ARTS

Today, Brunswick County, NC artists will be lining up at the Oak Island Recreation Center in the Town of Oak Island, NC. Why? Today is the day they will deliver their multifarious works of art to be entered in the annual Arts by the Shore show. These works include paintings, pottery, jewelry, quilts, stained glass, wood working and so much more. Brunswick County, NC is blessed with so many skilled artists and Arts by the Shore is a great venue for you to see their work displayed. The show is open to the public on Friday, Saturday and at a reception on Sunday afternoon. Don’t miss it!

Speaking of art – you may not yet have heard about the opening of the Leland Cultural Arts Center in Leland, NC. At this center you can take classes in just about any artistic discipline you can think of. You will find classes in dancing, acting, poetry, writing, painting in several mediums, pottery and so much more. There is even a shop where some of the creative pieces made by Brunswick County, NC artists are sold. The center is well worth a stop to investigate. You may well be surprised by what you find there.

When people in Brunswick County, NC think of the word art, their thoughts invariably go to the Sunset River Marketplace in Sunset Beach, NC. This huge gallery is full of beautiful art pieces and includes things for your home decor, like furniture and pillows – all individually created by artists. You will marvel at the creative energy exuded by the wonderful works you will find here, and if it inspires your creative juices – all the better. You can take classes here as well.

Spring Dreaming

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The wind is blowing, the icicles are dripping, icy rain is falling, I am bundled up and warm and dreaming of Spring. I could blame the groundhog – it seems his prediction is the same every year. Yes, I know, it could be worse. The midwest and northeast are being inundated with snow again and a foot of snow can fall in an hour there. Here, in Brunswick County, I don’t believe there has ever been a foot of snow. But I am spoiled. I have often bragged to relatives in the northeast saying that Spring begins here in February. And it does – usually. The redwinged blackbirds were swarming the other day – one of the signs of the coming Spring that I have come to recognize. And I saw a bluebird just yesterday. There seem to be buds on some of the early blooming plants as well. But, as this weather is proving, you cannot depend on these as harbingers of Spring. There is, however, a sure sign of Spring that we who live on these barrier islands have come to recognize:

The Awakening

Spring comes to the islands,
not in the shape of green crocus spears
thrusting their tips through frozen ground and snow,
bursting with the energy of new life,
anxious to claim the Spring.

Spring comes to the islands,
not in the shape of daffodils
uncurling their golden trumpets,
playing a fanfare of beauty to usher in the season.

Spring comes to the islands,
not in the shape of a robin,
it’s red waistcoat bursting with pride
gathering twigs to build a new home,
to feather its season of love and new life.

Spring comes to the islands,
in the color of white
shining in the sunlight;
in the shape of sails
billowing in the March wind,
carrying the boats north through the waterway
like their great white wings
carry the ibis out to sea.

Rebecca Pierre

Of Dogs and Kids and Surf Fishing…

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I really wanted to attend a poetry workshop  on “The Epistolary Poem: Letters from Within.” in Charleston today. I was looking forward to seeing a friend I have not seen in years and meeting some new friends as well. I had hoped to learn how write a poem to the hawk that hovered between the ridges of autumn trees in Pennsylvania during a recent visit I had made. Or to the stars my daughter, my sister and I stood under one chilly early morning where we held hands in a circle and made a wish. Or to the ocean, so faithfully there every time I return home from somewhere else. But it was not to be. 

By mid morning I decided to take myself down to the beach for a walk. I threw a long sleeved shirt that had been my daddy’s over my T-shirt and drove the few blocks to the beach access. I had not taken many steps when I realized that the shirt had to come off – to be tied around my waist. The November sun was warm, as was the sand under my bare feet, and the breeze was light. A perfect day. There were a couple of people paddle boarding on the calm water and a number of men surf fishing as I walked along. I don’t think they even cared if they caught anything or not as they sat comfortably in their beach chairs watching their lines. A couple of them had their families with them. Their wives had stretched out a quilt on the sand and the kids were running, searching for shells, laughing and totally enjoying themselves. A little two year old boy plowed the sand with his toy front end loader. A few people were sitting in beach chairs reading books. People were walking their dogs – one couple had two Border Collies with them. I hoped to run into Susie, the shelter dog, who I am trying to teach that I am friendly. I met her mom, Jeannie, the other day and as I squatted down and put out my hand, Susie came up to sniff it. Not like the first time I met her when she ran away from me. Jeannie said that is the closest Susie has come to anyone else since she got her from the shelter. It must be terrible to live in fear of other people. And so, the walk on the beach did not disappoint – it never does. And this scene is being replayed on every beach in Brunswick County – a special place to live or to visit. And – it’s all good. 

