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FROM THE EDITOR
CATHY MARTIN EDITOR
PHOTOGRAPH BY TIM SAYER
ello, March! This is the time of year when I finally start to break out of my winter slump. There’s nothing like a little bit of sunshine, a warm spell or two, and a few more hours of daylight to lift my mood. It’s also when I start thinking about summer plans and places I might want to visit in 2020. A couple of summers ago, we decided we wanted our teenage kids to experience a coast-to-coast drive across the country. I’d done it when I was younger, and my husband’s work trip in California seemed like the perfect opportunity. Because our work schedules didn’t perfectly align — and because neither of us really wanted to make the cross-country drive twice — we came up with a plan: My husband and our two kids would drive west from North Carolina, then a week or so later I’d fly to San Francisco and meet them for a few days together in the Bay Area. Then the kids and I would drive back east, taking a different route. Because I’m a planner, and my husband prefers to make things up along the way, my kids had two very different experiences. I knew exactly where we’d be staying every night of our trip — and in some cases, where we’d be eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. He set out without a single reservation — nothing more than a loose agenda of visiting a couple of spots he wanted the kids to see along the way. On the first leg of the trip, they ate barbecue in Memphis, spent a couple of days in Santa Fe, New Mexico (where we’d once lived), idled around in Las Vegas, and at one point ended up standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. On the way back, we ate barbecue in Kansas City, visited a couple of unforgettable national parks in Nevada and Utah, and watched the landscape change from the lush pines and cedars around Lake Tahoe to desert terrain in Nevada and Utah then back to green again in Colorado. Afterward, my kids agreed that both cross-country adventures were equally fun. Whether you’re a planner or more spontaneous when it comes to travel, I hope our roundup of three-day getaways on page 83 will inspire you to start mapping out your plans for the rest of 2020. Also in this issue, two new monthly columnists join our lineup of contributors. Wiley Cash is a New York Times bestselling author who grew up in Gaston County and now lives in Wilmington, where he’s a regular contributor at our sister publication, Salt. He’ll be traveling around the state and interviewing artists and other visionaries in a monthly series called The Creators. Michelle Icard is a Charlotte writer who runs local programs for middle-schoolers and their parents. Each month, she’ll be having a conversation with a group of friends or acquaintances in a different Charlotte locale and reflecting on it here. Happy reading! SP
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DEPARTMENTS 22 | Blvd. Gallery owner Hannah Blanton’s favorite things; The Queen’s Cup steeplechase turns 25; classic basalt with a twist at The Mint; spring hiking guide
49 | Simple Life The fullness of life with friends
55 | Bookshelf March’s notable new releases
56 | The Creators Greensboro’s man of iron
63 | SouthPark Stories Charlotte teens stand up to stop domestic violence
65 | Talk It Out Curling and a conversation about curfews
103 | Swirl The Queen City’s best parties, fundraisers and festivals
SNAPSHOT 112 | Treasure Hunter Ruth Runberg finds exquisite objects for her clients’ homes.
74 ABOUT THE COVER Society Social founder Roxy Owens wears a Saylor Darcie top from Boem, $268; MSGM floral flounce skirt from Coplon’s, $405; Christian Louboutin Planet Suede spike-strap mules, Neiman Marcus, $775; and Vue by SEK earrings, Society Social, $45. Photograph by Richard Israel; styling by Whitley Adkins Hamlin; hair and makeup by Josiah Reed.
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68 FEATURES 68 | Happy place by Cathy Martin
Society Social brings its preppy-chic designs to South End with the opening of its first brick-and-mortar store.
74 | Timeless with a twist by Blake Miller
A Foxcroft couple transforms their ultratraditional home into a transitional stunner.
84 | Nashville found by Cathy Martin
Music is the soul of the Tennessee state capital — chefs, artists and other tastemakers have broadened the city’s appeal.
88 | A high-water mark by Page Leggett
The Wharf, Washington’s waterfront destination, is a worthy reason to decamp to D.C.
92 | Southern sojourn by Caroline Portillo
Far from Charleston’s younger sister, Savannah, Ga., has a charm all its own.
96 | Kith and kiln by Vanessa Infanzon
Twice a year, Seagrove potters open their studios for tea and demonstrations.
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1230 West Morehead St., Suite 308 Charlotte, NC 28208 704-523-6987 southparkmagazine.com _______________ Ben Kinney Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org Cathy Martin Editor email@example.com Andie Rose Art Director Lauren M. Coffey Graphic Designer Alyssa Rocherolle Graphic Designer Whitley Adkins Hamlin Style Editor Contributing Writers Sally Brewster Wiley Cash, Grace Cote Ken Garfield, Michelle Icard Vanessa Infanzon, Page Leggett Blake Miller, Caroline Portillo Michael J. Solender Contributing Photographers Daniel Coston, Richard Israel Erin Comerford Miller _______________ ADVERTISING Jane Rodewald Account Executive 704-621-9198 firstname.lastname@example.org Scott Leonard Audience Development Specialist/ Account Executive 704-996-6426 email@example.com Brad Beard Graphic Designer _______________
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Owners Jack Andrews, Frank Daniels Jr., Frank Daniels III, Lee Dirks, David Woronoff Published by Old North State Magazines LLC. ©Copyright 2020. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Volume 23, Issue 3
Serving Others. Enriching Lives. “ There’s really no limit to how far our bankers will go to make a member’s experience extraordinary. Our life and work are intertwined with everyone we serve in Charlotte.”
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Not your grandma’s Wedgwood On view now | Mint Museum Randolph For the first time ever, the black basalt sculptures of iconic ceramic artist Josiah Wedgwood are the focus of a special exhibition that breaks all the molds. Organized by The Mint Museum, Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries features more than a hundred 18th-century works, ranging from library busts and ornamental vases to dynamic statues of mythological heroes. The themes are classical, the presentation contemporary. It’s timeless. It’s provocative. It’s Classic Black.
Exhibition organized by The Mint Museum and made possible with generous support from presenting sponsor Wells Fargo Private Bank. Additional support provided by Moore & Van Allen and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. IMAGE: Josiah Wedgwood and Thomas Bentley. Sir Isaac Newton, circa 1775, stoneware (black basalt). Gift of the Starr and Wolfe Families in memory of Lydia and Bernard Starr. 2018.68.3. Collection of The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC
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HORSE PLAY The Queen’s Cup Steeplechase is gearing up for its Silver Jubilee, the 25th anniversary of one of the region’s premier social and sporting events. Held each year on the last Saturday in April, thousands of spectators head to Brooklandwood farm in Union County to enjoy a day of racing and revelry, with the races benefiting Alzheimer’s Association. Tented tailgating spots are limited, so make plans early if you’re bringing a crowd. Turn to page 28 to read more about Queen’s Cup.
southparkmagazine.com | 23
Back in black THE MINT MUSEUM RANDOLPH HIGHLIGHTS A SIDE OF WEDGWOOD THAT IS RARELY SEEN. BY PAGE LEGGETT
orget what you think you know about Wedgwood. Unsee the powdery blue vases and plates adorned with dainty white silhouettes. That famous Wedgwood blue is what Josiah Wedgwood (1730 – 1795) is best known for. But Josiah had a dark side — ceramically speaking, that is. Wedgwood wasn’t just a potter; he was an entrepreneur, who is often credited with inventing modern marketing. Truly ahead of his time, he also was a staunch abolitionist. He’s well-known for his jasper ware — the baby blue, unglazed stoneware with relief detailing in a creamy white that’s still produced and collected today. You won’t see any of that in Classic Black: The Basalt Sculpture of Wedgwood and His Contemporaries, on view at Mint Museum Randolph through Aug. 30. The exhibition features more than 100 ceramic objects, some of which are on loan from various public (the Victoria and Albert Museum in London!) and private collections in the United States and England. This is the first exhibition anywhere to focus exclusively on the black basalt sculpture made by Wedgwood and other Staffordshire potters in late 18th-century England. There are life-size portrait busts, statues, vases and other three-dimensional, ornamental forms
and works in low relief, including plaques, portrait medallions and medals. Wedgwood perfected black basalt stoneware in 1768, creating its dark hue by adding manganese and carr, an iron oxide-rich mixture, to the clay. Other potters in Staffordshire followed suit, creating utilitarian pieces — teapots and bowls, for instance — out of black basalt. The Mint exhibit showcases purely decorative works, with an emphasis on those with ornamentation inspired by ancient Greece and Rome. You’ll see busts of Homer and Socrates, statues depicting gods, and coins with portraits of Julius Caesar.
Now, forget what you know about museum exhibitions. This one is as different from the ordinary as black basalt is from Wedgwood blue. The Mint partnered with Charlottebased muralist and street artist Owl (of Arko + Owl) to create what they call “sunset-hued graphic murals” in every room. HannaH (the capital H at the end is correct) Crowell, the Mint’s exhibition designer, says red was the obvious choice for a backdrop. “There was a huge resurgence of classical themes during Josiah’s day,” Crowell says. This was right around the time that Pompeii, the ancient city destroyed when Mount Vesuvius erupted, was discovered and excavated. “Basalt comes from lava,” she continues. “Red tones are earthy tones. The warm color palette makes sense.” The palette sounds deceptively simple. It may be all red, but there are 22 different paint colors in four color families used on the walls, ranging from pale pink to tomato red, from lavender to deep purple. “We’ve gotten to be good
friends with the people at Benjamin Moore,” Crowell says. “They’re amazing.” Black basalt pieces have an “undertone that varies from reddish-brown to purplish,” says Brian Gallagher, the Mint’s curator of decorative arts. The red-hued walls accentuate that, and they offer a surprising contemporary milieu for these neoclassical works. “Owl’s murals elevate these objects visually,” Crowell says. Pairing a street artist with an 18th-century decorative artist may seem incongruous, but it works to the museumgoer’s advantage. “The visitor needs to be engaged,” Crowell says. “I think of my role as that of a creative cruise director. I’m not an artist or curator. I’m responsible for creating the environment where visitors and objects interact.” Gallagher gave Crowell the freedom to create something unexpected. “I didn’t want this exhibition to look traditional,” he says. “I want people to look at these objects in a different way. We’re deliberately steering away from the been-there, done-that of the jasper ware blue and sage green. HannaH took my vision and blew it up. And what Owl did is beyond my wildest dreams.” Gallagher hopes the wild juxtaposition will entice those who might not ordinarily see a decorative-arts exhibition to discover a revolutionary artist from an earlier era. Crowell is already a convert. “I’m a huge fangirl of Josiah,” she says. SP SEEING RED: Classic Black is on view at Mint Museum Randolph through Aug. 30. The museum at 2730 Randolph Rd. is open Tuesday through Sunday. mintmuseum.org
southparkmagazine.com | 25
Hike the trails less traveled FOUR SCENIC DAY HIKES MAKE GETTING OFF THE COUCH MORE ENTICING THAN EVER. BY MICHAEL J. SOLENDER
Anne Springs Close Greenway
pringtime in the Carolinas is prime season to explore nature’s best, and the Charlotte region is home to abundant hiking trails and nearby state and national parks, many within an easy 90-minute drive. SouthPark recently caught up with south Charlotte resident and avid hiker Steve Copulsky to get his take on four area hikes that are sometimes overlooked by locals. Copulsky is the former North Carolina chapter chair of the Sierra Club, a national advocacy group supporting preservation and protection of the environment. Copulsky hikes extensively throughout the Carolinas and routinely leads group hikes through the Sierra Club’s local chapter. Copulsky recommends these four lesser-explored regional gems, each offering unique charms to visitors looking to enjoy the wilderness (almost) right in their own backyard.
lll Browns Mountain Trail near Clover, S.C., leads Copulsky’s list of nearby day hikes. A quieter alternative to Crowders Mountain State Park, the 2.5-mile trail (5 miles round trip) is part of a 16-mile grouping at Kings Mountain National Military Park and neighboring Kings Mountain State Park. Today, hikers exploring the national park can soak in a bit of history with their trek, stopping first at the visitor’s center where exhibits and a film share the area’s backstory highlighting a significant 1780 Revolutionary War battle. “The area is not as well-known for hiking as it is for the military park and battlefield,” Copulsky says. Many visitors ar 26
en’t aware of the wonderful back-country trails. One interesting feature is the top of Browns Mountain had a fire lookout tower many years ago. Though the tower no longer exists, you can see the base where it stood. I like the solitude here. It’s rare to see other hikers.”
lll Though widely known to many area residents, Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill, S.C., doesn't receive
enough credit for the beauty and diversity of its hiking trails, Copulsky says. Hikers of all skill levels can find trails to match their abilities at ASCG. The 2,100-plus-acre greenway has three main entrances, notably the historic Dairy Barn entrance off Springfield Parkway, and a 36-mile trail system. “People think of the greenway as a linear trail like Little Sugar Creek in Mecklenburg County,” Copulsky says. “It is really a nature preserve with trails throughout, including equestrian, biking and hiking trails. I especially like to lead hikes there around Lake Haigler combining several of the loops into a really nice 6-mile round trip.” Copulsky particularly likes the three swinging footbridges on the hike. “They’re made from wooden slats and sway a bit when crossed. It’s a fun part of the hike, especially for children.”
