DAVIDSON — Arts are alive and well in the town of Davidson. This month features a variety of town events to portray the creativity of the region, including gallery crawls, art shows and capping off with the start of the Concerts on the Green.

“Participating in local art events like this helps bind oneself to community,” said Mooresville ceramics artist Jeff Pender, who is a featured artist at Davidson Art on the Green. “It also enriches the lives of those within and around the community by bringing the hand-made within hands reach; like a one-of-a-kind mug with your morning coffee to a painting of the Appalachian Mountains.”

The events are designed to add enrichment for residents, promoting businesses and artists while emphasizing healthy living, said Community and Economic Development Manager Kim Fleming.


Downtown Gallery Crawl

April 11, 6-9 p.m.

Partnering area businesses with local artists, the April 11 gallery crawl emphasizes the initiative Turn Around, Shop in Town on several fronts.

Businesses will stay open from 6 to 9 p.m. to invite residents to view their wares as well as showcase art pieces available for purchase. Some may also offer appetizers, drinks or music for attendees to enjoy as they stroll up and down the street.

Trolleys will transport people using 10 stops to provide access to the more than 20 featured locations spanning South Main Street, Main Street and Griffith Street, plus a spot at the Cotton Mill. A map of the trolley stops and list of participating businesses is located at www.townofdavidson.org/April.

“There are a lot of artists spotlighted on the gallery crawl,” said Fleming. “There are a lot of schools participating. It’s not just professionals.”

Artists include potters, painters, wood turners, acrylic, watercolors, glass blowers and jewelry makers.

“Someone has to make the art. They can’t just assemble things,” Fleming said of the type of work featured. “This is not a craft fair.”

The event is family-friendly with appeals for all ages.


Sculpture Walk, starting at town hall

April 11 at 7 p.m.

A featured event during the arts crawl is a sculpture walk, sponsored by the lifelong learning nonprofit Davidson Learns.

C. Shaw Smith, an art history professor at Davidson College, will present a talk on the importance of public art in Davidson and show some of the exhibits offered at the Davidson College sculpture garden. After a quick trip on the trolley with refreshments, Smith will give a tour of the 11 works spread throughout campus.

Having art dispersed in common areas makes it become a better part of the lives of all who see it, Smith said. It becomes part of their visual subconscious while serving as an educational tool.

Having the sculptures on the college is just as important as having a library, he said. Pieces include work from Magdalena Abakanowicz, Auguste Rodin and Jaume Plensa.


Art on the Green

April 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and  April 27, noon- 4 p.m.

A more formal art show concentrated on the Davidson Green, Art on the Green is a fine arts festival with juried artists chosen for their work. Artists participating come from throughout North Carolina as well as other states.

Fleming said they try to take as many applicants as they can to fill the 51 available slots. Featured artists from Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mooresville participating in Art on the Green include Pender, Suzie Council, David Heinz, Renee Calder, Carroll Rempe, Jan Black, Jane Ellithorpe, David Altshuler, Bob Weir, Rich Nossel, Kristen Feighery, Jay Zinn and Larry Duke. 

Artist wares include baskets, ceramics, fiber, glass, pencil, photography, printmaking, watercolors, wood, jewelry, metal, mixed medal and painting. Many participants are returning, though at least a quarter of them are new.

Youth attendees can practice their own artwork thanks to free activities from the Community Arts Project and the Davidson Green School.

Live entertainment from area musicians will also take place throughout the event. 

Festivities happen rain or shine.

The event culminates with the first Concert on the Green 6-8 p.m. with a performance by the Davidson College Symphony and Jazz Ensemble.