Lake Norman CURRENTS magazine

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Lake NormaN’s TrusTed ChoiCe For oraL surgery siNCe 1985 | SEPTEMBER 2021









The magazine by and for the people who call Lake Norman home

Publisher MacAdam Smith

Go with the Flow If you enjoy creating, whether it’s through music, dance, visual art, writing or performing in live theatre, I imagine you can get a bit grumpy when day-to-day life keeps you from your preferred outlet. Years ago, I read the book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. One of the things I grumbled about was her concept of “Morning Pages,” where you devote three pages to “stream of consciousness writing” first thing each morning. I didn’t relish the idea of scribbling my thoughts out on a page longhand, as typing is my preferred method of writing. But once I began writing those pages, the cramping in my hand decreased over a matter of days and I started each day much more relaxed, having released all my fears and anxieties for the day on paper.

Advertising Director Sharon Simpson

Advertising Sales Executives

Carole Lambert

Beth Packard

As a writer, I enjoy writing about a lot of different things—from creative nonfiction essays to short stories, book reviews, blog posts and podcast scripts. They all require different skill sets and provide me with a sense of accomplishment. If my schedule gets too pressed for time and I don’t get to indulge in my favorite forms of writing, the anxiety and sleeplessness will slowly start to creep back into my life. An article in Forbes outlined how creativity can improve our health. It described that flow we feel when we’re absorbed in something, whether it’s a good book, knitting, painting, writing, playing music, etc. and discussed how indulging ourselves in a creative task can lower blood pressure, anxiety and boost our mood. When we create, our brains are flooded with dopamine, a feel-good chemical that can motivate us and lead to increased feelings of happiness. Studies have also shown that creative engagement can reduce depression and help people with dementia. I recall interviewing different members of the artistic community in the Lake Norman area last year for the arts issue, six months into a global pandemic, and while I saw a great deal of hope in the art being created, I could also feel the sadness that emerges when creativity is stifled. When I met with members of the Bailey’s Glen community recently, I quickly learned how therapeutic time in their new pottery studio has become. Not only are members strengthening their fine motor skills by working with clay; they are also keeping their minds sharp forming new friendships during a time when some people in their lives can begin to feel isolated. Working in the studio, taking and teaching classes, and creating items they can donate to local nonprofits have all contributed to a flow that some members call life changing. As you read through this issue, I hope you enjoy learning about the artistic endeavors of others as much as I did. And remember, as Julia Cameron says, “The creative process is a process of surrender, not control.” Editor

Trisha Robinson

Event Coordinator Alison Smith

Social Media Specialist Lauren Platts

Design & Production idesign2, inc

Contributing Writers Allison Andrews Trevor Burton Jill Dahan Grace Kennedy Bek Mitchell-Kidd Karel Bond Lucander Tony Ricciardelli Mike Savicki Lara Tumer

Contributing Photographers Jon Beyerle Jamie Cowles Lisa Crates 8


Since 1930. Trusted for Generations. | SEPTEMBER 2021



About the Cover: After a year of limited events, make plans to support local arts organizations this fall.




LAKE SPACES How we live at the lake

49 Dwellings


Movers, shakers and more at the lake


An immersive experience at Arts Unlimited


For the Long Run Davidson Lands Conservancy’s Run for Green

FEATURES In Every Issue

30 Thoughts from the Man Cave

Anthony Famiglietti makes a statement through art

42 Game On

Camp Gladiator in Cornelius

46 Navigators

Mooresville artist Anne Harkness



Dance classes for children now at Lake Norman YMCA Huntersville couple creates app for group organization


Live Like a Native Fall festivals


We’re Just Crazy About Beck on Broad bags

IN THIS ISSUE 27 Trends+Style

Artful Accessories

28 Young Leaders

Ekin Aykin is a champion for others


Your guide to fall arts in the LKN area


A musical escape with Esther and the Exiles


The Mudslingers Pottery Community at Bailey’s Glen

27 Lake Norman CURRENTS is a monthly publication available through direct-mail home delivery to the most affluent Lake Norman residents. It also is available at area Harris Teeter supermarkets, as well as various Chambers of Commerce, real estate offices and specialty businesses.


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66 Wine Time

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65 In The Kitchen

72 Renee Wants to Know

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A month of things to do on the lake

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64 On Tap

70 On the Circuit

Davidson home reflects family heritage with a modern twist

The entire contents of this publication are protected under copyright. Unauthorized use of any editorial or advertising content in any form is strictly prohibited. Lake Norman CURRENTS magazine is wholly owned by Oasis Magazines, Inc.


Arneis and Mooresville’s Joe Fish

68 Nibbles + Bites

Jily’s Sweet Shoppe

Mission Statement: Lake Norman CURRENTS magazine will embody the character, the voice and the spirit of its readers, its leaders and its advertisers. It will connect the people of Lake Norman through inspiring, entertaining and informative content, photography and design; all of which capture the elements of a well-lived life on and around the community known as Lake Norman.

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Channel Markers Movers, Shakers, Style, Shopping, Trends, Happenings and More at Lake Norman Gina Duckworth, Operations Director of Arts Unlimited in Mooresville.

Art a la Carte

Arts Unlimited

provides an immersive space for the artistic community by Grace Kennedy photography by Lisa Crates

Anyone who has worked with Gina Duckworth knows her “happy place” is just behind the stage where she can watch performances up close while staying behind the scenes. “I like to be back there and take it all in when the lights go up on opening night,” says Duckworth, a Mooresville resident with nearly 30 years of experience as a dance and youth theatre educator. As Operations Director of the newly opened Arts Unlimited, Duckworth remains in her happy place, overseeing the evolution of the immersive arts venue and studio space for local artists and performance groups. The space at 228 North Main Street in Mooresville is also the new home of the Mooresville Community Children’s Theatre (MCCT), for which Duckworth has served as board president for seven years. As a member of the Duckworth family (her husband Rob is a restaurateur behind Duckworth’s Grill & Taphouse and Link & Pin), she has been actively contributing to the community for years. Helping to support MCCT by providing a consistent rehearsal space is one more way for the Duckworths to give back in a meaningful way. Rather than being a new dance studio or performance space, Arts Unlimited was intentionally designed as a place where artists of all ages, in addition to people interested in technical theatre, costuming, and set design, can have “a la carte” exposure to learning and practicing. Duckworth imagines Arts Unlimited serving a young person who plays a sport but wants to fit a six-week performance into their

schedule when possible, or a costume designer who wants to teach small groups but doesn’t have their own space. The open-ended nature of the Arts Unlimited space also allows for unique uses that may not have occurred to anyone pre-COVID. “We opened during the pandemic when we were already having to think outside the box,” says Duckworth. “Everything is portable so we can create sets or pull everything out and make it a dance studio.” One thing Duckworth learned by keeping a children’s theatre running during a pandemic is how to use video to create performance opportunities for young actors. With a smartphone camera and a green screen, MCCT were able to film entire shows while maintaining pandemic protocols. “Once things started opening up [after quarantine] we didn’t want to give up these options,” says Duckworth, who expects that Arts Unlimited will be able to help young performers create reels for applications to college theatre programs. “This space will evolve organically as we grow slowly, but no matter what, there will always be a project in the works,” says Duckworth. To learn more about Arts Unlimited, visit or contact | SEPTEMBER 2021


CHANNEL MARKERS - for the long run

Wide Open Spaces

by Bek Mitchell-Kidd | photography courtesy of Facebook

DLC’s Run for Green celebrates 16th year

This year’s Run for Green will take place on Oct. 2.

Run for Green typically attracts almost 900 runners of all skill levels.