lll Stone Mountain State Park is a bit farther afield from Charlotte, northwest of Elkin in Roaring Gap. It’s well worth
the 90-minute drive, according to Copulsky, as the park has an unusual geological feature of a 600-foot granite dome affording stunning views from the top. “I lead a fairly strenuous hike that begins with an ascent to the top of the dome, and then it’s all downhill from there. After the climb, it’s a pretty easy hike, and there is a wonderful and dramatic waterfall — one of many in the park — and a nice walk through the woods.” For those looking for easier hikes, there are 18 miles of well-marked trails, many offering gentler treks than a full climb up the dome. Aside from hiking, the park — nearly 14,000 acres stretching across Wilkes and Alleghany counties — also has designated trout streams, picnic areas, family campsites and rock climbing.
lll South Mountains State Park is well-known for its High Shoals Falls, Copulsky says, referencing the majestic 80-foot waterfall accessed by a 2.7-mile loop trail. “It’s only about a mile out [from the trailhead] and gets pretty busy,” he says. Instead, Copulsky likes to lead hikes out on the Chestnut Knob Trail. “Many people aren’t aware of this hike. It’s a trail that’s about 4 miles round trip and has a great view of the Chestnut Knob and an opportunity to get away from the crowd.” Only 70 miles from Charlotte, South Mountains State Park is in Burke County, near the town of Connelly Springs and just south of Morganton. It’s known as one of the state’s most rugged parks with some rough and rocky terrain. The hiking trails, however, are well-cleared, well-marked and reward visitors with a great workout and superb views.
lll “Hiking is such a great activity to get outside and experience nature,” Copulsky says. “Whether you go out by yourself for some solitude, or you hike with family and friends, a day hike is as easy as getting off the couch, lacing up your shoes and taking off for the trail.” SP
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Tailgating & tradition DON YOUR SEERSUCKER AND SUNDRESSES AND GET READY FOR THE PARTY: QUEEN’S CUP STEEPLECHASE CELEBRATES ITS SILVER JUBILEE IN APRIL.
ccording to Bill and Carrington Price, it’s not really all about the horses. Of course, if it weren’t for the horses, there would be no reason to spend a spring afternoon in the company of friends and family, strolling the grounds of Brooklandwood while enjoying lavish tailgates and other festivities that go along with the annual Queen’s Cup Steeplechase. April 25 marks the 25th anniversary of the annual event, with the races benefiting Alzheimer’s Association. For the Prices, the steeplechase actually is about the horses, but it wasn’t always that way. “That’s what we grew up doing. We grew up going to the races in Maryland that were parties,” says Carrington, who co-chairs the event with her husband. “Then we got into the horses a little more as we got older.” It was such a big part of their lives that the couple decided to introduce the tradition to their new community shortly after moving to the Queen City in 1984. “We thought we’d bring a little of Baltimore to the Charlotte area,” Bill says. “When we first started this, and we started talking about racing, people were thinking NASCAR.” Of course, horse racing wasn’t new to the Carolinas, but the number of steeplechase events has dwindled in recent years as track owners have gotten older and the equestrian community has shrunken — a result of the urbanization of America, Bill says. The Stoneybrook Steeplechase started in 1949 in Southern Pines and was discontinued in 2016. Brookhill had a 14-year run in Raleigh before it was canceled in 2007. Tanglewood in Winston-Salem ran from 1963 to 2002. The Prices launched the first Queen’s Cup in southern Union County in 1996, drawing more than 5,000 spectators. The following year, they purchased Brooklandwood, a 260-acre plot in the town of Mineral Springs, about 4 miles from downtown Waxhaw. After a $2.6 million investment to build the track and infrastructure, they moved the Queen’s Cup there in 2000. Standing on the hill overlooking the racecourse, you might forget you’re in Union County, where 28
in recent years farmland has slowly given way to sprawling subdivisions as Charlotte’s growth spreads south. When developers came calling at Brooklandwood, the Prices and their families hatched a plan to put the land into a conservation easement, donating the development rights to the Catawba Lands Conservancy and forever protecting the viewshed from development. “No matter what happens, a hundred years from now, a thousand years from now, this will be open space,” Bill says. These days, about 13,000 spectators turn out in their best Southern finery for a day filled with tailgate contests, pony rides for children, Jack Russell terrier races and more. When the races are done, the day is capped with a Hot Walk Party — live music by the Kingdaddy Band and free hors d’oeuvres for all before the crowds head home. “Most people that come to the races don’t know the front end from the back end of a horse,” Bill says. “And they don’t care, it’s not why they come,” adds Carrington. “It’s a multigenerational thing,” she says. “It’s a family event.” So if spending a spring afternoon sipping cocktails, socializing and strolling in the countryside sounds like a good time, put on your preppiest attire and come for the party. It might just be the start of a new tradition — all while helping keep an old one alive. SP WANT TO GO? Mark your calendar: The Queen’s Cup Steeplechase will be held on April 25. Raffle tickets can be purchased online, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Alzheimer’s Association. The grand prize is $25,000, and you don’t need to be present to win. Gates open at 10 a.m.; morning activities include pony rides, Jack Russell terrier races and a hat contest. Opening ceremonies start at 12:30 p.m. The races — there are five of them — start at 1:30 p.m. and run until late afternoon. Gates close at 7 p.m. For information on purchasing tickets, go to queenscup.org.
PHOTOS PROVIDED BY QUEENS CUP STEEPLECHASE/AERIAL PHOTO BY JAMEY PRICE
BY CATHY MARTIN
southparkmagazine.com | 29
Pretty piles HIDELL BROOKS GALLERY’S LATEST EXHIBITION FEATURES NEW WORKS BY SELENA BEAUDRY. BY GRACE COTE
Can You See the Flowers
f you’re familiar with the work of Selena Beaudry, what probably comes to mind are the artist’s intricate stacked collages of cut and colored paper. Prepare to see a new version of Beaudry this month at Hidell Brooks Gallery: Her solo exhibition A Beautiful Mess explores the many ways she can incorporate materials and color into creative expression. Beaudry is the kind of artist who can take whatever is in front of her and make it into something that feels meaningful and intelligent. Beaudry, who has an MFA from Temple University's Tyler School of Art and Architecture in Philadelphia, moved from Charlotte to London seven years ago. The show’s title is a reference to the artist’s studio, a creative hub of in-progress works and piles of discarded materials that, if lucky, will see a second life in new works. She pulls the mundane experiences of her daily life into her work. “It is a walk to the studio, being late because of traffic, getting caught in the rain and seeing a rainbow,” Beaudry says. “It is entering my studio and seeing paint pallets left over on the floor, using bags of fabric scraps, or cutting up a drawing to discover something new.” Many admirers know Beaudry from her stacked collages, which she says “came out of cutting up old drawings and not wanting to throw them away.” Compositionally, these works strike a balance between chaos and precision while expressing a recycler’s mentality: Take something forgotten, put away or discarded and find enough beauty to incorporate it into a new piece. This same spirit of reinvention is what guides Beaudry’s new exhibition. The work is centered around taking remnants and scraps then “remaking until the push/pull
She Saw Rainbows
creates something that is enticing,” she says. The exhibition is composed of large paintings, small collages, a ceiling-hung installation and a series of sculptures called “Baubles in Boxes.” The large paintings are a conversation with line and color. Beaudry likes to create mood with color and also entice or encourage the other senses, sparking references to smell or sound. Purples, greens and blues are featured prominently. While these colors are often associated with calm and serenity, the line work into which Beaudry forces them brings a bright energy. “Baubles in Boxes” are colorful sculptures made from paint scraps left over from creating large paintings. The dried, crumpled pieces are stacked and arranged in glossy mounds. These same dried paint elements are mixed with cut paper and fabric remnants in her new collage series on view. The result is messier, looser and more complex than the stacked collages for which she is known. Beaudry considers this an organic next step. “I think of this work in the same way I think of my paper collages and piles, just made exploring a new medium.” SP WANT TO GO? A Beautiful Mess will be on view from March 6-28 with an opening reception from 6-8 p.m. on March 6. Hidell Brooks Gallery, Steel Yard in South End, 1910 South Blvd, Suite 130. hidellbrooks.com
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THE INCREDIBLE JOY OF COLLECTING AFRICAN AMERICAN ART
A collector’s tale PATRICK DIAMOND CHRONICLES HIS JOURNEY AS AN AVID COLLECTOR OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ART. BY CATHY MARTIN
A MEMOIR | PAT DIAMOND
he spent much of his career working with THE INCREDIBLE JOY Duke Energy and COLLECTING AFRICAN AMERICAN ART My Journey from Frog Town S.C. to the National Gallery NCNB in Charlotte, Atlanta and Winston-Salem. “Some of the artists that we were able to meet early on in the collecting experience and the focus of their art ... they were trying to produce artwork that would lift the spirits of black people.” Before the civil rights movement, blacks weren’t allowed to visit most museums, including the Mint Museum that opened on Charlotte’s Randolph Road in 1936. “So these particular artists, a lot of the imagery depicted black people, black families, black children in settings that were inspirational,” Diamond says. One chapter of his book describes how each time Diamond and his wife would move to a new home, they’d have to remove their African American artwork before showing the house to potential buyers. Fortunately, attitudes in the South have largely shifted, while museums are acquiring African American art at a record pace, Diamond says. “You know, we’ve been able to move past an awful lot of that. This interest in collecting, and the excitement, the richness of it all — it significantly overshadows those situations. ... But that was a part of the experience,” he says. “I decided to write the book because I felt so richly blessed in terms of some of the experiences that Judy and I have had over time.” SP
The photograph was taken at the installation of Richard Hunt’s “Spiral Odyssey” in Romare Bearden Park in Uptown, May 2017. The 30 foot 8,000 pound sculpture was commissioned by the Arts & Science Council, the Public Arts Commission and Mecklenburg County. The sculpture is in the background and Richard Hunt and I are in the photo.
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efore Patrick Diamond’s grandmother passed away in 2003, he promised her he’d write a book about how she inspired his interest in art. “I have shot past that deadline by a long time,” says Diamond, who with his Publishing wife, Judy, has spent the last 46 years amassing a collection of African American art that includes works by Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett and Jacob Lawrence. This spring, Diamond will release a self-published memoir, The Incredible Joy of Collecting African American Art: My Journey from Frogtown, S.C., to the National Gallery, describing his experience. What started as a casual hobby grew into a passion for the couple, college sweethearts who met in 1968 at Boston University. “We never saw ourselves as collectors per se. We were just acquiring things initially to outfit our apartment,” Diamond says. The hobby grew after the birth of his son, Chad, who’s now a lawyer. “We wanted him to have some familiarity with art, maybe to be able to look at a Picasso painting and say, ‘Wow, that’s a wonderful painting, but I also know about Romare Bearden.’” Diamond’s interest in art, however, goes back much further. “I was born into abject poverty,” says Diamond, the youngest of three children raised by a single mom in Columbia, S.C. “At about age 5 or so, my mom fell in love with this guy, who became my stepfather.” Worried about how his family would react to his new stepchildren, Diamond’s stepfather kept the union a secret for several months before introducing Patrick and his sisters to his mother in Augusta, Ga. “From the very first day, [my grandmother] embraced us — embraced me — in such a dynamic way. From that introduction, she became a critical part of my life, and I believe I became a critical part of her life,” Diamond says. “I fell in love with my grandmother on the day that we met.” Her job as a housekeeper for a family that owned a used-furniture and antique business enabled her to acquire some extraordinary Chippendale and other finely crafted pieces of furniture. “I was captivated by all of it,” Diamond says, recalling beautiful framed family photos, works of art and religious images throughout her home. “At an early age, these things were influencing, planting seeds for my ultimate interest in collecting art.” Diamond says his attraction to African American art was natural, given that he’s lived much of his adult life in the South. Though his family moved to Brooklyn when he was 8,
BY PATRICK DIAMOND
The Incredible Joy of Collecting African American Art will be released this spring. To obtain a copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Bearden and Beyond, an exhibition featuring nearly 40 works on loan from three family collections, including Patrick and Judy Diamond, is on view at Charlotte Country Day School’s Hance Family Art Gallery until March 2. Four Romare Bearden works from the Diamonds' collection also are on view at Providence Day School through May 1. To see the works, contact Leigh Dyer at email@example.com to make an appointment. southparkmagazine.com | 34
change starts here. Join our fight to end family homelessness and create opportunity for at-risk students. We can make this a better community for all, one family and one youth at a time.
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GOODYEAR HOUSE PHOTOGRAPH BY PETER TAYLOR
A round Town NEW AND NOTEWORTHY HAPPENINGS IN THE QUEEN CITY Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, a counter-service cafe spun out of Callie’s Charleston Biscuits, has opened its first Charlotte location in South End. Inspired by the Southern biscuits made by her mom and grandmother, Carrie Morey founded the company in 2005 — the Charlotte location joins two in Charleston and one in Atlanta. Look for biscuit sandwiches, grit bowls and Callie’s signature 2-inch biscuits, available in eight mix-andmatch flavors from buttermilk to black-pepper bacon to the Queen Bee, a Charlotte-exclusive shortcake biscuit topped with honey and turbinado sugar. Callie’s also sells frozen biscuits and mixes and has a full coffee menu. 327 W. Tremont Ave.
