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The Hiddenite Center Chosen to Receive
JMS Southeast Inc. and Statesville Process Instruments Inc.
Monthly Charitable Contribution


The Hiddenite Center was selected to receive the January 2015 monthly charitable contribution from JMS Southeast, Inc. and Statesville Process Instruments Inc. This generous contribution is part of the company’s program of giving direct monetary contributions to local charities in Iredell and Alexander Counties. Employees are encouraged to utilize the company owned snack machines in the building. Revenue from these snack sales is given away on a monthly basis.

JMS and Statesville Process Instruments contributed over $370 in snack funds to The Hiddenite Center, a non-profit arts and cultural heritage organization providing classes, gallery exhibits, and performing arts programming for Alexander County and the Northwest North Carolina region.

Eddie Leach, JMS Southeast, Inc. employee, is shown presenting the donation to The Hiddenite Center’s Executive Director, Pete Woods.

“On behalf of the Center’s Board of Directors and staff, it is my pleasure to accept this donation in support of the arts in our community. We appreciate the continued support of JMS Southeast, Inc. and Statesville Process Instruments and their employees,” said Woods.

According to Suzanne Blackburn, JMS Southeast and Statesville Process Instruments is very proud to be able to make direct monetary contributions to local non-profit charities in Iredell and Alexander Counties.
“This special program of giving offers a unique way for employees and corporations to contribute to organizations that make a difference in our community,” Woods went on to say. “We welcome the participation of like minded businesses in our area who may be inspired by this example and wish to initiate their own monthly charitable giving program.”

To learn more about The Hiddenite Center’s mission and their ongoing arts events and cultural heritage programs, visit www.hiddenitecenter.com , search “Friends of The Hiddenite Center” on facebook, or call (828) 632-6966.

 

Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion Gallery
features local history exhibit honoring
African American Veterans

In observance of Black History Month, The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion Gallery will feature a photography exhibit that recognizes the contributions of African American veterans from Alexander County. The exhibit, which will be on display February 2nd through February 28, 2015, is part of the historical collection of Phyllis Bailey of Iredell County.

The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion Gallery is located at 316 Hiddenite Church Road in Alexander County. All Lucas Mansion Gallery exhibits are admission free and open to the public during The Hiddenite Center’s operating hours, which are Monday – Friday 10am until 4:30pm and on Saturday 10am until 3:00pm.

For more than ten years, Bailey, a life long educator, Mitchell Community College instructor and noted local historian, has collected photographs of African American veterans from Iredell and Alexander counties. Her “Veterans Project of Iredell and Alexander County” grew out of a fascination with learning more about people who have made significant contributions to the lives of others, particularly those who may be largely unknown to the public.

Bailey’s exhibit in The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion Gallery focuses on highlighting the information she has diligently collected about African American veterans from Alexander County. Her work presents the names, faces, and wherever possible, the stories of men and women who have contributed much to our community and our country.

The photographs and stories shared through the exhibit date as early as World War I, including a personal family story relating to a great uncle who served during that First World War. A particularly interesting feature of the exhibit is the notable differences in backgrounds and settings of the figures depending on the era the photos were taken. They range from painted and patriotic backgrounds to family groupings to the more current lone figure represented. Photographs of World War II servicemen and women most often were made with the spouse and/or children signifying the concept that the world was indeed at war and the soldier had the support of all back home. Multiple families feature as many as three or more generations being represented in military service

Families of African American veterans who have photographs and stories they wish to share are invited to submit copies of those materials to Phyllis Bailey’s collection. Interested participants are asked to contact Allison Houchins, Hiddenite Center Director of Education/Gallery Curator by calling 828-632-6966 or email info@hiddenitecenter.com . Photographs submitted from the community will be scanned and digitally stored for this ongoing project.

Hiddenite Center events, exhibits, and programs are made possible in part through the generous funding of Alexander County government, the Eileen and R. Y. Sharpe Family Foundation, The Winston Salem Foundation, the Friends of the Hiddenite Center membership program, and by the Grassroots Grant of the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion and Educational Complex are wheelchair accessible.

To learn more about Hiddenite Center events and programs, please visit www.hiddenitecenter.com, emailinfo@hiddenitecenter.com, or join the Hiddenite Center on facebook by searching Friends of the Hiddenite Center.