Now in its 16th year, “Run for Green” is the Davidson Lands Conservancy’s (DLC) flagship fundraising event and is the second largest event on the annual calendar for the town of Davidson. Starting on South Street, the course takes runners through some of Davidson’s most scenic areas including several neighborhoods, and highlights many of the popular greenways, wildlife corridors, and “Treasure Trees” (trees designated by DLC as having a story to tell, concluding with a post-race get together on the town green. “The Davidson Green is a great area for celebrating finishers and medal winners and for our sponsor booths, live music and beer garden,” says Dave Cable, Executive Director for Davidson Land Conservancy. “Run for Green alludes to supporting green ideas like land conservation, but you are also literally running to get to the Davidson Green!” With a need for cooler temps this year’s event has been moved to Oct. 2 and marks a return to in-person after last year’s virtual race. There’s still a virtual “run anywhere” option this year. The race typically attracts almost 900 runners who are a mix of individuals, team-affiliated, and family groups. The race consists of 5 and 10k distances, and a half marathon with a reputation for being challenging. Now in its 21st year, Davidson Lands Conservancy’s mission is to conserve local lands and natural resources, connect lives to nature, and promote a conservation ethic. They advance their mission through education and through four conservation pillars or programs: land conservation and stewardship; greenways and trails; urban forestry; and wildlife habitat. 18


The idea for the race started when the DLC board was trying to find an appropriate set of fundraising ideas that fit in with the ideals of the non-profit organization and were also a good fit with the town. Plus, it helped that one of the original board members was long-time Davidson College track coach, Sterling Martin. “Run For Green is a wonderful community engagement event that inspires good health and a strong community, both are core and complementary to conservation, and to making Davidson a great place to live,” says Paul Freestone, DLC board vice president. During the race, spectators can track and support their loved ones via the app RaceJoy. “For those folks who run with their smartphone, the app allows their fans to track their progress and offer encouragement. It also allows us to share information about special trees along the course for the runners to identify,” says Freestone. Cable says his favorite part of the event is “The high levels of energy, enthusiasm, excitement, and determination of the runners.” (In 2019, one fan set up a full drum kit next to the West Branch Rocky River Greenway at Robert Walker drive to help inspire runners.) “Folks love this event. And of course, I love what the race does to advance local conservation. Run For Green has grown to be an important institution in Davidson, not only because it brings communities together, but also because of the long-term advances of conservation that it supports.” Register to run or volunteer and view course maps: Learn more about Davidson Land Conservancy: or look for their table at the Davidson Farmers Market | SEPTEMBER 2021



The App for That Huntersville couple aims to save groups more time by Karel Bond Lucander Photos courtesy of Joe and Dawn Hewitt

GroupEasy founders Joe and Dawn Hewitt.

Do you find organizing events with groups to be a challenge? One local couple became determined to find a simpler solution with the development of a new app to do just that. Groupeasy is a gamechanger for non-profit businesses, volunteer organizations, clubs and even families. Joe and Dawn Hewitt of Huntersville developed this first-of-its-kind app for book clubs, sports teams, churches, schools and recovery organizations—any group that deals with online “information scatter” in emails and Dropbox. “It solves the common problems that all groups have: The need for a better tool to communicate, organize and collaborate with,” Dawn, who serves as Chief Executive Officer of the company, says. And while there are other platforms designed for large corporations, Groupeasy is affordable and doesn’t require training. It is simple to use, with a single sign-in and nine tools. “If you’ve ever used email or a smartphone, made a post on a social media platform, have an online calendar or used Survey Monkey, then you’ll know how to use the tools in Groupeasy,” Joe, Chief Operating Officer, says. For nearly 30 years, Joe and Dawn volunteered for many Lake Norman area organizations, in part, because they raised their four children here. “We’ve been involved in many groups, which means we share an affinity for something with others,” Joe says. “It’s those connections that add richness and meaning to life. We wanted to make sure that the stumbling blocks are removed because we want people to have rich lives through connectivity. 20


As volunteers, we learned things that led us to believe there must be a better way,” he continues. “We began research in 2017 and conceived of Groupeasy in 2018.” Together, they also had the professional experience to innovate this tool that didn’t exist. Dawn spent a decade in software development for Bank of America. She then worked as an IT process architect for Wells Fargo while also earning her PMP certification and LEAN Six-Sigma Black Belt. Joe is a skilled data scientist and mathematician who developed software and provided complex analytics for American Express, McKesson and Novant Health. They developed and refined Groupeasy, getting it into the hands of test users. The Hewitts then took their feedback and enhanced and retested it. After a series of iterations, they officially launched on July 13. “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the members who gently shared their constructive criticism,” Dawn says. Groupeasy offers a free 30-day trial. Always free for groups with seven or fewer members, the monthly fee starts at $14.99 for groups of up to 35 members. Unlike other apps, they will never share data and members control the information they reveal. With a dozen employees, the Groupeasy team will grow as they scale their user base. The app already has 25 organizations and 500 members on board. “Groupeasy allows members to focus on the meaningful work that they’ve grouped to do while we do the housekeeping,” Dawn says. Learn more at

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The Art of


Lake Norman YMCA adds classes

for younger students to repertoire by Renee Roberson | photo courtesy of Lake Norman YMCA

This fall, don’t be surprised if you hear the happy sound of shoes tapping on the main floor of the Lake Norman YMCA, as they’ve added a new offering to their youngest members—dance classes. Following the facility’s 2020 renovation, staff and administrators realized the new barre studio, complete with bars, mirrors, and a Bluetooth stereo, would be the perfect space to begin welcoming dance students, says Amber Roland, Director of Gymnastics and Dance at the Lake Norman YMCA. Classes will begin Sept. 13. KinderKids Dance will introduce the youngest students ages 2 to 3 years to the fundamentals of musicality and rhythm. Students 2 ½ to 5 years of age will make up the Preschool Dance class, which focuses mostly on rhythmic activities that develop body

awareness, artistic expression, musicality, and ballet fundamentals. Those in the 5-7 years age group can register for Tap/Ballet, and students 8 and older can check out Lyrical Dance and Hip Hop offerings. For now, students up to age 12 can participate in classes, but Roland says that may open to older students in the future. Instructors for the classes are former competitive dancers and have been a part of the summer camp program teaching dance to students. Dance at the Lake Norman YMCA is a year-long program that runs from mid-September through Dec. 11. The second session will run Jan. 10 through May 21 of next year and will include a dance recital. To learn more or register visit

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Photo courtesy of Carolina Renaissance Festival.

CHANNEL MARKERS - live like a native

Festivals! Photo by Jay Weinmiller.

complied by Renee Roberson

Festival of Food Trucks (Sept. 4) Visit Downtown Mooresville for food trucks, live music, and shopping. 5-8:30 p.m. Free. North Main Street, Mooresville, The 2021 Rural Hill Amazing Maize Race (Sept. 11-Nov. 7) Navigate the giant 7-acre corn maize featuring more than two miles of interconnecting paths. Take a hayride around the farm, enjoy local beer, wine and cider, play a round of cornhole, and more. Times and ticket prices vary. Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville, Praise in the Park (Sept. 18) This free, town-sponsored event includes Christian entertainment, local and national professional artists, inspirational vendors, food, and more. Free. 5-8 p.m. Smithville Park, 19710 S. Ferry Street, Cornelius, 2021 Tawba Walk Arts & Music Festival (Sept. 25) This festival will include two stages of entertainment, more than 100 local artists and vendors, craft breweries, food trucks, street art, games, giveaways, a kid zone, and more. Free. 2-8 p.m. Old Town Cornelius, 19725 Oak Street, Cornelius, Alpaca Fiesta USA (Sept. 25) Experience yoga with alpacas, artistic demos of knitting and other fiber arts, exhibits of Peruvian culture, music, local vendors, and food. Free. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 10325 Hambright Road, Huntersville, Downtown Mooresville Uncorked & Artsy (Oct. 1) This event features wine or beer tastings at multiple downtown businesses. Local and regional artists also display their works along Broad and Main Streets. Expect live music, light appetizers, and in-tandem specials in businesses and out on the sidewalks. The tasting portion of the event is $25 per person and include all tastings and a souvenir glass. The art and live music portions are free to attend. 6-9 p.m. Downtown Mooresville, 24


Above: Nearly 1,000 artists that specialize in all types of creative mediums work each day of the Carolina Renaissance Festival. Left: Heats for the Charlotte Dragon Boat Festival begin at 9 a.m. on Oct. 16.

Downtown Mooresville Wiener Race (Oct. 2) This beloved event is back and ready to raise money for local pet rescue groups. Races are held for puppy, junior, adult, and senior divisions. There is also a “Cutest” and “Best Dressed” category. All entrants are required to be classified as a Dachshund breed to be eligible to participate. Spectators free. 2-6 p.m. Behind D.E. Turner & Co. on Main Street, Carolina Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace (Oct. 2-Nov. 21) History comes alive with non-stop, day-long, immersive, and interactive entertainments. The open air Artisan Market is filled with arts and crafts, games and rides, jousting knights on horseback, falconry, mermaids, fairies, dragons, feasting and more. Free parking. No pets, please. $17-$27. Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. 16445 Poplar Tent Road, Huntersville, All American Dog Show (Oct. 2) Sign up your pooch for the chance to win in a number of categories, including “Best Kisser” and “Best Dressed,” while the whole family enjoys vendor booths, concessions and childrens’ activities. Free to attend. 3-6 p.m. Robbins Park, 17728 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius, Davidson Fall Arts Festival (Oct. 9) Enjoy an evening art crawl featuring area artists and craft vendors, live music, an interactive art area, and more. 4-7 p.m. Free. Downtown Davidson, Charlotte Dragon Boat Festival and Asian Festival (Oct. 16) The team competition that is part of a Chinese tradition that’s more than 2,000 years old returns this year. Free to attend. Heats for the dragon boat race begin at 9 a.m. and the festival runs 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Note: There is no parking at Ramsey Creek Park for festival attendees; parking is available at 8900 North Pointe Executive Park, Huntersville. Ramsey Creek Park, 18441 Nantz Road, Cornelius,