Following a soft-opening phase, Bossy Beulah’s Chicken Shack has extended its The Goodyear House hours and is now open from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Mon.-Sat. The fast-casual fried-chicken sandwich spot is adjacent to Noble Smoke, restaurateur indoor and outdoor seating for as many as 100 people. Sip Jim Noble’s barbecue joint that opened last summer in west seasonal cocktails and enjoy small bites while taking in views Charlotte. The small menu is big on flavor: The centerpiece of the Charlotte skyline. The AC brand is known for its sleek, is “The Beaut,” a Joyce Farms buttermilk-fried chicken breast contemporary aesthetic. The hotel opened in late December. with house-made pickles and Duke’s mayo on a fresh potato 1824 Roxborough Rd. bun. 2200 Freedom Drive, bossybeulahs.com The Goodyear House is now open in a beautifully renoMorganton brewery Fonta Flora opened a taproom on vated 1900s mill home in NoDa with Chef Chris Coleman — the ground floor at Optimist Hall in late January, joining a formerly of McNinch House and the Asbury — at the helm. growing list of tenants, including The Dumpling Lady, Velvet Coleman, a recent winner on the Food Network’s Chopped, Taco and Bao + Broth. Coming soon to Optimist: Harriet’s brings a menu of “locally sourced, comfortable but elevated” Hamburgers, a joint venture of Papi Queso and The Plaid cuisine that’s heavy on the small bites, shareables and meatPenguin creative agency. Harriet’s will be focused on “perfectfree options, plus a smaller selection of salads and “sammys.” ing America’s favorite sandwich with the driving philosophy Try the guinea hen stew and pull-apart sour-cream brioche that simple is better.” optimisthall.com with honey butter. The large courtyard and an open-air bar are sure to be a hit come springtime. Open seven days a week Cordial, the 8th-floor rooftop bar and terrace at AC Hotel for lunch and dinner; reservations can be made via Open Charlotte SouthPark is slated to open this spring, with Table. 3032 N. Davidson St., thegoodyearhouse.com 36
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My favorite things . . .
Hannah Blanton is owner and director of Sozo Gallery. The Winnsboro, S.C., native is a mom of three and previously worked as a registered nurse in the pediatric ICU at Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital. Blanton co-founded AboutFace CLT, a nonprofit that uses storytelling to “enable human connection,” and founded Grier’s Gallery at Novant Health Hemby Children’s Hospital. She is also a yoga teacher at Veritas, a treatment center for youth with eating disorders.
Home is my favorite place, now that we have two in college
and they are constantly revolving through the doors. When I have all my chickens home and we’re casual and all together, laughing and messing up and hugging and just doing life — that is when Mama’s heart is the happiest. Home is having all the other best friends on the street and their children just walk in and out of my back door, knowing they can grab a snack or a drink out of the “extra fridge.”
My husband, Charles, and I were married at Covenant Presbyterian Church, and our three children were baptized there. There’s a joke in town that if you get really sick or a crisis happens in your family, join Covenant. We are a church that rallies behind members and loves them deeply when they are hurting. … One of my all-time favorite secrets in Charlotte is The Sacred Garden at Avondale Presbyterian Church on Park Road. I discovered it when one of our children had a basketball game here. After losing my father, it was interesting to me how much more I craved places like this. Sometime I’ll just be in the area, and I’ll park and walk the labyrinth or under the wind chimes. I feel so closely connected to God and myself when I am in this beautiful space.
I went to College of Charleston and Medical University and lived in Charleston, S.C., for six years. There is nothing that can take the place of crossing over those bridges and breathing in those paper mills. It 38
feels like freedom and youth and culture and good food, all to me. … We’ve got two in college in Chapel Hill, so we like going to games and visiting here as much as we can. … I love visiting Blowing Rock with some of my best friends at one of their homes. Always good hikes, rest and great time together. … Charles and I just went to Bermuda to celebrate my 50th, and it’s where we honeymooned — I loved visiting art studios there as well.
Even though I grew up in South Carolina, I have to agree hands down that North Carolina has South Carolina beat when it comes to barbecue. When we visit family in High Point, we always have to stop at Lexington BBQ and bring home our stash. … I love the concepts behind Community Matters Cafe and the community
members they employ and train and provide tools for a successful future — I love their black-eyed pea salad. … Luce is my Sozo uptown next-door neighbor, and it’s like family when I walk in the door. Even though I desperately want Augusto to switch up all the artwork (smile), there is no better service, greeting or pan-seared halibut in town!
Y2 Yoga and Trifecta Athletics are in my current workout regime and family of trainers who challenge me and meet me where I am in life. At Y2, I love Johnna Smith and Dorie Joy classes — their style of teaching is exactly what I crave right now. Yoga is my escape and where I hear God speak the loudest. … Trifecta is the most diverse and down-to-earth gym. I feel lifted, and endorphins are flowing every time I leave here. It’s a great community. Loud music. Cardio. Weights. Boxing. Laughing. … At VIBE5, these are some of my favorite people in the world and women business owners I respect — Ansley Melnik, a friend since our kids’ preschool days, and Edith McDonnell, a neighbor I adore.
OMG! Adrienne Davis Design’s rugs are phenomenal. They add a punch that makes my heart so happy. … I love shopping at Found Collection and the unique one-of-a-kind finds they get from all over the world. There is so much power behind supporting other women-owned businesses. … I love shopping vintage clothing when traveling with my daughter, Virginia. We also love going to JT Posh and EDIT consignment sales. I love wearing recycled clothing and hope that I am carrying over good juju from another owner. … Bess at Sloan is always saving me at the last minute and pulls things for me that flatter me. She finds things I would never have picked out.
TAKE A WALK
Life is busy, and we all need more connection. There is nothing better than taking my goldendoodle Blue for a walk and catching up with good friends. We solve a lot of life’s problems in a good 45-minute walk. If it’s not a walk, then we search for our Friday night wine-and-porch time. Three of us are faithful La Crema gals, the other is a Meiomi Pinot.
No one is better than Marquetia Jones with Blue Ocean Massage. Her hands are like warm healing electric blankets. … Donald Case at Donald & Company Salon does my
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hair and hears a lot from me. He and Vanessa cover my gray often, and we laugh a lot! … Molly Grimm at Novant Health Rehabilitation Center on Kings Drive is an angel from heaven. As we age, we get injuries, and she can fix just about anything. Amazing how you fall deeply in love with people who heal you. … MeckFuse is a housing program under Urban Ministries, and I’ve spent a lot of time with them this past year. We’ve worked together closely with a friend of mine who I deeply care about. I have great respect for the work and for the respect they give their clients.
The folks at Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff on Remount Road are the best. They are so kind and have even delivered art supplies to some of my homeless artist friends. That is service with heart. … Local artist studios: I love the conversations we have in someone’s garage, basement or small studio room off their house. Being in someone’s personal studio is where you can see all the products and messes and truth of the making. We need to continue to lift and support our local artists — and all artists. This is where and how we connect. SP compiled by Whitley Adkins Hamlin Know of a Charlotte tastemaker or person of interest we should feature here? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student to Teacher Ratio
Offered to the Class of 2019 in college scholarships and grants
AP Honor Roll Distinction
Collegiate athletic signees in 2018-2019
Hours of Service for 2018- 2019
State Championship Titles and 2 Wells Fargo Cup State Championships in the past 5 years
Applications are being accepted for the 2020-21 school year
Performing and visual arts classes Aviation STEM courses
Minutes from Greensboro
Technology: Each student is given an Apple Laptop
College counseling office
Please call the Admissions Office for your private tour 336-564-1011
3/7 The 14th annual Beer Bourbon & BBQ Festival moves
to a new location, just outside the south entrance of Bank of America Stadium. Guests can enjoy BBQ cooked on-site, samples of 60 beers and 40 bourbons, and live music from local and regional acts. A VIP session runs from noon-2 p.m.; general admission takes place from 2-6 p.m. Tickets start at $39, and a portion of proceeds benefit Spirit of Hope Children’s Foundation. charlotte.beerandbourbon.com
3/7 The 8th annual
Run Jen Run 5K
race and festival takes place at Symphony Park at SouthPark Mall. Proceeds benefit the Go Jen Go Foundation, a nonprofit that provides financial assistance to individuals and families impacted by breast cancer. gojengo.org
3/13 - 4/4
Kristin Chenoweth returns
Charlotte Museum of History hosts Taste of History: Beer!, part of a new series focused on the history of adult beverages in the state. Dive into the history and culture of beer in colonial North Carolina while enjoying a flight of beer, samples, lively discussions, and ideas for food pairings. Tickets are $40. charlottemuseum.org
The Interior Design Society of Charlotte’s
to Charlotte with a performance at Belk Theater, featuring songs from her newest album. For the Girls is a tribute to the women who have inspired and influenced the career of the Emmy- and Tony-winning actress and singer, including Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Jennifer Hudson and Reba McEntire. Tickets start at $39.50. blumenthalarts.org
2020 Designer Charity Showhouses
kicks off its spring event with a gala on March 13; tours of the three Davidson homes start the next day and continue through April 4. These stunning homes will showcase the work of 45 Charlotte-area interior designers; proceeds benefit Motor Racing Outreach in conjunction with The Hendrick Family Foundation, The Dale Jr. Foundation, and Operation Finally Home. idscltshowhouse.com
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Rain or Shine Enjoy The Family Time.
The stuffed potatoes SUSTAINING POWER OF WISE FRIENDS — AND A GOOD LUNCH BY JIM DODSON
wo or three times a month, we meet for lunch at a quiet bar of a local restaurant. We catch up on news and work, talk about books we are reading, and swap tales about the adventurous lives of our wives, grown children and grandbabies. Sometimes history and politics dominate the conversation. More often than not, we share thoughts on life, love and matters philosophical. In a nutshell, we attempt to solve most of the world’s problems in the span of time it approximately takes to consume a couple of stuffed baked potatoes. That seems about right, since the three of us always order the same items off the menu. Joe and I routinely order fully loaded, stuffed baked potatoes, while our worldly friend Pat — who prefers to be called Patrick — gets a fancy club sandwich. There’s always one in every crowd. Some time ago, I began calling our gathering The Stuffed Potatoes Lunch and Philosophy Club. Spud Buds, for short. You see, we’ve known each other for more than half a century. Pat (as I call him) is my oldest pal; we grew up a block from each other and have spent years chasing golf balls and trout in each other’s company. Pat and Joe grew up attending the same Catholic church. I got to know and like Joe in high school. To look at us, you might think we’re just three old geezers telling war stories in a booth. Technically speaking, I suppose we are “old” guys, though none of us thinks of ourselves that way in the slightest. We were born weeks apart in 1953 — Joe in January, me in February, Pat in March.
