On May 21, 2015, the Hobbton High School Art Club had an opportunity to meet a very special person. Mrs. Cindy (“Mermaid”) Rhodes came to give a presentation of her artwork and share her musical talents as well as do a workshop to inspire students.
Cindy “Mermaid” is a wonderful artist with many different artistic skills. She showed us some of her artworks that consisted of colored pencil drawings (that looked like paintings) and art quilts that all were nautical themed.
Of course, the Mermaid was a symbol that constantly revealed herself in her artwork. Students were fascinated at her talents, especially the quilt pieces because she had beautifully created artwork from “scrap pieces” of fabric. The manner in which she created them seemed amazing to most art club members who have never really thought of fabric as an artistic medium.
Cindy Mermaid currently resides in Newton Grove and has become a local treasure to her Church and community. When asked to come speak to students, she eagerly jumped at the opportunity to volunteer.
Rhodes started creating her nautical works while living on Topsail Island where she found lots of inspiration in sea life and folk tales from the sea. The students loved her perspective on life and following your dreams. The fact that she believes in “free experimentation” really helped the students understand that you have to experiment with artistic mediums before you can create artworks with them.
She also inspired the students to follow their hearts and dreams. Many of the club members were inspired by her because she has found a way to do what she desires to do in life. It wasn’t easy, but she has made her life a success, and the students loved knowing that you can do anything you put your mind too! Mrs. Rhodes also gave the students advice on how to sell your artwork without using a gallery by attending craft shows, using the internet and forming connections with other artists.
After her presentation of artwork, Cindy Mermaid did a quick demo of how to create a “faux” quilt square using paper, markers, glue and scissors. As a group, all of the students participated in this workshop that helped them understand how quilting is typically done. Often, quilters make their patterns out of paper first, before creating the image out of fabric. The students thought the process was neat, and it helped them understand the “basics” of quilt making.
As the students participated in the workshop, Rhodes played her Hammered Dulcimer. This musical instrument is a percussion stringed contraption with strings stretched over a trapezoidal sounding board. The Dulcimer sits on a stand in front of the musician who then strikes the strings with two small mallet hammers.
We all thought that this instrument made the sweetest sounds, it sounded kind of like a harp/violin/guitar… nevertheless it was a beautiful noise that we had never heard before. The music was breathtaking and super relaxing, even when she was playing some heavy metal songs from the 1980’s! When asked to describe the sound of the instrument, Student: Nettie Herring says: “I closed my eyes and I felt like I was in a Japanese Garden filled with blooming cherry trees”.
Overall, all of the club members in attendance were fascinated with Cindy “mermaid” and all of her wonderful talents. They said that she “oozed awesomeness”. Her super sweet and silly personality has made her one of our favorite guest artists. We hope to have her come back next year to give us an update on her latest creative adventures.
If anyone is interested in meeting, seeing, or hearing about the works of Cindy “Mermaid” Rhodes’, you are encouraged to visit her webpages at: http://www.mermaidmansion.com/ & http://www.mermaidmorrigan.com/