Sixth Splash! Week to draw artists, art lovers to EC

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Barbara Wachter (right) speaks with Mike Rooney (left) during his Cape School Underpainting class during last year's Splash! Week, Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017. This year's Splash! Week begins Monday.


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Friday, October 26, 2018

Elizabeth City will celebrate its local artists, welcome talented regional and national artists to town and stoke interest in art among the young and old alike as the sixth Arts of the Albemarle Splash! Week kicks off Monday.

The events typically draw anywhere from 40-75 artists and art enthusiasts from across the country.

Local painters who will participate include Barbara Wachter, Carolyn Peel, Debbie Sauls, Becky Davis, Lynn Nash, Susan Correll-Hankinson and many of her watercolor associates. Out-of-towners will include Mike Rooney, Jane Filer, Michelle Yellen, Sue Bark, Crystal Hardt, Jody Robinson and many more.

“Splash! was conceived to promote, create, and educate in the value of the arts,” said Debbie Sauls, a local artist and one of the many people who help plan and present the event. “It is designed as an arts-centered event that appeals to everyone.”

Sally Bruderle, a crafts aficionado and former arts teacher who has taken a leading role in planning this year’s event, said a few of the artists are already in town but most will be coming in Monday. An open studio in the former Super 10 building at 500 E. Main Street begins Monday at 9 a.m.

The open studio will be open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Friday, Nov. 2, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3. Participants will register at Arts of the Albemarle and table rentals are on a first come, first served basis.

“Art lovers are encouraged to walk through the Splash! open studio to meet the artists and enjoy watching them create,” Sauls said.

Splash! also includes the Plein Air Paint Out Competition. The event will offer cash prizes of $500 for first place, $350 for second and $150 for third.

Bruderle noted some Plein Air painters started their work on Thursday and the deadline for completing works to be entered in the contest is Nov. 1.

On Friday, Nov. 2, the Plein Air paintings will be hung in the AOA gallery for judging, and afterward will be available for purchase by the public.

There are three free drawing classes that will be offered during Splash! Week. They will be held at the Super 10 building from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

There are two free demonstrations — oil painting and acrylics — that will be presented by Amy Shawley of Williamsburg Oil and Golden Acrylics on Thursday. The oil demonstration is from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and acrylics will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The oil event will be a workshop and demonstration and acrylics will be a demonstration only.

Although the oil and acrylics demonstrations are free, participants are encouraged to register through AoA. The events will be held in the Virginia Dare Arcade on Main Street.

Another event, Make and Take, will be held at the Super 10 building from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

On Tuesday from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Everett Cossaboon of Virginia will be teaching about design and washes in watercolors. The class is for all skill levels and the charge is $110.

Val Johnson is offering a needle felting workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Participants will have a chance to make a miniature of their dog. The cost is $65, plus $20 for materials.

“It should be a lot of fun,” Bruderle said of the needle felting workshop.

Carolyn Peel, who started Splash! and continues to be involved, “is very well connected in the art community,” said Bruderle.

Splash! offers opportunities for artists to grow and receive encouragement from other artists. It’s also for anyone with an interest in art.

“I guarantee everyone who attends Splash! Week leaves with new friends, an enhanced knowledge of the arts and it’s importance and some will be lucky to go home with a beautiful piece of art,” Sauls said.

Each day there will be surprise “pop-up” events listed on the chalkboard in front of the open studio building.

Also during the November First Friday ArtWalk, the open studio artists will have their creations on sale to the public.

“This event takes a better part of the year to plan and it takes many people to continue to have this award-winning event happen,” Sauls said. “Arts of the Albemarle is very fortunate to have an extremely supportive community. Dozens of people volunteer 100s of hours of their time before, during and after Splash!”

Sauls also noted he business community has been generous in supporting the event.

Sponsors of Splash! include Long & Foster, Will Nixon C.P.A., Sauls Law Firm and GlenRoss Properties.

For more information or to register for a class, call Arts of the Albemarle at 338-6455 or visit artsaoa.org or facebook.com/Splashweek/.