What a banner year it was: Dwight Eisenhower became president, and the Korean War ended. Hillary — the mountaineer — reached the summit of Everest. Elizabeth II was crowned Queen of England. Gas cost 20 cents per gallon. The first Corvette went on sale. Albert Schweitzer won the Nobel Prize. From Here to Eternity was the top Hollywood movie. Ian Fleming published his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale. Our mothers, bless their hearts — suburban housewives of the 1950s — knew what they were doing giving us simple 1950s names like Joe, Pat and Jimmy, names that fit us like a pair of Buster Brown shoes, names from a Mickey Spillane novel or a Burt Lancaster movie. Joe’s the only one of us who has achieved exalted granddad stature. He and his wife, Liz, have two, in fact. As of this month, we’ve all turned 67 years old. No applause necessary. Truthfully, it’s rather amazing how quickly this happened. Once upon a time, 67 sounded positively ancient to our youthful ears — one bus stop shy of the boneyard, as Spillane might say. The funny thing is, none of us feels at all ancient or even looks terribly old, according to our thoughtful wives and daughters. Then again, they might need new glasses. With age, however, comes a number of often unadvertised benefits. We’ve each buried family and friends, suffered setbacks and experienced comebacks, seen enough of life and sudden death — not to mention the drama of our own aging bodies — to know that bittersweet impermanence is what makes living fully so important and precious. To laugh is to gain a taste of southparkmagazine.com | 49
|simple life immortality. Failed projects and busted business deals have taught us there’s really no failure in this life — only reasons to get up, dust off our britches and try a different path. A new summit always awaits. Our faith has been tested and found to be alive and kicking, after all these years. We’ve learned that joy and optimism are spiritual rocket fuel, that divine mystery is real, and that the unseen world holds much more intriguing possibilities than anything we read about in the news or watch on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon. Ditto the natural world of woods and fields and streams. It’s no coincidence that we share a profound love of nature, drawing comfort and wisdom from its many lessons. Joe, a forester by training, spends his days helping clients find and set aside wild lands for future generations to enjoy. He and Liz are dedicated wilderness hikers, walking encyclopedias of botany and flora, forever in search of new trails and unspoiled vistas when they’re not slipping off to see their beautiful grandbabies. Pat is a businessman whose real love is the spiritual solitude of remote trout streams and the joy of chasing a golf ball around the highlands of Scotland with his oldest pal. He’s also a skilled bird hunter, but these days shoots only clays with Joe some Wednesday afternoons. Several years ago, Pat and Joe built a cabin on Pat’s land up in Meadows of Dan, Va. They set up cameras just to film any
wildlife that happened by, cleared roads and got to know the locals. Since both are still working and have no plans to retire, that cabin became a way, as Joe puts it, “to reset our clocks — inside and out.” We take from nature, said Theodore Roethke, what we cannot see. As for me — a veteran journalist and writer who is busier than ever and shares their view of the dreaded R-word — I’m an “old” Eagle Scout, fly-fishing nut, birdwatcher and gardener who once spent six glorious weeks in the remote bush of South Africa with a trio of crazed plant hunters dodging black mambas and spitting cobras just to see the world’s smallest hyacinth and other exotic plants in the ancestral birthplace of the world’s flowers. The baboons, birds, springboks and elephants weren’t bad, either. I felt like a kid in a Rudyard Kipling tale. At that time, I also lived in a house I built with my own hands on a forested hill near the coast of Maine. I also rebuilt the stone walls of a long abandoned 18th-century farmstead and created a vast English garden in the woods that nobody but family, friends, the FedEx guy and local wildlife ever saw. My late Scottish mother-in-law, a cheeky woman, suggested I name my woodland retreat “Slightly Off in the Woods.” I called it my Holy Hill, my little piece of Heaven. My two children grew up there watching the seasons come and go, learning to look and listen to the quiet voices of nature. Today, one is a documentary journalist living and working in the Middle East, the other a copywriter and screenwriter in New York City. Both claim they carry the peace of
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|simple life that Holy Hill with them in their hearts, and I believe them. I do, too. Maybe that’s what I love most about lunches with the Stuffed Potatoes. At a time of life when a lot of men our age lose their curiosity and zest for living, spending their days grumbling about sports, politics or the weather, we take genuine pleasure in each other’s company, swapping tales of life’s natural ups and downs while sharing wisdom for the road ahead. Joe has stories galore and the most infectious laugh you’ve ever heard. He was the fifth of nine kids, has 53 cousins and an uncle who became the voice of the American environmental movement. He’s always coming out with pearls of wisdom that I promptly write down. We call them “Joeisms.” Everybody has to be somewhere, he once observed about a certain disagreeable fellow. I just don’t have to be there with him. Patrick is gifted with what the Irish call the craic — an ancient word that means he can talk to anyone and entertain them royally while he’s doing it. He’s a master at solving complex problems and has quietly done more things to help teens and homeless folks than anyone I know. He’s also the only guy I know who’s probably read more books than me, which is really saying something. At least he hasn’t started writing them — yet. So we are three for lunch — the forester, the fisherman and the gardener. A fictional Forrest Gump got famous for saying that his mother once said life is like a box of chocolates because you never know what you’ll get. I beg to disagree, believing a happy life is actually more like a gloriously stuffed baked potato, because the more you put in, the better it tastes. My Spud Buds, I suspect, would agree — even if one of them prefers the club sandwich. There’s always one in every crowd. SP
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Congrats. You just found the historic lighthouse on the Crystal Coast. Now it’s time to BookTheCoast.com and visit North Carolina’s Southern Outer Banks.
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Contact Editor Jim Dodson at jim@ thepilot.com.
Pub: South Park - Charlotte Insert: March 2020 Size: 4.934"x9.875"
southparkmagazine.com | 53 Client: Crystal Coast Job No: LADY-02258 Title: Search Diamond Lady
TOWN OF ELKIN Located in the heart of North Carolinaâ€™s popular Yadkin Valley wine region, spring in the town of Elkin means one thing: the Yadkin Valley Wine Festival, which takes place May 16 in Elkin Park. From fun and casual local events like Food Truck Friday to buzz worthy white-line dining, food is another draw. Southern on Main, Pirates Landing and the Skull Camp Smokehouse among other options are sure to satisfy. Looking for action? Put NC Trail Days, June 4-7, on your calendar for all things outdoor around Elkin! Nearby parks and trails offer mountain biking and hiking. After a wine tour or an outdoor excursion, head down to the Reeves Theater to catch a music performance or follow it with a visit to a local craft brewery. Both Historic Downtown Elkin and the back-country roads delight with eclectic finds any savvy shopper would love to discover. Be sure to visit ExploreElkin.com for the townâ€™s event calendar. VisitTheYadkinValley.com
March books NOTABLE NEW RELEASES COMPILED BY SALLY BREWSTER
My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, by Jason Rosenthal The late Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a bestselling children’s author and filmmaker, wrote an article in The New York Times “Modern Love” column outlining what she hoped her husband would do after she died from ovarian cancer. This honest, beautifully written letter was read by more than five million people. In My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me, Jason describes what came next: his commitment to respecting Amy’s wish, even as he struggled with her loss. Surveying his life before, with and after Amy, Jason ruminates on love, the pain of watching a loved one suffer, and what it means to heal — and how he and their three children, despite their profound loss, went on to be present in their life without Amy. Jason offers insights on dying and death and the excruciating pain of losing a soul mate and illuminates the lessons he learned in the next chapter of his life. Eight Perfect Murders, by Peter Swanson Years ago, bookseller and mystery lover Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders from beloved mysteries, which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders.” He published the list in a store newsletter. Malcolm is surprised when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on this list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading: A killer is out there, watching his every move — a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Malcolm’s personal life, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone. Malcolm begins to examine possible suspects and sees a killer in everyone around him. Swanson keeps readers guessing until the very end. Classic whodunit fans, prepare to be in mystery heaven. The Mirror & The Light, by Hilary Mantel The third in Mantel’s trilogy on the life of Thomas Cromwell details the final years of the blacksmith’s son who climbed the ladder to be King Henry VIII’s chief minister. Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to the breaking point, Cromwell envisions a new country of the future. But can a nation,
or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him? The Holdout, by Graham Moore This captivating third novel by Moore takes a searing look at the U.S. justice system, media scrutiny and racism. A decade earlier during a high-profile L.A. murder, Maya Seale persuaded her fellow jurors to acquit African American high-school teacher Bobby Nock of killing Jessica Silver, a wealthy, white 15-year-old student. The controversial trial had a powerful impact on all the jurors, most of whom regretted the verdict. Maya was vilified in the press, but the most stinging rebuke came from juror Rick Leonard, who published a book blaming Maya for the verdict. Then a true-crime documentary series wants to do a 10-year anniversary special with Maya as the key participant. Maya, now a defense attorney, must prove her own innocence when one of her fellow juror’s is found dead in Maya’s room. A Conspiracy of Bones, by Kathy Reichs Bestselling Charlotte author Kathy Reichs returns with the 19th novel featuring forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. While recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, Brennan is battling nightmares, migraines and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her. An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions. To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue, working mostly outside the system. That’s because Brennan’s new boss holds a fierce grudge against her and is determined to keep her out of the case. She bulls forward anyway, even as she begins questioning her instincts. But the clues she discovers are disturbing and confusing. Was the faceless man a spy? A trafficker? A target for assassination by the government? And why was he carrying the name of a child missing for almost a decade? SP Sally Brewster is the proprietor of Park Road Books, located at 4139 Park Road. parkroadbooks.com southparkmagazine.com | 55
Man of iron JIM GALLUCCI'S PUBLIC WORKS OF ART DOT THE STATE. IN RALEIGH, A BOLD INVESTMENT IN HIS SCULPTURES LED TO A REVITALIZATION OF THE CITY’S URBAN CENTER. BY WILEY CASH PHOTOGRAPHS BY MALLORY CASH
n 2007, just as the world was spiraling toward financial ruin, Greensboro sculptor Jim Gallucci received the largest commission of his career. The city of Raleigh selected him to construct four light towers to sit on each corner of downtown’s City Plaza in an attempt to redefine the empty space in front of the old Civic Center. “It started out as a $65,000 project,” Gallucci says. “We kept saying, ‘You know, guys, we can do more with this,’ and they said, ‘Really? You got any ideas?’ These towers were going to be 65 feet tall. The next thing you knew it turned into a $2.5 million project.” As the reality of the global financial crisis set in, Gallucci was certain the project would be pulled; but leaders in Raleigh decided to move ahead. In the fall of 2009, City Plaza, complete with Gallucci’s four 65-foot light towers bedecked in steel oak leaves, opened to the public. City officials hoped the plaza would serve as a “public living room” that would host concerts and events while attracting organizations from around the country that were searching for event and reception space. The plaza project was part of the now completely revitalized area of Raleigh’s Fayetteville Street, and towering above all the new businesses, concertgoers and tourists are Jim Gallucci’s glowing behemoths. Raleigh proved that an investment in the arts could lead an economic revitalization. Gallucci was not surprised that 56
the city’s bet paid off. “The arts are always the catalyst,” he says. “We’re the stick in the stream. Next thing you know, there’s a leaf that’s caught by the stick, and before long the stick has gathered an entire island around it.” Gallucci’s enormous studio — which he admits to thinking of less as a studio and more as a tool that assists in his art — sits just south of downtown Greensboro. Going off Gallucci’s own metaphor, his studio could be described as an island that has gathered things over the years: sculptures of dizzying heights and varying colors; scraps of metal from local salvage yards; beams from the World Trade Center; and people from around the state interested in anything from sculpture to metalworking to glassblowing to having a cup of coffee and chatting. This is exactly what Gallucci hoped this space would become after opening the studio in 2006, not only for him but for the collective community of local and statewide artists of which he is part. Gallucci’s collective approach is quickly made apparent when you spend time discussing art with him; you will discover that he consistently speaks in the collective first person we. “We’d been in the old Civil War rifle factory on East Washington in downtown Greensboro for 21 years,” he says. “There were holes in the ceiling. The floors weren’t strong enough to hold the sculptures we were making.” He smiles, takes a sip of his coffee. “We knew we needed four things from a studio: We needed plenty of space. We needed heat. We needed an office. And we needed a bridge crane.” That checklist — especially plenty of space and the bridge
crane — came in handy as the full lengths of the six-story Raleigh towers were being fabricated inside the studio. Gallucci had plenty of hands on deck as the towers were lifted by the crane and prepared for transport. You would not know it now, but there were times when Jim Gallucci felt more like that single stick in the stream than the island that would gather around it. As a working artist, he had spent years teaching at the college level, but that came to a halt in 1986, when UNC Greensboro did not renew his teaching contract after nine years in the classroom. He had a decision to make: Should he and his family leave Greensboro in search of another teaching job, or should they stay in the community, where they had forged relationships for nearly a decade? He and his wife made the conscious decision to stay. “We’d made a lot of friends,” he says. “We had a community. We knew a lot of people in the fabrication business, and we’d trade sculptures for steel. You don’t buy those relationships; you assemble them during your life.” After leaving the classroom, Gallucci decided to put his faith in his local community, and he decided to keep his faith in his art. “I took unemployment for six months, and I called it my arts grant. I went in my studio every day like a worker at 8 a.m., and I’d work until 4 p.m. I worked every day in that studio, and we were able to trade for steel, and we made three good sculptures during that six months and tried to get into shows.
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I CAME FOR THE TRAINING. I STAYED FOR THE RESULTS.
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“Those three pieces we made? All of them were sold, and two of them ended up in Brisbane, Australia. I suddenly went from an unemployed art teacher to an international sculptor.” Gallucci’s sculptures began to pop up around Greensboro, then around the state, then around the country. In Charlotte, his works include the Grand Entry Book Columns at The Green, and the Briar Creek Bridge handrails on Central Ave. He is perhaps best known for his gates and arches, especially the Millennium Gate in Greensboro’s Government Plaza, a project that found 17 artisans creating 106 icons that represent major figures, moments and movements from American history. The icons are affixed to the enormous arch and comprise the gate at its center. Viewers are able to both witness history and pass through it, and that interaction is vital to Gallucci’s vision. “With gates, it’s easy to get into the art,” he says, “literally and figuratively. I try to get people to enter the work, to engage with it.” Gallucci also gives people the opportunity to engage with their own artwork several times a year when he opens his studio to host a public iron pour. Hundreds of people show up in the early afternoon, many of them with small sand casts on which they will use any number of tools to etch a symbol or a name or an image that will be cast in iron later in the day. People come not only to pour iron, but to work with blacksmithing tools or to try their hand at glass blowing. Others come for the live music or the hot food that is served. The noise of the conversations and music and hammers rises into a pleasing din that fills the enormous studio space and pours outside, where men and women in masks and leather gloves and aprons stoke the furnace and melt metal into what looks like bright orange lava. Jim Gallucci is there, talking to old friends, making new ones, offering words of encouragement to someone who is trying their hand at metal casting for the first time. As the sky tips toward dusk, the scene is otherworldly. Sparks fly. Flames reach into the air. Metal is turned into liquid. The vague notions of creativity that people arrived with slowly harden into shape. “Creativity happens when you experience something you’ve never experienced before,” Gallucci says. “The elements: the sand, the dirt, the heat. It’s almost primordial. People may not become iron casters after this, but that’s not the point. It’s igniting other things, inviting other ways to look at the world. That’s what art inspires.” What does Jim Gallucci hope his art inspires? He thinks for a moment, the light from sparks and flames glinting in his safety glasses, which he wears casually, the way other people wear sunglasses or bifocals. “I hope I’m perpetuating ideas, goodwill, community, sense of purpose, reflection. If you’re doing that with a piece of art, you’re doing OK.” No man is an island, right? Well, perhaps Jim Gallucci is. SP Gastonia native Wiley Cash lives in Wilmington with his wife and their two daughters. His latest novel, The Last Ballad, is available wherever books are sold.
