CORNELIUS – When Sue Winter-Hallman transplanted to Huntersville from Pennsylvania, she felt a void in her creative outlet.



“I like to sew, I like to paint and I like to do collages,” Hallman said, “And yet I didn’t know many people who did that, other than artists that are really well known. I met some women over the years here that really missed that, and missed their friends and missed connecting with other women.”

Working in a bakery at a local supermarket, Hallman met restaurant owner Adrianne Choplin, of Choplin’s Restaurant in Cornelius. The two talked regularly whenever Choplin visited.

“I have this desire for women to be inspired and encouraged, no matter what their age,” Hallman said.

She shared that desire with Choplin, and soon took her ideas public, creating an ad on Meetup.com for a new group she was forming called Women, Wisdom and Wit. Their first meeting in February 2011 was held at Choplin’s Restaurant. The group has continued to meet there almost once a month since then.

“I had just moved here from Indiana when I saw the ad,” Judy Walker, one of the group’s charter members, said. “I thought it would be a good way to meet people, and I wanted something to do with the arts.”

Walker taught art in Indianapolis for 43 years at a magnet school for arts education before relocating south just a few years ago.

“The group, for me, means friends that I didn’t have when I moved cold-turkey down here,” Walker said. “It also means that when they’re finding out about different art shows, I’m in the know through them. And it just makes me want to do more art, because we motivate each other to create.”

On Nov. 14, Women, Wisdom and Wit held an art show at Choplin’s that featured items created by each of the women.

“This is the first for many of these women to put their art out for sale,” Hallman said. “They’ve had the art and they’ve had the talent, but they’ve never had the encouragement or the enthusiasm to do it.”

Choplin donated the space for the art show to the group for the evening, and even paired it up with a wine tasting.

“Being a local business owner, you always try to support the locals,” Choplin said. “That’s just kind of a part of who we are. So I thought we could have the local artists come in here and do their thing. Number one, maybe it can generate people who have never been here, and number two, they get to sell something or get their name out there as an artist.”

The show featured framed photography, jewelry, paintings, purses and several other handmade items.

“Hopefully, they’ll continue to have their meetings here,” Choplin said. “But I’m just so proud because I remember the first time Sue was thinking about doing the group, and I’ve been on that journey with her.”

For more information visit www.meetup.com/Women-Wisdom-and-Wit.