Upcycled clockwork jewelry; refurbished, metal garden art; western wear; toy dinosaur plant-holders; stained glass...these were just a few of the fabulous, unique finds at this year’s Spring Flea at the BAC. Starting on Friday, June 3, and going strong through Saturday and Sunday, the BAC’s wildly popular, upscale, vintage flea market hosted 45 top, local vintage vendors, nearly 1,000 guests, food trucks, the BAC cash bar, and a Lativa Coffee Shop and lived up to its reputation of being the “coolest thing happening in town this weekend.”
On Sunday, May 15, from noon to 6 p.m., the BAC and Kelly Starbuck Photography presented a first-time event at the Brooklyn Arts Center...Southern Exposure: A Photographic Arts Show. Hosted by Southeastern Camera, The Frame Masters, and Canvas Giclee Printing, Southern Exposure was a wonderful success.
Photography by Drechsel Photography
Photography by Drechsel Photography
On Friday, March 25, for the third year in a row at the BAC, the awesome Hot Wax Surf Shop presented their 6th fashion show: The Secret Garden. The beautiful Brooklyn Arts Center was decorated in pastel pinks and deep greens and was lit with bejeweled Edison bulbs to accentuate the secret garden theme, which was even more perfectly reflected by the floral prints worn by the 20 gorgeous Hot Wax bikini models.
On Saturday and Sunday, March 12 and 13, the Brooklyn Arts Center held its 6th annual handmade craft fair, Made In NC. With more than 45 vendors displaying their work, there was something there for everyone: sculpture, paintings, clothes, jewelry, photography, chocolates, candles, soaps, potted succulents, and more. The result of all this local creativity? A memorable show for more than 1000 guests.
On Saturday, February 27, for the fourth year running, the Brooklyn Arts Center hosted Encore Magazine’s 2016 Best of Wilmington Awards, A Space Invasion. The Port City’s iconic, 4th Street church was overrun by Wilmington’s finest—450 people, including nominees, bands, comedians, and various space invaders of Wilmington dressed up in their most out-of-this-world attire to celebrate the city’s best and to dance the night away. The proceeds of this fantastic, annual event went to support DREAMS of Wilmington, a fabulous local, nonprofit organization that provides arts education to under-privileged children.
By any measure, Art for All 6 was a fabulous success!
More than 40 vendors set up shop on Saturday and Sunday, February 20 and 21, at the beautiful Brooklyn Arts Center to visit with the cultural community and offer their spectacular, original artwork for sale, affordably priced from $25-$250—in other words: art for all.
On Sunday, January 31, the beautiful Brooklyn Arts Center was filled with handcrafted jewelry and sculpture for the premier of Precious Metals. Renowned Wilmington metalsmith Mitzy Jonkheer helped create this event to showcase Wilmington’s thriving community of metalsmiths and jewelers. "I have been doing metalwork in this town for more than twenty years,” Jonkheer said, “and I've really watched it grow. I've seen an amazing group of metal artists, and I noticed that when I'd do Art for All that there were so many jewelry people, and I thought why not just get the cream of the crop and have this really amazing jewelry show. In most businesses, there seems to be a competition, but this community is really more of a brotherhood, and I felt like it would be a good idea to get a bunch of us together."
Written by Sarah Wall
On January 16, the BAC was one of seven premiere, Port City event venues that participated in Historic Downtown Wilmington’s annual wedding show: Courtyards and Cobblestones. Jennifer Rose owner/designer of renowned Salt Harbor Design—the company that founded this event in 2009—said they created Courtyards and Cobblestones hoping to present the Wilmington wedding vendor community in a better light. “Before C&C, there were wedding shows in Wilmington that were held in a convention center and all the vendors had 10-by-10 booths,” Rose said. “There’s only so much you can do with a 10-by-10 booth, and it was very high pressure. When the brides went through the show, the rows of booths, vendors were reaching for them and pulling them into their booths. It was stressful not only for the brides but also for the vendors. We thought: there has got to be a better way to showcase what we do. So we decided we could highlight downtown’s historic venues and have each one designed and decorated by a team of vendors so it seemed like an actual wedding or reception was happening in the space.”
Rose’s vision came to life in the beautiful BAC as the space was transformed into an elegant and enchanting reception hall. As guests came into the building, they paused on the steps at the entrance to the main floor and stared up at the church chandeliers Salt Harbor had draped with greenery and at the crystal chandeliers installed by High Performance Lighting’s Rob Sobota. “Lighting makes all the difference in a venue,” Sobota said. “It can really transform an unadorned room into something absolutely gorgeous, especially when it gets a little darker.” He was spot on. As the sun set, the lights glowed warmly, casting the event in a soft romantic atmosphere.
Guest milled around the iconic church, admiring the table decorations and flowers arranged by Salt Harbor Designs and the upscale, yet comfortable lounge furniture provided by Pomp Event Furnishing. Rebecca Dawson from Pomp exclaimed her love of the event. “It’s unlike any other,” she said. “It gives us the opportunity, especially being a kind of unique wedding service, to show people what we do.”
Future brides and grooms chatted with many of the vendors, including Millie Holloman (Millie Holloman Photography), one of the founders of Courtyards and Cobblestones. High-quality photos taken by Holloman and her team were displayed for the guests to admire. Holloman, a top-tier wedding photographer, explained that her passion for wedding photography came from being able to capture the “spontaneity of weddings” and seeing “family members coming together,” both of which were shown in her photos.
Fortunately for all involved, Life Stage Films displayed their emotionally engaging, wonderfully shot and edited wedding videos. A demo they created played on a large screen in the balcony, featuring clips of weddings they had shot from all around the world. Amy Warkentien, a Life Stage videographer, said, “I love being part of a wedding day and secretly capturing the emotions and precious memories the bride and groom otherwise might not be able to relive, like their wedding vows or hugging their grandpa or watching their flower girl dance.”