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The new reality
THESE YOUNG ADVOCATES STAND UP TO STOP DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. BY KEN GARFIELD
ydney Schulze, the movement Annabelle grows. More than Thomas and Addie 100 Country Day Paradise are 15 years students, including old. Liza Hunter is some young men, are the old-timer of the involved. group — she’s 16. Sydney Schulze, Liza Hunter, Addie Paradise and Annabelle Thomas “The fact that guys The sophomores at want to be in the club Charlotte Country shows that they’re understanding what’s happening,” Sydney Day School are quick to giggle and happy to talk about the says. Plans include a bake sale and fashion show to raise money pink blanket and stuffed animals that offer them comfort at for the foundation. the end of the day. Sydney says some young women are happy to subordinate God bless ‘em, they are so innocent. It’s the world that’s themselves to the male in a relationship. “I see 50/50, equal, guilty of forcing them to grow up so quickly. As we sit in the everyone has a say, no one’s overruling the other person. It Country Day cafeteria and talk about their crusade against should be a relationship based on love.” domestic violence, Sydney tells me about a relative who was The friend that Annabelle mentioned, the one with the emotionally abused. Annabelle mentions a friend whose controlling boyfriend? “She knew it was bad,” Annabelle says, boyfriend was overly controlling. Liza, the one with the extra “but it was hard to get out of the situation.” Addie follows up year of wisdom, says no one is safe, a wariness justified by U.S. with some advice for her peers and parents: Watch for the statistics: One in four women will experience severe physical danger signs. It doesn’t always start with a bloody nose or othviolence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. One in three er physical clue. It could be something as simple, yet ominous, teens will experience physical, sexual or emotional abuse from as cutting a young woman off from her friends and family. Or someone with whom they are in a relationship. spying on her through email and social-media accounts. These kids are kids no more. Liza’s counsel is to know the signs and keep your radar up. Liza: “We’re all women who can experience it.” “People can be friendly,” she says, “or overly friendly.” Annabelle: “It’s a reality we have to face.” When it was almost time for class, I asked Sydney, Sydney: “It’s not like we haven’t been exposed to it.” Annabelle, Addie and Liza to describe themselves in one The young women are driving forces behind Country Day’s word. They came up with five: passionate, determined, sassy, Say eNOugh Club, a student organization devoted to stopstrong and fierce. ping domestic violence. It’s one of a half-dozen high-school Then, to remind myself that they haven’t been robbed clubs established through the Jamie Kimble Foundation for entirely of their youth, I asked them if they had a favorite Courage. The foundation is working to form at least two new blanket or bear. All four smiled. All four raised their hands. high-school “Courage Clubs” a year. Charlotte’s Ron and Jan And all four leave those blankets and bears behind when they Kimble started the foundation after their daughter was shot to step out into the world, prepared to take it on. SP death by an ex-boyfriend in 2012. Jamie Kimble was 31. Ken Garfield is a freelance writer focusing on telling stories for Country Day has blazed a trail. Former students Aishwarya charitable causes. He is a frequent contributor to SouthPark Sharma and Taylor Riley helped launch the school’s club magazine. Reach him at email@example.com. in 2016. Aishwarya and Taylor have gone off to college, but
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Curling and curfews WHAT’S REALLY THE POINT OF HAVING A CHECK-IN TIME FOR KIDS? A WRITER AND MOM PONDERS THE QUESTION. BY MICHELLE ICARD
onversations about curfew are rarely fun. If you have teenagers, you’ve probably exhausted this topic many times, disputing what’s reasonable, drawing lines in the sand, feeling frustration mount on all sides. Recently, I decided this approach wasn’t getting me anywhere. I needed a new angle on an old topic. It would start with a simple question: What is the purpose of a curfew? To find the answer, I’d have to go deeper than “nothing good happens after X o’clock.” Then, surely, I could land on a more reasoned approach to this everyday (at least every weekend) parenting dilemma and put an end to a recurring debate in our house. And since I was venturing into new territory, why not add the element of trying a new sport at the same time? Curling and curfews sounded like a perfect pairing to me. I know — they aren’t exactly a natural combo. My editor wasn’t sure at first either. When Cathy approached me about my first in a series of monthly columns, I immediately pitched this one. “Just this weekend,” I said, “A group of friends went to the Charlotte Curling Association to learn how to curl. Anyway, we were talking about managing curfews ... ” “I’m confused — how did the subject of curfews come up with curling?” Cathy said. “Oh, well I texted everyone beforehand that I wanted to talk about it, but in a philosophical kind of way. I just asked them to think about it ahead of time,” I said. “Huh.” She processed. “So, is that what it’s like being friends with you?” Yes! Yes, it is. I like to dive deep into the issues around raising young people, to question our approaches, to bat around the latest research, to try to see the forest and the trees. I also like trying fun new places and activities around the Queen City. So that’s the plan. Each month, I’ll have a new conversation — aiming for locations as unique as the fireside lounge of an ice rink — then reflect on it here, hopefully prompting you to have meaty conversations of your own. Which brings me back to curfews. Many parents, myself included, land on a curfew by pluck
ing what feels like a reasonable hour out of the air. There may be some polling of other parents, but that’s probably where the research ends. If this sounds familiar, it might help to look at curfews through a wider lens, and then, you may realize you’ve defaulted to, and are defending, a stance that doesn’t serve your family well. My curling-and-curfew conversation brought up a lot of questions that can inform the way you think about this topic in your home. Try exploring these the next time you’re with your pals: Why is there such a thing as curfew? Is it to keep my kid safe? Is it to put me at ease so I’m not up late worrying? Do kids make better choices before a certain time? Are those times arbitrary? How did my parents handle curfew, and would I agree now? Does a curfew teach kids it’s important to set and stick to limits? Does a flexible curfew foster self-regulation and good judgment more than strict rule following? Does a curfew give teens an easy out when they want to leave but feel pressure to stay? Is it legal to have no curfew at all? Are there ways a curfew can backfire? At the risk of sounding like a fortune cookie, it’s not the right answer you’re seeking, but clarity. In fact, there is no right answer. Believe me, if I knew the “right” curfew I’d tell you. The answer will be different for everyone. Whatever you decide, I hope this approach is helpful in finding what works best for your family. Look for me here next month, to find out which topic I couldn’t resist dragging my friends, acquaintances, social-media contacts or unfortunate person behind me in line for coffee, into. SP Michelle Icard is the author of Middle School Makeover: Improving the Way You and Your Child Experience the Middle School Years. She runs local programming for middle schoolers and their parents, including leadership camps and conferences for girls and their moms. Learn more about her work at MichelleintheMiddle.com. Visit CharlotteCurling.com to learn more about this fun sport and facility. southparkmagazine.com | 65
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Happy place SOCIETY SOCIAL BRINGS ITS PREPPY-CHIC DESIGNS TO SOUTH END WITH THE OPENING OF ITS FIRST BRICK-AND-MORTAR STORE. BY CATHY MARTIN • PHOTOGRAPHS BY RICHARD ISRAEL STYLED BY WHITLEY ADKINS HAMLIN • HAIR AND MAKEUP BY JOSIAH REED
tep into Society Social’s new flagship store in Atherton Mill, and you might feel more like you’re in Palm Beach than Charlotte. Pass under the canvas awning through the bright pink double doors, and you’ll find yourself in an airy space packed with pastel chairs and sofas, rattan lamps and mirrors, and a myriad of other colorful accessories hand-picked by owner and creative director Roxy Owens and her team. Inside the 20-foot baby-blue pagoda in the center of the store — a nod to the chinoiserie designs often found in Society Social’s products — rows of color and fabric swatches line the wall. Elsewhere on the walls, you’ll find paintings by Southern women artists, including Nashville-based Kayce Hughes, Birmingham-based Liz Lane, as well as Charlotte’s own Windy O’Connor. Pale-pink-and-white gingham floors were hand-painted by Charlotte installation artist Kathryn Godwin of Studio Cultivate. Custom Brunschwig & Fils draperies adorn the windows, an exclusive French blue version of the popular Les Touches fabric design. And then there’s the Sedgewick bar cart. You might walk right past it without a glance, but this handcrafted, faux-bamboo cart is where it all began.
wens started Society Social in 2011 after several years working in the fashion industry, including in the buying division at the Belk department-store chain. AMC’s Mad Men was wildly popular, and the TV show set in 1960s Manhattan was beginning to influence everything from men’s fashion to home decor. But one midcentury staple that figures prominently in the show — the bar cart — had all but vanished from furniture showrooms. Around the same time, the recession had taken a toll on the retail industry, including Owens’ parents’ furniture business in Hickory. The Te family started the company in the Philippines when they were right out of college. “They took out loans, they had us, and we lived in the factory when we were kids,” says Owens, the oldest of four siblings. By the time she turned 5, the family had moved to Hickory to open an upholstery plant, making furniture under private labels for big U.S. retailers. “I kind of felt helpless during the worst, when the economy started to crash,” Owens says. “Because [my parents’] business really relied on other people’s businesses. And it was just devastating to see all the companies around us ... so many people closed down. So 68
Roxy Owens wears an Akris Punto metallic flecked crewneck blouse, Neiman Marcus, $495; La DoubleJ floral print tiered maxi skirt, Neiman Marcus, $945; Halogen x Atlantic Pacific pink buckle belt, stylistâ€™s own; and Aquazzura Firenze Purist sandals, Coplonâ€™s, $695.
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Society Social opened its Charlotte flagship store last November in Atherton Mill. In April, the brand will debut a furniture collection that’s a collaboration with New York-based interior designer Ariel Okin, whose recent projects include the New York offices of Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop.
many families went out of business; it was awful. And then to see my own family suffer.” Spying an opportunity in the market, Owens came up with a plan. “I was like, OK, I have these furniture companies that have been in my family for 40 years. I could probably design a bar cart and push it to market on e-commerce with little to no expense and see how it does,” says Owens, who has marketing degrees from N.C. State University and The New School’s Parsons School of Design. “And it put us on the map, and it blew up.” What happened next was a combination of work and luck, she says. Using only social media to market the new business, interior-design magazine House Beautiful discovered the brand early on and included Society Social’s bar carts in its “The Best” list within months of the brand’s debut. “We [had] launched at the end of August. They found us before we launched,” says Owens, who was 27 at the time. Other publications quickly followed, and before long Society Social was featured in Traditional Home, Southern Living, Elle Decor and other shelter publications. The business soon expanded into upholstery. Its sofas — all made in Hickory — can be customized with contrast piping, tassels and more. Tables, mirrors, dining chairs, ottomans and the company’s popular grass-cloth tables — which can be custom painted in any Sherwin-Williams or Benjamin Moore color — round out the line. Roxy’s goal starting out was to produce high-quality furniture that was well-made and stylish but didn’t break the bank. As a 20-something living in pricey New York City, she was enamored with the high-end styles she saw when flipping through home magazines but couldn’t afford anything in the pages. “I was like, let’s try to calibrate the designs to hit a price point that even a 20-something could
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Veronica Beard Samy shirtdress, Coplon’s, $495; Valentino Garavani Rockstud sandals, Roxy’s own 72
possibly afford.” Many of her customers are millennials and first-time homebuyers, with sofas starting at about $1,500. Second-homeowners also drawn to the brand, a natural fit as many of Society Social’s products exude a breezy, beach-house aesthetic.
