Friday

The Small Town Main Street Program, a special partnership between Waxhaw and downtown businesses, has selected “ Spring into Safety” as the theme for the First Friday in May.

“We plan on having the night geared toward informing the community about being safe and things to do in order to be safe,” said Kayla Harrity, events and promotions assistant for Waxhaw.

From 5 p.m.-8 p.m. May 1 in the parking lot next to the Waxhaw water tower, police officers will offer family friendly demonstrations to promote automobile safety.

Harrity said these interactive events include driving a golf cart with “drunk goggles” to teach the importance of not drinking and driving. A second demonstration is “the seat belt convincer,” in which you sit in a seat much like a car and get belted into a seat belt.

The seat then slides down an incline, and passengers can feel the effect of being in a car crash at 10 mph, showing the necessity of wearing a seat belt.

Police officers also will check the installation of child car seats.

Bicycle safety will be featured as well. Harrity said Ben Barry will teach safety measures to take while riding bicycles. There also will be free helmets available, while supplies last.

The program is designed to make participants aware, not scared. “And don’t forget, everything is free,” Harrity said.

John Anderson is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for John? Email him at jafortrel@aol.com.