North Carolina’s State Historic Sites are well known for the interpretation and preservation of North Carolina’s Civil War story, but combining that story with the arts is a fresh approach.
On July 10, the 2nd Saturdays program – a series of more than 100 free summer events that was organized to bring together artists, history and authentic North Carolina culture at all 37 of the Department of Cultural Resources’ historic sites and museums – will provide many new experiences. For more information, visit www.ncculture.com.
Bentonville Battlefield in Four Oaks will feature costumed interpreters demonstrating historical trades including: spinning, weaving, knitting, blacksmithing, candle-dipping and quilting. By 1861, many goods could be purchased from the local general store, but the economic impact of the Civil War forced many Americans to return to the tradition of making their own clothing, linens, candles, soap and other necessities.
On July 10, potters David Edwards of the Pottery Garden and Lonnie Blackmon of Asheboro, acrylic painter Amanda Robinson of Swansboro, and clay pipe maker Tony Kelly of Kinston will be on hand. Re-enactors Sheru Houghton and Barbara Blackmon will represent “A Row of Purls” Yam and Knitting Shop. Olde South Blacksmith Kirt Jarrett plans to fire up his “shop” and demonstrate the traditional art. All of these artists will display and sell their work to the public. And to make sure you can go home with more than great memories and wonderful photos, Thompson Orchards will be selling peaches and fresh veggies.
Local waterways will be the focus of 2nd Saturdays at Fort Fisher in Kure Beach on July 10. The State Historic Site will partner with local artists to host a program titled “Life on Fort Fisher’s Waterways.”
Small arms demonstrations will be staged throughout the day. Volunteers from the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher will be on hand with marine artifacts and stories of life on and under the water.
Wearable fiber art and durable household products will be among subjects examined at the “Tar Heels and Textiles” program at Bennett Place State Historic Site from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., on Saturday, July 10. Artisans will set up on the Bennett house lawn to demonstrate making cloth products, which will be for sale. Author and historian Jim Rumley, co-founder of the Cooleemee Historical Association, will speak on the history of North Carolina’s textile industry. Costumed interpreters will demonstrate Civil War-era sewing skills adopted to meet the dramatic rise in demand for fabric caused by the war.
Participating artists include Michael Konvicka, textiles; Joanna White, wearable fiber art; Andrea Stephens, fiber art, pottery; Jenni James, jewelry; and Shawn Gibbs, painting. Visitors also can view the newly commissioned painting “The First Meeting,” by Dan Nance, in the Visitor Center and gallery. The film “The Dawn of Peace” will be shown on the half-hour. Civil War and Bennett Place souvenirs and collectibles sold in the shop help support preservation of Bennett Place State Historic Site.
Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson
Fort Anderson will host demonstrations of different centuries of spinning and weaving using mediums such as cotton, wool and straw during its July 10 2nd Saturdays program. One of the most prized artifacts at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson is the 19th-century textile, the Fort Anderson Garrison Flag. A conservationist will be available to answer questions about antique textiles and will offer advice on proper care and storage.
Visitors will be offered a hands-on opportunity to make their own basket or drop-spin wool. If artists have animals connected with their work they have been encouraged to bring the animals to the historic site for interpretation. Items made by artist Barbara Johanson will be available for purchase.
Kinston has turned 2nd Saturdays into a weekend of “Spectacular” with blues and jazz concerts, imaginative art, baseball games, free breakfast treats at the Farmers Market, carriage rides, and plenty of good food…especially if you’re a fan of Eastern -style ‘cue! On Friday night, there’s a free live jazz concert at Chef & the Farmer Wine Bar, which is getting noticed by ChowHound (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/625855) and Yelp!
The 2nd Saturdays program at the CSS Neuse State Historic Site on July 10 is titled “Have a Yarn.” Visitors will learn how yarn was made and how it was used during the Civil War era. A local spinning guild will demonstrate the art of making yarn out of fiber using a spinning wheel. Knitting and quilting were an important in the art of homemaking during the period, and these will also be demonstrated on site.
Participants include Heidi and Jim Kittrell of Celestine Ridge Alpacas, who will offer spun wool items; Tarheel Civilians and the Spinning Guild, who will demonstrate spinning, dyeing and knitting techniques; the Neuse Quilters, who will demonstrate quilting and share examples of historic patterns; the Goldsboro Quilting Guild, who will display quilts; and painter Jolene H. McCann.
Zebulon B. Vance Birthplace
The State Historic Site that interprets North Carolina’s Civil War Governor Zebulon B. Vance will showcase “Traditions in Woodworking” as its July 10 2nd Saturdays focus. The program will take a look at 19th-century woodworking traditions. Featured artists will provide traditional and contemporary woodworking pieces.
Participants include Bob Bradley, who will demonstrate woodturning; Bob Weisgerber, who will showcase his furniture; and Barry Russell and Charles Farrar, who also demonstrate woodturning.
The Historic Site in Durham will host the “Jubilee Music and Food Festival” on July 10 as its 2nd Saturdays program. The festival will highlight gospel, country, bluegrass and blues music, combined with food, artists, crafts and games.
Satgville participants include bluegrass band Flies in the Kitchen; Raleigh Sankofa Cultural Dance Group, with dance; bluesman Boo Hanks; the Philharmonic Youth Jazz Ensemble; potter Sid Luck; basket-maker Anabela Mendesa; potter Tracey Broome; woodworker Frank Penta; candle-maker Jo Separk; artist Katherine Ladd; Angel Clay, offering soaps and candles; and jewelry maker Cynthia O’Toole.
Don’t leave hungry — artisanal bread makers Mr. and Mrs. Gaddis of Charlotte and Charlie Mitchell’s Barbecue are ready with delicious treats for sale.
Tryon Palace Historic Sites & Gardens
Period-specific art forms will be featured along with other traditional mediums at Tryon Palace. Painter Thomas Kelly Pauley will be on hand.
The day will also feature a lecture by guest speaker Reginald Watson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of English at East Carolina University; and a memoir writing workshop by author Sheila Peele-Miller from noon to 5 p.m. in the Visitor Center Auditorium.
Come learn about the historical legacy of African American writers in North Carolina. Write your own personal memoirs and learn how to publish them. Meet present-day authors, hear their stories and purchase their works in this recitation, reception and book fair.
As one of the most photographed buildings in North Carolina, the State Capitol is a fitting setting for an afternoon of art. From noon to 4 p.m. on July 10, photographers, painters and other visual artists will be on site to demonstrate their craft and sell their wares.
Photographer Donn Young will lead a workshop at 1 p.m. in the historic Senate Chamber. The workshop will focus on the relationship between art, history and culture using contemporary and historic images of the Capitol as examples.
Roanoke Island Festival Park
Visitors can see a free showing of the new documentary “Rescue Men: The Story of the Pea Island Lifesaving Station” at 7 p.m. on July 10. Artwork during the day will feature nature photography by award-winning and published photographer Steve Alterman.
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources is the state agency with the mission to enrich lives and communities, and the vision to harness the state’s cultural resources to build North Carolina’s social, cultural and economic future. For more information, visit www.ncculture.com.