fter a successful decade as a direct-to-consumer brand, Charlotte was an obvious choice for Society Social’s first brick-and-mortar shop. The Queen City is one of the company’s three biggest markets (others are in New York and Texas), and Hickory is within an hour’s drive. In addition to heading up creative and marketing efforts, Owens also helps oversee the factory. So last year, Roxy and her husband, Alan, and their 2-year-old daughter, Austen, moved from New York back to North Carolina. Alan, who met Roxy while they were students at N.C. State, still commutes to New York for his job as an engineer. “I grew up [in Hickory], so I call it home,” says Owens, who recalls biannual trips to High Point Market with her family from the time she was 8 years old. Though she’s back in the Charlotte area, her business still provides some jaw-dropping opportunities. In early December, just days before I interviewed her for this story, she posted a selfie with Drew Barrymore — the actress had invited Owens and four other women business owners to her New York home to help launch a new blue-light eyewear collection for her own brand, Flower by Drew. “That was wild. … I felt really cool — it’s not something I would normally get invited to,” Owens says. With a successful online business — the only marketing tool Society Social uses is Instagram, where the brand has more than 96,000 followers — why bother opening a physical shop? “I think that retail has changed in such a way that you don’t need as many brick-and-mortars. But you need one — at least one awesome flagship where your customers can come and have an experience with your brand,” Owens says. “It’s all about experiential retail these days. We knew that being a furniture line, it was very important to have a place where people could touch and feel and sit.” So Society Social Charlotte opened its hot pink doors in November, enlisting the help of New York designer Sasha Bikoff. “It’s been a good experiment, and wonderful to see people come in who have been following us since the beginning and had never seen us in person before,” Owens says. “We hear a lot, ‘This store is so happy!’ and it makes me so happy to be here.” SP
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Timeless with a twist
A FOXCROFT COUPLE TRANSFORMS THEIR ULTRATRADITIONAL HOME INTO A TRANSITIONAL STUNNER. BY BLAKE MILLER • PHOTOGRAPHY BY ERIN COMERFORD MILLER
isa and Philip Cope were ready for a change. They’d purchased their circa-1976 Georgian Foxcroft home almost 20 years ago from the original owner. They’d gutted the kitchen and opened up doorways, as well as worked with an interior designer to give the home an ultra-traditional look. But now that their kids had grown and the couple’s personal styles had changed over the years, they had the itch for something a bit more transitional — even a touch more modern. “Our home was very, very traditional,” Lisa Cope says. “Lots of dark mahogany wood, lots of antiques, Persian
rugs throughout. It was beautifully done, but it was just so traditional, and it was well-loved and worn out by our family over the years. We were ready for something new, something that wasn’t so stuffy and serious.” At first, however, the Copes weren’t looking to overhaul the entire home. They wanted to start simply with a kitchen update, one that would replace the traditional cherry wood cabinets and dark green granite counters with a brighter, lighter space. So, they enlisted the help of Kimmie Rokahr at Design Loft Cabinets to bring their vision to fruition. “But that project morphed into a
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den, powder room and home-office redesign, too,” laughs Cope of transforming the unused living room into Philip’s home office. Not long after that initial renovation, the Copes were ready to start the process of overhauling the traditional interiors of their home — and they knew exactly who to call. “My friend and neighbor had used Hadley [Quisenberry] and Lisa [Britt] on their home, and we just loved the interior design,” says Cope of the West Trade Interiors designers. “The moment I met them I felt instantly connected.” Quisenberry and Britt pulled together a design scheme that would essentially strip the Copes’ home of its nearly 20-year old traditional 78
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interior design and replace it with a more transitional, much lighter aesthetic. “The Copes really wanted to usher in symbolically the next phase of their life in redecorating with us,” Quisenberry says. “They were done raising their kids and wanted to focus on entertaining friends and family more.” The designers were at an advantage with the existing footprint of the home. “The original floorplan was fantastic, which was really ahead of the times for the 1970s,” Britt says. “It had a great flow and really strong bones with no dead-end rooms, so we had a great framework to work with from the start.” The dining room received one of the biggest makeovers, taking it from ultratraditional and dark to bright, streamlined and less ornate. The hand-painted Schumacher grasscloth wallpaper was the foundation of the dining room’s design. “We all fell in love with it,” Quisenberry says. “When they first showed it to me, I was like, wow, that’s really bold,” Cope says. “But everyone who comes into our home remarks about how pretty it is.” The only remaining original pieces were
the rug and chandelier, but everything else is brand new, including the 72-inch round dining table by Lorts. “They host lots of family holidays, so we were excited to add that to the space to accommodate extra guests,” Quisenberry says. The master bedroom was another complete overhaul. “Lisa and Philip wanted an oasis, a retreat,” Quisenberry says. The bed was originally just a headboard, but the designers transformed it by adding upholstered side rails and a footboard. “That design detail on the bed really brought the space to life,” Britt says, adding that the Schumacher wallpaper also instantly elevated the space. A Scalamandrè-embroidered bench at the end of the bed was the inspiration for the master bedroom’s color palette. The designers transformed the remainder of the living spaces, including the den, one of the Copes’ favorite rooms, stripping the aesthetic of its dated look. “The home is a very traditional, Georgian home,” Britt says. “So we wanted to give that a little twist. That’s always the goal: to create something timeless. And I think we achieved that here.” SP southparkmagazine.com | 81
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NASHVILLE FOUND MUSIC IS THE SOUL OF THE TENNESSEE STATE CAPITAL — CHEFS, ARTISTS AND OTHER TASTEMAKERS HAVE BROADENED THE CITY’S APPEAL. BY CATHY MARTIN
down by a few of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods.
This former rail yard just south of downtown had been mostly neglected until the mid-2000s — now it’s a bustling retail and residential district dotted with colorful murals with an energy similar to Charlotte’s South End. For breakfast, if you don’t want to wait in the long line at the popular Biscuit Love fast-casual spot, you can head to Milk & Honey. There will probably be a crowd there as well, but while you’re waiting for a table you can grab a giant fresh-baked brioche cinnamon roll from the bakery to quell your appetite. The restaurant serves breakfast favorites such as sourdough French toast, buttermilk-fried chicken and waffles, and spicy bloody marys with fresh jalapenos in a cozy atmosphere. Chef Jonathan Waxman’s Adele’s is a bright, airy space with garage doors to let the outside in, concrete floors, and lots of greenery. The seasonal menu features upscale comfort food: JW Chicken, roasted and topped with salsa verde, and a bright frisee salad with watermelon radish were standouts on my visit, as was the roasted cauliflower with hazelnuts and saffron. If you’ve got room for dessert, don’t miss the coconut cake. For a casual bite, Stock & Barrel is a Knoxville beer/burgers/bourbon concept that opened a Nashville outpost in late
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF NASHVILLE CONVENTION & VISITORS CORP
s a first-timer visiting the Music City — I’d passed through town before, but never spent any time there — I had a hard time shaking the misconception there wouldn’t be much to do for anyone other than die-hard country-music fans. Historically, the media’s depiction of the Tennessee capital didn’t help: “As recently as the 1990s, the city was portrayed as a backwater on the variety show ‘Hee Haw,’” reads a New York Times article from late 2018. To be sure, country music is still alive and well in Nashville (along with bluegrass, rock and about every other musical genre you can imagine). Living up to its chamber of commerce-promoted nickname, music really is everywhere. Nearly every café and storefront has a stage, especially in the downtown entertainment district, where you’ll hear live music blasting from open doorways at all hours of the day. But what I also found in Nashville is a multifaceted city with a stellar arts and dining scene. With as many cranes (perhaps more?) around town than in the Queen City, Nashville is clearly a national and international hot spot for both tourists and newcomers relocating from other places. But it’s also a city that’s made obvious efforts to preserve its local history. Before my trip, I naively wondered if I’d find enough to do over three days in the Music City — oh, but I barely scratched the surface. To sum up the best that Nashville has to offer — and this is by no means a complete list — it’s best to break it
2018. The restaurant emphasizes regionally sourced ingredients — beef comes from a family farm in Blaine, Tenn.; the buns are from Knoxville’s Flour Head Bakery. The burgers are the star of the menu, as are the tender charred wings served with a house-made hot sauce. Next door at Peg Leg Porker, the ribs are dry-rubbed and coated with Peg Leg’s original barbecue sauce. The pulled pork shoulder barbecue is served on a soft buttered bun, with a creamy banana pudding for dessert at this counter-service spot. Despite the area’s shiny new patina, one venerable spot worth noting is The Station Inn, a nondescript stone building that’s been a leading venue for bluegrass since it opened in 1974. If you stay overnight in the Gulch, the 12-story Thompson Hotel boasts a sleek design, warm wood accents and a rooftop bar. A little further from the action but within walking distance to the neighborhood is Union Station Hotel. This former train station built at the turn of the century was converted to a hotel in the 1980s. The spectacular lobby boasts a stunning stained-glass ceiling with 128 panels of original curved glass. Before you leave the Gulch, pick up a souvenir T-shirt, some funky jewelry, a leather jacket or piece of rock-androll memorabilia at Two Old Hippies, an 8,000-square-foot emporium started by two music lovers. Naturally, the shop also has a stage for live music, with performances five nights a week.
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D O W N TO W N
This is the heart of it all, with neon lights, honky-tonks and boot shops lining the streets. You’ll find all the big chain restaurants and celebrity-branded bars here, but if you’re looking for something a little more authentic, Robert’s Western World is a local favorite. Downtown is also where you’ll find the Ryman Auditorium, once dubbed the “Carnegie Hall of the South.” It doesn’t matter who you see, catching a show among the pews at this former tabernacle is a must-do. You’ll find lots of museums downtown, from the Country Music Hall of Fame to the Johnny Cash Museum. The 56,000-square-foot National Museum of African American Music is set to open this summer. A stroll along the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge over the Cumberland River offers skyline views of the city. And while you’ll find dozens of hotels downtown, one of the most distinctive is The Hermitage, a Beaux Arts-style landmark that opened in 1910.
E A ST N A S H V IL L E
If you’re looking for a funkier vibe, cross the river out of downtown and head to East Nashville, an artists’ enclave that’s beginning to attract a growing number of young families. You’ll find an eclectic mix of bakeries, taquerias, pizza joints and other places to grab a bite. Charleston favorite Butcher & Bee has an outpost here. East Nashville is also home to the popular Setsun pop-up dinners, held Friday-
Monday in a local cafe. Hunter’s Station is an adorable mini-food hall offering grab-and-go options from local foodtruck vendors, and Status Dough’s scratch-made doughnuts will melt in your mouth. East Nashville is also where Sean Brock plans to open his new “flagship restaurant compound,” according to the celebrated chef’s website. Red Bird and Audrey, named after the chef’s grandmother, are expected to open sometime in 2020. Brock arrived in the Music City in 2013 as Husk Nashville opened downtown — he’s the founding chef of the Charleston restaurant concept. Since then, Brock has turned his efforts to his new Nashville solo ventures. If you want to feel uber-cool, book a room at the new FieldHouse Jones Hotel in East Nashville. It’s the Chicago boutique hotel’s second location. In the lobby, peruse a hodgepodge of antiques and artifacts for sale, from vintage yarn spools and chandelier crystals to artwork and Italian furniture. A coffee shop, restaurant and rooftop bar are scheduled to open later this year.
G E R M A N TO W N
With its rows of old Victorians, this historic neighborhood has become another hub for young professionals, with some of the city’s top-rated restaurants, including City House, Henrietta Red and Butchertown Hall. It’s close to the Nashville Farmers Market as well as the city’s minor-league baseball stadium: With views of downtown, First Horizon Park opened in 2015 as the home of the Nashville Sounds. At Tailor, you’ll experience a blend of thoughtfully prepared cuisine and storytelling. The prix fixe dinner of eight to 10 courses is accompanied by Chef Vivek Surti’s explanations of the inspiration for each dish. Many relate to his heritage as a first-generation American — his parents emigrated from India. The centerpiece of my meal was a chicken biryani, a fragrant bowl of chicken, rice and caramelized onions with rose and saffron, a dish reserved for very special occasions when Surti was growing up. Make reservations in advance if you plan to dine at the 40-seat restaurant: Bon Appetit and Thrillist recently added Tailor to their lists of the best new restaurants in America.
MIDTO W N A N D 12 S O U T H
Not far from Belmont University on the south side of town, 12 South is one of the city’s top shopping and dining destinations — if you need further convincing of the area’s cachet, Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop MRKT opened an 8-week pop-up there in late 2019. Other trendy spots include custom-denim shop Imogene + Willie, local curiosity shop White’s Mercantile, and Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James. Near Vanderbilt University in southwest Nashville, Midtown has a college-town vibe with lots of busy bars and cafes. Here you’ll also find one of the city’s three locations of Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. Be prepared to stand in line at all of them. On the last day of my trip, I ventured out to the Hattie B’s in west Nashville hoping to avoid the crowds. By 10:30 a.m., a line was already forming ahead of the restaurant’s 11 a.m. opening. The menu offers customized heat-level options ranging from Southern (no heat) to Shut the cluck up!!! I opted for a mid-grade “Hot” chicken sandwich with a side of pimento mac-and-cheese, and it still packed plenty of heat. IF YOU’RE GOING: Nashville is a 1.5-hour direct flight from Charlotte, or about a 6.5-hour drive. Spring brings lots of events and festivals, including Tin Pan South, dubbed as the world’s largest songwriter festival (March 24-28) and the Nashville Cocktail Festival (April 21-25). More at visitmusiccity.com. SP
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A HIGH-WATER MARK THE WHARF, WASHINGTON’S WATERFRONT DESTINATION, IS A WORTHY REASON TO DECAMP TO D.C.
f Washington, D.C., makes you think of acrimony and an ineffective Congress, you’re not alone. But Washington is more than ground zero for partisan rancor. It’s a storied city alive with history, awash in remarkable restaurants and, as of a couple of years ago, newly energized by a scenic waterfront that’s become a mecca for residents and tourists. The district didn’t always maximize its famous waterfront, crossed by generals from George Washington to Robert E. Lee. Other than tony Georgetown, there seemed to be a missed opportunity with all that shoreline and so few places to take it all in. No more. When The Wharf’s first phase opened in late 2017, this section of waterfront along the Washington Channel of the Potomac River suddenly became the attraction it was always destined to be. “For decades, southwest Washington has looked like a beige and barren place,” reads a 2017 Washington Post story heralding the birth of The Wharf. “[T]hat part of the city has rarely buzzed with life.” That is until the 24-acre Wharf, just south of the National Mall, turned it into something colorful and buzzworthy. The hopping entertainment district is anchored by The 88
Anthem, a live-music venue run by a co-owner of the 9:30 Club (one of America’s top 10 live music venues, according to Rolling Stone in 2018). The industrial-chic, multilevel space also has multiple bars. It’s a venue with a design so ingenious — the stage moves — that it can be configured to seat between 2,500 and 6,000 music fans. Upcoming shows include Sturgill Simpson (booked for two nights), The Beach Boys and The 1975. I saw the sublime and seemingly ageless Bryan Ferry there last fall. Worth noting: The Anthem doesn’t take cash. The good news: Lines for the bar move quickly since bartenders don’t have to make change.