Hiddenite Center’s
“Cabin Fever Workshops”
Offer Creative Arts and Crafts Classes

The Hiddenite Center has planned a day of classes designed to inspire creativity during the winter season. The Center’s “Cabin Fever Workshops” will be held Saturday, February 7, 2015 at The Hiddenite Center’s Educational Complex (70 Hiddenite Church Road in Alexander County).

The classes are organized in morning and afternoon sessions that allow students flexibility in choosing which classes they wish to take. Students are welcome to choose a single class or may choose one in the morning and one in the afternoon session. Registration and pre-payment for class participation is required and may be made by calling (828) 632-6966.

The morning session of Cabin Fever Workshops, 10:00am until 12:00noon, will feature classes in Valentine card making and primitive toolbox making. Both classes are open to adults and children accompanied by an adult.

Artist and instructor Martha Burgin, will lead participants in creating original and unique handmade Valentine’s Day cards. Cost of registration for card making is $10 for Hiddenite Center members and $15 for the public; this includes all materials and instruction.

Instructor Chuck Houchins of Stony Creek Heritage Furniture will teach a class in making primitive toolboxes for utilitarian or decorative use. Registration cost is $20 for Hiddenite Center members and $25 for the public. This includes all materials and instruction to finish a small-scale primitive wooden toolbox.

The afternoon session of Cabin Fever features classes in mesh wreath making and winter landscape painting. Afternoon classes are held from 1:00pm until 3:00pm.
Hiddenite Center Board Member Cindy Sellers will instruct adults in creating festive, Valentine’s Day themed mesh wreaths. Cost for registration is $20 for Hiddenite Center members and $25 for the public. Registration cost includes all materials and instruction to complete a Valentine's Day themed wreath.

Artist and Hiddenite Center Director of Education Allison Houchins will instruct students in painting a winter landscape. Cost for registration, including materials and instruction, is $20 for Hiddenite Center members and $25 for the public Registration for this class is open to adults and children with an accompanying adult.
Beverages will be provided and space will be available for those who wish to bring a paper bag lunch and make a day of the experience. Interested participants are asked to call (828) 632-6966 for more information and to register for the class or classes of their choice.

Hiddenite Center events, exhibits, and programs are made possible in part through the generous funding of Alexander County government, the Eileen and R. Y. Sharpe Family Foundation, The Winston Salem Foundation, the Friends of the Hiddenite Center membership program, and by the Grassroots Grant of the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion and Educational Complex are wheelchair accessible.

To learn more about Hiddenite Center events and programs, please visit www.hiddenitecenter.com, email info@hiddenitecenter.com, or join the Hiddenite Center on facebook by searching Friends of the Hiddenite Center.

 

Hiddenite Center’s
Valentine’s Day Dinner Theater
Features Acclaimed Piano Man, Ulysses Long
February 13, 2015

On Friday, February 13, 2015, The Hiddenite Center will celebrate Valentine’s Day with an evening of dinner and music at the Center’s Educational Complex (70 Hiddenite Church Road in Alexander County). This annual Valentine’s Day dinner theater offers an atmosphere of casual elegance and a dinner buffet menu that befits a special occasion. Guests will enjoy outstanding musical entertainment from acclaimed regional entertainer and former America’s Got Talent contestant, Ulysses Long.

The Hiddenite Center's Valentine’s Day Dinner Theater will begin at 7:00 p.m. followed by the musical program. The event will feature a dance floor for those who may wish to dance the night away.

On the menu for the evening will be a buffet that draws inspiration from Italian cuisine. Guests will dine on herb and garlic glazed chicken breasts, baked cheesy pasta alfredo, fresh garden salad, bread, and cheesecake for dessert. A choice of sweetened tea, ice water, or coffee will be offered.

The all-inclusive cost of admission is affordably priced at $16 per person with tax included. Reservations are required and may be made by calling The Hiddenite Center at 828-632-6966.

In addition to this delicious meal, guests will enjoy a musical selection of romantic ballads, popular standards, show tunes and modern classics from Ulysses Long. An accomplished piano man and gifted vocalist with an extensive knowledge of music, Ulysses Long has created a signature style all his own. A born performer, Long has entertained audiences throughout the region and appeared as a quarterfinalist on the popular national television show, “America’s Got Talent.”

The Hiddenite Center’s Valentine’s Day dinner theater offers a unique opportunity to celebrate as a family, as a couple, or as a group of friends.

