The Galleries’ first-ever solo exhibition, which will feature photographs by Sonia Handelman Meyer, will be on display Aug. 17-Oct. 10. Meyer, who is 95, plans to attend special events, including Art Walk and Collectors Circle, during the exhibition.
Meyer captured images at a crucial time in American history. The Great Depression was over and soldiers were returning from victories in World War II, but many people were still hungry, jobless and homeless. As a member of the New York Photo League, Meyer brought awareness to the plight of immigrants, minorities and the poor as the she photographed the city in the 1940s. Her amazing eye and unimposing persona allowed her to take pictures that pull the viewer in and give us a better understanding of the social, political, and personal struggles of the period.
“The way in which Sonia documents such a tumultuous time in American history is quite remarkable,” said Rebecca Collins, Cabarrus Arts Council Visual Arts Director and curator of the exhibition. “Her photographs depict subjects in harsh urban environments however it is the theme of the human condition that resounds with the viewer. The faces of immigrants and children are hauntingly beautiful and poignant — one can relate to their struggles and triumphs even 70 years after they were captured in photographs.”
The famed New York Photo League was instrumental in bringing fine art photography to the United States, according to Collins. The league offered its members a forum for serious photography, including classes, workshops, a darkroom and exhibitions. Meyer’s connection with the cooperative of photographers began with a beginner’s class in 1942 and included what she called “eye-heart-soul opening” workshops.
Meyer and fellow league photographer Morris Huberland took still photographs at the nation’s first integrated hospital, Sydenham Hospital in Harlem for a fund raising film. She photographed an anti-lynching rally in Madison Square Park, a Jehovah’s Witness convention at Yankees Stadium, the first publicity photos for The Weavers folk group, on Coney Island and at the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society. Mostly, she photographed people going about living their lives in Spanish Harlem, Greenwich Village and Midtown Manhattan, especially children.
Meyer said that she often snapped one, maybe two, photos and moved on without the subject ever realizing his image had been captured. She used photography as a way to overcome her fear of walking the city streets as a young woman, and she saw things that she might have overlooked had she not held a camera.
After the photo league closed in the early 1950s, Meyer turned her attention to marriage and then a family. Her prints and negatives were packed away in boxes, and her work was not shown again until 1978, when three images were included in the International Center of Photography’s exhibition, This Was the Photo League.
In 2002 she moved to Charlotte to be near her son, Joe, and his family. A few years earlier, Joe had showed some of his mother’s work to Lili Geer, who was at that time an art history professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Geer assigned a student to work with Meyer on cataloging her work.
In 2007 Carolyn DeMerritt, a photographer whose work has also been shown at The Galleries, organized an exhibition, appropriately called Into the Light, for Hodges Taylor Gallery in Charlotte. Many more exhibitions have followed at the Mint Museum, Wachovia Center and Hodges Taylor Gallery, Charlotte; Taylor Bercier Fine Art, New Orleans; Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, AL; Higher Pictures Gallery and The Jewish Museum, New York City; Fairhope Unitarian Fellowship, Fair Hope, AL; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC; Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH; Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco; and Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL.
The Galleries’ exhibition, titled simply Sonia Handelman Meyer, includes more than 40 photographs which will be spread among the four galleries. Meyer plans to attend Collectors Circle on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 5:30-7 p.m., and Art Walk on Friday, Aug. 28, 6-9 p.m. Collectors Circle will provide the opportunity to further explore Meyer’s work and the New York Photo League. Art will feature the opening reception for the exhibition as well as visual art displays and entertainment all over downtown Concord.
The Galleries are located in the Historic Cabarrus County Courthouse at 65 Union St. S, Concord. They are open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tours and exhibition-related activities for children are available. Admission and activities are free. For more information or to schedule a tour, call 704-920-2787.
The deadline for community organizations and schools to apply for Cabarrus Arts Council grants is August 3.
Funding for the grants includes Grassroots Funds from the North Carolina Arts Council. The Cabarrus Arts Council has been the Designated County Partner for receiving and distributing these funds, which are dispersed across the state on a per-capita basis, since 1982.
Grants are available in three categories: Organization Support, Project Assistance and Arts Education. The grants are partially funded by Grassroots Funds from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency.