E AT, D R IN K A N D D O
The Wharf offers a range of dining options, many of them unexpected. One of the most unusual and celebrated is Kith/Kin, a drop-dead gorgeous spot serving African- and Caribbean-influenced cuisine. James Beard 2019 Rising Star Chef of the Year Kwame Onwuachi is in charge here; he traces his roots to Africa, Jamaica, New Orleans and New York. And there are flavors from all of them. The space adjacent to the InterContinental hotel is airy
PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF THE WHARF, WASHINGTON DC
BY PAGE LEGGETT
and open, with soaring ceilings and windows overlooking the water. The food, while elegantly composed, is more down-home than the impressive space would indicate. Braised goat shoulder and gumbo with quail are among surprises on the menu. Cocktails range from island-inspired (One Love, with pineapple rum, hibiscus, passionfruit, lime and peach bitters) to summer-inspired (Chef Kwame’s Favorite, with gin, elderflower, lime, honey and tonic). Kith/Kin is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Elsewhere along the water, you’ll find stand-out Mexican food at Chef Roberto Santibanez’s Mi Vida and a high-end take on the flavors of coastal Spain at Del Mar. If the Capitals Campfire is blazing, pop by for a s’more. You’ll also find doughnuts, gelato, falafel, pizza, pastries, coffee, burgers and the award-winning Milk Bar, the desserterie that gave the world Cereal Milk-flavored ice cream. (And the world rejoiced!) Suffering from insomnia? Head north to DuPont Circle’s Kramerbooks and Afterwords Café — it’s open until 1 a.m. during the week and 3 a.m. on weekends. Stop in for breakfast, lunch, dinner or late-night snacks. Check out the literary cocktails, including The Handmaid’s Ale, a seasonal shandy (beer plus a mixer) with cider, pumpkin-pie spices and cinnamon whiskey. D.C. was made for bibliophiles, and another great local bookshop is Politics and Prose. One of its three locations is on The Wharf. Check in advance if there’s a literary celeb on the roster. Recent guest speakers have included Diane Rehm, Paul Krugman, Glennon Doyle and Margaret Atwood. If books aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other retailers to explore at The Wharf, including Shop Made in DC, featuring all locally made stationery, clothes, art and bath and beauty products.
G E T TIN G A R O U N D
If you think gridlock is limited to our federal government, wait till you’re stuck in D.C. traffic. Congress moves quicker than cars during rush hour. Taking Metro — more like London’s Tube than New York’s subway system — can help avoid angst and wasted time. In addition, The Wharf offers a free shuttle to the National Mall. Along the way, it stops at L’Enfant Plaza, with more than 40 shops and restaurants, and the International Spy Museum, which is also worth a visit. The D.C. metropolitan area has long made way for cyclists. The 18-mile wooded Mount Vernon Trail runs along the
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Potomac and leads to the Virginia home of our first president. It, too, is a favorite attraction. But you don’t have to appreciate the Potomac only from its shores. Rent a kayak or paddleboard. Take a water taxi somewhere. (It’s a great vantage point from which to see D.C.’s monuments.) Or rent a float boat, which allows you and up to eight of your friends to eat, drink and make merry while your private captain guides the vessel.
G E T C U LT U R E D
Many of D.C.’s museums are government-supported. They belong to us, the people, and are therefore free. I always feel I can spend more on food, drink and entertainment because I’ve saved on admission fees. In addition, Washington is a great theater town. There’s Woolly Mammoth, Ford’s Theatre and the grandest of all – the Kennedy Center. You won’t need to leave the waterfront for exceptional theater, though. Arena Stage put down roots in the area long before it was a destination. They offer classics (August Wilson’s The Pittsburgh Cycle series, for instance) and edgy world premieres. Washington belongs to all of us. In an era of bitter partisan bickering, it’s nice to remind yourself that D.C. isn’t a swamp at all. In fact,
the water has never looked more appealing. LOVE YOUR COUNTRY: A visit to D.C. may remind you just how majestic our center of government is. If you choose to center your stay at The Wharf, visit wharfdc.com to plan your visit. The Wharf offers three lodging options: Canopy by Hilton, Hyatt House and a sleek, sexy InterContinental. SP
M Y M U ST- S E E WA S HIN GTO N
Outside The Wharf, here are a few of my favorite places in the District I once called home. The Birchmere. The live music hall in Alexandria, Va., has been around since the 1960s. Rosanne Cash, Herb Alpert and Don McLean all will perform at this legendary club — that offers a full bar and dinner menu — in the coming months. birchmere.com Le Diplomate. Locals refer to it as “Le Dip,” and it’s as authentic a French bistro as you’ll find this side of Paris. Steak tartare, escargots, beef Bourguignon and trout amandine are among old-school favorites expertly prepared. Reservations are a must. lediplomatedc.com National Portrait Gallery. Proceed directly to the second floor to marvel at “America’s Presidents.” I wept in front of Michelle Obama’s portrait; you’ll discover your own favorites. npg.si.edu National Museum of African American History and Culture. Designed by the late Phil Freelon of Durham (who also designed the Harvey B. Gantt Center in Charlotte), the building itself is a masterpiece. Since its 2016 opening, it has remained a big draw. Admission is free, but depending on when you go, you may need an advance pass. They’re offered online three months in advance on the first Wednesday of every month. nmaahc.si.edu Old Town Alexandria. Like Charleston, S.C.’s King Street, Alexandria’s King Street is the city’s premier shopping thoroughfare. The historic avenue has more than 100 indie boutiques and some of the D.C. area’s best eats. visitalexandriava.com — Page Leggett
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SOUTHERN SOJOURN FAR FROM CHARLESTON’S YOUNGER SISTER, SAVANNAH, GA., HAS A CHARM ALL ITS OWN. BY CAROLINE PORTILLO
t’s normal for us North Carolinians to talk about Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C., in the same breath. Just two hours apart, both are visually stunning with stately architecture, wrought-iron handiwork, and Spanish moss dripping from live oaks and cypress trees. And while there’s certainly a subtle difference in accent, the signature Southern lilt is there — that penchant for drawing out words like “idea” and “particularly,” every word enunciated just so, every “r” as soft and sticky as a piece of molasses. So really, though, how’s the average tourist supposed to differentiate between the two, beyond the obvious “where Charleston has streets, Savannah has squares”? To settle the debate, I asked Savannah native and hospitality magnate Richard Kessler. I was in town to check out some of the city’s boutique properties owned by Kessler, including the Mansion on Forsyth Park and the Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront. Kessler is also the owner and operator of the Plant Riverside District, a $330-million-plus development transforming the decommissioned 104-year-old Georgia Power Plant into a 4.5-acre waterfront entertainment district. It’s the largest redevelopment in the history of Savannah’s National Historic Landmark District, and the first phase is set to open in 2020. Kessler, who has hotel properties in both cities, laughed at my Savannah-versus-Charleston quandary.
“Charleston is like the lady going to the ball,” he said. “And Savannah is like the lady going down to the bar.” I held on to that comparison throughout the trip — it’s a fair one. It’s like Savannah took what Charleston (more than 60 years older) taught us about Southern hospitality and served it up, on the rocks, with a twist of sugar-encrusted lime. Speaking of drinks, in Savannah’s downtown historic district, you can consume up to 16 ounces of alcohol in an open plastic container. But before you start picking out craft cocktails, first you’ll need to book your accommodations.
Savannah is no doubt full of bed-and-breakfasts and a growing number of hotels, but the Kessler Collection properties are city landmarks that offer truly distinctive experiences. One of the city’s most recognized, iconic hotels is the luxurious Mansion on Forsyth Park, overlooking Savannah’s largest historic square. (It’s also just down the street from Kessler’s own historic homestead, the famed Armstrong Kessler Mansion). The 125-room Victorian Romanesque mansion, built in 1888, has worn many hats over the decades, from terra-cotta brick family home to funeral parlor to synagogue. When Kessler renovated and reopened the hotel in 2005, he did so with a flair for captivation: Guests who enter are
works of art that fit the hotel’s glamorous aesthetic can be found in the gallery shop located on the ground floor of the hotel. Depending on when you browse, you might enjoy the soft notes of the classical pianist playing nearby. The Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront offers a more contemporary-chic aesthetic along the famed River Street. There’s a complimentary shuttle between the two properties, so guests can enjoy the amenities at both. If you’re itching for nightlife and waterfront views, the Bohemian is where you’ll want to stay. The color palette at the 75-room boutique hotel is more muted than what you’ll find at other Bohemian hotels: think sophisticated black leather and river-inspired design elements like driftwood and brick. greeted with decadent Versace furniture and 200-year-old pink Verona marble columns. But perhaps the most notable thing about Kessler’s Savannah properties is the art — fitting for a city that’s home to the acclaimed Savannah College of Art and Design. An avid art collector himself, Kessler fills each of his properties with pieces from his vast (and colorful) personal collection — you’ll see lots by bohemian artist Peter Robert Keil. Other
P L AY
One of the best aspects of Savannah is its walkability. Not only is most of the city completely flat, each of its 22 squares is shady with lots of benches, and you’ll want to take a seat to admire the stunning architecture. There are plenty of home tours, including one of the Mercer Williams House on Bull Street, made famous in John Berendt’s 1994 bestselling book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. southparkmagazine.com | 93
If antiquing is more your speed, there are dozens of shops worth a browse, many nestled in the bottom floor of a historic home. The historic district is small and digestible, and worth a stroll, drinks optional. If you’re down on River Street, don’t miss one of the city’s signature treats: fresh pralines. Trust me, and get them by the pound, as they make great gifts — that is, if they last long enough to be gifted. And when Plant Riverside District is finished, the transformation will add more than 650,000 square feet of attractions to the historic district. The area will be anchored by a new 419-room JW Marriott, with 12 new restaurants, local and national high-end retailers, a new green space known as MLK Park, a rooftop pool, a new quarter-mile of Riverwalk, and a Live Nation concert venue. If you want to escape the bustle, head just 20 minutes outside the city to Tybee Island, home to large white-sand beaches and Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse. Finish your night back at the Mansion at Forsyth Park and head to Casimir’s Lounge, where some of the region’s top jazz and blues musicians take up residence for the night. 94
No matter where you stay, the Mansion on Forsyth Park’s 700 Kitchen Cooking School — named after the hotel’s signature restaurant, 700 Drayton — is a don’t-miss. It’s consistently ranked among TripAdvisor’s top attractions for the city, and for good reason. Groups as large as 15 can join the hands-on classes that’ll make you feel like a regular Rachael Ray, whether you’re peeling shrimp for shrimp and grits or making praline sauce and homemade biscuits. As the wine flows, Executive Chef Jason Winn, a Texas native, leads the lessons with his signature blend of storytelling and Southern culinary traditions. When you’re ready to leave the property, there’s a rich culinary landscape to explore as well. Even if you’ve been to the original Husk in Charleston, Chef Sean Brock’s Husk Savannah in the heart of the city’s Historic Landmark District is equally deserving of the hype. As is The Grey, a modern, Southern eatery located in a refurbished Greyhound bus depot. (The kitchen is the former ticket booth.) If you decide to stay in and dine at the Bohemian’s Rocks on the River, first head upstairs to Rocks on the Roof, one of the city’s favorite rooftop bars. On the evening we spent watching the sunset over the Talmadge Memorial Bridge, sipping signature cocktails and nibbling on chicken-and-waffle sliders, we felt like those Southern belles who opted for the bar, not the ball, bottling up everything a Southern sojourn should be and sipping it slowly, savoring. SP
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TWICE A YEAR, SEAGROVE POTTERS OPEN THEIR STUDIOS FOR TEA AND DEMONSTRATIONS. BY VANESSA INFANZON
BLUE HEN POTTERY Anne Pärtna started making pottery while in high school in her home country of Estonia. An exchange-student program introduced her to ceramics at East Carolina University in Greenville. After graduating from the Estonian Academy of Arts, she returned to ECU for graduate school to study ceramics. She and her husband, Adam Landman, met at ECU and opened Blue Hen Pottery in 2011. That same year, Blue Hen’s wood kiln was built as part of an international workshop with undergraduate and graduate students from ECU and Estonian Academy of Arts. Influenced by her beekeeper grandfather, Pärtna draws 96
whimsical bees and flowers — even farm animals such as chickens —on the mugs, bowls, plates, vases and other saltglazed wares. “A lot of our work takes a long time to make,” Pärtna says. “We put a lot of attention to details.” Making a teapot is particularly detail-oriented work, requiring attention to design that many other pottery pieces don’t need. There are several parts to put together, and it needs to fit comfortably in your hands and pour well. Blue Hen is a natural fit for Tea with Seagrove Potters: “Estonians drink a lot of tea,” Pärtna says. “We still have this practice of gathering our own herbs and drying them for the winter, and then we make herbal tea.” 247 West Main St., Seagrove
FROM THE GROUND UP Michael Mahan’s passion is wood-fired pottery. “Woodfiring has a different look to it, and my kiln produces a lot of
PHOTOGRAPHS BY THOMAS POTTERY, MICHAEL MAHAN
ick out a piece of pottery at The Mint Museum’s store in uptown or on Randolph Road, and there’s a chance the artist is from Seagrove, a small town just 90 minutes northeast of Charlotte in Randolph County. Despite its tiny population — 218 residents, according to the latest census — the area is home to more than 100 potters and bills itself as “The Handmade Pottery Capital of the United States.” Seagrove gained national recognition as a pottery town in the early 20th century, though its roots run much deeper, back to the 1700s when European immigrants settled in the area and made and sold pottery to supplement farming income. Twice a year, a group of Seagrove potters roll out the welcome mat and invite visitors to enjoy tea and baked goods while visiting the studios. The next Tea with Seagrove Potters will be held March 14. It’s a self-guided tour and a chance for a personal introduction to this pottery mecca, or a reintroduction to the talents of these local artists. Visit various studios and galleries — most are within a 5-mile radius — and learn about the artists’ processes and design styles. Here are six Seagrove potters you can meet on the tour.
