ROCKINGHAM — The Pee Dee Artist Guild’s reception and opening of its spring art exhibit at Arts Richmond drew artists and appreciators alike Monday evening.
The walls had paintings and photography arranged gallery-style for visitors to enjoy.
Rebecca Gunter of Rockingham, who enjoys dabbling in the arts but did not have art on display, said she was there to show her support.
“I’m here for the local art community,” she said. “I think it needs more recognition. It kind of brings people together in a way. I hope to have something displayed in here someday.”
Reginald Cason sat at a small table enjoying hors d’oeuvres with friends.
“I live here now, but I’m originally from Anson County,” Cason said. “I enjoy the people over here. I take pictures at the gallery in this place with Jimmy (McDonald) and all of them. I like to listen to the others and learn from them. I come out to the photography club. We meet every third Tuesday, and I enjoy it.”
Betty McIntyre, also a member of the photography group, said that because McDonald will be out of town, the meeting will take place on the third Thursday instead of its usual date.
“We’re changing it just this month,” she said.
Artist Myra Stone, whose self-portrait of a girl climbing a ladder was displayed, said she lives in Scotland County.
“They have a place similar to this one, the storytelling building,” she said. “I just began the photography group this year, but I’ve been doing art my entire life.”
Local husband and wife storytellers J.A. and Azalea Bolton enjoyed the exhibit together.
“Everybody’s got their own thing,” J.A. Bolton said. “Everybody can’t be an artist, and everybody can’t be a writer. I read a lot of Fred Morgan’s book about the Uwharrie Mountains, and I enjoy his writing, it’s my style. I don’t copy anything he did, but I like his style with different stories, of just painting a picture of ‘em.”
Bolton said the way Morgan got started was he’d wander out among people in the 1940s and ’50s as they were farming, and would stop and help them. At the end of the day, they would invite him to stay for supper.
“And then, when eating, you’re gonna be a little more relaxed and you’re gonna tell stories,” J. A. Bolton said. “And that’s what I like to do. Especially talking to older people. I asked two older people, I was going to go and see ‘em next week. Well, one of ‘em died. I asked another one, he died. I’m about scared to ask anybody. But, you know, that’s where you get your stories from — older people. And they pass it down. If you don’t tell them or write ‘em down, they’re going to be gone.”
Rockingham artist Cindy Goodman had two paintings on display.
“This one is from a drawing in a book,” she said, gesturing to an oil painting of a cabin home nestled in a clearing amid tall pine trees. “My art teacher did one, and I never saw his, but he said, ‘I’ve done it, and I think you could do it, too.’ So, I changed the trees. I wanted pine trees and he had Christmas trees and all that. And he had a fence up. They were different, but I thought they both turned out good.”
Goodman said her second painting — a still-life featuring pewter and patina hues surrounding a colorful bowl of citrus fruit — was inspired by an artist in Moore County.
“I took a class in Aberdeen under Harry Neely,” she said “He’s a very famous artist over there. He sells his paintings for over $1,000. So, he kind of got us started. I was really proud of this. I didn’t really like the rest of it, but I like the bowl of fruit.”
The contrast between the matte metallic background shades and the burst of color slightly off-center provided a sense of three-dimensional presence to the painting.
Asked whether people sometimes mistake her for Richmond County Schools Superintendent Dr. Cindy Goodman, Goodman laughed and said the people at the gym they both go to had swapped their cards by mistake.
“They gave her my card,” she said. “But they’ve about got that straightened out. I tell her I’m the original Cindy Goodman.”
Reach reporter Melonie McLaurin at 910-817-2673.