Organization Support Grants are available to arts organizations that are nonprofit, have a mission that focuses solely on the arts, are located in Cabarrus County and provide at least 75% of their programs in the county. The goal of these grants is to stabilize and strengthen organizations that bring high-quality arts activities to our community. Six organizations received support grants this year: Cabarrus Art Guild, NC Music Hall of Fame, Old Courthouse Theatre, Piedmont Choral Society, Piedmont Prime Time Community Band and Southern Piedmont Woodturners.
Project Assistance Grants are available to nonprofit organizations to support programs of artistic merit that have community or statewide impact. The goal of these grants is to help organizations develop arts programs that involve and serve the community and that reach beyond the organization’s usual scope. Religious organizations and internal programs at colleges and libraries are not eligible. The arts council awarded six Project Assistance Grants this year: Concord Downtown Development Corporation, Union Street Live concert series and Spring into Arts Festival; Town of Harrisburg, Rockin the Burg concert series; City of Kannapolis, summer recreation series; Hospice and Palliative Care of Cabarrus County, Interlude music program; Logan Community Day Care Association, music lessons for children; and Multicultural Student Union, North Carolina African drumming program for 60 young people.
Arts Education Grants are available to public and private preschool, elementary, middle and high schools in Cabarrus County to bring artists into the school setting. The purpose of these grants is to supplement school curriculum and to awaken students’ intellectual and creative curiosity. Priority will be given to residency programs.
A panel of community volunteers will meet in September and make recommendations for funding to the arts council’s Board of Directors. Grants will be awarded in October. For applications or more information, click or call 704-920-ARTS (2787).
An exhibition featuring a subjective exploration of nature, beauty and visual perception will be on display through July 24 at The Galleries.
Perpetual Insight includes includes drawings, paintings, photographs, ceramics and mixed media by nine artists: Erin Anfinson, Nicole Aquillano, Hannah Celeste Dean, Alex Garbarino, Amy Gross, Lisa Krannichfeld, Cindy Steiler, Christopher Thomas and Justin Webb.
Click for more information about each artist.
The 2015-16 Davis Theatre season includes six performances in the flagship On Stage at the Davis series, a holiday show and the return of two local favorites.
On Stage at the Davis will open with Grammy winner Paula Cole on Oct. 2, followed by Shana Tucker, chambersoul and cello, on Nov. 7; Eric Bibb, blues, on Jan. 16; Mountain Heart, Americana, on Feb. 19; Della Mae, roots, on March 12; and Barrage 8, sonic strings, on April 10. There also will be a holiday bluegrass show by the Claire Lynch Band on Dec. 5, three evenings of the Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Show and a performance by Concord singer-songwriter Jim Avett.
Here are short descriptions of the performances:
Paula Cole – season opener, Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, 8 p.m., $44
Singer/songwriter Paula Cole has been nominated seven times for a Grammy Award, winning Best New Artist. She has had two top 20 hit songs, “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone” and the Dawson’s Creek television show theme “I Don’t Want to Wait.” Her music is complex and rooted in jazz, rock and soul combined with superior musicianship. www.PaulaCole.com
Shana Tucker – Chambersoul, cello and songs, Saturday, Nov. 8 p.m., 2015, $34
This cellist-singer-songwriter’s music is an instantly captivating platter of acoustic pop and soulful, jazz-influenced contemporary folk. Balancing mainstage performances in theatres and festivals across the United States with being featured cellist and mezzo-soprano in Cirque du Soleil’s KA in Las Vegas, she is a true rising star. www.ShanaTucker.com
Eric Bibb – blues, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, 8 p.m., $34
A four-decade career, 35 albums, countless radio and television shows and non-stop touring have given blues guitar master Eric Bibb a world view that’s tempered by curiosity and compassion, and the ability to see himself in other peoples’ shoes. He has toured all over the world and been nominated for a Grammy as well as four Blues Music Awards. www.EricBibb.com
Mountain Heart – Americana, Friday, Feb. 19, 2016, 8 p.m., $36
Mountain Heart is an all-star band known for revolutionizing the way acoustic music can be played. Members of the band have been nominated for Grammys, Academy of Country Music and County Music Association awards and the band as a whole has won multiple International Association of Bluegrass Music Awards. They have appeared on the revered stage of the Grand Ole Opry more than 130 times. www.MountainHeart.com