ash that flows through the kiln and lands on the pot,” he says. “It affects the finish and the color of the pot. It’s a more earthy look.” Mahan, a Miami native, opened From the Ground Up in 2000, making functional and decorative pottery inspired by the traditional potters of Seagrove. His studio features plates, bowls, cups, mugs, casseroles, colanders, pour-over coffee carafes and more. Some of his work is adorned by tree designs, etched, drawn or impressed into the clay. If you come for the tea, snack on baked goods made by Mahan’s wife, Mary Holmes, and sip organic coffee, roasted and brewed by Mahan. 172 Crestwood Road, Robbins
DEAN & MARTIN POTTERY Jeff Dean and Stephanie Nicole Martin started Dean & Martin Pottery in 1999. Each brings a distinct style to the studio with their decorative and functional wares. Martin’s pop culture-themed mugs, cups and plates feature ceramic decals of musicians and activists such as Angela Davis, Elvis, Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Prince. “A lot of people ask about how the decals are done,” she says. “That is something we’re happy to explain to everyone when they come in — and answer any questions about studio life.” For her serving pieces, Martin uses the sgraffito technique — scraping clay after it’s hardened — or hand-painted floral designs.
Clean lines and form mark Dean’s style on his functional plates, bowls and tumblers. “It’s a mix between traditional and contemporary,” Martin explains. “The forms are more traditional, but the glazes are more contemporary.” One of Dean’s oldest and most popular dinnerware patterns is Sunset, named by his customers. It features yellow with copper reds and forest greens and is made using a Japanese technique called tenmoku, an iron-saturated glaze that brings out the blacks and browns on the bottom. 7739 Nathan Lane, Seagrove
ECK MCCANLESS POTTERY Eck McCanless is a second-generation potter. His mother bought her first pottery wheel in 1979 to make furniture for her doll houses. McCanless and his brothers played with the scraps and sometimes the wheel. As a teen, he worked with his parents, who, by that time, had turned their pottery hobby into a business. “We started out as unskilled labor and accidently apprenticed for them while trying to make a few bucks,” he says. McCanless started making pottery professionally in 1993, developing his skills with crystalline pottery. His dad introduced him to techniques such as salt ware and raku firing, a Japanese ceramics technique. After 18 years, McCanless opened a studio in 2011. Much of his work is agateware, which
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Eck McCanless is made by mixing multiple colors of clay together to create a marbling or wood-grain effect. “It’s different colors of clay spiraling all on the wheel at the same time,” he says. At Tea with Seagrove Potters, McCanless will have teapots, tea sets and pitchers for sale, plus his usual wares. He’ll also be on the wheel doing demonstrations. “The opportunity for me to show off my work is like being an ambassador for clay and Seagrove,” he says. “It’s a good way to give a newcomer to Seagrove an introduction to these few places.” 6077 Old US Hwy 220, Seagrove
RED HARE POTTERY Bonnie Burns learned the art of pottery-making from her friend, Charlotte Wooten Fenberg, at Humble Mill Pottery, another Seagrove studio. Burns opened Red Hare Pottery in 2002 after painting pottery for Fenberg for five years. Her work, along with the work of her husband, Benjamin Burns, is showcased in Great White Oak Gallery. Burns’ dinnerware — plates, bowls, saucers, teacups and mugs — is adorned with colorful, simple illustrations of chickadees, cardinals and flowers. “I do a lot of birds; I do a lot of nature,” Burns says. “I look out my window, and I’ll see trees and put that on a piece. Nature is my muse.” 437 N. Broad St., Seagrove
THOMAS POTTERY Bobbie Thomas wasn’t always a potter. Her first career was 98
in data management, but for years, she and her husband, Scott Thomas, made pottery as a hobby. Thirteen years ago, Bobbie decided to turn her pottery-making into a business. Now, she makes trays, platters and sculptures of woodland creatures at the studio she shares with her husband. In addition to making pottery, Bobbie Thomas offers hands-on classes for groups and events. She teaches how to make plates, bowls and ornaments using simple techniques and designs. Before browsing, Bobbie recommends grabbing a treat and tea on the porch. Honey pots, teapots, sugar and creamer sets, bowls, and cups fill the sales cabin at Thomas Pottery, along with other wares. 1295 S. NC Hwy. 705, Seagrove WANT TO GO? Shop for teacups, teapots and an assortment of functional and collector pottery at Tea with Seagrove Potters, 10 a.m. — 5 p.m. March 14. Pick up a map at any of the galleries, where you can munch homemade baked goods while sipping Mary Murkin’s Carriage House Tea from nearby Asheboro. Another tea will be held Aug. 15, and for other pottery events including kiln openings, open houses and festivals visit the calendar page at heartofnorthcarolina.com. While you’re in the area, visit the North Carolina Pottery Center. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The newest rotating exhibit, N.C. Wood-Fires: Then & Now, runs through June 20. 233 East Ave., Seagrove. ncpotterycenter.org SP
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A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas
Hope for Community Health Luncheon a benefit for Care Ring Oct. 10, Westin Charlotte
Zachary W. Sandbutte, Morgan Hinton and Jeff Brinkman
Jennifer Gammage and Gina Ernsberger
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Heidi Henderson and Keara Buckle
This year’s Care Ring luncheon raised more than $83,000 for the organization, which provides health services for the un- and underinsured. Don Gately was honored with the Maribelle Connerat Award for his work with CrossRoads Corp., a nonprofit working to revitalize the Grier Heights neighborhood. Nearly 400 business, government, faith and nonprofit professionals attended the luncheon.
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Alisahah Cole and Don Jonas
Ties & Tails Gala benefiting the Humane Society of Charlotte Oct. 12, Westin Charlotte
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Cyndi Eller, Brian Buchley. Shawn and Donna Tucker
Claire Talley and Felipe Gonzalez Edmiston
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PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON
More than 500 guests and 60 dogs converged on the Westin Hotel for a night that set tails wagging. The event, emceed by WCNC’s Larry Sprinkle and Michelle Boudin, raised more than $260,000 for the Humane Society of Charlotte.
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A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas
B.R.A.K.E.S. Charity Gala Oct. 12, Quail Hollow Club This year’s gala brought back the Roaring ’20s, complete with vintage dresses and suits, antique cars, and dancing into the night. Proceeds from the evening benefited Doug Herbert’s B.R.A.K.E.S. program, which provides safe-driving education for teens.
Kelly and Eric Dees
PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON
Fun on the dance floor with Deems May
Priscilla and Ernest Perry
Flappers, sealed with a kiss
Mimi Sabates and Doug Herbert
Jody Felice and Ashley Felice
Tariq and Krista Bokhari
Manuel and Ana Rey and Kelly Wolff
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A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas
Fighting for Women with Fashion a benefit for Safe Alliance Oct. 1, Mint Museum Uptown This year’s fashion show raised more than $115,000 for Safe Alliance, which supports people impacted by domestic abuse and assault. Members of the Women Lawyers of Charlotte and women physicians from the Mecklenburg County Medical Society walked the runway at this year’s event.
Karen Breach, Kelley Rouse and Keisha Faulkner
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Peter Capizzi and Nicole Sodoma
Bennal Perkins and Clare Wesley
Sarah Reichardt and Christine Ripley
Alice Adams, Kenda Laughey and Meredith Jeffries
Terhea Golden and Barbara Robinson
Lynn Myrick and Grazia Walker
PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON
Barrett Day and Teri Shaw
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A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas
Star Spangled Salute benefiting Veterans Bridge Home Oct. 19, Le Meridien Hotel This year’s gala featured keynote remarks from retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, with numerous decorated soldiers and generals in attendance. Veterans Bridge Home works with the veteran community in the Charlotte area, helping soldiers returning to civilian life with employment and social connections.
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Nicole French and Stehpanie Maglosky
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PHOTOGRAPHS BY DANIEL COSTON
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A monthly guide to Charlotte’s parties and galas
Purple Luncheon Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement Oct. 30, Mint Museum Uptown Maria Shriver was on hand to lend a little star power to this health summit aimed at building awareness surrounding the impact of Alzheimer’s disease. Inspired after attending a similar event last year in Dallas, gallery owner Anne Neilson organized the Charlotte event. The luncheon raised more than $300,000, including support from presenting sponsor Friends of The Ivey, among others.
Ramona Holloway and Michelle Boudin
Jenn Lamarre, Erin Stein and Sandy Gleysteen
Winn Elliott, Blair Farris and Kimmie Rokahr
Liz Faison, Maria Shriver and Ann Tarwarter
Mollie Faison and Sally Robinson
Cassandra Richardson and Anne Buresh
Kim Moore, Nancy Targgart and Zan Byrd
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RUTH RUNBERG SEARCHES NEAR AND FAR TO FIND EXQUISITE OBJECTS FOR HER CLIENTS’ HOMES.
BY WHITLEY ADKINS HAMLIN
ormer fashion buyer Ruth Runberg has made a business out of helping others source unique furniture, gifts and accents for the home. Through R. Runberg Curiosities, Runberg helps guide her customers “toward creating a home that expresses their authentic self” while supporting artisans across the globe. Runberg’s interest in the business of fashion and design started when she was an undergrad at Washington and Lee University, where she studied economics with a concentration in art history. Her career spans from her work as a buyer for Barneys and Saks in New York City to women’s buying director at Browns in London, and later as a buyer at Capitol boutique here in Charlotte for four years. Comments were edited for brevity. I love the “curiosities” part of your business name. Can you tell us a little more about how you came up with the name? I am drawn to things that have a story — I wonder what a beautiful, old piece of furniture from across an ocean has witnessed over the centuries. I love the soul of things which took time to make and were created by human hands. After all, the most interesting homes are filled with very personal layers accumulated over a lifetime. Curiosities just seemed like a charmingly old-fashioned descriptor for a business about discovery and wonder and beauty. How did you start working in fashion? I learned finance skills and hard work right out of school at an investment bank in New York. After two years there, I got my foot in the door at Barneys New York in the buying office. I started as admin to the head of womens buying — changing toner cartridges, answering phones and learning everything I could. I took introductory French at night school so that I’d pronounce all the French fashion words properly. I was the last person to leave the buying office each day. And during my two weeks of annual vacation, I persuaded Barneys to hire me to work shifts at their legendary warehouse sales. I absorbed any and every experience I could. 112
What inspires your own personal style? Fashion, interiors, entertaining and travel are all just expressions of who you are and what’s important or interesting to you. I don’t believe in good taste and bad taste, but I wholeheartedly believe in finding and expressing your taste. My own personal style is not too much of any one thing because my interests are all over the place … There’s too much to learn and see and experience for just one lifetime. What type of merchandise do you sell? I sell block-printed cotton table linens from Jaipur and swirling mouth-blown tumblers from the best glass blower in Murano. There are Yoruba chairs, imported from Nigeria and covered in thousands of tiny glass seed beads, and scented candles from the oldest existing candlemaker in the world, begun in Paris in the 1600s to create for Louis XIV. … There are the most beautiful wooden jigsaw puzzles made by a small company in England. And I can’t forget to mention the wax candle busts of Queen Charlotte we had commissioned, which are hand poured by a small company in a rainbow of colors. What is the best way for someone to shop R. Runberg Curiosities? For the time being, we will continue to take time to accumulate just the right selection and then stage a pop-up selling event. By the end of the year, we will have completed construction on a permanent space, and our curiosities will be available to view by appointment. So many good things are in the works! SP
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