SouthPark September 2020

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Full of timeless character, Southern charms and sophisticated comforts, Catawba Falls Events is considered a premier venue destination for weddings, retreats and conferences. With a gorgeous lake, lush forests and beautiful views for sunsets and sunrises, the venue makes the perfect backdrop for any gathering, including a relaxing retreat with your team or a stunning family gathering. The venue itself features cypress doors from the late 1600s, reclaimed red oak siding and a massive floor to ceiling stone fireplace. The upscale bridal suite and groom’s room may also be transformed into quaint and cozy conference and meeting spaces. A full team is available at Catawba Falls Events to help with planning any and all aspects of events, from weddings to retreats. They can help determine the perfect setting, menu, and atmosphere to make your gathering unique and unforgettable. It has been a long and tough year, so now is the perfect time to get away from the day-to-day noise, gather with loved ones or those you work with and enjoy some peace and quiet in this Lancaster oasis. With beauty around every corner, Catawba Falls Events will help you feel right at home.





t the beginning of quarantine, I got dressed each day just like I was going into the office. My looks might have been a bit more casual than before stay-at-home mandates, but suffice it to say I was out of my pj’s and settled into my makeshift home office by 9 a.m. each day. As the months wore on, I’ll admit I got a little sloppy, especially on days with no Zoom calls and when I didn’t have to leave the house. But the promise of fall and sweater weather is invigorating, and I’ve found myself making more of an effort again. Reading the stories about the very stylish Charlotteans on this year’s IT List has inspired me even more to get up and get dressed every day. “Personal style is how you carry yourself, the consistency of your dress, how you evolve through life’s various stages,” says Whitley Adkins, who has produced the section for the last four years. There are plenty of people who say clothes don’t matter, but what you wear is one way to communicate with the world, without saying a word, a little something about yourself. For me, it’s also about confidence. If you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing — whether that’s jeans and boots or a dress and heels — you’re more likely to present the best version of yourself. My investment in fashion has ebbed and flowed throughout the seasons of life. I spent most of my high-school years alternating between Duck Head cutoffs and surf-shop T-shirts (I was partial to Bert’s) and some of the more dreadful ’80s styles that many of us would like to forget existed. I experimented a little more in college, from head-to-toe preppy to pseudo-hippie to oversized everything. I went through an all-black phase in my mid-20s (I’m pretty sure I thought it made me look more mature). But when my kids came along, whatever fashion goals I had at the time were projected on them — oh, how I loved picking out adorable outfits for those two! Now that they’re older, it’s been fun to turn my attention back to my own closet. The pandemic has turned everything upside down — but I’m going to try not to use that as an excuse for not putting my best (fashion) foot forward.




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DEPARTMENTS 23 | Blvd. Gourmet goods at Copain Gatherings’ new retail store; Carlos Estévez brings his cerebral works of art to LaCa Projects; pretty pastels at Laura Park Designs; new hotel dining options; a Charlotte native’s road to Hollywood; Q&A with UNC Charlotte’s Brook Muller.

48 | Simple life Unexpected September, and the art of rolling with the punches.


53 | Bookshelf This month's notable new releases.

57 | Talk it out Sending kids to school in a pandemic requires flexible thinking.

120 | Snapshot Stacie Zambas Peroulas inspires young Greek dancers.


ABOUT THE COVER Ariene C. Bethea of Dressing Room Interiors Studio is one of 26 best-dressed men and women on this year's IT List. Shot on location at Johnson C. Smith University by Richard Israel.




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62 FEATURES 62 | The IT List produced by Whitley Adkins, photographs by Richard Israel, written by Shameika Rhymes 26 of Charlotte’s most stylish men and women

80 | Inside out by Michael J. Solender

The Mint Museum displays a rich cache of newly revealed holdings.

86 | Make it modern by Page Leggett

The 9th Mad About Modern home tour goes online.

94 | White hot by Cathy Martin

Rubbed brass brings a touch of warmth to a classic Cotswold kitchen.

110 | Daytripper: Timeless by the tracks by Page Leggett Waxhaw oozes historic charm.





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1230 West Morehead St., Suite 308 Charlotte, NC 28208 704-523-6987 _______________ Ben Kinney Publisher

Knowledgeable 25 Years Experience Charlotte Native

Linwood Bolles RealtorÂŽ Broker

Cathy Martin Editor

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Andie Rose Art Director Lauren M. Coffey Graphic Designer Alyssa Rocherolle Graphic Designer Whitley Adkins Style Editor Amanda Lea Proofreader Contributing Editors David Mildenberg, Taylor Wanbaugh Contributing Writers Grace Cote, Michelle Icard Vanessa Infanzon, Raymond C. Jones Page Leggett, Michael J. Solender


716 East Boulevard Charlotte 28203

Contributing Photographers Michael Hrizuk, Richard Israel Dustin Peck, Laura Sumrak _______________ ADVERTISING Jane Rodewald Account Executive 704-621-9198 Scott Leonard Audience Development Specialist/ Account Executive 704-996-6426 Brad Beard Graphic Designer _______________ Letters to the editorial staff: Instagram: southparkmagazine Facebook: Twitter:

Owners Jack Andrews, Frank Daniels Jr., Frank Daniels III, Lee Dirks, David Woronoff Published by Old North State Magazines LLC. ŠCopyright 2020. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Volume 23, Issue 9




Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region is pleased to announce the reopening of our South Charlotte hospice facility Opening Fall 2020 The Levine & Dickson Hospice House is open to families across our region and located on the beautiful Southminster campus Our re-imagined inpatient care center offers spaces that look and feel like home, within a state-of-the-art medical facility.

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Copain Gatherings has opened a retail store in the atrium behind Rooster’s Wood-Fired Kitchen, stocked with freshbaked breads and desserts, meal kits from brunch to burgers, gourmet pantry staples — even fresh local produce and Joyce Farms rotisserie chickens. Noble Food & Pursuits — the team behind Rooster’s, Noble Smoke and The King’s Kitchen — launched Copain as a catering business in 2017. A retail shop was always on the agenda, but Covid accelerated those plans as customers sought gourmet groceries and prepared foods for dining at home. Expect cheese and charcuterie, marinades and sauces, beer and wine, and, of course the delicious breads and pastries that have become a calling card for Copain. The store is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m. — 7 p.m.; online ordering is available at 6601 Morrison Blvd. SP | 23

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arlos Estévez was walking along the beach with friends, collecting shells, sea fans and other treasures from the shore. While he considered these finds, the special products of an endless blue ocean, it occurred to him that the sea is a metaphor for life: It is immense and full of mysteries, like the path of life, and our journeys are dictated by how we navigate those unknowns. Every route is individual and unique to the person walking it. This meditation was the springboard for Estévez’s work that will be on view this fall at LaCa Projects. Beachcomber consists of 50 paintings, drawings, installations, sculptures, collages and ceramics by the Cuban-American artist. Estévez hopes to project and encourage a contemplative spirit by “calling the viewer’s attention to the beauty and meaning of what is around us,” he says. His iconography is abstract but very intricate and full of line work. Familiar shapes, like animals and humans, are composed of cogs and machine parts. The work is highly detailed, akin to architectural drawings, maps, automatons or antique anatomical studies. The term “studies” is one Estévez might embrace. “Art for me is a learning process,” he says. “It is my way of understanding life.” Estévez is a big reader, mainly philosophy, and after intaking an idea, he lets it marinate in his thoughts: “I use it as fuel for my brain,” he says. His interpretation becomes the inspiration for his work, which takes many forms. The past few years have been busy for the Miami-based artist, with exhibitions at Tucson Museum of Art, The Lowe Art Museum in Miami, and in early 2020, an exhibition of ceramic work at UNC Charlotte’s Storrs Gallery. He is also a 2019-2020 recipient of the Cintas Foundation Fellowship in Visual Arts, which supports Cuban or Cuban-born artists. This exhibition is Estévez’s third with the gallery and marks his fifth anniversary as a LaCa artist. SP Beachcomber runs Sept. 18 - Jan. 16. An opening reception will be held Sept. 18 from 3 - 8 p.m. Face masks are strongly recommended. 1429 Bryant Street,




Ceremonial Phone, 2016, mixed media

Kaleidoscopic City, 2018, oil and watercolor pencil on canvas

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fter nearly five years at Cotswold Marketplace, Laura Park Designs has opened its first-ever retail store, and it’s chock full of colorful rugs, lighting, bedding and more — including row upon row of Park’s best-selling pillows. Shoppers can also expect to find a variety of jewelry, gifts — even men’s accessories — in the Providence Road space previously occupied by Splurge boutique, which closed this spring. “Over the past 5 years, we have worked hard to build out our e-commerce platform and strengthen our interactions with customers over social media,” Park says. She started the business after she began taking pictures of her abstract paintings, creating digital patterns that could be




transferred to fabric. “What was missing was the experiential and tangible elements that make up our lifestyle brand. With a brick-and-mortar location, we will be able to translate our art and products into that lifestyle experience.” Moving to a larger space also allows Park to showcase more of the brand’s fabrics and wallpapers — shoppers can custom order items not available on the floor. Eventually, the store plans to host monthly events, including trunk shows, sip and shops and holiday events. SP Laura Park Designs is located at 1033 Providence Road and is open Mon.Sat. from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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CLOUD BAR AND RED SALT BY DAVID BURKE Celebrity Chef David Burke makes his Charlotte debut with Cloud Bar, the latest concept atop uptown’s Le Méridien Hotel. Red Salt, a restaurant highlighting steaks prepared with Burke’s Himalayan sea-salt dry-aging technique, will open later this summer on the lobby level. Burke was a pioneer of New American cuisine while at the helm of New 30



York City’s acclaimed Park Avenue Café in the 1990s. Today, his hospitality group operates more than a dozen restaurants, mostly in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Cloud Bar occupies the former City Lights space and features a menu of small bites and shareable plates like tuna tartare tacos, a mini lobster roll, southern pork belly steam buns and Burke’s signature DB maple-glazed bacon clothesline. Sip a spicy Testarossa — vodka, red bell pepper juice, habanero syrup, lemon and basil — or cool your palate with the Uptown Girl, made with gin, pineapple, coconut, lime and cucumber, and take in some of the best skyline views in Charlotte. CORDIAL Atop the new AC Hotel Charlotte SouthPark is Cordial, a rooftop cocktail bar with a tapas menu highlighting Spanishinspired cuisine: hand-rolled empanadas, albondigas and flan along with shareables like a charcuterie board and yuca fries with a black bean dip. AC Hotels are designed with a modern, minimalistic aesthetic, and the SouthPark location is no exception. The cocktail menu by food and beverage director Amanda Gibbons complements a European-focused wine selection, prosecco on tap and local craft beer. Try the Pink Gin & Tonic or the Cordial Mojito — Queen Charlotte’s Reserve rum, Bacardi 8 rum, lime and Moroccan mint tea soda, while enjoying views of Charlotte’s iconic tree canopy and the uptown towers in the distance. SP — Cathy Martin