Hiddenite Center events, exhibits, and programs are made possible in part through the generous funding of Alexander County government, the Eileen and R. Y. Sharpe Family Foundation, The Winston Salem Foundation, the Friends of the Hiddenite Center membership program, and by the Grassroots Grant of the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion and Educational Complex are wheelchair accessible.

To learn more about Hiddenite Center events and programs, please visit www.hiddenitecenter.com, email info@hiddenitecenter.com, or join the Hiddenite Center on facebook by searching Friends of the Hiddenite Center.

 

Alexander County Artists Featured at the
Northwest North Carolina Visitor Center

The Hiddenite Center is honored to curate an exhibit at the Northwest North Carolina Visitor Center in North Wilkesboro that highlights the diversity of talent among artists in Alexander County. The Northwest North Carolina Visitor Center offers this opportunity to arts organizations throughout the region as a means of sharing the rich culture of Northwest NC with their year round visitors. The exhibit curated by The Hiddenite Center will be open to the public during the months of January and February 2015 and will feature pottery by Jim Brown and Michael Brown, paintings by Sylvia Walker and Anne Teague, needlework by Carma Yell, woodworking/furniture by Chuck Houchins, and quilting by Penny Braswell of the Brushy Mountain Quilter's Guild.

The Northwest North Carolina Visitor Center is located at 2121 East Highway 421 in North Wilkesboro. The Hiddenite Center’s Alexander County artists exhibit will be on display now through February 28, 2015. To learn more about this valuable resource for our region, visit www.nwncvisitorcenter.com

The exhibited work is available for viewing as part of the NC Travel and Tourism focus on drawing attention to artists and traditional art forms in each county in Northwest NC. Alexander County artists are featured annually at the Northwest NC Visitor Center.

Hiddenite Center events, exhibits, and programs are made possible in part through the generous funding of Alexander County government, the Town of Taylorsville, the Eileen and R. Y. Sharpe Family Foundation, The Winston Salem Foundation, the Friends of the Hiddenite Center membership program, and by the Grassroots Grant of the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion and Educational Complex are wheelchair accessible.

To learn more about Hiddenite Center events and programs, please call (828) 632-6966, visit www.hiddenitecenter.com, email info@hiddenitecenter.com, or join The Hiddenite Center on facebook by searching Friends of the Hiddenite Center.

 

Hiddenite Center Begins
New Year
with New Series of
Classes in Pottery and Dance

The coming year brings with it many new opportunities to experience the arts at The Hiddenite Center. Starting in January 2015, the Center will offer new sessions of classes in pottery for adults and children as well as the return of their popular ballroom dance class series.

Renowned ballroom dance instructor, Dirk Myers, II will lead an exciting new session of classes at The Hiddenite Center beginning Monday, January 5th – February 23, 2015. Myers is an experienced ballroom instructor who comes to The Hiddenite Center from Banquet and Ballroom (formerly the Havana Social Club) of Cornelius. This eight week class series will offer enthusiastic instruction in ballroom dance steps that will help students learn to dance like a star.

Classes will be held on Monday evenings from 6:00pm until 6:45pm at The Hiddenite Center’s Educational Complex, which is located at 70 Hiddenite Church Road in Alexander County. Cost for enrollment in the full 8 week session is affordably priced at $80.00 for the public and $75.00 for Hiddenite Center members.

Class space is limited and early registration is encouraged. To register for this popular series of ballroom dance classes with Dirk Myers, II, call (828) 632-6966.

Instructor, Sally Warren of Mud Dauber studios in Statesville, will begin a new session of pottery classes for adults starting on Monday, January 12th through February 16, 2015. Classes will be held on Monday evenings from 7:00pm until 9:00pm at The Hiddenite Center’s Educational Complex pottery studio (70 Hiddenite Church Road in Alexander County).

Classes will appeal to beginner or advanced students, who will enjoy instruction in hand building and will have the opportunity to learn at the pottery wheel. Cost for the full session is affordably priced at $50.00 for the public and $45.00 for Hiddenite Center members. An additional materials fee of $15.00 covers the cost of a 25 lb bag of clay, which will be used during the classes.