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CHANNEL MARKERS - we’re just crazy about

Beck Bags

Leigh “Beck” Moose, who owns the boutique Beck on Broad in Mooresville with husband Ozzy Ojito, is the first to admit she’s always been obsessed with handbags. But after owning bags by many high-end designers, she still could not find one that was “quite right.” She told Ojito she was going to design her own bag and he told her to “go for it.” The two spent many years working as fashion photographers in New York City so it’s no surprise that Beck bags are bold, fashionable, utilitarian and ever evolving. Notable features are heavy duty handles, a plush velvet interior, pebble grain leather and flat bottoms. Colors are inspired by friends, family members, pets and favorite travel spots. The bags are now sold at the flagship store in Mooresville and in more than 275 boutiques worldwide. For fall, you’ll want to check out the Beck Micro Bag (pictured here in Fern and Mushroom). Prices for the bags range from $325 for the Micro to $750 for the larger Weekender. You can also purchase matching accessories such as card wallets and ziplets. Whatever color or style you choose will be perfect for you, because as Moose says, the best accessory a woman can wear is confidence. Beck on Broad, 106 N. Broad Street, Mooresville, and @beck.bags.












[6] [7]


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1.“Our Little Spot” Anne 3. Framed Art Print 40”x 32” $299 Harkness, Oil $400

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2. Kristen Baird Collier de Fleurs Necklace $1175

4. Kinzig Design Manuel Floor Lamp $1700

5. “God’s Eye View” Ric Erkes, Ambrosia Maple $425

7. Sid Dickens When Pigs Fly $115

8. Houston Llew 6. “Something Different” Andiamo Spiritile $149 Sandra Eaton $125 | SEPTEMBER 2021



Beating a Charitable Drum

Hough High senior Ekin Aygen champions non-profit by Tony Ricciardelli | photography by Jamie Cowles

The gratification that comes from helping others can be most rewarding. Empathy and kindness can lift and inspire individuals and provide hope to those in need—perhaps more than we are aware. For Hough High School senior, Ekin Aygen, compassion toward others and keen social awareness summoned her to step up and make a difference. As a freshman in 2018, Aygen, with the help of her parents, established Heart-2-Heart Charity, a non-profit with a mission to raise money for children in need.

volunteers; she networks with community leaders, and fosters and maintains media relations, handles all monetary matters, and maintains the non-profit website and social media accounts. Through her managerial experience and personal growth, Aygen’s self-awareness is evident: “I’m a determined leader, organizer, and an advocate for those in need. It takes determination and dedication to spark change. It is never easy, but it can be done, one step at a time.”

“If you want your voice to be heard, stand up for what you believe in,” says Aygen. “Advocate for those who can’t advocate for themselves and surpass the expectation that others place upon you.”

Somehow, Aygen does find time for academics, hobbies, and personal interests. She plays the piano and guitar, and she sings. Her musical flair can be seen in her YouTube videos. She also enjoys recreational soccer, baking, and spending time with her family. “My inspiration,” she says, “comes from my parents and younger sister, who taught me that love and kindness are unconditional.” Aygen is looking forward to attending college, where she may study business administration or entrepreneurship. “I’m looking for a school whose values match my beliefs. If possible, I’d like to stay local and maybe attend Chapel Hill or Wake Forest.” This young humanitarian is unwavering in her belief that human beings must care for one another. As she moves toward life on a college campus, where will her humanity take her? Most likely, it will take her wherever there are people in need.

Since its inception, the non-profit has supported organizations like Children’s Hope Alliance, and it’s expanded its efforts to include partnering with elder care facilities, providing food and clothing to Charlotte’s homeless, collecting goods for families. Aygen is constantly looking to broaden the non-profit’s philanthropic endeavors. Possibilities include working with animal rescue organizations and partnering with women’s shelters. “I’m also looking for Heart-2Heart to take an active role in protecting the environment,” she states emphatically. “We have a responsibility to care for the planet, and the environmental situation is worsening. I see this as a challenge, where Heart-2-Heart can make a difference.” As the non-profit’s CEO, Aygen oversees a staff of up to twenty 28


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The Art of Fam Creating through a gamut of emotions . . .

by Mike Savicki | photography by Afterburner Communications

Anthony Famiglietti’s breakthrough art moment came in sixth grade. While many of his fellow students were struggling to brainstorm a solution to their teacher’s assignment, Fam, as he has pretty much always been known, was already hard at work molding his vision into a reality. Not only did his sculpture—a pyramid complete with a spider-legged camel and a tourist with a flowered t-shirt taking a picture of all of it— seem to take immediate shape, his teacher ultimately chose to display it in the main hallway, visible to everyone at school. Fam felt proud and happy. Surprised. Validated. Grateful. But then something happened. Running to be more specific. First, through a state track championship title in high school, a scholarship to Appalachian State then the University of Tennessee, Fam ran and ran. Faster and faster. Longer and longer. He escalated quickly from NCAA championships to USA Indoor and Outdoor Championships. He earned a World University Games gold medal, a Pan Am Games bronze medal, set Penn Relays records, and finally crescendoed with a US Olympic Trials win. He competed in both the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games and the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games. Fam 30


had become one of the world’s top steeplechase athletes. Needing to maintain a laser focus on training, his painting took a back seat to athletic excellence for almost twenty years. It’s funny how so many things from our childhood stay with us. “Sure, we remember winning races and playing sports, but how about art?” Fam, now 42, tells me. “I was a wrestler first, a skateboarder, too, then a coach told me I needed to run so I did. It wasn’t until I began doing research years later that I learned that art was important to many of my family members. It was like art was in my DNA.” As July turned to August, on one of those perfectly calm and clear summer evenings, Fam recently welcomed nearly two hundred guests to the first art show since his early college days. “Truth Decay” seemed an appropriate title for the evening. In as much as Fam’s works were a draw, they weren’t the only draw. He called the evening more an “installation” than a “show” because the

We’re Here For You Before, During, & After the death of a loved one location, an abandoned, crumbling, overgrown former powerhouse building behind Mooresville’s Merino Mill, was as much a part of the evening as the art itself. Think open air, 50-foot ceilings, graffiti covered cement beams and rusted supports, a dirt and gravel floor, enough overgrowth to camouflage the ever present poison ivy and oak. Fam spent weeks cleaning and prepping the space. He spent days and nights painting there, too. Like pure running, creative art can (and should) happen anywhere. And everywhere. “This building is like the cathedral to the bygone American worker,” he shares. “It is a symbol of change, a reminder that while still maintaining strength, everything is decaying to one degree or another. “Change,“ he adds, “is uncomfortable but it is necessary.“ Art has helped him through tough personal challenges, too. Fam lost his best friend when they were both 21. His friend was hit by a car while walking his dog. That friend’s father, and Fam’s, too, both passed away during this time of Covid. So, in his works he questions these truths and more. He looks to the subconscious. Nothing he paints is identifiable. A lot of people have been angry and upset these last few years. He paints through it all. He paints for what he gets out of the process. We can learn from Anthony Famiglietti and his art. Resilience. Strength. Fortitude. Truth. Uneasiness. Hope. Promise. Persistence. Keep running, Fam. And keep painting, too.

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Fall Arts 2021



Preview Compiled by Renee Roberson


Davidson’s Concerts on the Green All concerts take place from 6-8 p.m. on the Green in Davidson. The concerts are free, Gospelfest (Sept. 5) Davidson College Symphony & Jazz Ensemble (Sept. 19) Dave Matthews Tribute Band (Oct. 3) Kids in America (Oct. 17) Music at St. Alban’s The 2021-22 season will be the program’s 17th since its founding in 2005, the most recent one “virtual” in collaboration with classical station WDAV (89.9 FM). All concerts take place at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 301 Caldwell Lane, Davidson at 3 p.m., and will be proceeded by a free youth concert featuring local students on various instruments. General admission is $20, $15/seniors, $10/students, children 12 and under free. Tickets are available at the door for purchase at Noel Freidline Jazz Quartet with Guest Jon Metzger, Vibraphone (Oct. 24) Cynthia Lawing and Gloria Cook: Four-Hand Piano (Nov. 21)

Noel Friedline will perform as part of his jazz quartet at Music at St. Alban’s on Oct. 24.

Shaun Johnson and his Big Band Experience will appear at Performing Arts Live of Iredell on Sept. 18.