FINE & FETTLE Though it’s located inside Canopy Charlotte, the new Hilton hotel in the heart of SouthPark, Fine & Fettle aims to keep things as local as possible. Led by Executive Chef Daniel Wheeler, the dinner menu at this “gastro lounge” includes shareable plates such as sliders, wings and charcuterie, plus pastas, pizzas and inventive entrees like a roasted hen with celery root, mushrooms, pickled mustard seeds and petite greens. Sunday brunch is a lively affair, with Panthers DJ Vinny Split spinning tunes and items like the crab avocado benedict with poached eggs and yuzu hollandaise on the menu. Mixologist David “Schmidty” Schmidt’s creative cocktail program features libations made with Moet & Chandon Imperial champagne. By day, the space is a coffee bar, serving Pure Intentions coffee, Birch Fine Tea and pastries from local baker Wentworth & Fenn. Take your drinks al fresco in the cozy patio garden or in the bright, airy dining room adorned with mismatched plates and other modern Southern accents.




t all started around 2008 with The Potato Sack warehouse sale, where Linda Kincheloe was a vendor. Nell Wilson and Martha Serenius founded the home-furnishings and accessories market at an old potato-chip factory on Morehead Street, not far from Bank of America Stadium. Nell and Martha retired from operating the sale after the building was sold. Potato Sack vendors were looking for another place to continue doing what they loved. So, in 2018, Kincheloe went hunting for her own warehouse to establish The Chinoiserie Squirrel. The NoDa pop-up market has become wildly popular among vintage-furnishings enthusiasts and is a treasure trove for shoppers seeking unique finds for the home. “All my girlfriends play bridge, and I say, “Just drop me at a Salvation Army!” says Kincheloe of her passion for seeking vintage items. “‘Catch and release’ is my mantra. I love to find one-of-a-kind things, then let someone else enjoy them. Oftentimes, somebody just needs to put a little loving into it, and they’ve got a really, really great piece.” Kincheloe discusses the inspiration behind the name and what shoppers can expect to find at The Chinoiserie Squirrel. Comments have been edited for length and clarity. How did The Chinoiserie Squirrel name come to be, and what does it mean? I was traveling in Europe with my sister-in-law when it came to me. The word “chinoiserie” means a European interpretation of Asian design. This particular style is sophisticated — think pictures with faux bamboo, gilded frames, anything with fretwork. It is a style that I personally love and have in my own dining room. Our parents and your grandmother and mine had it in their homes, and it is popular again.

Linda Kincheloe and her Suburban, known to vendors as “Snowflake.” My girlfriends and I have always been squirrel girls — we are always on the hunt. Squirrel was my nickname. I was on a girlfriends’ weekend at Graceland once, and my friend had extensions clipped in her hair. They were sticking out all wild, and I said, “You look like you have a squirrel’s tail coming out the back of your hair!” That’s when my friend nicknamed me Squirrel. How did you determine the location? I found a big old warehouse on North Davidson Street, so I contacted the vendors from The Potato Sack sale to see if they wanted to get back together again, and everyone did. We operated the sale in that building for about a year, but then we lost parking there because of a bridge being built over 25th Street. Then, I just got lucky and found the current Squirrel. The building used to be a coffee roaster and is actually set up perfectly for our various booths. When can people shop the Squirrel? The Squirrel is open the last Thursday, Friday and Saturday of every month, which is similar to the way the Metrolina Flea Market was set up. We have shoppers that come regularly from Raleigh, Columbia and Charleston. They are coming to Charlotte for the Squirrel and then hitting Slate, Cotswold MarketPlace and other shops while they are here.





















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|blvd. What can shoppers expect to find? We have a very diverse range of previously enjoyed things, but we are selective about the merchandise we sell. We have about 20 vendors, all different types — it’s such a mixed bag. Whatever it is, it really just has to be a “one of a.” That’s what we call one of a kind at the Squirrel. You won’t find any rubber chickens. Also, we try really hard to keep the costs as low as possible. We don’t take credit cards, because we don’t want to have to charge additional fees. We take checks, cash and Venmo. How has The Chinoiserie Squirrel handled operations during the pandemic? We were moving right before the coronavirus hit. We used to have a sip-and-shop party the night before the first day. We had to stop doing that, but now we are shopping with masks and evolving through it all. What if someone wants to become a vendor? We do have a waiting list. We are very focused on making sure that the stuff vendors have fits in with the overall uniqueness of our operation. We are very fortunate that once vendors start with us, they don’t want to leave. SP The Chinoiserie Squirrel is located at 2113 North Davidson St. Follow on Instagram @chinoiserie_squirrel for sale dates and announcements.




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Holder, second from right, with producer Clark Peterson, actor Talia Shire and producer Maya Emelle


t’s not often that a native Charlottean has an opportunity to help produce a nationally released, critically acclaimed film. But that’s what Lovell Holder did when he lent his organizational skills and storytelling talents to the production of Working Man, an unemployment-themed film released earlier this year. The independent film stars Peter Gerety as Allery Parkes, a blue-collar worker who loses his factory job in a struggling Midwestern town where any plant closure is felt by the entire community. Talia Shire, beloved for her role as Sylvester Stallone’s wife, Adrian, in the Rocky movies, plays Allery’s wife, Iola. Veteran actor Billy Brown plays Walter Brewer, the spirited neighbor who joins Parkes in a grassroots movement to reopen the factory and fulfill its remaining work orders. Not surprisingly, this prospect strikes fear in the hearts of the plant’s former corporate bosses. The Washington Post said this tension in the story line “turns the film into something deeper and more moving.” The Chicago Tribune called Working Man “a small, affecting picture [that] fits snugly within the pandemic realities of 2020.” Holder, 33, did not grow up with any particular Hollywood connections or aspirations. A self-described “Charlotte Country Day School lifer,” he matriculated in 2005 at Princeton University, where his initial plan was prepping for law school. Any thoughts of a standard corporate career fell by the wayside, however, after Holder auditioned successfully for a stage production in his freshman year. His resulting change in career plans was not initially welcomed by his parents, Carlene and Jack, who still reside in Lovell’s Morrocroft boyhood home. Nonetheless, they negotiated a compromise: Lovell agreed to do an internship at Bank of America if his parents would allow him to do summer theater. “By the time I graduated, I was passionate about theater and not passionate at all about banking,” says Holder, who 36



now lives in California but spends several months a year in Charlotte. He applied and was accepted to drama school at Brown University, which admitted only 18 students. His master’s program at Brown was prestigious but proved to be intensely demanding. Holder survived the pressure but longed to “escape” the East Coast and try something different. A subsequent internship in California with producer Clark Peterson and his wife Stacy Rukeyser (daughter of the late Wall Street Week host Lou Rukeyser) altered the course of his career. Holder honed his film credentials working for Peterson as an assistant producer. The experience enabled him to spend the next couple years working on two independent films, Some Freaks and Loserville. While neither is a household name, the quality of work made a big impression on Peterson. Later, when Peterson started collaborating with screenwriter Robert Jury to transform Jury’s script for Working Man into a viable film, he asked Holder to come to Chicago and co-produce the movie. On set, Holder shared day-to-day responsibilities with co-producer Maya Emelle. “Together,” he says, “we were the last line of defense if any kind of a problem arose, be it with costs, logistics or creative interpretation.” As a result of good luck and smooth working relationships among cast and crew, Working Man was completed in just two months, one for pre-production and one for shooting. Holder’s parents even flew to Chicago during the shoot to see firsthand what their son does for a living. Holder arranged a cameo role

|blvd. for them in one of the movie’s crowd scenes. Though he was disappointed that Working Man could not be released directly to theaters, Holder says the country’s Covid-19 theater closures ultimately worked to the film’s benefit. “Our initial plan was to debut in Los Angeles and Chicago, but, in retrospect, that scenario would have severely limited our exposure,” he says. “By releasing the film through video-on-demand outlets, we achieved instant national visibility and ended up earning favorable reviews coast to coast. I guess you could say it took the entire system breaking down in order for our film to break through.” The movie’s timing and unemployment theme virtually guaranteed a high level of public interest, Holder says. While the “structural” unemployment caused by industrial decline isn’t quite the same as the “circumstantial” unemployment caused by Covid-19, both scenarios produce similar economic and psychological fallout. “In either case, the victims feel marginalized and powerless for an indefinite period of time,” Holder says. “And in both cases, there’s a distinct possibility that life will not return to what it was before. How a person moves forward in such a circumstance is one of the great questions of our time, as is the question of whether the so-called ‘American Dream’ is even still alive,” he says. “I don’t know the answer ... but

it was a unique opportunity to shape a film that demands further thought about that question.” Because of his young age and Ivy League background, Holder says he is sometimes asked how he could possibly bring value to a film that examines the declining fortunes of older, working-class Americans. He attributes the maturity of his perspective to the nurturing environment he experienced growing up in Charlotte. “My parents, teachers and friends teamed up to ensure that I would bring an appropriate level of care to the things I do. They said, in effect, ‘We’re giving you our best. Now you go out into the world and do something with it.’” Holder’s activities in college theater, graduate school and film production all served to validate the fact that his No. 1 personal and professional strength is storytelling. “I’m grateful to the Charlotte community for helping me to cultivate this particular talent,” he says. “I truly relish the opportunities I’ve been given to tell stories that would not otherwise be told, to audiences that would not otherwise hear them.” SP More information about Working Man, including a trailer, can be seen at Freelance writer Ray Jones is a frequent contributor to Charlotte area publications. Reach him at


Voorhis, MD, your child: L to R: Kerry Van for ing car E NC RIE PE EX S l Bean, MD With OVER 90 YEAR , Andrew Shulstad, MD, Michae MD ll, nne Sca sey Ka , MD r, Stephanie Richte FA MI LIE S NO W AC CE PT IN G NE W Novant Health Pediatrics Symphony Park 704-384-9966 | 6010 Carnegie Blvd Charlotte, NC 28209




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hile Brook Muller, the newly installed dean of the College of Arts + Architecture at UNC Charlotte, enjoyed a visit to Oregon earlier this spring, he was eager to return to his new home in the Queen City. “There’s so much to catch up with as we come back to school for the fall.” Muller is a man in motion, rapidly taking to his new city and role since joining the college last fall. He doesn’t own a car: In fact, his walking commute to his office at the University of Oregon, his employer for 15 years, was more than 4 miles one way. There, he was a professor in the department of architecture and director of the university's Portland Architecture Program. He began his professional career with Behnisch and Partners Architects in Stuttgart, Germany. “Brook has the right emotional intelligence for this role,” says Ken Lambla, Muller’s predecessor as dean at the College of Arts + Architecture. “He’s one of the best listeners I know. He has a multidisciplinary background at Oregon and experience connecting not just with the community but [with] other sectors within his institution. He’ll use that as a springboard for connections and accomplishing things here.” Water is an obsession for Muller — his name is Brook, after all. His extensive research in water infrastructure in the built environment includes work with biologists, ecologists, 40



engineers and artists in developing systems for clean water all over the globe. Muller is currently focusing on a historic preservation effort in the El-Khalifa neighborhood of Cairo, Egypt, restoring 12th and 13th century domes. Water from leaky pipes is flooding the domes, and Muller is working with a team to divert and pump the water to an adjacent park. There, the newly irrigated plant life helps create shade for the neighborhood, something highly valued yet short in supply. SouthPark spoke with Muller about the impact of art on urban design, a new graduate program in civic practice/community engaged arts, and the city’s green space as a defining feature.

