ArtWalk enjoys another run

Published 6:36 am Saturday, November 20, 2010

Staff Writer

Participants ranging from a belly dancer to visual artists to collectors turned out Thursday night for the downtown Washington ArtWalk.
The event, organized by the Beaufort County Arts Council and the Washington Harbor District Alliance, offered enticements for many tastes.
One of the prime attractions on the free-form tour was the unveiling of a Gen. George Washington portrait by local artist Jerry Bradley at the Inner Banks Artisans’ Center on Main Street.
Washington Mayor Archie Jennings unveiled the portrait with Bradley’s assistance.
Calling Washington “the original great American,” Jennings added, “We don’t celebrate him enough.”
“The other thing we should be proud of is our rich artisan contingent here in town and our appreciation for art that pervades the entire community,” he continued. “Tonight, they share center stage.”
Asked for her reaction to the honor of having her portrait hanging above the entrance to the artisans’ center, Bradley said, “It’s really nice,” and agreed this was the biggest ovation her work has received.
Among other entertainments was a professional belly dancer and instructor, going by the name of Nahla Hamad, in a semi-private party at Charisma Boutique on the south side of Main Street.
A reception filled the nearby RiverWalk Gallery, where prints by artist Pat Holscher were being featured alongside the creations of numerous other artists.
Susan Bland, whose husband Milton shows and sells his pottery at RiverWalk, was flipping through some of Holscher’s prints before the reception.
Bland said she was thinking about buying one of the prints, some of which represented multi-colored sea birds.
“I love colors,” Bland remarked with a smile.
Across the street, Turnage Theater volunteers were serving hot chocolate to passersby, and selling tickets to the Turnage Theaters Foundation’s A Christmas Tour of Homes. The fundraising tour is scheduled for Dec. 4.
Farther east, at Lone Leaf Gallery &Custom Framing on the corner of Main and Market streets, co-owners Neil and Meredith Loughlin displayed photographs and other compositions by Jacquelyn Leebrick.
Asked whether ArtWalk helps the couple’s business, Neil Loughlin said, “Yes.”
“It helps us because it encourages people to walk to every gallery on the stop,” he said, adding some of these first-time visitors return as patrons.