Performing Arts Live of Iredell Performing Arts Live of Iredell holds concerts at the Mac Gray Auditorium at 474 N. Center Street in Statesville at 7:30 p.m., tickets are $30, students are $15. Tonic Sol fa-Acapella and Shaun Johnson Big Band Experience (Sept. 18) Join Emmy Award winning vocal group, Tonic Sol-fa, and Top 5 Billboard artist, Shaun Johnson & the Big Band Experience, for a series of personalized performances. CashBack: A Tribute to Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash (Nov. 6) Based in Birmingham, Ala., CashBack has been performing their rendition of Cash classics at venues all around the Deep South since early 2018. The band’s five core members, all veteran players, are: Leif Bondarenko (lead vocals, drums), Gary Edmonds (electric and acoustic guitars, vocals), Eric Onimus (bass guitar), Adam Guthrie (acoustic and electric guitars, vocals) and Tommy Bowen (trumpet, keyboard, vocals). And in the tradition of those great June-and-Johnny duets, Lannette Brasher joins the group as special guest vocalist. Down Home Holiday Special (Dec. 4) | SEPTEMBER 2021



“Water Vapor Feedback” by Davidson College Visiting Professor of Art Nichole van Beek.

Galleries Davidson College Van Every/Smith Galleries Davidson College Van Every/Smith Galleries are located at the Katherine and Tom Belk Visual Arts Center, 315 N. Main Street, Davidson, From the Earth Rise Radiant Beings (Through Oct. 3) Liên Tröng: “From the Earth Rise Radiant Beings” presents recent works by Tröng that examine, illuminate, and interrogate notions of heritage and the influences that form belief systems. Exploring these artworks in the current moment—a year and a half marked by illness, death, anxiety, isolation, division, and increasing racial injustices, particularly against Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islanders—adds another dimension to an already physically and conceptually layered artistic practice tied up in social, cultural, and political histories. Opening reception: Sept. 9 from 7-8:30 p.m. Huumannatuure Lab (Through Oct. 3) Each year, the Van Every/Smith Galleries present an exhibition that highlights the work of one or more studio art faculty. This year, the Galleries will collaborate with Nichole van Beek, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art, on an evolving installation and meeting space centered on sustainable art materials and processes. Throughout September, van Beek will host several discussion sessions where participants will share ideas for building community climate resilience and rethinking our relationship to “stuff”. Opening reception: Sept. 9 from 7-8:30 p.m. Ought the Indians to be Driven from the Land they Occupy? (Oct. 14-Dec. 9) Nicholas Galanin’s work is rooted in his perspective as an Indigenous man, deeply connected to the land and his Tlingit/ Unangax culture. Over the past two decades, Galanin has worked across media, materials, and processes, engaging past, present, and future to expose widespread misappropriation and commodification of Indigenous visual culture, the impact of colonialism, intentionally obscured collective memory, and barriers to the acquisition of knowledge. His practice, encompassing sculpture, installation, photography, video, performance, printmaking and textile-based works, unites traditional and contemporary processes and materials to reclaim narrative and creative agency, and contribute to the continuum of Tlingit art within an ever evolving contemporary Indigenous practice. Opening reception: Oct. 20 from 7-8:30 p.m.



Mooresville Arts Mooresville Arts is a non-profit corporation whose purpose is to provide art and art appreciation for members and the general public. Mooresville Arts, resides in the Mooresville Arts Depot, 103 W. Center Avenue, Mooresville, Beyond Poems & Paintings (Through Sept. 23) This exhibit, organized by Mooresville Arts, showcases visual art, as inspired by literary art. Poems are provided by a group of local poets. Free. Tues.-Fri., Noon-4 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2p.m. Outside the Lines: Featured Artists’ Exhibit with Anne Harkness and Brian Fincher (Through Sept. 23) Harkness focuses on the importance of line and shape in her painted works as a means of giving her compositions a strong graphic foundation. Fincher is a 3D artist of Pottery Sculpture; his influences are the Prairie/Mission Styles, from color of glazes to showing natural clay with no glaze at all. Free. Tues.-Fri., Noon-4 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2p.m. 39th Annual Artoberfest Judged Show & Competition (Sept. 28-Nov. 11) One of Mooresville Arts largest events of the year, Artoberfest showcases art from local artists. Artists compete for top honors and Best of Show; this year’s show is judged by Emily Andress, Charlotte Artist. The Artists’ Reception will take place on Oct. 8 from 6-8 p.m. Free. Tues.-Fri., Noon-4 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2p.m. Artists’ Reception & Grand Re-opening Event (Nov. 19) Help celebrate the holiday exhibits and commemorate recent renovations and an updated Gallery at The Depot. 5-9 p.m.

“9 to 5: The Musical” runs Sept. 3-19 at The Green Room Community Theatre.

Theatre Davidson Community Players All fall performances take place at Armour Street Theatre, 307 Armour Street, Davidson, The Guys (Sept. 9-12) Less than two weeks after the September 11th attacks, New Yorkers are still in shock. One of them, an editor named Joan, receives an unexpected phone call from Nick, a fire captain who has lost most of his men in the attack. He’s looking for a writer to help him with the eulogies he must present at their memorial services. Nick and Joan spend an afternoon together, recalling the fallen men through recounting their virtues and their foibles, and fashioning the stories into memorials. In the process, Nick and Joan discover the possibilities of friendship in each other and their shared love for the unconquerable spirit of the city. As they make their way through an emotional landscape, they draw on humor, tango, and the enduring bonds of common humanity. Based on a true story. A portion of the proceeds will support local fire departments. Thurs.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. Adults, $20; seniors, $18; students, $12.

Exit Laughing (Sept. 23-Oct. 10) When the biggest highlight in your life for the past 30 years has been your weekly bridge night out with the “girls,” what do you do when one of your foursome inconveniently dies? If you’re Connie, Leona and Millie, three southern ladies from Birmingham, you do the most daring thing you’ve ever done. You “borrow” the ashes from the funeral home for one last card game, and the wildest, most exciting night of your lives involves a police raid, a stripper and a whole new way of looking at all the fun you can have when you’re truly living. Thurs.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. Adults, $20; seniors; $18; students $15. Boos & Brews (Oct. 28-30) This popular play festival returns this year with plenty of spooky stories and ghostly tales sure to leave you on the edge of your seat. Purchase your ticket early as there are limited seats and this event always sells out early! DCP Actors Lab, 20700 N. Main Street, Suite 112, Cornelius. Every Christmas Story Ever Told (Dec. 2-19) Instead of performing Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic for the umpteenth time, three actors decide to perform every Christmas story ever told -- plus Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons from ancient times to topical pop-culture, and every carol ever sung. It’s madcap romp through the holiday season! Thurs.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. Adults, $20; seniors, $18; students, $12. | SEPTEMBER 2021



The Davidson Community Players Boos & Brews play festival returns Oct. 28-30.

The Green Room Community Theatre Established in 1987, The Green Room Community Theatre was started with the purpose to bring quality live theatre to artists and audiences in the area. It is their belief that theatre is a life-transforming experience and they work to provide diverse quality programming to the community at a reasonable cost in All fall performances take place at the Old Post Office Playhouse, 10 S. Main Avenue, Newton, 9 to 5: the Musical (Sept. 3-19) Fed up with their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss, three female coworkers find themselves in a perfect position! Violet, Judy, and Doralee live out their fantasies of “doing him in” while taking over the company that tried to keep them down. Set in the late 1970s with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, this musical of friendship and revenge will have you cheering for these strong ladies! Fri. and Sat. at 7:30 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. Adults, $18; seniors, $16; students, $14; children, $8. Much Ado About Nothing (Oct. 1-9) Shakespeare’s comedic play about misunderstandings, love, and deception will be brought to life outdoors with the annual Shakespeare in the Park! Accusations, infidelity, trickery, and romance are all on the table in this beloved comedy! Fri. and Sat. at 7:30 p.m. These free performances will take place at Southside Park in Newton. Dial “M” for Murder Vep (Oct. 15-24) Tony married his wife, Margot, for her money, and now he plans to murder her for the same reason. He arranges the perfect murder…until everything goes wrong. In a scene of incredible suspense, an inspector from Scotland Yard and a young man in love with the wife trap the husband into revealing the truth. Fri. and Sat. at 7:30 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. Adults, $18; seniors, $16; students, $14; children, $8. 36


The Green Room Theatre Green Bean Players All fall performances take place at the Old Post Office Playhouse, 10 S. Main Avenue, Newton, Carolina Spook Tales (Oct. 30) Spooky Tales from across the Carolinas come to life on stage as a group of friends recount several haunting stories around a campfire. Discover some of the state’s best legends and revisit some of your favorites, including “The Ring,” “Brown Mountain Lights,” and “The Miner Ghost of Joe McGee.” 3 p.m. Adults, $10; seniors, $10; students, $10; children, $6. Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka (Nov. 19-28 and Dec. 3-5) Featuring songs from the classic 1971 film and new songs by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse, this timeless musical will satisfy the most discerning sweet tooth! Follow the adventures of the five winners of the coveted Golden Ticket as they tour Willy Wonka’s mysterious and marvelous candy factory. Charlie Bucket and the other four kids must follow Wonka’s rules…or suffer the consequences. Fri. and Sat. at 7:30 p.m.; Sun. at 3 p.m. Adults, $10; seniors, $10; students, $10; children, $6.

