Can you believe that it’s November already? 2020 has sure been a wild ride and for the Arts community it has presented challenges like never before. Many area galleries and museums are just beginning to re-open their doors to the public and all art businesses are navigating obstacles in their own unique ways. The nationally accredited Waterworks Visual Arts Gallery is now open during limited hours Monday-Friday with capacity limitations. Artists working in Rail Walk Studios and Gallery are now open on an appointment basis allowing guests to take advantage of a private viewing of their current exhibition. Salisbury’s newest venue, Heart of Salisbury, is offering a very unique gallery-view dining experience where participants can enjoy a private dining experience in the center of their gallery space. The NC Transportation Museum has re-opened and has some exciting and innovative opportunities coming up this holiday season including, “NC Transportation Museum In Lights, A Drive-thru Experience.” On select dates in November and December, guests can enjoy a 1.25-mile drive-thru holiday light experience! And as we move closer to the holidays, we will see the new version of our beloved holiday markets.
Support Local Artists this Holiday Season
While the Arts community is finding its way in this new normal, local independent artists are chomping at the bit to find opportunities to share their work and sustain themselves. With limited access to exhibition opportunities and pop up shows, local artists have not had substantial opportunities to make sales or to meet and negotiate with buyers. These artists are all hoping that the holidays will bring with them more opportunities and that the community will support locals more than ever this season. Coming up on November 27, 2020, a day before Small Business Saturday, Downtown Salisbury will host their annual Holiday Night Out from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Downtown businesses will extend their holiday shopping hours so residents and visitors can enjoy an evening of twinkling lights and family fun.
Where to Look
To find unique products by a whole slew of local artists, be sure to check out Lost & Found at 105 North Main St. This quirky, oddities shop offers a fun and eclectic variety of locally made products. Albums by local bands including Big Break, 9Day Trip, and Paper Wasps, art prints and funky stickers by local artists like Duane Duvall, and jewelry by Fraxinus Apothecary and Vintage Way Designs can all be found here, just to name a few. The infamous works from Salisbury’s resident fish sculptor, John Morehead can be found in the main square at Pottery 101. For a more modern feel, be sure to check out Hive located just around the corner on Innes St. This carefully curated space supports over 100 area makers. Their wide array of beautifully crafted jewelry, accessories, and decorative items are sure to knock your socks off. “Supporting artists is very important to me. I attended art school, participated in several art festivals, and loved being a part of the arts community. When I started Hive, I wanted that same feeling at my shop— Being surrounded by creatives and showcasing all that talent in one spot and highlighting the importance of handmade items,” shared Hive owner Michelle Pentoney. Locally produced paintings can be found throughout the downtown area in businesses including Sweet Meadow Cafe, Heart of Salisbury, and Grievous Gallery. Additionally, Grievous Gallery will be hosting vendor opportunities on weekends throughout December and has plans in the works for a Holiday Market. Be sure to check their Facebook page often for updates!
On November 28, 2020 The Holy Grind coffee house located in China Grove will be hosting their own pop-up event from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. and are offering a wide variety of locally produced, handmade items. In addition to shopping and coffee, patrons will also have the opportunity to participate in “Christmas Card Photo Sessions” with area photographers Marcello Aquino Photography and The Stirewalt’s Photography. The Wanderer’s Rest Home Emporium is also located in China Grove and specializes in locally produced holiday and decorative items. Vibes, located on South Fulton Street in Salisbury, is also planning to host a slew of Small Business Saturday events to highlight area creatives who do not have access to a storefront. These pop-up shops will run from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. beginning November 14 through November 28. Interested artists should visit VibeSalisbury.com to inquire about vending opportunities.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
Throughout our community, businesses and venues are holding their breath to see what the future holds. Many are actively planning holiday events but will wait to announce once we see the state of the community in regards to COVID-19. While that might make planning a little bit more challenging, one thing’s for certain, the creative economy is critical and supporting our area artists is essential to promoting its continued growth. After a long year of being cooped up inside our homes reliant on creatives throughout the world to entertain us, to inspire us, and to carry us through, we owe them our support and our business. As President John F. Kennedy once put it, “I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist. If art is to nourish the root of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.”