Manteo’s Magnolia returns to its artistic roots
Ten years ago, the Veranda Professional Artist’s Market was transformed into a popular downtown Manteo restaurant, The Magnolia Grill.
Last November, with the economy stalled, Magnolia Grill closed down, and the lease reverted to the Town of Manteo.
Town officials searched for ideas with an emphasis on projects that would attract visitors. Local artists Pembroke Bryant and Randy Hodges took the initiative and wrote a proposal to create a working artists market.
They are calling it the Magnolia Art Market.
Bryant and Hodges based their ideas on the original model of the Veranda Professional Artist’s Market: An area where artists paint, potters work their kilns, blacksmiths hammer at forges, all under an outdoor pavilion.
The building has been totally redone. It is now a big, open air veranda with a lot of space for visitors and artists. This arrangement will help viewers to see, smell, hear and feel the art in progress.
“The town has done a lot of remodeling and did a great job with it,” Bryant said. He also noted that power capabilities have been upgraded so that the pavilion can support live music.
The Magnolia Art Market will open free of charge for this summer, allowing the town to evaluate the potential long-term success of the project. There will be one show a month, every second Thursday: June 14, July 12, Aug. 16 and Sep. 1 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Every show includes eight artists as well as food vendors. Vendors booths are available for $35 a day. Fees generated from permits go toward advertising.
Also featured at the Magnolia Market Place is a craft fair Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Two have been held so far, with North Carolina-made items that include sea-glass jewelry, clocks, candles, recycled bottle crafts and bird houses.
Among the artists working on the August art show are: Pembroke Bryant- fine sea glass jewelry, Carolyn Leopard – potter, Rose Arndt – painter, Ellen/Vic Berg – waterfowl carving, Denise Turner -f ine silver jewelry, Randy Hodges – blacksmith, Katy Caroline – painter, Jim Mitchem – historical mapmaker.
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