Mooresville Children’s Theatre The Mooresville Community Children’s Theatre (MCCT) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing theatre, performance, education, production and viewing experiences for Mooresville, Lake Norman region and surrounding communities with an emphasis on including children ages 6-18. All performances take place at The Charles Mack Citizen Center, 215 N. Main Street, Mooresville,

For information about available seats for the 2021-2022 school year, please call 704-721-7199.

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From left to right: Esther Alcamo, Salvatore Alcamo, and Jon Strickland.

Infused with Music

Esther and the Exiles offer a unique experience

by Allison Andrews photography by Darren Bowen Photography

Esther Alcamo couldn’t have predicted that a conversation struck up at a child’s playdate would lead to the musical journey on which she finds herself. It all started when her husband, Sal, picked their kids up from a friend’s house. He noticed Jon Strickland’s home was full of musical instruments and asked about them. Music became a recurring topic of conversation among the two families, but it didn’t stop there. “We all had these wide-ranging musical influences so went from talking about music to saying, well, let’s play some music together just for fun,” says Esther. “Playing together became another kind of conversation because the music itself is its own language.” Esther (vocals, piano) is the face of the popular Davidson-based band Esther and the Exiles. Her husband Sal (vocals, bass) and friend Jon Strickland (vocals, guitar) round out the trio. They occasionally add a drummer into the group. A long-time music educator, Esther says it was actually her husband who drove the band to play in a more formal setting. “We would spend a lot of time in breweries and restaurants that had live music and say, “Why don’t we do this? We should,” she says. Soon, they worked up a setlist and played their first paid gig at Rock Bottom Brewery in Charlotte in September of 2018. Now they make regular appearances at D9 Brewing Lake Norman in Cornelius and Piper’s Galway Hooker in Huntersville. You can also book them for private events.

Juggling priorities

Managing a growing family between day jobs and night gigs keeps the trio busy. “We try not to step on our family’s toes and take care of them through it,” she says. Esther is a CMS elementary music teacher. Sal is a project manager for Bank of America, and Jon is an elevator field engineer. The group comes from diverse musical backgrounds. Esther, who grew up singing in church, and Sal are native New Yorkers. Sal 38


comes from a musical family. Two siblings are musicians, including a brother who played Carnegie Hall. Strickland’s great uncle Arthur Smith is well known in the Charlotte music scene. A popular radio and TV host in the Carolinas, his show, “The Arthur Smith Show” was the first nationally syndicated country music show on television with performers like Johnny Cash. Smith also developed and ran the first commercial recording studio in the Southeast. The movie “Deliverance” used his song “Dueling Banjos.” Given their backgrounds, it’s no wonder the group has wide ranging musical influences. Esther had no problem ticking off their influences from country blues to KISS and Grammy-nominated rocker Grace Potter.

A soulful sound

Describing their sound proved more difficult. According to Esther, “the band combines classical piano with a touch of gospel and jazz, country-infused blues guitar and a driving yet soulful bass and rhythm with vocals which pretty much run the gamut from gritty and emotional to serene and sublime.” However you want to describe it, Esther and the Exiles will make you want to sing along whether it is crowd favorites like “Feel it Still” by Portugal, classics like “Rhiannon” by Fleetwood Mac, or the bluesy “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton. Esther and the Exiles play songs from the ‘60s through current-day favorites. Their next venture is recording some of their original songs. Esther says, “We’re playing music because we want other people to experience, and enjoy the groove, enjoy the moment, and the feeling of experiencing music.” Upcoming September Performance Dates Friday, Sept. 3 and Sept. 25 at Piper’s Galway Hooker, 7-10 p.m. Saturday Sept. 19 at Aloft Langtree, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday Sept. 24 at D9 Brewing LKN, 7-9 p.m.

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PHC – Mooresville Dermatology Center Naomi Simon, MD Michael Redmond, MD Kristin Prochaska, PA-C Gina Noble, PA-C Justin Loucks, PA-C Susan Stevens, RN, BSN Michelle Caamano, RN, BSN Laetitia Cloete, Licensed Aesthetician 128 Medical Park Road, Suite 201 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1827

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Charlotte Gastroenterology and Hepatology John H. Moore, III, M.D. Steven A. Josephson, M.D. Scott A. Brotze, M.D. Michael W. Ryan, M.D. Devi Thangavelu, M.D. Vinaya Maddukuri, M.D. Nicholas R. Crews, M.D.

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by Renee Roberson photography by Renee Roberson

Bailey’s Glen pottery studio provides a therapeutic outlet for members

Left: Sharon Byers and Jim Westbrook. Right: Spearheaded by member Don Wilhelm, the pottery group created a coral reef exhibit now displayed in the Bailey’s Glen clubhouse.

If you talk to anyone who lives in the Bailey’s Glen, the active adult community in Cornelius, you’ll learn how much they love the strong bond that exists among the residents. From fitness classes to social gatherings to crafting and woodworking, opportunities abound for the homeowners to meet new people and stay actively engaged with others. In 2017, two residents, Jim Westbrook and Sharon Byers, began brainstorming what it would look like to create a pottery studio in the community. Both retired educators, Westbrook began taking pottery classes in retirement after his wife offered them up as a gift and Byers had been teaching students the fundamentals for years as an elementary and middle school art teacher. Westbrook was already a part of a woodworking group when Byers approached him with the idea. They wanted the studio to be able to “provide a creative outlet for residents to use through clay.” The two also knew working with pottery would also help residents learn new skills and build lasting friendships along the way. 40


The pottery plan

Westbrook and Byers put together a plan of what the studio would include and a list of the materials and tools they would need to get started. Then, they met with Bailey’s Glen managing partner Jake Pallilo to present their idea. He agreed to give them a room in a building that also housed the woodworking and automotive shops in Bailey’s Glen. He told them they could use any discarded building materials to make furniture, shelving and tables needed in the studio and Westbrook took him up on that. They soon realized the space allotted would not be large enough to accommodate both the pottery wheels and the kilns needed to fire the pieces. They went back to Pallilo and he agreed to give them a second room to put the kilns in. One room is used mostly for handbuilding the pottery and the other is for glazing.

Fired up for friendships

This past spring, The Mudslingers Pottery Community held its first open house, and the studio began offering classes this fall.

Interested residents, no matter what their skill level, can purchase annual memberships to the studio. Memberships cover the costs of standard maintenance and help furnish glazes. Members of the studio purchase their own clay. Each member must take six hours of training in the studio before they can begin working on their own pottery. Westbrook, Byers, and other members teach small group classes. The studio is open 24 hours a day to provide flexibility for members. At press time, there were 71 members of the group. Byers says she considers it her mission to serve the Bailey’s Glen community in this way along with a small advisory board. Not only are the members keeping their minds and muscles sharp, but they are also forming lasting bonds and friendships at the tables, an important opportunity after living through the isolation of a pandemic. “One of the things I hear from members constantly is ‘I can’t tell you how uplifting this is,’” she says. Westbrook feels the same. “I think it has increased the feeling of community because you have people who have not associated with one another and now, they’re at a table for two hours working with someone,” he says. “They may not have the ability to play pickeball or shuffleboard but they can do this. As an educator, I’ve always believed you don’t stop learning. This is part of that process.”

Top: Members created this customized sign at the entrance of the studio. Left: One of the kilns available for use. Right: Creative tic tac toe boards designed by members.

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Train like a


Class offered through Town of Cornelius challenges participants by Lara Tumer photography by Jon Beyerle

Chad Hitchcock, Area Director of Camp Gladiator in Cornelius, leaders participants through a rigorous workout.



The four-week program focuses on endurance, strength and agility, and interval training.

A field (or parking lot) filled with high energy and high fives sets the tone at Camp Gladiator, an outdoor fitness experience that adds something unique to the health and wellness landscape. Chad Hitchcock, the Area Director and one of the area’s lead trainers, describes the unique structure of Camp Gladiator. “The four week program focuses on endurance in week one, strength and agility in week two, interval training in week three, and a test of progress in week four, which is called peak week.” After the four week cycle, community week allows for a bit of rest and a few bonus workouts before the cycle begins again. Chad was approached several years ago as a trainer at another gym about expanding Camp Gladiator into the area. Before he knew it, he was at their headquarters learning the ins and outs of the franchise.

