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Art at the Heart: See Plein air works from OctoberTour

by | Jan 17, 2023 | Arts

Plein air artists have a talent for bringing life to art and art to life, as you’ll see in the current exhibit at Heart of Salisbury or on Facebook.

All the paintings on display were done during Historic Salisbury Foundation’s annual OctoberTour of historic homes, where local artists have been painting for years. This exhibit is a showcase of what they saw and created, from the familiar Hall House to a detail on one of the featured homes.

​Sharon Forthofer painted the Hall House at a different angle.

“We do a revolving exhibit about once a quarter,” says Sue McHugh, Heart of Salisbury’s art curator. “It’s all about local artists,” she says. During Covid, everything slowed down, and any receptions they had for exhibits were held outside.

“Now it’s picking up steam, and the Plein air artists from OctoberTour were ideal.” Sue explains the regular artists’ reception during OctoberTour was replaced this year by a big gala. Historic Salisbury had a private event for the volunteers.

Stewart Ney Home, by Barbara Duffy Stewart Ney Home, by Barbara Duffy, in the Plein Aire exhibit at Heart of Salisbury.

The Maxwell Chambers House (former Rowan Museum), painted by Carolyn Blackman.

The space at Heart of Salisbury was just right for a longer-term exhibit of art done during the tour. “We thought this would take care of several birds with one stone,” Sue says. “It’s a place for the OctoberTour paintings, it’s a boost for the Salisbury community,” with the beautiful historic buildings highlighted, and it’s a chance for people to see those buildings differently.

​A grouping of acrylics by Karen Koritko shows scenes around Salisbury.

Ten artists participated, Sue said, most bringing six pieces. Phyllis Steimel, who leads the local Plein air artists, brought 15. “She’s really good,” Sue said.

Phyllis Steimel has a number of paintings at the Plein Aire exhibit at Heart of Salisbury in Downtown Salisbury. This is of a house in Spencer, painted during OctoberTour.

​Phyllis Steimel also painted the Napoleon Bonaparte McCanless House on South Main Street.

One of the most striking paintings is of the old Shober Bridge, with its wooden structure, set in a gold frame that makes the perfect contrast.

The gold frame is a great constrast to the simple wood structure of Shober Bridge, by Phyllis Steimel.

Coming next

In the next quarter, probably opening in March, will be an exhibit of photographs by a local man who does candid shots and landscapes. “I hope he brings more of the people photos,” Sue says. “They’re so interesting. And I’ve always said Salisbury’s best asset is its people.”

The exhibits draw people to Heart of Salisbury, which is a combination of spaces, a small retail shop, a teaching kitchen, yoga rooms, and counseling areas. “We’ve gotten really good reactions to having the exhibits here,” Sue says. “I hope it helps people find us.”

All the paintings are for sale, and at reasonable prices for people who want original artwork for their homes or offices.

Heart of Salisbury is in the old Flowers bakery building, its entrance is on the side facing the small city parking lot in the 100 block of East Innes Street.

Plein Air artists at Heart of Salisbury, 120 E. Innes St., Salisbury, will be on display through Feb. 25. Call 704-245-6654 to check for hours, which are generally 10 am to 3 or 4 pm.

Salisbury SymphonyThe Symphony will present its FUN concert on Jan 28 at 7:30 p.m., in Keppel Auditorium on the Catawba College campus, 2300 W. Innes St., Salisbury.

This concert will feature Daniel Skidmore on the violin and Elizabeth Pacheco Rose, soprano; Jason Ferrante, tenor; and Richard Ollarsaba, bass-baritone.

Enjoy the rollicking “Portsmouth Point” Overture of William Walton, Mozart’s Fifth Violin Concerto, played by Concertmaster Daniel Skidmore; and the Neo-Baroque ballet by Igor Stravinsky, Pulcinella.

The overture was composed in 1925, inspired by a 19th-century print of a bustling seaport, full of characters like sailors, merchants, travelers, visitors, and vendors.

Walton captures the hectic and rambunctious nature of the bustling port with brief melodies, sometimes juxtaposed, and at other times overlapping.

The brilliance of Mozart

Mozart’s concerto, written in the 18th century, was inspired by the popularity of the solo concerto at the time. It was intended for social entertainment, emphasized brilliance, and demanded technical virtuosity. He uses the three-movement, a fast-slow-fast format that was popular at the time. A solo cadenza at the end of the first movement gives the violinist a chance to show off technical accomplishments.

Stravinsky composed the ballet Pulcinella, based on Italian comedy of the 16th century. It signifies a major shift in his music, to smaller ensembles and clear structures, less elaborate than previous ballets. The story is one as old as time — several girls enamored of one man, Pulcinella – and the ensuing battles with boyfriends and doubles and a pleasing ending.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for those under 18. The balcony for buck seats will be available at the door. For tickets, click here or call 704-216-1513.

Rail Walk Studios & Gallery – opening reception, Saturday, Jan. 14, 5-8 p.m., for “ABSURD LIFE,” selected works by Tim Propst. Rail Walk is at 409-413 N. Lee St. Regularly open to the public Saturdays, 10 am-2 pm. Free.

Lee St theatre – “Four Old Broads,” Fridays and Saturdays, Jan. 12-28, at 7:30 pm, with a 2:30 pm matinee on Jan. 22. If you enjoyed “The Dixie Swim Club” and “Steel Magnolias,” this one is for you. Retired burlesque queen Beatrice Shelton desperately needs a vacation. A Sassy Seniors Cruise may be the ticket if she can convince her best friend, Eaddy Mae Clayton, to stop praying and go with her. Things have not been very pleasant at Magnolia Place Assisted Living. The newest resident, Imogene Fletcher, is suddenly losing her memory. Maude Jenkins is obsessed with her favorite soap opera and planning her funeral. A mystery unfolds as the gals try to outsmart an evil nurse and figure out why so many residents have been moved to “the dark side,” what that mysterious pill is, and what happened to Doctor Head. Hilarity ensues as Imogene goes undercover and Maude enters the Miss Magnolia Senior Citizen Pageant to throw the nurse off their trail. To find out what happens, go here for tickets.

Find out if these “Four Old Broads” get what they want at Lee St theatre Jan. 12-28.

Piedmont Players — “Heathers the Musical,” part of the After Dark Series, Jan. 26-28. Includes dessert, wine, and the show. Veronica Sawyer does her best to survive her senior year while navigating the beautiful but cruel Heathers, the new-to-school Jason “J.D.” Dean, and the constant pressure to fit in with everyone else. All performances are at 8:30 p.m. For tickets, click here or call 704-633-5471.

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About The Author

Deirdre Parker Smith

I grew up in the theater; my father was a set designer and my mother was an actress. My most magical memories are from the days when we worked on stage and backstage together. My father, James “Parkie” Parker was a well-respected member of the theatre arts department at Catawba College for 33 years. Though I was born in New York City, and lived for a time in Washington, D.C., I graduated from Salisbury High School and Wake Forest University and was a writer and editor at the Salisbury Post for 35 years. Watching talented people do their thing is a great joy — acting, singing, playing an instrument, painting, drawing, writing. I’ve been lucky to meet many awesome creative people over the years. Art, in all its forms, heals people, makes connections and gives us a deep joy.