For the next few weeks, the Victor R. Small House will be filled with art that is a little bit different than what visitors normally find.
During an invitational exhibit last week, more than 25 artists filled the rooms of the Small House with three-dimensional art, an idea that local artist Paula Fitzpatrick said was inspired by visiting with Don Butler, who shared his wood-carving talents.
“The entire house was filled for most of the two-hour period of the show,” Fitzpatrick said. “The art was done by arts from the area, as well as artists from other areas of the state.”
The artisans, Fitzpatrick added, were discovered through casual conversations with friends and the exhibitors making recommendations. The 25 artists exhibited a wide variety of items and ranged in ages 14-88.
“This was the beginning of the quest to find more Sampson County residents who were making 3-D art for themselves, but not necessarily for commercial reasons,” Fitzpatrick added.
While some sales were made during the special event, the month-long exhibit, she shared, will bring the artists more recognition.
“This is a very diverse exhibit,” Fitzpatrick said. “I invite everyone to come by and take a look. This is the first time we have had an entirely 3-D exhibit.”
Featured in the event were carvings, fine furniture, caning, clay, hot glass, bronze sculpture, acrylic carvings, porcelain, baskets, pine needle-gourd, decoys, duck calls, felting, costumes, belts, welding, silver jewelry, wood turning, recycled art, paper art, beading, dioramas and relief carvings.
The artwork exhibited, Fitzpatrick shared, was created in a wide-range of time period, some well over 40 years ago to the newest pots coming out of the kiln late Thursday afternoon, just in time for the reception.
“Much of the artwork on display has been done for pure enjoyment,” Fitzpatrick said.
One local artist, Alan Page of Leaning Tree Game Calls, is one of the ideas that began as a hobby. Leaning Tree is a small family owned business based in rural North Carolina.
“We take pride in making unique, one of a kind, handmade products that signify our passion for hunting and the outdoors,” Page said. “Our customers are our highest priority and one of the most important factors in the development of new products. The team is constantly brainstorming new products and our customers responses play an important role into those ideas. Contact us if you have any comments or concerns about our products or products you would like to see in the future.”
Another craft Fitzpatrick said was unique were pine needle baskets.
Coiled pine needle baskets would have been a common site in prehistoric North Carolina. Native Americans weaved baskets using the simplest of materials and by far the most abundant would have been longleaf pine needles.
Rhett Naylor shared his craft during last week’s reception.
“I started making baskets in 1996 after learning the craft from my art teacher in high school,” Naylor said. “Making baskets is very time consuming, but it is a great stress reliever, as it requires all of your focus. Most baskets can take anywhere from five hours to as much as 20 hours to complete. The baskets are a mix of traditional and contemporary designs. Pine needle baskets can last hundreds of years if kept out of the elements and away from insects.”
For more information about the exhibit, contact the Arts Council at 910-596-2533.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.