Waxhaw Arts Council gets new president, re-organizes
New Waxhaw Arts Council president Scott Bland has a very visual mind. A photographer by trade, Bland can’t help but see where art could help develop the look of the downtown.
From painting the water tower to decorating local storefronts, Bland and his group keep coming up with ideas.
“We want to do something to make the town take notice,” Bland said. “We have an excellent arts community here.”
This is Bland’s first full month on the job. Previous president and former mayoral candidate Lisa Thornton resigned in October, having run out of time on her tenure. The by-laws call for a three-year term and this year, Thornton’s time was up.
“It was my time to step down,” Thornton said. “I think Scott will do a fantastic job.”
The first project for Bland’s organization comes when someone walks by the front window at Maxwell’s restaurant. Maxwell’s owners agreed to let local artists display their work in one of their windows. The art will be available for sale and will rotate, giving different artists the opportunity to display their work.
“We’ve got several goals on the table, but first we have to get organized,” Bland said. “It’s been helter skelter. There’s been some doors closed to us in the past for various reasons, now starting to open.”
For their last meeting, Bland said 28 artists showed up. Before October, he couldn’t remember a time when more than seven came at once.
“Things are coming together,” Bland said. “We want to work with people, we want to get the word out and work with other groups. Barbara Faulk and the Union County Arts Council have been a big help.”
The group has one project already before the Waxhaw Beautification Committee for approval, an idea put together with the help of Mayor Daune Gardner. The council hopes to decorate the greenway area and sidewalks leading away from historic downtown with poles, featuring poetry and artwork done by local school kids on a rotating basis.
Additionally, Bland wants to talk to the town about letting the group paint a mural on the Waxhaw water tower. Or if not, let them turn it into a giant acorn or something else to get attention from people driving by.
The Arts Council meets on the first Tuesday of each month, at Eight Legged Gallery. Their next fundraiser will be Dec. 2 from 5:30 to 9:30, as part of First Friday. The event will be at the Bean & Belle Arts Studio, 103 S. Main Street, highlighting more than 25 painters, photographers, potters, printers and musicians.