Milner’s Café and Catering fed the crowd their famous spaghetti bolognese and steak and mashed potatoes and served a variety of fabulous appetizers. Owner/chef Mark Milner said that he prided himself on his amazing staff as well as his food, and true to form, the Milner’s staff proved themselves to be friendly and talented and informed as they explained the ingredients of the dishes and socialized with the guests, who kept coming back for more.
One Belle Bakery provided dessert, serving samples of rich vanilla cake and cinnamon apple pops and displaying some of the most beautiful wedding cakes the C&C crowd had ever seen. There was a traditional five-tier cake, covered with flowers, and a groom’s cake that caught everybody’s eye: a sculpture of a Bojangles box stacked on a cooler decorated with a Panther’s logo next to a miniature grill...that somehow smoked! Lauren Kelly, one of the bakers, said that people kept asking “why someone left a Bojangles box in the room,” and she had to keep telling them that it was actually made of cake. She didn’t mind, though, saying that “enjoying the reactions of people when they see their cakes for the first time” was her favorite part of the job.
On the stage, Wilmington bluegrass band extraordinaire The Midatlantic performed throughout the evening, playing a wide variety of songs, including crowd favorite, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” The music floated through the magnificent, 128-year-old church, tying together everything from the lighting to the furniture to the food, creating a very special and spectacular night.
Photos from Matt Born of Star News
The Holiday Flea at BAC returned to the beautiful Brooklyn Arts Center on December 4, 5, and 6 and reaffirmed its standing as the best vintage shopping event of the season. More than 40 local vintage vendors set up shop in the church to sell treasures of all kinds to the Wilmington community—and the community came out in full support!
More than a year and a half ago, the old-time folk band Carolina Chocolate Drops dazzled fans with their first-ever performance at the historic Brooklyn Arts Center. On Monday, September 28, several members of the celebrated string band returned to the BAC stage as supporting players in the solo career of one of their own—the lovely and talented Rhiannon Giddens.
Written by Kailyn Warpole // Photos from Jessica Pham
The Brooklyn Arts Center was proud to host the opening night of the 2nd Carolina Pine Music Festival on Friday, November 22, 2015. The event was also a celebration of the release of The Midatlantic’s first full-length album. A courtyard party featuring local vendors kicked off the event late in the afternoon, and attendees flocked to the historic church as the live performances began in the early evening.
Mike Blair and The Stonewalls provided the perfect opening set with their relaxed and rocking Americana/folk-rock sound. The band members themselves were entertaining as well, sharing good-humored banter with each other and joking around with the crowd between songs.
Next up was Rebecca Todd & the Odyssey, a five-piece, self-described “blues, rock, and soul” band. Of all the acts at the festival, Todd and her band are newest to the local music scene, but observers hardly noticed, as they took the stage like seasoned professionals. With a bold voice and a lively stage presence, Rebecca Todd & the Odyssey got everyone dancing. Fans of the show can expect to see more from the 5-piece group in the near future. “We are going to be in the studio working on some demos for our album, which is really exciting,” says Todd. “We’re about to do our first step of the next album, which I’m hoping to put out in the summer or fall. It shows our growth, and it’s cool. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Following Rebecca Todd & the Odyssey was Beta Radio—a much-anticipated performance, as the Americana/indie-folk musicians had not played together as a full band in four years. Though the band itself consists of just two musicians, Benjamin Mabry and Brent Holloman, the band’s live sound requires several musicians since Mabry and Holloman typically record their performances of different instruments in the studio and then mix them together during production to create their recorded sound. “It’s fun to get up there,” says singer/guitarist Mabry. “This is the first time we’ve played as a full band in four years, so it’s a little bit nerve-racking because I never have to play to a drummer—Brent and I just stay in time together. But, it’s fun to play as a full band. I’m excited about that. Hopefully it comes off well.” The crowd certainly enjoyed the performance, singing along to familiar tunes like “Either Way” and enjoying the easy-flowing melody of songs like “The Man Grows,” which the band wrote for the show Hart of Dixie.
When it finally came time for the featured act, the 400-plus fans that packed the BAC went wild. And The Midatlantic gave that energy back to them ten-fold. The band has taken giant steps forward over the last few years in every regard—songwriting, musicianship, live performance—and they seemed more than ready to rock.
Part of the excitement, no doubt, was the release of their first, full-length studio album, Sound over Water. Lead singer and mandolin-player extraordinaire Jason Andre shared personal feelings on the night that seemed to resonate with everyone in the band. “I’m just most excited to have this album out and done and released to the world and to get to share it with everybody. I hope it goes out into the world and is accepted with open arms among our peers and other professional musicians in the music community and the listeners, especially, obviously.”
It was one of the biggest and best nights of local live music of the year and The Midatlantic was thrilled to share it with other talented bands. “It means a lot to have three other of my favorite local bands playing with us,” says Andre. “It’s just a perfect storm, a perfect marriage of bands, and being able to share a really special night like this with them is exciting.”
Exciting? Oh yes. When the cheering and singing and dancing finally came to an end, the crowd was left with one big, communal thought: When are we doing this again?
Made In NC, downtown’s handmade marketplace, happened at the Brooklyn Arts Center on Friday and Saturday, March 20 and 21. Fifty local artisans and crafters filled the BAC with handmade jewelry, soaps, woodwork, metalwork, pens, fabric flowers, paintings, seasonings, silk scarves, chocolate, pottery, painted shoes—the list goes on! With plentiful sunshine and comfortable temperatures, the weather cooperated and delivered a perfect spring weekend for the 1,000-plus guests who came to enjoy the show and take something beautiful home.