“I believe with the future of Charlotte — questions of rapid urbanization and lack of affordability, gentrification, homelessness, climatechange impacts — the role of the artist is incredibly important.”



|blvd. Comments were lightly edited for length and clarity. Why is this the right role for you at this stage in your career? The constellation of the disciplines within the college was extremely attractive to me, with performing arts, music, theater, dance, art and art history, and then the school of architecture. Every step in the process made me realize that this would be a great place to land. I’m thrilled to be here. Why does UNC Charlotte combine disparate disciplines (art and architecture) in the same college? It is an unusual combination. I’m greatly interested in civic placemaking. I believe with the future of Charlotte — questions of rapid urbanization and lack of affordability, gentrification, homelessness, climate-change impacts — the role of the artist is incredibly important. It’s significant that when this tragic event took place last April 30th (the UNC Charlotte shooting and the death of two students), the university immediately looked to the arts to try to find meaning in this horrific and tragic event. It makes you realize when we’re experiencing a crisis, like the [pandemic] we are experiencing right now, the arts have incredible meaning and can offer perspectives that help us think through what we’re experiencing.

One of the goals for the college is developing a new graduate program unique to the Southeast — an MFA in civic practice and community engaged arts. What type of work would these graduates do? We [see the program] as a way of putting the artist as a protagonist in a set of conversations about the future of the city. If we’re thinking about the [CATS light rail] Silver Line as one example, can we think of this as this opportunity to really think through opportunities for civic place-making and some of the problems related to affordability, gentrification, etc.? Artists have unique perspectives to lend to these kinds of conversations. As an architect and urbanist, what physical features impress you most about Charlotte? My wife is a landscape architect, and we go on walks. What’s impressive is Charlotte’s green infrastructure, the canopy and the creeks. I think those are monuments. We could also talk about the art institutions uptown, which are extraordinary, [and] the absolutely amazing set of cultural resources in the city. But I always start with the landscape. It’s this extraordinarily beautiful landscape, and the idea that people are looking at corridor connectivity and making recreational trails and making a regional infrastructure for enjoying this landscape means a lot to me. SP

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|simple life



ot long ago, my daughter took a new job and moved with her fiancé from New York City to Los Angeles — or as I try not to think of it, from the Covid frying pan to the coronavirus fire. If anybody can handle it wisely, on the other hand, it’s probably Maggie and Nate. Both are experienced travelers and savvy outdoor adventurers who’ve seen just about everything from the urban jungle to the wilds of Maine. During the first few days of their residency in the hills east of downtown LA, in fact, Mugs (as I call her) sent me a photograph of a large rattlesnake. It was casually crossing the footpath of the nature preserve near their house, where she was taking an afternoon hike with a friend and her dogs. Being a gal who grew up in the woods of Maine, she didn’t seem particularly rattled by the encounter, as it were — just respectful. “It kind of freaked the dogs but we were on the snake’s turf, after all. We just let him pass.” A few days later, she phoned to let her old man know she and Nate had awakened to a gently shaking house. “Our first earthquake,” she pronounced with a nervous little laugh. At week’s end, she phoned again to let me know they’d already put together an “earthquake emergency kit in case the Big One everybody predicts may happen soon.” Once again, she didn’t sound particularly vexed, merely bracing for whatever the world might throw at them — and us — next. During a year in which a runaway killer virus has delayed, canceled, locked down or put on hold every aspect of “normal” American life — whatever shred of meaning that phrase still holds — I’m impressed with my daughter’s coolness under fire, an ability to keep calm and carry on as British citizens were famously advised to do on posters in 1939 as their world dissolved into World War. Factor in 2020’s long overdue racial awakening, massive social protests in the streets, a collapsed economy and a presidential election that is shaping up to challenge the very foundations of our representative democracy and you have a




formula for — well, who can really say? A friend I bumped into at the grocery store recently told me her daughter was depressed because her wedding has been canceled due to the virus. Somewhere, I later read that almost half of the scheduled weddings for 2020 have either been postponed, rescheduled or simply canceled. “It’s as if tomorrow has been put on hold until further notice,” lamented my friend. “God only knows what the future holds.” It visibly perked her up a bit, however, when I casually mentioned that my own daughter’s wedding was in the same boat, a victim of these unexpected times — either proof that we’re all in this hot mess together or misery loves company, take your pick. Mugs and Nate were to be married later this month at the lovely old Episcopal Church summer camp outside Camden, Maine, where she and her younger brother spent many happy summer weeks as kids. They’d rented the entire camp and we were planning to decorate its cabins for guests to stay in rustic splendor as an option to pricey local inns. Two families were looking forward to several days of feasting on local seafood, songs around the campfire and water sports by day, with yours truly all set to don a camp sweatshirt and whistle to serve as de facto camp director, my first summer camp gig since scouting days. Instead, wisely, they postponed the blessed event until the same third weekend in September one year from now. The date stays the same because September in the North Country is exquisite, probably “as good as life and weather get,” as my sweet former Maine neighbor used to declare every year around Labor Day. During the two decades we resided there, in fact, I fondly came to think of September as the glorious “End of Luggage Rack Season” because as the weather cools and leaves turn, the summer tourists suddenly pack up and head for home — a brief respite before bus loads of elderly “leaf-peepers” begin to roll into the Pine Tree State for their annual October invasion.

|simple life However brief, the sense of relief is palpable and the gift to residents is twofold. Summer’s end means local merchants’ pockets are full of wampum, and locals can safely venture into town to see old friends or visit uncrowded restaurants where the cost of a decent shore supper sometimes drops by a third. Back on our forested hilltop west of town, meanwhile, surrounded by 600 acres of birch, beech and hemlock, I always found September days to be among the most peaceful and productive of the year. These were times when I was at my writing desk by dawn’s early light and spent my afternoons mowing grass or tending to my late garden or finishing up my woodpile for winter. I never missed a chance to pause and marvel at September’s golden afternoon light and the telltale scents of summer’s end. Sometimes, if I sat long and still enough on the bench of my “Philosopher’s Garden” at the edge of the forest, a small procession of local residents would appear, including a trio of wild turkeys and a stunning pheasant, a large lady porcupine and a family of whitetail deer. Once, unexpectedly, a large iridescent green dragonfly landed on the back of my hand as I sat on the bench, a creature from Celtic myth, allowing me to examine him — or her — up close and personal. I remember asking this divine creature where it might be headed but got no answer. After a while, on a puff of early evening wind, like summer itself, it flew away. It’ll be 20 years next September since my wife and I sealed our own summer wedding vows by holding our reception the same third weekend of September that Maggie and Nate scheduled for their wedding this year. Maine-loving minds must think alike. Wendy and I calculated that late September — the autumnal equinox — would be the ideal time to invite far-flung friends and family from Carolina to California to come to Maine and help us finish our vows and kick up their heels beneath a full hunter’s moon. We hired a wonderful Irish string band and our friend Paul to put on one of his spectacular lobster bakes for an unforgettable evening on the lawn. But something unforgettable and unexpected happened that September. Ten days before the party, as I was buying chrysanthemums at my favorite nursery on Harpswell Road on a perfect September morning, chatting with the owner as she rang up my purchases, her face suddenly went pale. I asked what was wrong. She simply pointed to the small TV playing on the wall behind me. It was 8:50 in the morning and smoke was billowing from the side of the North Tower of Manhattan’s World Trade Center. “A plane just flew into the top of that building,” was all she could manage. I stood watching with other shoppers for a few minutes then drove home wondering how such a horrible thing could possibly have happened. Ten minutes later, after I unloaded the flowers and went inside to turn on the TV, I got my answer, tuning in seconds before a second airplane flew straight into the South Tower of the Trade Center.

Hello September!

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|simple life


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You know the rest of this story, the single deadliest terror attack in human history that claimed more than 3,000 lives and changed so much about this country. Like Maggie and Nate, within a day, Wendy and I decided to postpone our wedding celebration for a year. We cancelled the Irish band and the lobster bake and phoned more than 100 friends to break the news. They understood completely. Not unlike this summer of Covid-19, travel was severely restricted and most Americans simply wished to stay glued to their TV sets in the wake of 9/11’s unspeakable horrors. Something else unexpected happened, though. After days of numbing news-watching, our phones began to ring with friends near and far wondering if they could still come to Maine for a visit. The phones kept ring, the list kept growing. The reception was suddenly back on — and evidently needed by all. In the end, nearly 150 souls unexpectedly showed up that September night to share our vows in a circle of hands, to dance in the moonlight, eat steamed lobster and vanish every crumb of Dame Wendy’s amazing wedding cake (which, for the record, the groom never even got a taste of). At a moment when we needed it most, we were all there for each other, to laugh, cry, dance and simply be circled in love. It was an unforgettable night after all. “Most people want to be circled by safety, not by the unexpected,” authors Ron Hall and Denver Moore write in Same Kind of Different as Me, the moving 2006 bestseller about an unlikely friendship between a wealthy international art dealer and an angry Fort Worth homeless man that transformed both their lives. “The unexpected can take you out,” they note. “But the unexpected can also take you over and change your life. Put a heart in your body where a stone used to be.” That’s my wish for all of us this unexpected September, by the way — to find a heart where a stone used to be. SP

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The Awkward Black Man, by Walter Mosley In this collection of simple and complex portraits of a wide range of Black men, Mosley defies the stereotypical images that abound in American culture. The characters in these 17 short stories run the gamut, from hapless nerd to the deliberately blind victim of loneliness, with insecurities on full display. These first-person narratives present an array of men in varying circumstances facing racism, obstructed opportunities and other terrors of modern life, including climate change, natural and manmade disasters, homelessness, urban violence, and failed relationships. Master storyteller Mosley has created a beautiful collection about Black men who are, indeed, awkward in their poignant humanity. Agent Sonya: Moscow’s Most Daring Wartime Spy, by Ben Macintyre This true-life spy story is a masterpiece about the woman code-named “Sonya.” Over the course of her career, she was hunted by the Chinese, the Japanese, the Nazis, MI5, MI6 and the FBI — and she evaded them all. Her story reflects the great ideological clash of the 20th century — between communism, Fascism and Western democracy — and casts new light on the spy battles and shifting allegiances of our own times. With unparalleled access to Sonya’s diaries and correspondence and never-before-seen information on her clandestine activities, Ben Macintyre has conjured a

page-turning history of a legendary secret agent, a woman who influenced the course of the Cold War and helped plunge the world into a decades-long standoff between nuclear superpowers. Anxious People, by Fredrik Backman Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else, and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything. Add to the mix a fearless 87-year-old woman, a flustered real-estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world. Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them — the bank robber included — desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next. | 53

|bookshelf Just Like You, by Nick Hornby Lucy used to handle her adult romantic life according to the script she’d been handed. She met a guy just like herself: same age, same background, same hopes and dreams; they got married and started a family. Now, two decades later, she’s an almost divorced, 41-year-old schoolteacher with two school-aged sons, and there is no script anymore. When she meets Joseph, she isn’t exactly looking for love — she’s more in the market for a babysitter. Joseph is 22, living at home with his mother, and working several jobs, including the butcher counter where he and Lucy meet. Not a match anyone one could have predicted. He’s of a different class, a different culture and a different generation. But sometimes it turns out that the person who can make you happiest is the one you least expect, though it can take some maneuvering to see it through. Just Like You is a brilliantly observed, tender but also a very funny new novel that gets to the heart of what it means to fall surprisingly and headlong in love. Dear Ann, by Bobbie Ann Mason Ann Workman is smart but naïve, a misfit from rural Kentucky who went to graduate school in the transformative years of the late 1960s. While Ann fervently seeks higher

learning, she wants what all girls yearn for — a boyfriend. But not any boy. She wants the “real thing,” to be in love with someone who loves her equally. Then Jimmy appears, as if by magic. Although he comes from a different background — upper-middle class suburban Chicago — he is a misfit too, a rebel who rejects his upbringing and questions everything. Ann and Jimmy bond through music and literature and their own quirkiness. But with the Vietnam War looming and the country in turmoil, their future is uncertain. Many years later, Ann recalls this time of innocence — and her own obsession with Jimmy — as she faces another life crisis. Seeking escape from her problems, she tries to imagine where she might be if she had chosen differently all those years ago. What if she had gone to Stanford University, as her mentor had urged, instead of a small school on the East Coast? Would she have been caught up in the Summer of Love and its subsequent dark turns? Or would her own good sense have saved her from disaster? Beautifully written and expertly told, Dear Ann is the wrenching story of one woman’s life and the choices she has made. SP Sally Brewster is the proprietor of Park Road Books, located at 4139 Park Road.

