For centuries, art has been used worldwide to express a message to its viewers. Prior to using written language, art was a main form of communication, dating back to the Stone Age. Cave drawings of various symbols were used to convey messages, and can still be seen today in places such as southern France, northern Spain and The Grand Canyon. Thousands of years later, it is still used as a form of expression that’s ever-evolving.
Locally, arts organizations continue to provide visual aesthetics which enlighten, empower and illuminate life. Among them is the Wilmington Art Association (WAA), who, in conjunction with the YMCA, will be sponsoring the upcoming affair SilverArts, a public viewing and sale, which is a component of Senior Games by the Sea. SilverArts is a weekend-long event, May 9th through 11th, held at Artworks downtown.
A nonprofit organization that was established in 1971, WAA provides opportunities for local visual artists to gain recognition through shows and exhibitions. It was the second group to use the name Wilmington Art Association, the first—established in 1953—is now the Cameron Art Museum.
“The Wilmington Art Association was asked to help sponsor some of the SilverArts this year, since we have a large artist membership, to help promote and make Wilmington more aware of this great program,” Erika Lawrence, WAA community outreach coordinator, tells. This is the first year WAA is participating and sponsoring Visual Arts and the Heritage Arts portion of SilverArts.
The public viewing and sale event will feature work by artists aged 50 and over, with over 300 pieces ranging from fine art to sculpture, woodwork, to quilts, stained glass to pottery, and more. All artists submitted their work earlier as part of a state-sponsored art competition. A reception and awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 8th—an invitation-only event for WAA artists and special guests. Winners from each category will be qualified to go to the state finals held in Raleigh in September.
The Visual Arts sector includes oil, watercolor and mixed-media. The Heritage Arts covers pottery, stained glass and woodcarving. There are also Literary Arts and Performing Arts categories, featuring poetry and short stories, as well as vocal and dance. Each of these sub-categories will be judged separately, and first, second and third places will be eligible to move onto the finals. Many of the artists competing in this event are WAA professional artists.
“[They] are very well-respected around town,” Lawrence notes. “The participation to enter the SilverArts was open to all local artists. I have seen some non-WAA member art work and [it was] just beautiful. There are hundreds of talented artists here, so the general public will be able to see a good number this coming Mother’s Day weekend.”
Lawrence reports a total of 342 pieces art works were entered between the Visual Arts and Heritage Arts categories. She is confident in its success.
“Attendees who come to see the SilverArts Viewing and Sale will also experience a lovely room that will have a garden theme with trees, bushes and flowers, complements of Tinga Nursery,” Lawrence adds. “On Mother’s Day we also will have a drawing of a beautiful basket of flowers.”
Mother’s Day will feature live music by Susan Savia, who will perform all afternoon.
“Savia is a resident artist at ArtWorks and it only made sense that I would ask,” Lawrence explains. “She is a talented entertainer with a beautiful singing voice and a range of music that will give pleasure to all ages. Besides being an entertainer, she also gives voice, piano and guitar lessons at her studio and conducts a young children’s program.”
The Cape Fear Woodworkers and Woodcarvers Club will be exhibiting and demonstrating their craft throughout the weekend, too.DETAILS SilverArts May 9th – 11th • Free ArtWorks • 200 Willard Street Fri. and Sat., 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sun., noon – 4 p.m. www.wilmingtonart.org