Della Mae – roots, Saturday, March 12, 2016, 8 p.m., $36
Recently named one of Rolling Stone’s “new artists you need to know,” Boston-bred and Nashville-based Della Mae has been called a female version of The Avett Brothers. Their vibrantly original music is rooted in rock, folk and bluegrass. The Grammy-nominated band is known for high-energy live performances, timeless lyrics, outstanding musicianship and expressive harmonies. www.DellaMae.com
Barrage – sonic strings, Sunday, April 10, 2016, 7 p.m., $48
This unforgettable show is the latest project from the creators of Barrage, which brought down the house at the Davis in 2008. Featuring energy, panache and stage innovation, the show features all the instruments in the modern string family with four violins, two violas, cello and double bass. The reimagining of the string octet is rich, powerful and like nothing you’ve ever heard before! www.Barrage8.com
Claire Lynch Band – holiday bluegrass, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, 8 p.m., $36
Dolly Parton credits Claire Lynch with “one of the sweetest, purest and best lead voices in the music business today.” Long recognized and praised as a creative force in acoustic music, she is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of bluegrass. She is a three-time winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year and has twice been nominated for a Grammy. Make this show part of your holiday season! www.ClaireLynch.com
Jeff Whittington Bluegrass Show, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, 7:30 p.m., $16
Enjoy three toe-tapping evenings of traditional bluegrass music hosted by Jeff Whittington, a North Carolina Banjo Champion and featuring John Culbreath, fiddle; Pete Corum, bass; Mike Wood, guitar; and Jason Wood, mandolin. Additional shows on Thursdays, January 21, and April 28.
Jim Avett – folk, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016, 7:30 p.m., $20
Jim Avett plays beloved country songs and original ballads and tells memorable stories. Father of Scott and Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers, he put music on the backburner to raise his family but is now in demand for listening rooms and festivals all over the country. www.JimAvett.com
The Galleries’ innovative new offering, Collectors Circle, is going on the road to ClearWater Artist Studios Wednesday, June 24, at 5:30 p.m., and we hope you will come with us!
“The Collectors Circle is the arts council’s diverse group of active art collectors and art lovers,” said Rebecca Collins, Visual Arts Director. “This forum is for those who enjoy learning about emerging and established artists and gaining insight into the arts councils programs and exhibitions. These events provide an inspiring and accessible environment for people to learn more about the arts and connect with people who share a common passion for art.”
This will be the fifth program of the Collectors Circle, which began last November. Participants have enjoyed meeting artists and each other, seeing artists demonstrating how they create their works and learning about collecting art for your home. Collins’ primary goal for the Collectors Circle event at ClearWater is to present an opportunity for celebrating and supporting local artists.
“Following an introduction about the innovative facility, the group will gain special access to several artist studios,” she said. “Visitors will have the chance to connect with these artists in a casual and social setting where they can learn about artistic processes.”
Sarah Gay, Manager of ClearWater Artist Studios, said that she and the artists welcomed the opportunity to host Collectors Circle.
“We love the chance to have more people to see what ClearWater is all about,” Gay said. “Several of our artists will be talking with the group that evening, giving them a chance to access the living artist as well as the work(s) of art. To many this is the most exciting part of contemporary art- being able to get a glimpse into the artists’ psyche and creative process. Many collectors became collectors of certain works, throughout history, because they had become friends and admirers of the artist.”
Located at 223 Crowell Dr. NW in the Gibson Village area of Concord, Clearwater Artist Studios was originally the city’s water works building and has been redeveloped into affordable artist studios.
Collectors Circle is always free, but we would appreciate your letting us know whether you’re coming by calling 704-920-2787 or emailing Natasha@CabarrusArtsCouncil.org.
The Cabarrus Arts Council’s 2015 Breakfast for the Arts will take place Friday, May 22, at Embassy Suites Hotel and Convention Center, Concord.