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|talk it out




uring the height of quarantine this summer, I drove past an empty church with a readerboard that reminded its parishioners: Church is not a building. That’s some “flexible thinking.” Increasingly, people seem to consider flexible thinking a weakness, a compromise, a lack of drive or commitment. I see it as strength and am reminded of a favorite quote from Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, “Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” Flexible thinking isn’t wishy-washy. It’s strong enough to carve out original paths, adaptable enough to bend in new directions, persistent enough to wear down obstacles in its way. This back-to-school season is unlike any we’ve known, and we’ll need flexible thinking more than ever as school for most of our city will not be a building, but a collection of dining rooms, bedrooms, forts, cars, community centers and playrooms.


Teachers are masters of flexible thinking. I very clearly remember my college professor, Dr. Fellows, explaining to our class of future teachers that the key to being a good teacher is writing thoughtful, detailed lesson plans — and then being prepared to throw those lessons out the window as needed, which she assured us would be often. All over Charlotte, teachers have been pivoting, innovating and designing creative ways to make school (online or in

person) comfortable, engaging and productive this fall. They will do this over and over as the school year marches on. A teacher I know ordered a full-size cardboard cutout of herself so kindergarteners could see her without a mask. Of course, when CMS changed to a fully online option, she had to pivot again. Another teacher mailed handwritten cards to all her students welcoming them back personally. Another made an “all about me” iMovie so new students could get to know her better. School may not be a building for your kids this fall, but

For many of us, stress is at an all-time high. It feels like we have no good options to choose from, and that is precisely because we have no good options to choose from. But not having the option you want isn’t the same as having no options at all. it is still where teachers work hard to make the caring, comforting connections your children need to learn. Teachers are trained to be flexible thinkers, but for kids it comes naturally. Their malleable brains are constantly adapting to think about things in new ways. No matter how | 57

|talk it out your child feels today about pandemic schooling, whether it’s nervous, disappointed, relieved or disinterested … tomorrow that can and will change. Don’t think of it as mood swings. Think of it as adaptability or emotional evolution. Parents, however, can have the hardest time with flexible thinking. The feeling that so much can and already has gone wrong makes it difficult to stay open to possibility. For many of us, stress is at an all-time high. It feels like we have no good options to choose from, and that is precisely because we have no good options to choose from. But not having the option you want isn’t the same as having no options at all. When you’re stressed, your options may seem to disappear because you feel you have to do things. You have to take the kids to the park by yourself between meetings because if you don’t, they’ll be maniacs at bedtime. No choice. You have to organize your elderly parent’s doctor visits because if you don’t, they’ll never go and you’ll end up having to pick up the pieces. No choice. You have to stop working 30 times a day to redirect your child on their tasks, because if you don’t, they’ll fall behind. No choice. And then you have to stay up late catching up on the work you missed because if you don’t, you’ll lose your job. No choice.

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If it feels like your life is out of your control, and mine often does, take a moment to remind yourself each time you mumble under your breath that you “have to” do something, you are actually making a choice. You don’t have to wear the kids out before bedtime. You choose to do it so your night isn’t ruined. You don’t have to take your parents to the doctor. You choose to do it so they stay healthy and you aren’t burdened with extra care later. Reminding yourself that you make your own choices, even when the choices aren’t great, will restore your feelings of control and power at a time when so many feel like their very lives are being mismanaged by exterior forces, whether germs, circumstances, politicians or people at the grocery store. Back-to-school presents new obstacles, but with flexibility, we can handle them. We can be rocks that make more obstacles, or we can be water that quickly skirts around the rocks to find a new way. How we choose to proceed is entirely up to each of us. SP Michelle Icard is an author in Charlotte. Her latest book, Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen: The Essential Conversations You Need to Have with Your Kids Before They Start High School, is available for pre-order on Amazon. Learn more about her at

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Personal style is how you carry yourself, the consistency of your dress, how you evolve through life’s various stages; but most of all it is how you behave and treat others. What you wear is telling, but how you wear it is more so. Fashion is just one piece of the personal-style pie. The series of events that have taken place since March have rocked our country. Production time for this year’s IT List came in the midst of very intentional and purposeful conversations I was having with a handful of my closest Black friends. It was during one of those conversations when it occurred to me that this year’s list should be focused entirely on some of the most stylish Black women and men of our community. While the list is by no means comprehensive, as with each year’s list, the overarching goal is to positively showcase some of the most stylish individuals in our city while leaving room for next year’s group to hold its own. In determining the location for the photo shoot, there was no question that the campus of Charlotte’s own Johnson C. Smith University would make a befitting and impeccable stage for this year’s stylish set. On a personal note, I was filled with pride and delight for the perfect opportunity to partner with my close pal since elementary school, entertainment and lifestyle writer Shameika Rhymes. We hope you will read to learn more about each of this year’s stylish individuals and tap into some of their inspiration for your very own. — Whitley Adkins | 63

Tamu Curtis “My style is mostly influenced by California,” says Tamu Curtis, owner, cocktail shaker and experience maker at Liberate Your Palate. Curtis’ favorite piece of clothing is a vintage bohemian off-the-shoulder sundress. “It perfectly encapsulates who I am as a person: simple, but whimsical.”

Esezele Payne Nigeria meets New York City is how Esezele Payne describes her personal style. “I love the colorful prints that remind me of traditional Nigerian attire, but I also love the formality of a crisp white blouse,” says the 38-year-old assistant vice president of environmental services and operations at Atrium Health. “I am a high-low shopper, so I can easily be found in something from Zara or J.Crew or something from Capitol or Coplon’s.” She makes it pop with her perfect accessory: an elastic bee belt. 64



Ariene C. Bethea “My personal style reflects how I approach interior design — statement pieces mixed with layers of patterns and colors,” says Ariene C. Bethea, 42. The “owner and huntress” of Dressing Rooms Interiors Studio has a vintage silk Japanese kimono that’s easy to dress up with a black dress or down with a pair of jeans. “A black dress is always in fashion,” Bethea says.

Fred Shropshire WCNC Charlotte news anchor Fred Shropshire credits his father for his personal style. “A meticulous Marine’s attention to detail had a strong influence on me.” His favorite accessories are his crown rings that helped him through a tough time in his life. “It’s a symbolic reminder of who I am. It’s the proverbial crown on my head, temporarily knocked off during a tough season in my life.” Shropshire, 42, has plans to bring a purple suit to the anchor desk. A classic bespoke suit, dark denim and wingtip shoes are three things that never go out of style, he says. | 65

Francene Marie “Style is an attitude and the audacity to outdo the last outfit you wore,” says Francene Marie, a syndicated radio personality and online host. Her favorite items are an offthe-shoulder jumpsuit by Adrianna Papell and handmade chakra bracelets by jewelry designer Terri Joelle. “These items bring me joy when I put them on, and they also take me from work to hosting events.” Morris is also fond of the African dresses she’s collected over the years, which she plans to pass down to her daughter.

Jennifer Michelle Different by design is what you get with Jennifer Michelle, 47, the founder and owner of J Model Executives. Michelle views her style as a reflection of her unique take on life, community and embracing her purpose. “I feel so powerful and beautiful when I put on a beautiful dress and complement it with the perfect accessory,” Michelle says.




John Burton Jr. ”Style is an expression of one’s inner personality through the elements of clothing and accessories through patterns, colors and design,” says marketing and communications consultant John Burton Jr., 45. The owner of The Burton Group PR suggests adding a pocket square to an outfit to give it a pop of style.

Tamara McGill McFarland Silk pajamas and tutus make Tamara McGill McFarland feel stylish. McFarland, 44, says healthy self-esteem is important when it comes to style. “It’s important to show up in the world in a way that makes you happy; don’t hold back, and don’t wait for anyone to give you a reason.” | 67

Tara Davis A mixture of bold and simple, “calm with spurts of eccentric flair,” is how fashion and print designer Tara Davis, 48, describes her style. The perfect piece of clothing for Davis is a wrap dress, which also never goes out of style, she says, because “it keeps me calm no matter what size I am.”

Leonard Roger Gresham Jr. “A stylish person has a favorite fashionable style icon that they have admired over the years. Mine is Duke Ellington,” says Leonard Roger Gresham Jr., 62. The CEO and founder of Styles by Privilege wardrobe consultants knows a thing or two about fashion. The one thing that never goes out of style, Gresham says, is the navy blazer because of its versatility. “Never underestimate the importance of wearing clothes. [It’s] something everyone does and yet so few do elegantly.”




Kim Blanding Wearing anything with orange makes Kim Blanding happy. The pediatric dentist describes her style as “comfortable, classic yet eclectic” with a multitude of patterns, fabrics and colors. Her favorite piece of clothing is a wool, paisley-motif coat made in Italy by ETRO that she almost missed out on. “After seeing it in the store and leaving without it, I called the store back and had it shipped to me because I knew it was something that I would absolutely keep forever.”

Rufus E. Robinson “Style is an individual approach to dressing that reflects your unique taste. Fashions come and go, but style is constant,” says Rufus E. Robinson. The 78-year-old retired Howard University administrator says his favorite style period is between 1928 and 1938. Robinson prefers brightly colored and boldly striped shirts with white contrast collars, brown suede shoes and suspenders. | 69

Paul Williams III “I dress for me and not to impress people,” says Paul Williams III, golf coach and CEO and founder of Paul 3 Photography and P-3 Pressure Washing. The Great Gatsby era is his favorite, but for Williams, having a crisp white shirt, cuff links and a signature fragrance is something that never goes out of style.

Alane Paraison For hairstylist Alane Paraison, confidence is key when it comes to style. “From jeans and sneakers to cocktail dresses and gowns — whatever I decide to wear, I have to feel confident in it.” Paraison, 42, declares there are two things that never go out of style: the little black dress and a sexy heel. 70



Hade E. Robinson Jr. Hade E. Robinson Jr.’s style is all about living his best life and showing his personality: “what makes me feel comfortable and happy.” The 53-year-old personal stylist and retail sales manager says fashion is in his DNA, and he treasures the one thing he splurged on: an Hermes Birkin bag. “It is my statement work bag — when you show up, and it’s all about business.”

Lashawnda Becoats Not putting style in a box is how life coach, model and Pride magazine editor Lashawnda Becoats puts her fashion foot forward. “I love remixing traditional womenswear with a touch of masculinity. It allows me to express my love for both men’s and women’s wear unapologetically,” says Becoats, 49, who calls her style tomboy chic. “In fact, if you see me in a dress, look down — I’m usually rockin’ a pair of fly kicks on my feet.” | 71

Sonja P. Nichols Growing up under the watchful eyes of her grandparents and aunt, Sonja P. Nichols learned to “always put her best face forward.” Nichols rarely leaves the house without makeup and stylish dress. A candidate for the North Carolina Senate, District 37, her favorite accessories are her Chanel handbags. “They are always in style and completely classic,” says Nichols, 55.