Beginning January 15, 2015, instructor Linda Merry Parker of “Merry Pottins Studios,” will lead a new six week session of pottery classes for adults and children ages 9 and older. The classes will be held on Thursday evenings from 7:00pm until 9:00pm at The Hiddenite Center’s Educational Complex pottery studio (70 Hiddenite Church Road in Alexander County). The six week session runs from January 15th through February 19, 2015.

Students will experience a fun and casual learning environment that will appeal to beginners and advanced students alike. Classes focus on hand building in clay and are an ideal activity for children and adults who are looking for a creative project to learn together.

Cost for the full session is affordably priced at $50.00 for the public and $45.00 for Hiddenite Center members. An additional materials fee of $15.00 covers the cost of a 25 lb bag of clay, which will be used during the classes. Class admission cost includes instruction, use of pottery studio, tools, glazes, bisque firing and glaze firing.

To register for Thursday night pottery classes with Linda Merry Parker, call (828) 632-6966.

Hiddenite Center events, exhibits, and programs are made possible in part through the generous funding of Alexander County government, the Eileen and R. Y. Sharpe Family Foundation, The Winston Salem Foundation, the Friends of the Hiddenite Center membership program, and by the Grassroots Grant of the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion and Educational Complex are wheelchair accessible.

To learn more about Hiddenite Center events and programs, please visit www.hiddenitecenter.com, email info@hiddenitecenter.com, or join the Hiddenite Center on facebook by searching Friends of the Hiddenite Center.

 

Area Artists and Students Honor
Martin Luther King, Jr. through
“Living the Dream” Exhibit

During the month of January, visitors to The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion Gallery will experience a diverse exhibit of original artwork, created by area artists and inspired by the words of Martin Luther King. The Center, an Alexander County arts and cultural heritage non-profit organization, has partnered with the local chapter of the NAACP to sponsor the exhibit, entitled “Living the Dream: Artistic Interpretations of the Words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

“Living the Dream” will be on exhibit in The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion Gallery (316 Hiddenite Church Road in Alexander County) through January 31, 2015. All Lucas Mansion Gallery exhibits are admission free and open to the public during The Hiddenite Center’s operating hours, which are Monday – Friday 10am until 4:30pm and on Saturday 10am until 3:00pm.

This powerful and moving exhibit showcases a wide range of artistic mediums, styles of expression, and points of view. “From painted canvas to sculpture in silver and pewter, found object installation to a digital photography presentation running on a computer screen in the gallery, Living the Dream offers a unique view of Dr. King’s legacy as only the arts can provide,” said Hiddenite Center Executive Director, Pete Woods.

The exhibit features adult artists from Alexander, Catawba, Iredell and the region as well as student work from the Alexander County Schools and collaborations from area churches and individuals. Artists were asked to choose their favorite quotation from Dr. King and then create a piece of visual art that interprets the meaning or inspiration drawn from the written or spoken word. Living the Dream is designed to unite the literary and visual arts while bridging the gap between artistic mediums.

The Alexander County NAACP will sponsor a “People’s Choice Award” winner and runner-up, chosen by the popular vote of exhibit visitors. At the conclusion of the exhibit, the People’s Choice winner will be awarded the prize of one Acer computer tablet. The People’s Choice runner-up will be awarded a cash prize of $100. All prizes are courtesy of the Alexander County NAACP.

Woods believes that “Living the Dream” provides an opportunity for meaningful reflection of the past and creative thinking for the future.

“Art, unlike any other form, tells the story of our collective hopes, dreams, trials and triumphs,” said Woods. “With this exhibit, we have offered artists a chance to tell the story of the civil rights movement through their own unique experience and artistic point of view.”

“The arts can be a compelling vehicle for driving positive social change,” Woods went on to say. “It is our sincere hope that each artist and every visitor will be moved by these important stories, inspired by Dr. King’s message of peace and unity, and motivated to express their own creative talents.”

Alexander County NAACP President, Rev. Sterling Howard, views the exhibit as a positive new addition to the ongoing efforts to commemorate the work of Dr. King.

“We have enjoyed working together with the folks at The Hiddenite Center to encourage everyone in the community to join in celebrating Dr. King’s legacy in this special way,” said Rev. Howard. “It is so important to remember the work of Dr. King and this exhibit really encourages people of all ages to keep the spirit of unity alive. I hope everyone will join the NAACP in supporting “Living the Dream” by visiting this important exhibit.”

