The Green Hill Center gets hung up on local artists

by Lee Adams

Last Friday artists were busy bringing their works into the Green Hill Center for NC Art for the 11th annual Artist Hang Up. The walls and pedestals quickly filled with paintings, photographs, stained glass and sculptures in what has long been a popular event in Greensboro where the public is invited to hang up to two pieces of art in the exhibit.

The Green Hill Center for NC Art shows work by professional artists of various media from throughout the state. But through the week and a half from July 24 to Aug. 4 the gallery is open to anyone who wants to display their work. Previous director Jenny Moore came up with the idea after seeing a public exhibit in Raleigh .

There are professional artists like Jack Stone, Caroline Owens and children’s author Jim Young who show their work in the exhibit along with beginning and amateur artists. This makes a good catalyst for budding artists to meet and talk with professionals.

Hanging in the gallery this year are a variety of styles and mediums. There are oil paintings like Cynthia Bower’s ‘“Eve’s Daughter’”, a soft portrait of a young girl lounging in a old chair and surrounded by deep reds, burgundys, and orange and pink hues. Then there is Kerri Mubaarak’s ‘“Shield: Mock Up,’” a wooden African-type shield that is covered with bottle caps that have been nailed on with rusty nails.

On a pedestal in the room a pair of dice lying in a small green box are oddly fascinating, appearing to have come from some sort of horrific fairy tale. The dice, made by artist Pam Mentley, are made of enamel painted onto horse’s teeth. The caption on an adjacent card describing this elicits an even closer look from the viewer.

On a wall near the back in a piece quite opposite, one that brings an equal amount of fascination from the viewer but is bound to bring a chuckle. Artist Caroline Owen calls it ‘“the only good golf club,’” a work from her bottlebrush series. An old, bent and rusted golf club takes on a wooly worm appearance as it is covered with bottlebrushes that stand up from the shaft. Two yellow golf balls attached to either side of the club head make two large eyeballs.

The Green Hill Center also runs Art Quest, a hands-on educational art department that conducts year-round art programs for children and families. Marketing director Mary Pearson says the center ties in the Art Quest program with professional exhibitions, giving children a chance to see professional art and learn to appreciate it.

‘“We’re building art viewers and exhibitors for the future,’” says Pearson. ‘“Art can be so many things and is for everyone. A big part is in the process of creating.’”

Pearson says travelers to the Greensboro area are often amazed by what the Green Hill Center has to offer, and they often comment that they don’t have anything like it back home.

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