Felicia Gray Information-technology professional Felicia Gray’s style was inspired from a young age. “I love wearing dresses. My mother, grandmother and aunties always wore dresses when they would go out.,” says Gray, 50. Her favorite fashion time period is the 1960s, thanks to the classic styles of Coretta Scott King and Jackie Kennedy.




Cheryl Luckett “My personal style is an extension of who I am. It’s a compilation of my history, experiences and point of view,” says Cheryl Luckett, interior designer and owner of Dwell by Cheryl Interiors. If Luckett, 44, was an article of clothing, she would be her favorite skirt — a full-length, colorful abstract print. “It’s formal yet fun; sophisticated but not stuffy.”

Yele Aluko “I consider myself a modern-day Renaissance man,” says Yele Aluko, chief medical officer at Ernst & Young. Aluko is inspired by nostalgia and things that tell a story, including a vintage pocket watch he is currently eyeing. “I enjoy being distinct from the mainstream,” Aluko says. “Style is not a fad or fast fashion; it’s about who you are and who you represent.” | 73

DeAlva Wilson As CEO of D. Wilson Agency and DWA Enterprises, DeAlva Wilson, 50, does her own thing when it comes to getting dressed. “I choose to honor who I am and wear what I want to wear, leaning more towards simple, classic, timeless pieces with a hint of flair.” Her favorite fashion time period is the 1940s because of the structured shoulders and accentuated waistlines, but she also loves the freedom of the 1970s. “Both periods reflect my personality and my shabby-chic attitude,” Wilson says.

Herb Gray Herb Gray’s style is dressed up mixed with a little creativity. “I like wearing suits, tuxedos, sport coats and slacks. I experiment with colors, bow ties, materials, pocket squares and styles,” says Gray, 52, owner of Life Enhancement Services, a mental health care company. Gray’s favorite accessory is a Breitling watch that he purchased from Fink’s Jewelers the week he married his wife, Felicia, in 2007. “I can wear it with a tuxedo [at the Grays’ annual holiday party] or with jeans and a sweatshirt at a Carolina Panthers game.”




Sonya Barnes Sonya Barnes’ signature color is red, including her favorite pair of signed Sarah Jessica Parker heels that the actor encouraged her to wear often. The life and style strategist for women has her eye on a Gucci kaftan to add to her closet. “I love modern elegance with a bit of visual interest. I love timeless pieces that have been reimagined,” says Barnes, 52.

Natalie Frazier Allen Growing up in New York City influenced Natalie Frazier Allen’s love of high-low styling. “I am accustomed to valuing everything from Bergdorf and Bloomingdale’s to styles you see on the street and subway,” says Frazier Allen, 54. The former attorney and founder and CEO of The Arts Empowerment Project loves pairing clothes from NYC and her travels with items she finds in pop-up shops around Charlotte. | 75

Stacee Michelle Stacee Michelle has a love of 1960s fashion. “It’s the decade of self-expression that birthed styles like mod, rocker, hippie and beatnik, all of which are still relevant.” As an entrepreneur and wardrobe stylist, Michelle, 34, defines style as “the art of individuality. Expressing who you are without concern of what is trendy or popular opinion.”

Troy M. Barnes Jr. As a style adviser for Neiman Marcus, Troy M. Barnes Jr. knows style when he sees it. He believes your mood works in tandem with what you wear. “My favorite pieces are my hats. They’re the bridge between generations and all people,” says Barnes, 34. “A good hat will start a conversation between strangers and develop a friendship that lasts a lifetime.”







|about the venue

Hill topper



erched on one of the highest points of Mecklenburg County, Johnson C. Smith University has been a jewel of Charlotte as long as any institution in the community. Its history dates to 1867, when two local Presbyterian ministers agreed to start a school for Black residents and received financial support from Philadelphia’s wealthy Biddle family and a donation of 8 acres from Charlotte farmer-banker William Rayford Myers. (Myers Park is named after him.) Biddle University was formed in 1876, with the Romanesque Biddle Hall opening seven years later. One of Charlotte’ architectural and historic gems, the 3.5-story building topped with a clock tower now serves as the administrative center and includes a gorgeous, wood-paneled 600-seat auditorium. In 1922, the university was renamed in honor of an African American businessman in Pittsburgh after his widow, Jane, provided money for a dormitory, science hall and other projects. Two years later, Charlotte industrialist James B. Duke included the university as one of four higher-education beneficiaries of his endowment, ensuring a financial foundation in perpetuity. (The Duke Endowment also funds Duke and Furman universities and Davidson College.) JCSU became a founding member of the United Negro College Fund in 1944. President Clarence Armbrister has led the university since January 2018, serving during a challenging period for every college leader but especially small private institutions. Tough jobs are nothing new for him; he was city treasurer in Philadelphia in the early ’90s and later served as chief financial and operating officer of Philadelphia’s public schools, then the fourth-largest U.S. system. He was a senior administrator at Temple and Johns Hopkins universities before moving to Charlotte. “I’m proud of the progress we have made on several fronts since I arrived at JCSU,” he says. “We have worked hard to bring the university to financial stability and to increase operational efficiency.”

Plans call for a major review of all academic areas, followed by targeted investments to offer “relevant, rigorous academic programs that meet the needs of students and the rapidly changing economy,” Armbrister says. Now, the neighborhoods around Johnson C. Smith are receiving unprecedented investment, with property values soaring because of its close proximity to the center city and the Gold Line streetcar service expected to launch in 2021. Homes that sold for less than $100,000 a decade ago are now often listed at more than $300,000, with some new properties topping $500,000. Armbrister credits his predecessor, Ronald Carter, for helping convince local officials of the streetcar’s value. “It will literally stop at our front entrance,” he says. “The university’s master plan will build upon this public asset to enhance the quality of life on campus for our students and to build a stronger community by working with our neighbors.” The pandemic prompted Johnson C. Smith to an all-online format this fall, leaving the campus eerily quiet when it should be full of enthusiastic learners. “Even though we’re all living with the uncertainty and disruption,” Armbrister says, “our alumni showed their love and support for JCSU by contributing more than $1 million during the 2019-20 fiscal year — a feat that hadn’t been accomplished in nearly a decade.” The university is focused on leveraging partnerships with Charlotte-area businesses, collaborating more closely with community colleges and targeting new markets such as Black male charter schools and mostly Latino high schools. “The best way the city can support JCSU is to make sure we remain at the forefront of the consciousness of all those groups when there is a need in the city or region we can fulfill,” Armbrister says. SP — David Mildenberg | 79

Inside out






int Museum chief curator Jen Sudul Edwards faced a quandary earlier this year. A major exhibition she’d worked on securing wasn’t coming together as planned due to coronavirus closures. Artwork for the exhibit, W|ALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine, was in crates strewn across the globe in various stages of transport. Ever-changing logistical and funding challenges related to the pandemic forced Edwards and the Mint’s team to reconsider not only this planned exhibition, but a go-forward approach to engaging and building its audience in the new Covid era. True to its creative mission, the museum is proving nimble at the newest adaptive sport we all seek to master – the pivot. “It’s a new adventure daily,” says Edwards, who is also the Mint’s curator of contemporary art. Edwards’ latest focus on redefining programming for online consumption, while a matter of necessity, is having the added benefit of increasing the museum’s reach. A recent collaboration that paired the exhibition Immersed in Light: Studio Drift at the Mint and Charlotte Ballet’s Dispersal, part of the company’s Innovative Works series, is one example. The Charlotte Ballet-produced video capturing the performance, a museum tour and artist interviews was picked up in Mexico by the University of Guadalajara, scoring international exposure for both Charlotte cultural institutions. “The situation is proving to be very dynamic,” Edwards says. “It’s exciting to reach audiences beyond our doors.” Online explorers at the Mint’s frequently updated website can access virtual gallery tours, artist and curator interviews, and art projects kids can do at home. The pandemic also has accelerated the Mint’s strategic move to create a greater platform for local and regional artists, and has provided Edwards, who joined the Mint last summer, an opportunity to take a fresh look at the museum’s existing collections.


Rediscovering what’s in our backyards is a movement gaining momentum and is destined to extend well beyond the pandemic. This trend allows the Mint to advance its recent push toward working with the region’s emerging and established artists. For Todd Herman, Mint Museum president and CEO, it’s an existential matter. “We rely on artists,” Herman says. “If we’re not helping [regional artists] in our own community visualize creating art as a viable profession and paying for their work, we’re not fulfilling our mission.” Look for programming like Constellation CLT, the Mint’s quarterly series showcasing local artists, to become even more prevalent, Herman says. | 81

Charlotte muralists Arko + Owl were featured when Constellation CLT launched in 2018. (In addition, Owl’s murals are part of the current Wedgwood black basalt exhibition at Mint Museum Randolph.) Other regional artists featured in the series include mixed-media artist Nellie Ashford, earth-form manipulator Crista Cammaroto, graphic artist Mike Wirth, painter Katherine Boxall, abstract artist Elizabeth Palmisano and mural artist Brett Toukatly. The museum has commissioned North Carolina artists Antoine Williams, Amy Bagwell and Stacy Lynn Waddell to produce work for an April 2021 exhibition: Silent Streets will take an introspective look at the disruptive creative process at the intersection of the Black Lives Matter movement, the global pandemic and an election year. The Mint relishes taking a leadership role in the community, utilizing the museum’s public spaces for collaboration with other cultural organizations, Herman says. “We are part of a cultural ecosystem,” he says. “We’re a convener. Charlotte has an active cultural scene, and many people don’t see below the surface. We want to help change that.”


With the pandemic, there’s also a fresh opportunity for the museum to reevaluate its existing holdings. Edwards’ more immediate challenge of the postponed W|ALLS show provided a silver-lining option for her to curate something equally special. “We started thinking about all the interesting and diverse collections we have,” Edwards says. “We want to share the backstories of their acquisitions and spotlight the donors contributing these works to celebrate their community connections and commitment to inspiring with art.” Edwards turned to her curatorial team overseeing the museum’s holdings from its Craft, Fashion, and Design; Contemporary American; and Decorative Arts collections to assemble a collaborative show unlike anything they had done before. New Days, New Works, an exuberant exhibition of 80 works, adorns the fourth-floor gallery originally intended for the now delayed W|ALLS exhibit. “We depend on our donors to help make the collections diverse and ambitious,” Edwards says. “Many have the acumen to assemble collections as excellent and interesting as museum curators would build.” When state and municipal guidelines allow the Mint’s doors to open — most likely in Phase 3 — visitors will be enchanted by new works, most acquired within the past two years, that represent different voices and geographies than is found in more established works from the Mint’s permanent collection. Highlights to look for include: Ceilings for Offerings, Spanish contemporary artist Pilar Albarracín’s visually arresting assemblage of hundreds of flamenco dresses hung overhead from the gallery ceiling. Frilly, frothy, bold and bright, these dresses investigate the daring brashness, strength and confidence of the Sevillian women who wear them, associated gender definitions, and the expectations they evoke. A subset of 724 such dresses in the Mint’s collection, the complete grouping is a gift of the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection. Black Artists on Art, first edition volumes of the revolutionary Lewis and Waddy catalog of contemporary Black artists started in 1969. These gifts by longtime friend of the Mint and former trustee B.E. Noel feature in-depth exploration of Black artists not typically found in mainstream galleries and institutions.