The original gladiator A little back story here; original founder, Ally Davidson, tried out for TV show “American Gladiators” on her wedding day, just four hours before her ceremony. The producers of the show later invited both her and her husband onto the show for a special couples episode. Davidson won the entire competition and used the winnings to start Camp Gladiator, which began in a parking lot with just a stack of cones and 40 participants. Today, Camp Gladiator has more than 3,500 locations in over 350 cities, with a host of camps right here in the Lake Norman Area.

A fresh format Campers should expect to bring a yoga mat, a set of dumbbells (weighing between 8 and 20 pounds), and some water to the | SEPTEMBER 2021



camp location. Bailey Road Park, Newsong Church, Discovery Place Kids, and Veterans Park are all home to camps throughout the week with morning and evening times available. The online community is also growing and campers who can’t make it in person can sign up for a virtual fitness experience with the same mix of strength and cardio. “While the theme each week is the same across the board, each trainer is programming their own camp, so no two camps are the same,” Hitchcock says. It’s this format that keeps things fresh and exciting even for the most dedicated campers. Walking onto the field at Bailey Road Park, it’s obvious that community plays a huge role in Camp Gladiator’s success. The trainer and other campers are all welcoming to a newbie, and for an early morning camp, it seems like everyone has had their dose of caffeine and are ready to roll. The trainer leads the group through a short warm up and stretch, before getting into the good stuff. The first part of camp today includes a friendly competition—a game where the group is divided into two teams. Everyone is working up a sweat and firing friendly banter back and forth. After a few burpees for the losing team (all in good spirit), the group works through a whiteboard workout with a handful of strength exercises and a good amount of sprinting in between. High fives and encouragement come from the trainer and campers are cheering each other on. The emergent heat doesn’t stop

anyone from finishing strong. The instructor is mindful of anyone needing modifications whether that be for fitness level or injury and makes adjustments on a personal level where necessary. Camp ends with a cooldown and some sun salutations, a calming end for both the mind and body. The cost to enjoy unlimited camps is $125, with a free 7 day trial for anyone who wants to give Camp Gladiator a try before committing. Check out their website for exact times and locations, where you’ll find classes Monday through Friday at varying times of the day.

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Painting Outside the Lines

Anne Harkness grew up in a family of artists and has always worked to incorporate art into her life.

Artist Anne Harkness finds inspiration in town scenes by Tony Ricciardelli photography by Lisa Crates



The likeness that stands in Anne Harkness’ back yard was sculpted by her grandmother, a sculptor and painter, who created the work when Harkness was nine years old. For Harkness, a Mooresville resident, the figure is a reminder of her journey as a youngster drawing sketches during family TV hours, to becoming the successful artist she is today. In fact, art is in Harkness’ genes. Her mom was a painter, dad and brother were architects, another brother a builder and painter; her grandmother created and collected art.

Right: Harkness began painting with oils after her brother asked her to take a class with him.

Harkness meets with a group of young photography students at Mooresville Arts.

“Art was ever present when I was a child,” says Harkness. “My brothers and I drew all the time. We were surrounded by art: Renoir, Lautrec, Picasso.”

tomed out.” She was at a point in her life, where finding creative purpose and a relevant niche were necessary if she were ever to achieve self-fulfillment.

Although art had always played a role in Harkness’ life, it would be decades before oil painting became her passion.

“I was at an all-time low, when my brother told me he knew an artist who was willing to teach us oil painting,” Harkness recalls. “We took the class, and I discovered my passion.” In her fifties at that time, Harkness was about to embark on an exciting and gratifying journey.

Harkness earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from The Maryland Institute College of Art. Her first job was working with a small newspaper in Annapolis Md., where her she served as an art director, doing package and product design, logos, and hand lettering. Upon marrying, she worked as an art director in New York for fifteen years. During that time, she realized her responsibilities were somewhat restrictive, without opportunity to put her own “spin” into her work. “I require surprise and mystery from my work, “says Harkness. “There was little room for creativity during those years.”

Incorporating art into life

When children came along, Harkness decided to homeschool, and tutor other children. To promote reading skills, Harkness incorporated art into developing creative board games with her students. “I was sneaking art into board games,” she says. “The children didn’t know the difference. They enjoyed these activities, not realizing they were improving their art and reading skills.” Harkness continued to practice her own artistry, working with colored pencils, watercolors, and photography. Eventually, she was commissioned to create a mural for her church, a 30’ X 9’ acrylic painting. She studied under painter, Curt Butler, and soon afterward he asked her to work for him as a studio manager and, later, as an instructor. Still, after exploring several careers, including a position as an elementary school principal, Harkness realized that she’d “bot-

Creating on her own terms

“Once I had the freedom to create under my own terms, in a medium that suited me, I realized that I could start with a plan, but surprise! I found that each painting has its own journey that can’t be forced.” Harkness has been painting in oils for several years; her pieces have been in national and international shows, galleries, and museums. She has been featured in American Art Collector Magazine, as well as in International Artist Magazine. She is represented by Lee Dellinger Fine Art in Statesville, and The O’Brien Gallery in Greensboro. She is a member of American Women Artists. She draws inspiration from strong designed structures with definitive lines including lines in nature, manmade lines, and town scenes. “I photograph town scenes demonstrating an exclusive point of view: a street corner, light coming around a street corner, landscapes, roads,” she explains. “Design and subject flaws within the photograph must bring passion; flaws can be fixed. I can leave out the lines, add lines, add my own flavor to details, and then it becomes more about the painting and less about the photograph until it’s not about the photograph at all.” For more information about Anne Harkness, visit her website at Harkness’ work is currently on display in the Outside the Lines exhibit at Mooresville Arts through Sept. 23. For more information go to | SEPTEMBER 2021


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Cheryl Luckett of Dwell by Cheryl helped a Davidson couple create a home inspired by art and family history. p. 50 | SEPTEMBER 2021



Modern yet Meaningful The living room feels traditional with a nod toward modern. There’s plenty of seating and space for entertaining. The upholstery on the sofa, chairs and table are all from a minority-owned NC furniture manufacturer that Luckett has a licensed collection with called Belle by Cheryl Luckett for Sylvester Alexander. The chairs are covered in a striking animal print produced by NC-based Revolution Performance Fabrics, and the couch pillows are custom-made; with the addition of the animal pillow from Ngala Trading Co., “We wanted to invoke the client’s African roots in the décor,” says Luckett. 50



A Place to

Davidson home reflects

family and heritage with a modern twist

by Bek Mitchell-Kidd Living area photography by Cam Richards Photography Nursery and bonus room photography by Laura Sumrack Photography

With a baby on the way, Cheryl Luckett’s clients reached out for help to design a nursery. Luckett, owner of Dwell by Cheryl, had previously worked on other areas of the Davidson home, and was able to hit the ground running already knowing her clients’ style. “The clients are both busy medical professionals and had their hands full. We stepped in to do the heavy lifting and make welcoming a baby as seamless as possible,” she says.

Dreamy Room The color palette is what sweet dreams are made of with lovely lavenders, pinks and white. The soft lavender, coral and gray are inspired by the original art by Adrienne Brown David. “I came across a small local gallery in coastal Mississippi, and I remembered the beautiful pieces, so I reached out to the artist directly,” says Luckett. | SEPTEMBER 2021



Light Up The Nursery The Cyan Design chandelier is also a work of art. Luckett and her team had to wait months for it return to stock due to COVID-19 delays. “We encouraged the clients to hold out because we knew it was the perfect piece for the space. We wanted something to accentuate the vaulted ceiling, and was somewhat feminine but that would also have longevity as the little one grows,” says Luckett.



Dwell by Cheryl’s Tips for Designing a Nursery • Aim to create a space that is sweet enough to enjoy when the baby is in infancy but that has a color scheme and key pieces that will still work as the child grows. • Consider nixing the traditional changing table for a beautiful and well-made dresser. • Opt for lighting that’s a little more sophisticated. • Invest in original art as heirloom pieces for the child (and family) to enjoy for many years to come. | SEPTEMBER 2021



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Style Shelving In the bonus room, Luckett created an engaging scene on the open shelving. Here are her top three tips when approaching shelves: 1. Size matters. Try to keep everything at least as large as a cantaloupe. Smaller items can get lost in large shelving and the appearance can get visually busy pretty quickly.

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2. Relax. Relate. Repeat: Relax and make sure you’re not so fixated on getting it ‘right’ that you don’t make it your own. Next, you want the pieces to relate to you in some way (relics from travels, books you love, photos, special art…) This keeps things from feeling like a store display. Last, repeat elements. Whether it’s a color or finish or texture or shape, repetition makes for a more cohesive look. 3. White Space. Don’t feel as if you need to fill the entire space. Larger items especially look great with a little breathing room.