The fundraiser will include outstanding entertainment, inspirational talks, a free hot breakfast and lots of fun. About 700 people are expected , and they will be immersed in the arts from the minute they arrive for the tightly packed one-hour program.
Reservations are required for admission; reserve your seat by Friday, May 15, by calling 704-920-2787 or emailing Natasha@CabarrusArtsCouncil.org. Please help us meet our fund drive goal!
An exhibition featuring words, phrases, symbols, language and literature in conjunction with artworks of various media will be on display at The Galleries through May 16. Semantics includes ceramics, paintings, drawings, etchings, collages and jewelry.
“Throughout history, words and phrases have informed the visual arts,” said Rebecca Collins, Cabarrus Arts Council Visual Arts Director and curator for the exhibition. “Semantics is a group invitational that explores the intricate dialogue between language and visual art as a mode of expression. Semantics aims to reveal the connection between written communication and visual art in tangible forms. We see the transformation of meanings in language, symbols and signs throughout this visual exhibition as they mutually influence one another.”
Semantics includes works by nine artists:
- Andrew Coombs – is an adjunct professor of ceramics at the University of South Carolina who creates pottery that is layered with text that serves as both a decorative element and a record of his communication with the object.
- Stephanie DeArmond – of Minneapolis is a clay artist whose work explores language by taking slang phrases, colloquialisms, and snippets of conversation and abstracting them into sculptural form where meanings are revealed and obscured through typography and letterforms.
- Kiki Farish of Raleigh creates drawings that deal with visual/verbal communication systems. Complexity is built with organic images fused together with text to suggest subtle and polite statements of social matters.
- Andy Farkas – of Asheville works with wood engraving, drypoint and etching techniques to create detailed, evocative images. He considers the true nature of his work to lie in telling stories.
- Connie Norman of Wyoming constructs her earthenware clay pieces through a combination of hand-built techniques, including slab building, coiling, and press and slump molding. She then uses old moveable type-face to individually press in each letter on the piece.
- Merrill Shatzman is a printmaker and art professor at Duke University who cuts and carves woodblocks, stencils, and paper to make highly meticulous, crafted pieces that meld abstracted and readable letterforms, symbols and motifs.
- Geoffrey Stein is a recovering lawyer and figure painter who lives in New York City. He prefers to work from life when possible. His paintings explore the tension between what needs to be shown and what does not, the seen and the unseen.
- Barbara Campbell Thomas is an art professor at UNC-Greensboro whose paintings and collages engage the daily challenge of locating ourselves amidst the barrage of imagery and information that is characteristic of 21st century life.
- Ali Wieboldt of Blacksburg, VA, is a painter who happens to frame her paintings as jewelry. She creates miniature acrylic paintings of birds, animals and plants on materials such as bone, antler and synthetics, and then creates a sterling silver setting which enhances and tells a story about the subject.
The Galleries are open Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information about Semantics, call 704-920-2787 or click.
Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’ Blues is returning to the Davis Theatre, Friday, May 1, at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $26 and may be purchased 24 hours a day online and Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in the box office, in person or via telephone, 704-920-2753.
Mac Arnold is a blues legend. His first band had James Brown, THE “I Feel Good” James Brown, on piano. He followed that up by recording with Muddy Waters, Otis Spann and John Lee Hooker. He co-produced Soul Train, provided bass for the Sanford and Son television show and played with Otis Redding and B.B. King. He even has an honorary doctorate in music from the University of South Carolina.
Arnold tells stories you’ll still be talking about a year from now and plays bass, rhythm gas can guitar, slide gas can guitar and sings. Plate Full O’ Blues also includes Austin Brashier, guitar and vocal; Max Hightower, harmonica, piano, keyboards, guitar, bass and vocals; and Jeffrey Scott Hawkins, drums.
Here’s what a few people have said about Mac Arnold and Plate Full O’ Blues:
- “This is old-school at its finest.” Blues Review
- “A plate full of blues?… this is the whole dang meal.” Creative Loafing
- “One of the most original voices in blues.” Jazz Now
- “…one remaining virtual blues goldmine is Mac Arnold.” All Music Guide
- “The voice is appropriately seasoned and credible…his group able to match his bursts with formidable riffs and licks.” Nashville City Paper
Arnold has been nominated for best male Traditional Blues Artist at the Blues Music Awards and his return to music spawned a documentary Nothing to Prove: The Story of Mac Arnold’s Return to the Blues, which was nominated for a Blues Music Award. Click for more information about Arnold and his band.