Hiddenite Center events, exhibits, and programs are made possible in part through the generous funding of Alexander County government, the Eileen and R. Y. Sharpe Family Foundation, The Winston Salem Foundation, the Friends of the Hiddenite Center membership program, and by the Grassroots Grant of the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion and Educational Complex are wheelchair accessible.

To learn more about Hiddenite Center events and programs, please visit www.hiddenitecenter.com, emailinfo@hiddenitecenter.com, or join the Hiddenite Center on facebook by searching Friends of the Hiddenite Center.

New Executive Director
Chosen to Lead Hiddenite Center

After an extensive search lead by members of The Hiddenite Center’s Board of Directors, it was announced this week that James W. “Pete” Woods has been named Executive Director of the non-profit arts and cultural heritage organization, which serves Alexander and surrounding counties.

Pete Woods is a nationally recognized advertising and marketing professional who brings over three decades of experience advising organizations on the building and nurturing of their brands to targeted audiences. In addition to extensive business experience, Woods holds a BFA in studio art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is a talented sculptor in his own right. Pete and his wife Tricia reside in Mooresville NC and have three children, Alex, Katie, and Sarah.

As a young man, Woods had the opportunity to apprentice as a pewter smith at the renowned Riverwood Pewter Shop in Dillsboro, North Carolina, under the skillful tutelage of Ray and Dee Shook. In addition to learning from these master craftsmen, the Morgan Family who owned Riverwood invited Woods to study foundry work at The Penland School for Handicrafts, which was founded by handicraft artisans Rufus and Lucy Morgan during the Great Depression era. During this formative experience, Woods developed a deep appreciation for Appalachian arts and cultural heritage traditions.

“On behalf of The Hiddenite Center’s Board of Directors and Staff, it is my privilege to welcome our new Executive Director, Pete Woods,” said Board President, Hazel Yoder. “When the selection process began, we set out to find a dynamic arts leader with proven experience and a vision for the future. Pete is all of this and so much more.”

As he steps into the role of Executive Director, Pete Woods brings a unique blend of business acumen and practical art experience to the task of leading The Hiddenite Center into a new era of growth and expansion.

“Throughout my career, whether working with exquisite craftspeople in the process of creating and selling art or during my thirty years of experience in the field of advertising, I have thoroughly enjoyed surrounding myself with creative people,” said Pete Woods. “I believe that creative organizations are engines for economic growth and personal development.”

A significant part of The Hiddenite Center’s focus is perpetuating local history, cultivation of self-expressions in the arts, crafts, music and dance while providing high quality cultural experiences for citizens of Alexander County and the surrounding region. In its thirty-third year of operation, The Hiddenite Center continues to grow and thrive with an enhanced mission and an eye towards the future.

“I feel fully supported by The Hiddenite Center’s excellent Staff and Board of Directors as we work together to sustain the quality of programming that this region has come to know and depend upon even as we build a greater awareness for all that the organization has to offer,” Woods went on to say. “It is our obligation and our privilege to ensure that Hiddenite Center programs provide fresh and relevant arts opportunities for diverse audiences. I am excited by this challenge and feel confident in the future of this vital organization.”

Woods encourages the community to visit The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion, located at 316 Hiddenite Church Road in Alexander County, to experience monthly art exhibits, tour the Center’s museum, and learn more about travel in the region through services provided in the Alexander County Visitor Center. The Hiddenite Center is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 am until 4:30 pm and on Saturday from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm.

“I welcome community input and involvement as we embark upon this journey together,” Woods shared. “Everyone has an important role to play in helping to shape our future; I hope that the public will share their ideas, resources, and talents as we work to strengthen and enhance The Hiddenite Center.”

Hiddenite Center events, exhibits, and programs are made possible in part through the generous funding of Alexander County government, the Eileen and R. Y. Sharpe Family Foundation, The Winston Salem Foundation, the Friends of the Hiddenite Center membership program, and by the Grassroots Grant of the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion and Educational Complex are wheelchair accessible.

To contact Pete Woods, please email pete@hiddenitecenter.com. To learn more about Hiddenite Center events and programs, please call (828) 632-6966, visit www.hiddenitecenter.com, email info@hiddenitecenter.com, or join The Hiddenite Center on facebook by searching Friends of the Hiddenite Center.

Click to read an excerpt from Pete Woods' April 9th interview with The Taylorsville Times.

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