Bold Baskets Baskets hung on the wall are an excellent way to add texture to a space. They also allow space for the clients to add more should they decide to grow the collection.



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Lightstyles We love a layered approach – for lighting and accessories! In lighting it is important to have different types of light for different functions. For example, in a Dining Room you may have overhead light from a chandelier to illuminate the room, but also have soft light from lamps or sconces to add ambiance. And we love dimmers! Control your lighting with bright or soft light with a quick adjustment to help set a mood and address a function-like soft light for dinner but bright light for cleanup! We think accessories can be layered too – mix a short squat vase with a taller slender sculpture and add a splash of greenery to set curated vignettes. Mixing heights, finishes, and textures create interest and depth in your displays. Our team of dedicated, knowledgeable staff is here for you to create your ultimate lighting experience – whether you need that one perfect fixture, a whole houseful of lighting, or just the finishing touches, we can help curate the perfect lighting and decor for your space!

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Dine + Wine Eating, drinking, cooking and fun

Quench your thirst at Thig’s. p. 64 Cake with chocolate + coffee. p. 65 White wine and seafood at Mooresville’s Joe Fish. p. 66 Dessert in a jar at Jily’s. p. 68 | SEPTEMBER 2021


DINE+WINE | on tap

Thigs, located in Old Town Cornelius, features handcrafted cocktails as well as beer, wine and seltzer.

International Inspiration

Travels sparked Kas Matos’ idea for cocktail bar Thigs

by Lara Tumer | Photos courtesy of Facebook

The opening of Lake Norman’s newest cocktail bar came to fruition serendipitously. Thigs, which is located on Main Street in Cornelius, is the product of a longtime dream, a good amount of patience, an eye for design and detail, and the minor mispronunciation of a local bar in a foreign country.

were selected based off something he saw at a bar in Spain. “Even the design choices in the restrooms were extremely selective.” The branded moss wall was an original piece of art. Matos sat at the bar every night for about three weeks placing various colored moss on the installment until it was exactly how he imagined it.

Thigs owner, Kas Matos, is no restauranteur. Instead, he had been working in the car dealership business for about a decade when he was traveling in Europe—Amsterdam specifically. By the recommendation of his hotel concierge, he stumbled into a small but lively cocktail bar—void of TV’s but filled with energy and carefully crafted cocktails. The bar was called “Thijs” pronounced “Tiyes” in Dutch. Matos accidentally butchered the name with his American tongue, calling it “Thigs.” Owning a bar had always been a dream of his and after this trip, Matos felt more inspired than ever to bring the concept of a luxury cocktail bar back home to the Lake Norman area, keeping his new spin on the name of the bar that solidified his business venture.

The cocktail menu is the bar’s draw, and just like the interior, every single drink has been created thoughtfully. A mixologist out of Charlotte had a hand in developing the cocktail menu, which was taste-tested for several months before being finalized. Each cocktail looks just as beautiful as it tastes, making them almost too nice to sip on. The bar features a selection of beer, wine, and seltzers for anyone who prefers those over a cocktail. A moderate dress code ensures patrons’ looks match the polished ambiance—disallowing items like baseball caps and athletic gear.

Being a man with an eye for details, Matos was not in a rush to open doors. He waited until he found the perfect location, and once he secured his spot in Old Town Cornelius, spent some time perfecting the aesthetic. He understood the role social media would play in the success of his business and explains, “Everything needed to be ‘Instagramable,’ from the garnishes to the glassware, each element should be pleasing to the eye.” His personal travel inspired many of the design decisions seen in the space. The blue, brass, and metallic finishes are influenced by a bar Matos visited in Denver, Colo., while the aquatic looking light fixtures hanging above the bar 64


While the drinks are reason enough to visit Thigs, those who’d like to snack while they sip can order a freshly made charcuterie box filled to the brim with local cured meats, artisan cheese, and accompaniments. Like everything else in Thigs, the presentation is idyllic. Cookie boxes, which will soon be swapped for mini cheesecake boxes, are available for a sweet finish. While Matos considers himself an entrepreneur at heart, he appreciates the challenge that comes with embarking on something new. The bar has been well received by the community and is already filling up each evening with couples on dates, friends meeting for a drink, and later in the night, those who want to indulge in a nightcap.

DINE+WINE | in the kitchen


A WINNING Chocolate Torte What better way is there to welcome fall and back to school than with a deep dark delicious chocolate torte? Swapping regular sugar out for coconut sugar makes this treat low glycemic and gives you a boost of minerals. Use the very best chocolate like ‘Hu’ and you will be rewarded with a torte that fills your mouth with layered flavor while being chock full of antioxidants. Dark chocolate also contains a chemical our bodies convert into phenylethylamine which is the same chemical released when we fall in love. This fall, fall in love and share it with your family and friends by treating them with this dreamy chocolate-coffee combo.

Instructions: Heat the butter, coffee, and sugar until just before boiling and then remove. Stir in the chocolate until melted and combined. Set aside. Beat two egg whites in a separate bowl on high until frothy and soft peaks are formed. Beat the two egg yolks and the two whole eggs plus the vanilla into the chocolate mixture until thoroughly combined. Fold in the egg white to the chocolate mixture just until they are not visible and pour into the cake tin. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the center is set and not gooey. Remove and let the cake stand for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and dust with powdered sugar to serve. Serves 8-10.

y by Glenn Photograph

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch round springform cake tin.


Ingredients: 6 oz (180g) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing 7 oz (200g) 70 percent to 72 percent dark chocolate, broken up 2 teaspoons brewed espresso or very strong coffee 4 large responsibly laid eggs, two of them separated with whites in another bowl 3/4 cup (120g) coconut sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste 1 tablespoon organic powdered sugar, for dusting Jill Dahan lives in Cornelius and is the author of Starting Fresh! Recipes for Life. You can learn more about her at To learn more about her nonprofit, Sunninghill Jill Kids, visit | SEPTEMBER 2021


DINE+WINE - wine time

A Bottleful of Mischief Sharing a meal with a rascal at Mooresville’s Joe Fish by Trevor Burton | photography by Trevor Burton

Arneis is a white wine grape variety most associated with the Piemonte region in northwest Italy. The name “Arneis” translates to “little rascal” in the local dialect. The grape gets its rascally reputation from its pernickety performance in vineyards. The grape is highly susceptible to disease, is very low-yielding and can struggle to retain acidity. It also tends to become overly ripe if it is harvested late. Yes, very rascally. Some context. Arneis was historically blended with the more famous Nebbiolo grape in Italy’s Barolo region. It had a softening effect on the famously tannic and austere Nebbiolo. Then came the sacrifice, to the benefit of its red counterpart. Some winegrowers planted Arneis alongside Nebbiolo in the vineyard as a means of protection. The aromatics of Arneis attracted the attention of birds and bees away from the more prestigious, and expensive, Nebbiolo. Fast forward to today. Arneis has made itself known. Wines from this grape are extremely popular, although you don’t see them too often around the lake. That’s why it was a pleasant surprise to run in to one at Joe Fish.

A crab cake sandwich with a dry white wine.

Barbaresco, from the Nebbiolo grape. And white wines jumped on their coat-tails. The Arneis grape originated in the Roero region. Thanks to those coattails, the region has had a meteoric rise to fame. Jumping up the Italian quality scale, Roero became a Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) region in 1985 and was promoted to Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) in 2005. The best wines are labelled as Roero Arneis. And that’s what jumped off the wine list at Joe Fish. On to food. Back in the day I spent a good amount of time in Boston and fell in love with the city’s seafood. That’s what has drawn me, over the years, to enjoy our little New England oasis in Mooresville. After browsing through the wine list, my wife, Mary Ellen, and I decided that it would be fun and tasty to invite a little rascal to join us for lunch. As for food, at Joe Fish I tend to, in a good way, get a little crabby. So, I often order a crab cake sandwich.

Italy’s Piemonte, in the foothills of the Alps, has to be a perfect region to produce unique wines. It has fog drenched mornings and cool days. The region’s grapes evolved over the years as they adapted to their environment. This was great but no one outside the region cared all that much. The world was a much larger place, then. For most of its history the Piemonte was completely isolated. People were born and died in the towns in the region without ever leaving.

The rascal was quite at home. Arneis wines are quite complex and so can hold their own with my crabby dish. To get the best out of an Arneis you really should swill a sip around your mouth to get to experience all its attributes. One thing sticks out to me. Sometimes, with Arneis, you get a little smokey flavor. I find that intriguing. Smokiness is the hallmark of the Piemonte’s famous red wine, Barolo. Arneis’ is not as deep as Barolo’s but it is definitely there. There must be something in that region that produces it in both red and white wines. I have no idea what that something might be, but I find the result very enjoyable.

