By: Jenna Wesner
It was Wilmington’s coldest February ever...and the BAC’s hottest art show yet!
On Friday and Saturday, February 20 and 21, the BAC’s Art for All 5, downtown’s cutting edge art show, featured 50 fine artists, who set up shop in the church, on the balcony, and under the heated courtyard tent and filled the Brooklyn Arts Center with fabulous original art—paintings, sculpture, metalwork, woodwork, jewelry, and much more.
Local legend Barton Hatcher, who has participated in all five BAC art shows, anchored the north side of the church, filling his booth with explosive color and style and his classic sun-and-moon-themed prints and paintings. Hatcher returns to Art for All year after year “because of the camaraderie. Not to mention, this is one of the first shows of the year, so it’s a nice jumping off point for people to see your latest work.”
Matthew Leavell presented his stunning recycled metal sculptures on the big BAC stage—an incredible octopus sculpture, for instance, with rebar arms and a head made of welded shackles. After working a corporate job, building electric security systems for many years, Leavell turned to the arts and began creating wonderful pieces inspired by nature and salvaged from what was once trash. Leavell’s son, Alex, a young, budding artist, sold his own original art alongside his father.
The heated courtyard tent offered a full coffee shop by BAC regular Lativa Coffee, a must-visit on freezing cold Friday night, and many more artists, including Rorrie Spengler, a local who accents her abstract paintings with various objects found in and around Wilmington, and Adam O’Malley, a retired marine from the Raleigh area, who presented plastic beaded characters from numerous classic videogames and comics alongside his airbrushed paintings and prints.
After exploring the main floor of the church and courtyard, hundreds of local art lovers made their way to the balcony, where artist Courtney Rivenbark greeted them in the south tower with her tattoo-inspired illustrations. Six more fine artists made the balcony one of the coolest galleries in the city, featuring jewelry, paintings, digital art, and more.
For the first time, Art for All featured well-known artist Timothy Moran, a master potter and chemist who has been touted internationally, and his wife, Janet Gaddy, who together make up Celtic Pottery Studios. Gaddy studied in Italy with masters of marble sculpture and bronze casting, and Moran grows crystals into his pottery’s gorgeous glaze, creating one-of-a-kind pieces from North Carolina clay. They are a formidable artistic duo to say the least. Celtic Pottery Studios was thrilled to be included in Art for All 5 because, in Moran’s words, “we really want to be supportive of the art growth here in Wilmington—it’s a wonderful market and a wonderful town. Normally we’re doing major art festivals and large pieces, but we wanted to expose our work to Wilmington. It’s about a love for the arts.”
On Friday night, the Vittles food truck kept everyone warm with hip and delicious food, and Catch The Food Truck took their traditional, mind-blowing turn on Saturday. Like the artists inside the BAC, both trucks were first-rate hits. Art for All 5 was an unqualified community success for local artists and local art lovers. If you missed it, only eleven more months until Art for All 6!