Arts fans have jam-packed weekend ahead

Oct. 17, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

It’s going to be a busy few days for people who appreciate art or music.

With concerts, a painting and sculpture show, a quilting expo, the opening of a new play at Temple Theatre and the Lee County Art Council’s biggest fundraiser of the year, it’s a big weekend for culturally inclined locals.

“We’ve got so much going on,” Lee County Arts Council President Joann Thaxton said. “For a little bitty town like we are, we have so much.”

The arts council has a hand in helping support all of these activities, or at least the groups that put them on, which Thaxton said underscores the importance of the Shared Abundance Dinner on Sunday. The dinner is the group’s largest single fundraiser each year and also helps benefit Christians United Outreach Center of Lee County, which operates a local food bank.

Thaxton encouraged anyone in the area who wants to help support the arts or those in need to attend the dinner, which will be held from 1-4 p.m. at VFW Post 5631, located at 1500 Webb Road in Sanford. Tickets are $12 and are available from the Arts Council either by phone at (919) 774-6139 or in person at 144 S. Steele St., Suite E or at CUOC’s office at 2885 Lee Ave.

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Those who attend will get a handcrafted bowl made by a local artist, plus a meal and entertainment by the Temple Teens singing group. Donations of canned food are also encouraged but not required.

“For $12, you get to pick your pottery bowl, you have a choice of 14 or 15 different soups — plus salad and breadsticks — and then you get to keep your bowl,” Thaxton said. “It’s really neat, and people love it.”

After that event Sunday, people can come over to Depot Park in downtown Sanford for the second day of the Lee County Community Orchestra’s debut of a piece they commissioned last year for their 25th anniversary. The group will hold two free concerts premiering the piece and kicking off their newest season, which will focus on all sorts of American music — everything from big band to show-tunes, Aaron Copland pieces and more.

The concerts will be Saturday at 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the Lee County Arts and Community Center at 507 N. Steele St., and Sunday at 3 p.m at Depot Park. there will also be an “instrument petting zoo” at 2 p.m. Sunday allowing children to handle various instruments and learn about orchestras.

For the more visually inclined, there’s also the annual Sanford Brush and Palette Club fall show starting Saturday and going throughout the next week, as well as the biennial quilt show, presented by the local Hearts and Hands ECA Quilters’ Guild, on Friday and Saturday.

A Harvest of Quilts will be held at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Children younger than 12 get in free, and admission is $5 for everyone else. The event will feature more than 100 quilts on display, vendors, raffles and prizes, an antique quilt area, demonstrations, on-site lunch and more. See www.heartsandhandsnc.org or email info@heartsandhandsnc.org for further details.

The expo, which is expected to draw thousands of quilters from North Carolina and neighboring states, “is a paradise for shoppers,” guild member Irene Smith wrote in an email. “There will be 20 vendors there selling everything from sewing machines to fabrics to sewing notions and tools to craft items. ... It is a perfect place to start your Christmas shopping.”

There’s also the Quilt Trail which Smith and others set up, featuring about 20 reproductions of barn quilts with short blurbs containing information of the area’s history and culture. The trail leads from the civic center to downtown Sanford, with the goal of directing out-of-town visitors to eat and shop locally after they’re done at the show.

The Brush and Palette Club’s annual fall show will be free and open to the public, with about 500 pieces on display from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day from Saturday until Oct. 26, except on Sunday when the hours are 1-6 p.m. The exhibition, which features the work of 60 local artists, is at the Bob E. Hales Center in downtown Sanford, located at 147 McIver St.

Chatham County is also getting artsy this weekend, with the monthly Third Friday ArtWalk from 6–9 p.m. Friday in downtown Siler City and the fourth annual Three Rivers Arts Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Summer Rain Farm, located at 1064 Walter Bright Road. The farm can be reached via Blackwelder Drive, which connects with U.S. 15-501 just north of the Lee/Chatham border.

See visitpittsboro.com/events/third-friday-artwalk for details on the Siler City ArtWalk, which will feature food, music, arts and crafts, wine tastings and more. For more information on the festival, which will feature musicians as well as art displays and 30 artist vendors, visit www.threeriversartsfestival.net or email bethbale@windstream.net. Both the festival and the art walk are free.

WEEKEND HAPPENINGS

• Today: Temple Theatre’s “Dixie Swim Club”

* Friday: Siler City ArtWalk, “Dixie Swim Club,” A Harvest of Quilts

• Saturday: Lee County Community Orchestra, Dixie Swim Club, Three Rivers Arts Festival, Brush and Palette Club Show, A Harvest of Quilts

• Sunday: Shared Abundance Dinner, Lee County Community Orchestra, Three Rivers Arts Festival, “Dixie Swim Club,” Brush and Palette Club Show