“Arms Up� is part of a photography portfolio by Charlotte artist Carolyn DeMeritt that will be on view at the Mint when the museum reopens. | 83

Mint Museum: Summer Wheat (American, 1977–). With Side With Shoulder, 2019, acrylic on aluminum mesh

Body Beautiful, an exhibit within the exhibit that includes excerpts from Charlotte artist Carolyn DeMeritt’s photography portfolio Infinite Grace. Featuring portraits of DeMeritt’s longtime friend, Pinky/MM Bass, the portfolio was purchased for the museum collection with a gift from the George and Linda Foard Roberts Charitable Fund. Bass models her nude and imperfect body in close-up black and white in the embroidered gelatin prints. These whimsied photos upon close examination reveal solemnity, introspection and a respect for how anatomy speaks to one’s soul. There is also an installation of Bass’ work, including a gift from Greensboro artist and collector Carol Cole Levin made in honor of Allen Blevins, who introduced the work on view to the curator. With Side With Shoulder by American contemporary expressionist artist Summer Wheat. Engaging gallery viewers immediately upon entry, this piece, a gift by the Wells Fargo Foundation Women Artists Fund, showcases Wheat’s unique technique of paint extrusion through wire mesh. Wheat’s commitment to telling the stories of women as laborers and makers redefines historic artistic gender representation in ways that make her work resonate loudly today. With pandemic-related upheaval gnawing at the very fabric of our lives, respite found in exploring the creation and beauty surrounding us brings comfort and reassurance. Charlotteans need look no further than to the Mint for a fresh and welcome serving. SP






Brooklyn, N.Y.-based artist Summer Wheat created Foragers for the Mint’s four-story, 96-panel lobby atrium. The work, Wheat’s largest project to date, comprises colored pieces of vinyl that exude a stained-glass effect. Todd Herman, Mint Museum president and CEO, calls the project “spectacularly beautiful, with the scale overwhelming and powerful, destined to be a transformative artwork capturing the imagination of museum visitors.” Wheat is originally from Oklahoma City. She received her MFA from Savannah College of Art and Design and has exhibited her work in gallery shows and institutions for nearly two decades. A rising star on the contemporary arts scene, Wheat was named one of “10 Artists to Watch” at the Frieze London art fair in 2017 and has received scores of additional accolades. The installation depicts the agricultural heritage of North Carolina and is hand-constructed in the craft tradition prevalent in the Old North State. Foragers illustrates planters, harvesters, fishers and beekeepers, all women, long ignored in historic depictions as primary laborers. Wheat speaks reverentially about her subject matter. “These women are going out in the world and contributing,” she says. “They’re bringing things from the woods, the water and the land. They’re all coming together with this enormous contribution. It’s meant to give one a reflective moment towards that.” Foragers will be on exhibit through September 2022. | 85





The Cohen-Fumero House is one of three homes on this year’s virtual Mad About Modern tour. | 87


hen The Jetsons first aired in 1962, the animated TV show posited that by now we’d travel by “aerocars.” That hasn’t come to pass, but this month, the Charlotte Museum of History is giving people a futuristic way to tour homes. The Mad About Modern tour, which typically features six to eight restored midcentury modern (MCM) homes you can walk through, is going virtual. There will be fewer homes on the tour this year, but MCM fans will be offered a more in-depth look than ever. You can visit the three homes as many times as you wish — and linger as long as you want — between Saturday, Sept. 26 and Sunday, Oct. 4. One of the homes will be familiar to anyone who went on last year’s tour: The Cohen-Fumero house at 1154 Cedarwood Lane in the Coventry Woods neighborhood was undergoing a renovation when it was on tour in 2019. Built in 1961, the three-bedroom, two-bath, ranch-style home was designed by eminent architect and Charlotte native Murray Whisnant, a graduate of the N.C. State University School of Design. Realtor and midcentury enthusiast Charlie Miller bought the long-vacant east Charlotte home through Preservation North Carolina and has painstakingly returned it to its groovy glory. He had planned to turn it into an Airbnb, but given the pandemic’s impact on travel, he’s decided to live in it himself for now. He made some changes to the 1,728-square-foot home, including moving the kitchen and enlarging the master bath. “I wanted to get the architect’s blessing, so I called Murray. He understood the changes as a benefit for today’s lifestyle and encouraged them.” Miller even undid a previous renovation from the 1990s that wasn’t true to MCM style.








In its heyday, the home was a social hub for artists who were guests of the original owners, Herb Cohen, a renowned potter and former Mint Museum staffer who served as its acting director from 1968 to 1969, and his late partner, Jose Fumero. Cohen still lives in Charlotte. Miller is mixing high-end art and craft, including some of Cohen’s pottery, with a little kitsch in the form of a tiki glass collection. He appreciates the home’s history, but it’s more than a relic for him. “There’s a calming energy about this house,” he says. “You just feel good when you spend time here.” Miller, who did the design work himself, likes the original exotic wood paneling, the enclosed courtyard and the oversized windows that make the outdoors feel like an architectural element. His two young daughters’ favorite features are the chartreuse wall and shower tile and mustard-gold floor tile in the second bathroom, which retains its original configuration. Miller is such a fan of the style — he developed the Atomic Palm Project, a four-home MCM development in Country Club Heights — that he wouldn’t decorate the house in anything but period furniture: white tulip chairs in the dining room, an orange rotary-dial wall phone in the kitchen, a chartreuse swan chair overlooking the deck. It took a while to find just the right pieces, but he was willing to trade authenticity for speed. | 91


The Cohen-Fumero home isn’t Miller’s only home on tour. At the beginning of the pandemic, he bought the house at 6818 Markway Drive in the Grove Park neighborhood, sight unseen. “It’s on 4 acres of land,” he says. “From the pictures I saw online, I could tell it was 100% original. I took a chance, and once I was able to go inside, I saw it was even more special than I knew.” Vaulted ceilings, wood paneling and a sunken living room with an indoor brick planter are among authentic period details. Miller intends to do a light renovation and keep it in its “natural state.” It will be a 1950s- and ’60s-era time capsule. The home will become a place for his parents, Amy and Chuck, who live in a renovated midcentury home in Bonita




Springs, Florida, to stay on their frequent visits to Charlotte to visit their four sons and five young grandchildren. Miller inherited his love for historic preservation from his mom, so it’s fitting that he’d renovate a home with his folks in mind. His parents restored a 1918 Craftsman-style house in the York-Chester Historic District of Gastonia in 2005, and their sons helped. “We were cheap labor,” Miller jokes. This time, his parents have helped him source period furniture for the house, and his dad made sure his pictures were hung just so. After all, in a house where clean lines are part of the appeal, everything needs to align.


Tour organizers are looking on the bright side about the changes they’ve had to make this year.

“We think you can learn more this way,” says Adria Focht, president and CEO of the Charlotte Museum of History, of the in-depth, 360-degree online tour. “Our digital guidebook — new this year — will give people a deeper dive into the architecture and history of each home,” including the two properties owned by Miller and a third residence at 410 Lockley Drive. The renovated Eastover home was built in 1973 and incorporates MCM elements such as a two-sided brick fireplace, a floating staircase and a bright coral front door. There’s a live lecture — also online, of course — by George Smart, a modernism expert who goes by the monikers Mr. Modernism and The Accidental Archivist, on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 6 p.m. Smart, who has spoken at Palm Springs Modernism Week and hosts the podcast “USModernist Radio,” will share examples

of the best midcentury design in Charlotte. You can watch from the comfort of your own couch. As it happens, aerocars aren’t necessary. The Jetsons would likely have their minds blown by a home tour you take without ever leaving your own home. SP Mad About Modern will be held virtually from Saturday, Sept. 26 through Sunday, Oct. 4. Tickets for the virtual home tour only are $20 and are available at For the package, including the George Smart lecture, tickets are $30. Proceeds benefit the Charlotte Museum of History. You can follow the Cohen-Fumero House on Instagram at @cohenfumerohouse. Questions? Contact The Charlotte Museum of History at 704.568.1774 or info@ | 93








here’s a timeless allure to a white kitchen, but with a little imagination you can put a unique stamp on even the most neutral of spaces. Interior designer Melissa Lee of New South Home did just that in this new Cotswold home for a family of four, teaming with Catherine Walters Interiors to create an impeccable space that blends seamlessly with the home’s soft, cream-colored palette. Working closely with the homebuilder, Joyce Building Co., Lee took the popular cooking-center concept to heart in designing the custom 7-foot, brass-strapped stainless-steel hood over a 48-inch Thermador range. With white walls, white quartz countertops and soft gray cabinets — a subtle twist on the ubiquitous gray wall/white cabinet combo — the hood stands out as a focal point in the space, which is open to the family room. “White kitchens are classic,” Lee says. “The concept was always to have that brass in there to help warm the space up a little bit.” Other brass accents include the cabinet hardware, lighting and barstools, which are upholstered in a soft gray linen. For homeowners who remain committed to white or muted colors in the kitchen, Lee suggests using texture and lighting to create an individualized space. “The island is one place where I can convince [clients] to do something different,” she says, including adding pops of color and trendy elements such as rattan barstools and pendant lights that can be switched out over time. Given the versatility and crisp, clean aesthetic, it’s unlikely the popularity of the neutral or all-white kitchen will go away anytime soon. “You can’t go wrong with white,” Lee says. SP






Novant Health Women’s Center | Cosmetic Dentistry of the Carolinas Mecklenburg Epilepsy & Sleep Center | Elev8MD Carolina Educational + Therapeutic Collaborative




ALL THE HEALTHCARE YOU NEED IN A PLACE YOU DESERVE A first for Charlotte: Novant Health Women’s Center designed to care for women’s unique health needs. For many diseases and illnesses, women have different symptoms than men and require a different approach to diagnosis and treatment. Physicians within the nine specialty clinics at the new Women’s Center at Novant Health SouthPark Medical Plaza are uniquely trained to handle women’s health needs and can tailor care to each individual. “This center is the only place in Charlotte where you’ll find head-to-toe women’s care in one location, with experts in everything from brain, heart and ob-gyn care to pelvic and sexual health and beyond,” said Pat Campbell, head of Novant Health Women’s & Children’s Institute. “We are so proud to offer these services, which will make it easier for women at every age to care for their complete health and wellbeing.” Learn more about our specialty care Novant Health Providence OB/GYN and Novant Health Breastfeeding and are located within the center, offering comprehensive clinical care for all women and support for new moms, as well as retail space for breastfeeding and pumping supplies. Novant Health Women’s Heart & Vascular Center Almost 80% of heart disease is preventable and cardiologist Sandy Charles, MD, places a strong emphasis on risk factor modification to help decrease the incidence of heart disease. She also utilizes a comprehensive approach to aid in the early detection and treatment of heart disease in women. Expert vascular surgeon Rebecca Kelso, MD, is also located within the clinic to evaluate and treat peripheral arterial disease, varicose veins and spider veins. Novant Health Neurology & Headache Megan Donnelly, DO, is a board-certified neurologist and board-certified headache specialist. Her subspecialties are headache medicine and women’s neurology, which includes





the treatment of neurological conditions during pregnancy and lactation. Novant Health Women’s Sexual Health & Wellness Led by ob-gyn Alyse Kelly-Jones, MD, this innovative center addresses all aspects of women’s sexual health including low libido, painful intercourse and orgasm and arousal issues, with therapy and counseling available for both the patient and her partner. In addition, women with menopausal concerns will be fully evaluated with treatment designed to meet their individual needs. Novant Health Gynecologic Surgery & Pelvic Pain The clinic, led by Jed Schortz, MD, gynecologist, specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic masses and pelvic pain. The team offers minimally invasive surgery for uterine fibroids, hysterectomy for large pathology, resection of advanced endometriosis, and tubal sterilization reversal, among other minimally invasive gynecologic surgeries. Novant Health Psychiatry This clinic provides care tailored to the needs of women, including mental health evaluations, medication management, psychotherapy and advanced treatment for depression. Novant Health Pulmonary & Critical Care Respiratory health providers treat the full spectrum of pulmonary disease and disorders affecting women, from asthma and COPD to urgent respiratory illnesses. Our team also transitions with patients who need hospitalization, ensuring continuity of care across the spectrum. Novant Health Carolina Surgical Board-certified surgeons partner with ob-gyns and primary care providers to offer women the latest treatments for benign breast diseases (including masses, infections, pain, and nipple discharge) to breast cancer surgery. With imaging services available within the clinic, our team can provide a quick diagnosis to guide in treatment planning.