Things changed. Winemakers figured out how to make more money and quality took over from quantity. Using modern methods, wine producers broke with tradition. They started making more drinkable, commercially appealing red wines, Barolo and

There’s a delicious serving of symmetry here. Sitting in the Piedmont of North Carolina sipping on wine from the Piemonte of Italy. An interesting wine and a pair of foothills. All there is to say is, “Arneis—aah nice.” Enjoy.




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DINE+WINE | nibbles + bites

Save Room for


Jily’s Sweet Shoppe encourages patrons to spread kindness

Patrons love the dessert in a jar concept at Jily’s Sweet Shoppe.

by Karel Bond Lucander | photography by Jamie Cowles

Take cobbler, pie or cake, layer it in a single-serve glass jar and you have Jily’s Jars, a special layered dessert sensation. “Especially with COVID, it’s been the perfect dessert,” Jil Micallef, owner of Jily’s Sweet Shoppe and Davidson resident, says. “In a jar, everybody can have what they want.” The menu varies and is seasonal but may include moist and freshly made carrot cake, cherry or blueberry cheesecake, key lime pie, “dirt dessert” (Oreos and pudding) or any other tasty concoction this talented baker dreams up. If you haven’t tried them yet, do yourself a favor and leave room for dessert tonight. 68


Jily’s Sweet Shoppe, home of Jily’s Jars, is located at 316 South Main Street in Davidson. This little take-out dessertery, which opened June 9, is in the former Wells Fargo drive-thru building. So, you can park nearby, order your treats to take home or picnic outside and enjoy them. “I’m overjoyed at the opportunity to have this temporary space,” Micallef says. After connecting with the property owner and bringing him desserts to sample, he said he believed in her and her products and she signed a lease. “Most people are happy that something is there, and now I hope people are happy that Jily’s is there!” she says.

Left to right: Owner Jil Micallef and candy treats available for purchase at the shoppe.

The fall party that started it all

A registered nurse, Micallef says her love of baking grew as she and husband, Brad, expanded their family. “We began hosting a fall party 14 years ago, the year our daughter, Calian, started kindergarten,” she says. “It was a way to get to know her classmates and their parents.” Micallef finessed her baking skills to make treats for an event that eventually expanded to 110 people. Guests told her she should be selling them. “I worked as a full-time nurse at the time, and I couldn’t decorate a cake,” she says. Her Jily’s Jars evolved as a fun way to make a cake that she didn’t have to decorate but still looked visually appealing. “With the layered Jily’s Jars you get the flavor and the delicious dessert and it’s okay that it’s not put together perfectly,” she says. Now they are her signature treat. With many options available, her Banana Pudding is available only at The Crazy Pig barbeque restaurant in Davidson. “The owners, Eileen and Rob, are wonderful people and have been just tremendous in supporting Jily’s,” she says. “So that is theirs exclusively.” Micallef also has cookies, including her in-demand snickerdoodle, and will have her popular candied pineapple and cherry fruit cake during the holidays.

Vision to hire people with disabilities Jil hopes to eventually have a full retail bakery and hire staff members with disabilities. She is inspired by her Uncle Bob, who was born with cerebral palsy, and her son, Zade, who has

high-functioning Asperger syndrome but is also gifted. “We can all learn by interacting with people who may do things a little differently,” she says.

“Share kindness”

Micallef also wants her sweet shoppe to not only satisfy your sweet tooth but also warm your heart. She has a sign in her window, “Share Kindness,” and provides paper and markers so patrons can spread their own positive messages. “Everyone can be kind, and everyone can make a difference,” she says. Life isn’t always easy. But like a kind word or gesture, her special treats can make someone’s day a little sweeter. When she is not baking or running her business, she enjoys spending time with her family, including their miniature dachshund, Max, and Newfoundland-Poodle mix puppy, Waffles. Jily’s Sweet Shoppe 316 S. Main St., Davidson | 704.750.0525 Hours: Mon., Wed., Fri. and Sat. from 4-9 p.m. | SEPTEMBER 2021



The Davidson Wildcats football team will hit the field this month.

Find artwork like this piece from artist Dale Barratini at For the Love of Art on Sept. 11.

What to do? Compiled by Renee Roberson


Dinosaur Fossils: Rookie Science (Sept. 9) Discover the world of science through books, hands-on educational activities, and experiments. (STEM kits will be available after September 1.) This event takes place on Zoom; register by 10 a.m. the day before the event. You’ll receive an email with a link to the secure Zoom meeting 24 hours before the program is scheduled to start. Presented by North County Regional Library. Free. 4 p.m. Cornelius Outdoor Cinema Series (Sept. 24) “The Croods: A New Age” will play on a large blimp screen. Bring blankets and chairs. Concessions available for purchase at 7:30 p.m. Free. Movies begin at dusk. Robbins Park, 17728 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius, For the Love of Art (Sept. 11) Featuring live music, a book signing by local author Tana Greene and original artwork by North Carolina artists Sarah Price, Summer Savin, and Dale Barattini. Free. 4-8 p.m. Home, Heart & Soul, 20901 Catawba Ave., Cornelius Quest (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) Plan a visit to Quest, the brand-new nature experience in Latta Nature Preserve. Explore this 70


13,000-square-foot facility, meet host GAR and enjoy the “Nothing Survives Without Water” exhibit hall and browse the gift shop. Free admission; see prices for Carolina Raptor Center if you plan to add a visit there. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 6345 Sample Road, Huntersville,


Davidson College Football The Wildcats face off against Shaw University (Sept. 11, 7 p.m) and San Diego (Sept. 25, 1 p.m.) Davidson College, Richardson Stadium, Davidson College Women’s Soccer Saint Joseph’s on Sept. 23, 6 p.m. Davidson College, Alumni Soccer Stadium, Davidson College Men’s Soccer University of North Carolina on Sept. 6, 7 p.m., Georgia State on Sept. 21 at 6 p.m., Rhode Island on Sept. 25 at 6 p.m., Radford on Sept, 29, Time TBA. Davidson College, Alumni Soccer Stadium, www.







What is the

Old Town Revival? by Renee Roberson Photos courtesy of Foundation Moto

The Old Town Revival is a free community event showcasing custom bikes and vintage vehicles. The first event took place in 2019 in Old Town Cornelius.

In 2018, Huntersville resident Adam Colborne, who runs the creative content studio Wheelhouse Media, and his brother-in-law Paul Morris, who had spent years working as a construction superintendent, finally happened to be in the same town at the same time. They wasted no time in moving forward with their dream of opening a shop where they could indulge their passions of building custom motorcycles. Along with a third partner, Scott Hauser, Foundation Moto was soon off and running. As they were brainstorming ways to get the word out about the work they were doing, they envisioned putting together a free community event that would showcase area custom bikes and other vintage vehicles. After meeting with Mayor Woody Washam and other town leaders in Cornelius, the Old Town Revival was born. Colborne says Foundation Moto has been given the first Saturday in each October in perpetuity to hold this event as long as they wish. In October 2019 they launched the first event in Old Town Cornelius, drawing a crowd of 4,000 spectators over the course of six hours. They knew they would need to find a larger space for the future, but then the pandemic curtailed planning on the 2020 event. This year’s event, held in conjunction with Spinnerworks Events, will take place on Oct. 2 from 3-8 p.m. at Kenton Place in Cornelius. Further enhancing the OTR experience will be a police officer escorted parade, a vintage plane flyover, the Ives Brothers Ball of Steel show, Kubota Field event, live music by The HC Hoakes Band, a pop-up vintage barber shop, skateboarding demos, 72


vintage bicycles, and a car painted in chalk for kids to draw all over. There will also be food, beer, cocktails, raffles, giveaways, and a wide range of vendors and sponsors. Colborne says this event would not be possible without the many sponsors on board, including title sponsor Hotchkis Sport Suspension and presenting sponsor Charlotte Tractor Company. Proceeds raised at the OTR will benefit two charities, Hinds Feet Farm, a local organization dedicated to serving adults with brain injuries and Yay!DAY Life, a nonprofit that supports several great local charities. “This is different from a normal car show,” says Colborne. “It’s a celebration of custom built and vintage motorcycles, classic cars, antique hotrods. We’re combining all of these worlds in one event.” After all, he points out, motorcycles are timeless pieces of art, along with custom and vintage cars and trucks, and they deserve a space to be celebrated and admired by other enthusiasts. To build awareness for the October event, “The Road to OTR” has featured five events in April, May, June, July, and August where participants began a ride at Murto Made Distillery in Huntersville and ultimately ended up at BoatYard LKN as a way to build community and show support to event sponsors for OTR. Learn more about the event at Old Town Revival Oct. 2 from 3-8 p.m. 17111 Kenton Drive, Cornelius | SEPTEMBER 2021




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