No Boundaries

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Every two years for two weeks in November Bald Head Island, NC opens its doors and hearts to artists from all over the world through the auspices of the No Boundaries International Artist Colony. No Boundaries, Inc., a non-profit organization located in Wilmington, NC, founded the colony in 1998 to “provide artists from around the world and the local community a forum for free expression and cross-cultural dialogue.” Their Mission Statement states: “We believe our projects contribute to the cultural health of the global community and its ability to imagine and realize a future filled with diverse voices that will be heard with empathy.”

This years’ participants, who hail from such far flung places as Rwanda, Australia, Houston, China, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Raleigh and Seattle, boarded the Bald Head Island Ferry on November 1 to begin their adventure. Once settled in they began their projects in film making, photography, poetry, paper making, sculpting, painting and mixed media. Many of the artists work in more than one medium and some of them cross mediums from visual art to writing.

The unique ambiance of the island, the music of the sea and the bright sky will definitely add to the inspiration each of these artists brings to his/her work. The synergy and excitement of working together will be a catalyst to more excellent work as well. If you would like to get a taste of this experience, you are in luck. There will be an open studio day on November 13 from 10 AM until 4 PM where you can mingle with the artists and take part in the creative process.

More information can be had at: http://www.nbiac.org, noboundariesartcolony@gmail.com, and https://www.facebook.com/NBIAC

 

Hammocks

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There is no question about it, hammocks are essential to living in the beaches of Brunswick County. What better place to stretch out and relax? Weekends or weekdays, retired or still working  – it does not make a difference. You can read a book or take a nap – stretch out after mowing or working in the garden – swing lazily or frolic with the kids in a hammock. No matter your style of living, hammocks fit right in. They can be strung between trees or placed free standing on a patio or porch. You can even take one down to the beach to relax in the sun or under a canopy. Here is my take on the hammock in my front yard:

HAMMOCK*

This hammock, connecting
tree to tree, becomes a
suspension bridge for ants
who travel the rope that
borders the edge. Focused,
they never lose their way,
never deviate into the web
of highways, the tempting
byways of the green
knotted network that forms
the bed. While live oak branches
bow in an elegant sweep
to the ground, pieces of sky
hide among the leaves overhead.
A blue jay startles herself
by landing too close to
the hammock. A mockingbird,
so enraptured by his own song,
lifts straight up from a fence post
at intervals in his singing.
A grey squirrel sits in
a patch of sun, holds
a toadstool in her paws,
turning it with her delicate
fingers as she eats her
way around the edge. This
is the business of the world.
Our business is not to miss it.

Rebecca Pierre

*This poem has been published in: Literary Trails of Eastern North Carolina: A Guidebook by Georgann Eubanks. The book is described on Amazon this way:

“This concluding volume of the Literary Trails of North Carolina trilogy takes readers into an ancient land of pale sand, dense forests, and expansive bays, through towns older than our country and rich in cultural traditions. Here, writers reveal lives long tied to the land and regularly troubled by storms and tell tales of hardship, hard work, and freedom. Eighteen tours lead readers from Raleigh to the Dismal Swamp, the Outer Banks, and across the Sandhills as they explore the region’s connections to over 250 writers of fiction, poetry, plays, and creative nonfiction. Along the way, Georgann Eubanks brings to life the state’s rich literary heritage as she explores these writers’ connection to place and reveals the region’s vibrant local culture. Excerpts invite readers into the authors’ worlds, and web links offer resources for further exploration. Featured authors include A. R. Ammons, Gerald Barrax, Charles Chesnutt, Clyde Edgerton, Philip Gerard, Kaye Gibbons, Harriet Jacobs, Jill McCorkle, Michael Parker, and Bland Simpson.”

Literary Trails of North Carolina is a project of the North Carolina Arts Council