NOVANT HEALTH WOMEN’S CENTER Women are often so busy taking care of others that their own care gets pushed far down the list of priorities. Novant Health is streamlining the process for women by making it more convenient to get high-quality, coordinated care. This streamlined care comes in the form of a dedicated Women’s Center at Novant Health SouthPark Medical Plaza. With input from a focus group of women and SouthPark community members, this 36,000 square foot facility was designed to feel more like a spa than a medical clinic with special touches that include rose-colored walls, white marble counters and eye-catching artwork. Waiting areas also offer charging stations, comfortable seating and an iPad check-in option. The 120,000-square-foot-space below the Women’s Center is also home to new and existing Novant Health clinics, including a variety of services to care for the whole family: senior care, memory care, pediatrics, rheumatology and infusion, uro-gynecology, family medicine, dermatology, imaging and physical therapy and rehab. The Women’s Center is located on the fourth floor of the Novant Health SouthPark Medical Plaza in Charlotte. To learn more about the services offered and watch a video of the Women’s Center visit

6324 Fairview Road, Charlotte, NC 28210 | 1-833-NH-B-WELL | SPONSORED SECTION | 101



SO MANY SMILES BEGIN WITH YOURS Smiling makes us feel better. In one study last year, researchers found there is real power behind a smile. It can lift someone else’s mood and our own. That kind of positivity is something we all need during social distancing. Online meetings feel better when the speaker starts with a smile. Video calls with grandparents and cousins are full of smiles. Even behind a mask, we know the cashier is smiling because of the way their eyes light up. And we smile back. A smile is part of our universal language, whether at a distance, via Zoom, or behind a mask. We may connect differently with friends and strangers now, but the power of a smile is the same. So why not give your smile a boost? There are a few simple ways to help your smile radiate external and internal beauty. STRAIGHTEN AND REPAIR YOUR TEETH WITH PORCELAIN VENEERS Porcelain veneers are a great alternative if you’re looking for a total smile makeover. They can be used to correct gaps, crooked or misshapen teeth, stains and discoloration, cracks, chips, and eroded enamel. A cosmetic dentist will apply thin sheaths of porcelain to the surfaces of your teeth to create a brighter and more uniform smile. The porcelain is translucent, allowing light to reflect off your veneers in the same way it reflects off your enamel, for a natural appearance. If maintained properly, they can be expected to last for many years. INSTANTLY IMPROVE THE LOOK OF YOUR SMILE WITH COMPOSITE VENEERS If you’re looking to get more immediate results,





composite resin veneers are a great treatment to correct gaps, broken or chipped teeth, poorly shaped teeth, slightly crooked teeth and stained teeth. Composite veneers are also popular for their convenience. A cosmetic dentist can create composite veneers in one visit. You will walk out the door with an improved smile the same day! Composite veneers can provide a straighter, continuous smile with brighter, natural-looking teeth. They can usually be placed at a lower cost than porcelain alternatives and require a dentist to be both a clinician and an artist. They are also easier to repair than porcelain veneers. The expected life span can be five to ten years. REPAIR DECAYED, CHIPPED OR BROKEN TEETH OR FILL A GAPS WITH DENTAL BONDING Dental bonding is a convenient and natural process that uses high quality composite resin that simulate the appearance of your natural tooth color, which is adapted over the problem area of your tooth. The dentist molds the composite resin to the desired shape and hardens it with a high intensity curing light. It is then refined and polished to a high gloss that mimics the appearance of natural teeth. This treatment usually takes between 30 and 60 minutes to complete and is usually minimally invasive. If you’re looking for a more radiant smile, then consider any of these procedures individually, or in combination. Consult with a cosmetic dentist about getting a healthy smile that lights up your whole face.

COSMETIC DENTISTRY OF THE CAROLINAS At Cosmetic Dentistry of the Carolinas, we believe a healthy smile is a beautiful smile. Our mission is to provide exceptional oral care to each patient from day one. Dr. Ross Nash is a general dentist who focuses on aesthetic, healthy results. “When I provide a patient with a beautiful smile, I also see it in their eyes,” said Dr. Nash, who is passionate about helping patients maintain, restore and improve their smile. Dr. Nash and his team deliver a friendly approach to dental health with the latest innovations. Other dentists around the world come to Dr. Nash to learn about cutting-edge advancements. He is the only accredited fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry in the Carolinas. Patients appreciate how compassionate Dr. Nash is with their oral health goals. He designs a treatment plan with the whole patient in mind. The results reflect his focus on detail and relationships. To build and sculpt a natural-looking surface onto an existing tooth requires precision and artistry. There’s also artistry behind-the-scenes. Dr. Nash spent years building partnerships with the best lab technicians who create and share their “art” with his patients. It’s a team effort from start to finish. At Cosmetic Dentistry of the Carolinas, we make it easy for patients to get started. We offer in-person or virtual consultations. If you’ve been thinking about cosmetic dentistry, a virtual consultation provides a great opportunity to learn more. We also offer an in-office membership plan to make dentistry more affordable for those without insurance who seek general and cosmetic dental care. Dr. Nash and our team take pride in delivering excellent service in a relaxed environment for patients in Charlotte and the surrounding communities. Put your smile in the hands of an artist! 403 Gilead Rd Ste E, Huntersville, NC 28078 | 704-895-7660 | SPONSORED SECTION | 103



WHY AM I ALWAYS SO TIRED? We spend a third of our lives sleeping. Yet, many of us always feel tired and would give anything to have a good night’s sleep. We hit the snooze button (sometimes repeatedly!) hoping to grab a few more Z’s. We need more than just rest. Healthy sleep is critical to mind and body. Think about all the information your brain processes daily, all the movement your body makes, all the work your cells are putting out. Sleep provides crucial time to restore and recover from daily life.


If only closing your eyes and drifting off to Neverland was that simple. Too often healthy sleep is elusive, and the side effects are great. HOW COMMON ARE SLEEP DISORDERS? According to the American Sleep Association, sleep disorders affect up to 70 million adults in America. That’s more than 20 percent of the population! Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, which is characterized by an inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. It’s a common problem caused by common triggers: stress, depression, and anxiety. Beverages like coffee and alcohol can also contribute to insomnia. Sleep apnea is another sleep disorder that gets a lot of attention because it can be so alarming. The patient stops breathing temporarily during sleep and wakes up frequently. Someone who suffers from sleep apnea may feel tired during the day and fall asleep while resting. Exhaustion, depression, and moodiness can also affect sleep apnea patients. Other sleep disorders include narcolepsy, shift work sleep disorder, restless leg syndrome and jet lag. HOW CAN SLEEP DEPRIVATION AFFECT DAILY LIFE? We know when we need more sleep. It’s obvious to us and those in our circle. Maybe sleep deprivation caused you to





snap at a coworker or lash out at your family. People with sleep deprivation also complain about brain fog, memory problems, impaired critical thinking and decision making, along with poor job performance. A lack of sleep can put a strain on family and relationships. WHAT SYMPTOMS SHOULD MAKE ME WONDER IF I HAVE A SLEEP DISORDER? When a lack of sleep affects daily life, it’s time to seek the guidance of a neurologist. Feeling tired, sleepy, or moody are tell-tale signs of a sleep disorder. Some patients have difficulty staying awake during the day, or difficulty concentrating. Sometimes one’s memory suffers, or people become slow to react. Feeling more emotional can a symptom, along with drinking an excessive number of caffeinated beverages or frequently needing a nap. Some signs can be dangerous. If you or someone you know falls asleep while driving, it is time to see a doctor. CAN LIFESTYLE CHANGES HELP A SLEEP DISORDER? Yes! There’s good news here. Besides consulting with a neurologist who specializes in sleep disorders, positive lifestyle changes can also encourage healthy sleep. Losing weight, avoiding alcohol and sedatives, not smoking, and even simplifying medications can help. For a condition like sleep apnea, greater medical intervention may be needed. A neurologist may recommend a CPAP machine, dental appliances, surgery, or special therapies to help positioning. Sleep is a basic need, like eating and breathing. Sometimes we take its restorative power for granted, until we lie awake repeatedly and realize counting sheep just won’t cut it. Thankfully, with medical intervention, there are ways to break the cycle of sleepless nights. Think in the morning. Act in the noon. Eat in the evening. Sleep in the night. - William Blake


MECKLENBURG EPILEPSY & SLEEP CENTER At Mecklenburg Neurology, our physicians and staff deliver the highest quality of care to help our patients live a healthier life. We are the premier location for testing and on-going treatment of all neurological conditions. We offer highly specialized care for epilepsy and sleep disorders. Patients choose us for our compassionate approach to treating sleep disorders like sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, and insomnia. Our team will collaborate and seek solutions to reclaim the healthy sleep you need. Our neurologists are also known for their expertise in treating epilepsy, a condition which occurs when abnormal electrical activity in the brain causes seizures. Seizures can make you have convulsions, pass out, move or behave strangely. The best doctor to treat epilepsy is a neurologist with specialized training in epilepsy (epileptologist). To evaluate for epilepsy, we perform an electroencephalogram, or EEG. An EEG checks for abnormal electrical activity in the brain. During this test, electrode pads are placed on your scalp. Our practice can perform EEG’s in the office and home EEG studies. We also have an epilepsy monitoring unit with video EEG capabilities to further capture and characterize seizures to help us gain all the information we need to make an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Epilepsy can start at any age. Children often outgrow epilepsy by young adulthood. There’s also great hope for adults living with epilepsy. Many people find successful treatment with anti-seizure medications. Our epileptologists may also recommend diet and lifestyle changes to lower seizure risk. Getting enough sleep, and avoiding alcohol and drugs also help. When traditional treatments fail, our team is trained to evaluate and explore surgery options. At Mecklenburg Neurology, we understand how sleep disorders, epilepsy and other neurological conditions deeply affect daily living. We are driven to find the best treatment for our patients. Call us today at 704-335-3400 to schedule an appointment at one of our four locations in the Charlotte area.