This performance will be the last in the 2014-15 Davis Theatre season. Next year’s line-up will be announced soon.
David Domingo and the Fuzzbucket Music Company’s updated version of the old-fashioned variety show is returning to the Davis Theatre on Thursday, April 23. The show was postponed from its original Feb. 26 date due to snow.
The show will be at 7:30 p.m. in the theatre located in the Cabarrus County Historic Courthouse, 65 Union St. S, Concord. Tickets are $15 and may be purchased online 24 hours a day or at the box office, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., in person of via telephone, 704-920-2753.
The Fuzzbucket Music Company show is what you would get if you merged The Ed Sullivan Show, A Prairie Home Companion and the Grand Ole Opry. It is the brainchild of David Domingo of Kannapolis who founded the group in 2001 while he was living in Florida. He operates Wigglyroad Multi Media Productions, a recording, film and art studio where the idea for Fuzzbucket was born. The show includes a revolving line-up of musicians, singers and other performers.
The show is anchored by the house band, the Fuzzbucket Players. The modern folk/bluegrass/country/gospel band includes Domingo, vocals, guitar and bass guitar; Jim Cooper, vocals and 12-string guitar; Marty DeJarnette, fingerstyle lead guitar; Sam Falls, percussion; and Miriam Stirewalt, vocals.
The Fuzzbucket Players will be joined by a diverse line-up of performers:
- Rocksbury, Celtic fusion music featuring Corey Peña on the mandolin and Irish step dancer Hannah Simmons
- Shane Manier, poet, artist and founder of Guerilla Poets
- Michael G. Nolan, singer-songwriter who was nominated for Folk Artist of the Year by the Charlotte Music Awards
- Mitch Hayes, singer-songwriter who plays original folk and Americana music
- Cathy Taormina and Sylvia Schultz, classic opera duet
If the warm weather has you dreaming of going to a tropical island and your bank account makes that impossible, you will be happy to get a taste of the Caribbean at the arts council on Thursday, April 16.
Art on Tap is sponsoring a Caribbean-style party on the lawn outside the Historic Cabarrus Courthouse from 5:30 to 7 p.m. followed by a concert by the reggae rock group Sun-Dried Vibes at 7:30 p.m. in the Davis Theatre.
Art on Tap is the Cabarrus Arts Council’s new young adult group whose purpose is to develop arts leaders and awareness of the arts council. The group hopes to bring in 30 new members at this event. To join the group, come to the party and sit in the Art on Tap section at the concert, click.
The Sun-Dried Lawn Party will feature Jamaican food and drinks and reggae music. The party will continue after the concert with free tropical flavored ice cream from Cabarrus Creamery at Lil’ Robert’s place. The party is an Art on Tap membership event but open to anyone attending the Sun-Dried Vibes concert for $20. Reservations must be made by April 13 by calling 704-920-2787.
Sun-Dried Vibes provides a fresh twist to the reggae rock genre with their high-energy live performances that crank out infectious sing-a-longs laced with a positive message. Since the group’s inception in 2010, the trio has played about 275 shows a year and recorded two albums. Their second album, “Back2Square1″ debuted on the iTunes Reggae Charts at #6. They took home back-to-back “Rock Band of the Year” awards in 2012 and 2013 and were voted “Charlotte’s Best Local Band” by readers of Creative Loafing in 2012.
They played the major festival “Carolina Roots: Carolina Sessions” in Wilmington and toured the Virgin Islands in 2014. Their Davis Theatre performance is after their 23-stop spring “Look into the Stars” tour of North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida and before their first national tour in which they will play at the largest reggae festival in the world, the California Roots Music and Arts Festival. A third album, to be recorded in California, is also in the works.
Sun-Dried Vibes is Zach Fowler, lead vocals and guitar; Evan Tyler, bass; and Alex Winchester, drums. Listen to their music.