4 locations to serve Charlotte, Huntersville, Concord, and University area | 704-335-3400 | SPONSORED SECTION | 105



ELEV8 MD WELLNESS CENTER Elev8 MD Wellness Center is Charlotte’s leading Ketamine infusion center for mental health and chronic pain that focuses on holistic health and healing. The Wellness Center offers Ketamine infusions for Treatment-resistant depression, Postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. Elev8 MD also addresses a variety of chronic pain conditions such as cancerrelated pain, Generalized Neuropathy, Trigeminal neuralgia, Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), and Phantom Limb pain. Elev8 MD Wellness Center offers various health and wellness services such as micronutrient testing and IV hydration, nutrition, and vitamin repletion. There are a multitude of therapy options by a licensed psychologist on staff and alternative options such as Life Coaching to help you navigate the current uncertainties that we are all facing. From the moment you step through the doors, their priority is your safety and comfort in a confidential and very discreet manner amidst a spa-like environment. The center employs some of Charlotte’s most trusted physicians, psychologists, and emergency room trained nurses who collectively provide a top-notch patient experience from start to finish. Elev8 MD Wellness Center is owned and operated by Dr. LaKesha Legree, a highly experienced anesthesiologist, Mental health and wellness advocate, and Ketamine expert. Dr. Legree and her team use state of the art everything to maximize each client’s comfort and facilitate the appropriate healing mindset. Whatever your health and wellness needs, Elev8 MD Wellness Center is here to help you reach your highest potential and live your best life. Call us at 855.863.5388 or visit our website at

8000 Corporate Center Drive Suite 212, Charlotte, NC 28226 | 855-863-5388 | | @elev8md_charlotte | | @elev8md | SPONSORED SECTION






CAROLINA EDUCATIONAL + THERAPEUTIC COLLABORATIVE Experts Working Together to Design Solutions Our team can put your child on the path to academic, social, & emotional success At Carolina Educational & Therapeutic Collaborative, we partner with families to navigate the important academic, social, & emotional needs of children. We work together & consider each child holistically when crafting a plan to maximize their success. Let our team of experts design a solution that caters to your child’s unique needs. For more information, please visit

Experts Working Together to Design Solutions

Our team can put your child on the path to academic, social, & emotional success



olina Educational & Therapeutic Collaborative, we partner with families to navigate the important academic, PSYCHOLOGY Ashley Barbour finds the best therapeutic & & emotional needs of children. We work together & consider each child holistically when crafting a plan academic forofadolescenes young that caters to your Michele imize their success. Letsetting our team experts designand a solution child’s Mannering, unique needs. PhD For looks beyond a adults through herinformation, extensive please knowledge child’s symptoms & behaviors to offer a more visit

of schools. Targeting the strengths & weaknesses of a student & understanding their family dynamics allows her to create a path for success. She works with families on a broad range of issues including anxiety, depression, ADHD, substance abuse, & school refusal.

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holistic & highly individualized testing & treatment plan. Her collaborative approach to psychology is designed to capitalize on strengths & target deficits. Her services include college transition support, academic anxiety management, parent consultation, & various assessments & evaluations.

Katie Garrett guides students & families through the admission process for college, boarding school, & day school in a way that is tailored to each client’s specific needs. At the heart of these services lies the belief that personal connection, genuine concern for the student, & thoughtful consideration of a client’s situation provides unmatched guidance & support.





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704.335.3400 1300 Baxter St, Ste 114 • Charlotte, NC 28204 70 Lake Concord Rd NE • Concord, NC 28025 16507 Northcross Dr, Suite B • Huntersville, NC 28078



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BE TEMPTED The Cheesecake Factory • Sushi • Burger • Bar Maggiano’s Little Italy McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant Nordstrom’s Marketplace Cafe Reid’s Fine Foods & Wine Bar







nce you’re there, in that compact downtown that hugs both sides of a train track, it feels immutable. Couples idle on benches and along the grassy median that divides Main Street. Kids trail their parents on the sidewalk, more concerned with their ice-cream cones — from the Waxhaw Creamery, where it’s homemade — than with getting anywhere. And people pose for photos on the pedestrian bridge, a wooden relic that seems like it’s been there forever, connecting the two halves of Main Street. (Actually, it’s been there since 1888, a year before the town was chartered.) But look around, and you’ll notice things are changing near Waxhaw’s historic Main Street. A massive new apartment complex is just a stone’s throw from the red-brick storefronts and iconic water tower. Change will keep coming, but it’s not likely to alter the character of this all-American, horse-obsessed Union County downtown. | 111

If you take Providence Road from Charlotte, you’ll know you’re getting close when you pass a beautifully manicured, green-lawned, white-fenced horse farm. More Churchill Downs than Charlotte, that farm — Union County is full of them — is your cue to slow down. Life moves at a leisurely pace here. When you pass Crossroads Coffee House, a two-story building with a rocking-chair front porch, you’re almost there. Crossroads roasts its own beans and makes delicious lattes. But it’s not your only choice for java. On Saturdays, the Mud + McQueen coffee cart sets up under the shade of an ancient tree. “Mobile nitro cold brew coffee” is what it’s all about. Consider the Bavarian Black Forest — coffee, wild blackberry syrup, honey, milk and whipped cream. Pastries, like the Bavarian Bullitt with apricot, white chocolate glaze and powdered sugar, are sublime.


Downtown Waxhaw is refreshingly devoid of chain stores, but there’s still plenty of shopping. Siela Boutique is a teensy space (only two customers are allowed in at once during the pandemic), but it offers a well-edited selection of eco-conscious, American-made clothing and accessories. The brands it carries, such as Nashville’s ABLE, are about sustainability, social impact and paying a living wage. Family-owned




Stewart’s Village Gallery is a rambling old house filled with pottery, art glass, jewelry, fiber art and more. If you know Black Mountain’s Seven Sisters Gallery, you’ll have an idea what to expect. Since falling hard for downtown Waxhaw over a year ago, every trip I make there begins at The Indigo Pearl, Deann Eckhart’s eclectic home boutique. Most everything she sells is handmade, much of it by Waxhaw artisans. But she also carries work by artists throughout North Carolina and fair-trade goods from Brazil and Uganda. There are pillows and purses, linens and lighting, jewelry, ceramics, art, candles, and baby gifts — a little of everything. If “Ms. Deann,” as I heard one customer call her, is in her shop, she’ll greet you, ask if you’ve been in before and tell you about the concept. She knows nearly all the artists whose work she sells, and she’ll tell you their stories, too, if you have time. You do. You’re on Waxhaw time today, and that means you’re like those kids walking with their ice cream cones. Unhurried. You’ll want to hear about Carol Rice, aka “The Stick Lady,” who cures pieces of wood from her own yard and makes them into canes and walking sticks. Or the leather purses Eckhart makes herself. Or about how Eckhart started out with a mobile boutique and traveled to art festivals across the region before, as she says, “God promoted me to brick and

Named after the Native American tribe that once inhabited the area, Waxhaw is about 30 miles south of downtown Charlotte. | 113

mortar.” She heard the building was for lease from a retired pastor, Roy Miles, who’s descended from the Walkups, one of Waxhaw’s founding families. You might hear Eckhart reminisce about coming to this very building with her mom when she was a little girl. It was an antique store back then (and before that a hotel and, later, a guitar shop). From the 1960s through the 1990s, Waxhaw was where everyone went antiquing.


Waxhaw Antique Mart and Welte’s Antiques & More on Main remain. But today, they share Main Street with boutiques, bars and restaurants rather than other antique stores. Provisions is a family-owned market and restaurant (that may remind you of Reid’s Fine Foods) serving breakfast and lunch seven days a week. Grits bowls, pancakes, sandwiches, salads and soups are mainstays. Emmet’s Social Table offers eclectic dining in a turnof-the-19th-century former cotton mill. Flatbreads, sliders,




salads and tacos are great for sharing. Heartier fare includes ribs, tenderloin and crabcakes. An order of fries comes with a trio of dipping sauces — ranch, cheese and a curry ketchup so good you might want to take it home with you. Other options include Maxwell’s Tavern, a comfort-food spot inside an exposed-brick building; Cork & Ale, a bistro featuring sliders, salads and wraps; and Mary O’Neill’s, an Irish pub offering bangers and mash, fish and chips, corned beef and cabbage. Waxhaw holds on to its history, but it’s not immune to trends. There are two places to get a craft beer within an easy walk of each other, the Waxhaw Tap House and DreamChaser’s Brewery on Main Street. At DreamChaser’s, there’s a different food truck, from sausage to sushi, every day of the week. A day trip to Waxhaw is just far enough out of town to make you feel like you’ve traveled somewhere. And you have — to a simpler, slower town that’s always changing, yet ever the same. SP | 115


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HOPE comes to SouthPark. Announcing the opening of HopeWay Psychiatry & Associates A psychiatric outpatient clinic for children, adolescents and adults To schedule an appointment call 980-859-0990 and to learn more visit

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Stacie Zambas Peroulas, above left, with folk-dance students at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral.

How did you get started dancing? My parents tell me I danced before I walked, but officially I started learning Greek folk dance when I was 6 years old at my hometown church in Newport News. It was something most Greek-American kids did — Greek language school and Greek dance. What’s your favorite traditional dance and why? Karsilamas is a favorite. It’s danced in various parts of Greece, 120



including the northern mainland and some islands. Many Greek dances are danced in circles, but Karsilamas is a couple’s dance. At its most beautiful, it is a dynamic balance of individual expression and a strong connection between the dancers. Why is dancing important for kids? Dance is such a wonderful way to express and release through movement, and in kids, it can help inspire confidence. Greek dance is a living “inheritance” from our ancestors. The kids learn much more than steps; they learn their family histories and they fall in love with the music their grandparents grew up on. It’s unique and a source of pride. It’s highly social and builds meaningful relationships — most of my best friends are the ones I danced with at 6 years old in my hometown. Why do you think people are fascinated with Greek culture? Greek culture is about connection, belonging. There is deep joy in the (not so) simple everyday pleasures of delicious food, fresh air, music, movement and great company. Enjoying them all at once is magical. The Greeks are famously wonderful hosts, so I think it’s natural for people to be drawn into our joyful circle. It’s a reminder of the power of simplicity. What are your favorite Greek foods and where do you get them in Charlotte? My ultimate snack (and often meal) is the trifecta of Greek cheese, olives and bread. For imported cheese and olives, Charlotte has two good Greek markets: Agora Greek Market on Independence Boulevard and Minos Imported Foods on Monroe Road. For authentic, homemade Greek pastries and great coffee, I love Mocco Bistro on South Boulevard. SP



hen Stacie Zambas Peroulas moved to Charlotte 15 years ago, she looked for a Greek dance program like the one she attended growing up in Newport News, Va. She wanted her children to have the same connection to dance she had. When she didn’t find what she was looking for, she decided to help build one at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Dilworth. Peroulas, 44, serves as the board chair of Holy Trinity’s Greek folk dance program, a volunteer position. Her sons, ages 12 and 15, and daughter, 17, participate in the program. She works with a seven-member board to manage the budget and coordinate costuming, fundraising, music and scheduling. More than 400 dancers — ages 5 through adult — are involved in the exhibition and competitive programs. It’s the largest church-affiliated Greek folk dance program in the U.S. Since the pandemic, Peroulas and her students have had to shift to online instruction. And with the cancellation of this year’s annual Yiasou Greek Festival, typically held in September, her pupils will have to wait a bit longer to share their tradition with the community. Comments were edited for brevity and clarity.

4521 Sharon Rd, Charlotte, NC 28211

(704) 532-9041

OfďŹ cial Jeweler of the Carolina Panthers

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