Over the past 11 years, the Silver Brush Art Show has raised nearly $40,000 for the nonprofit Matthews HELP Center. Now entering its 12th year, the show will return to downtown Matthews Nov. 9 and 10.
The Silver Brush Art Society partners with the Weaver, Bennett, and Bland law firm in downtown Matthews to host the show at the firm’s office, 196 N. Trade St. The event is Friday, Nov. 9, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. with wine and hors d’oeuvres and Saturday, Nov. 10, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The show will feature nine local artists – Prudy Weaver, Cynthia Howard, John Moeslein, Max McLeod, Shane Somerset, Julie Johnson, Sharron Burns, Sharon Furner and Sandy Wilkinson – displaying and selling works in a variety of sizes, mediums and themes.
The Silver Brush Art Society was founded several years before the first art show when a group of local artists began meeting to paint as a hobby and give each other feedback on their work.
As the group continued to evolve, members decided it was time to reach out to the community and planned their first art show to raise money for crisis assistance nonprofit.
“We came up with idea to do a benefit show,” Weaver, founding member of the society, said. “Back then, nobody really knew that much about the HELP Center. We’ve always been very supportive of the HELP Center as well. They’ve always been very cooperative (and) the two of us love working together to make it a success.”
Weaver’s husband, an attorney at the firm, worked to get the show at his office. The artists go in the evening before the show and set up the panels. On the afternoon of the show’s first day, the artists set up their work in the conference rooms on tables in the office.
“We transform the conference rooms to a beautiful art gallery,” Weaver said. “The transformation is amazing, and they’re always so kind to let us do this.”
This year’s show features art pieces ranging from watercolor and oil paintings to acrylic paintings, ceramic pottery, polymer clay, jewelry and photography. Nearly 300 paintings will be displayed along with about 30 photography pieces and a plethora of jewelry.
Local artist Max McLeod will be selling his ceramic pottery and photography at the event. This year will be the first time McLeod has participated in the show.
“I’ve been going to this particular show and sale for probably eight or 10 years. I always thought it was a good show and thought I would like to participate,” he said. “I just think it’s a very, very good thing for the HELP Center, and it’s a good thing for Matthews to have some nice pieces of art to choose from in the community.”
An architect by trade and an artist by hobby, McLeod chooses not to use a potter’s wheel for his ceramic work and instead opts to use different tools to construct his work by hand.
For his photography work, McLeod likes to concentrate on nature using “macro photography” to create abstract, close-up images of things like leaves and flowers, accentuating natural colors.
“I’ve used various techniques over the years to get people to stop and take stock of what they’re looking at around them in (nature),” McLeod said.
For Weaver, the show not only benefits the HELP Center and showcases local artists, it’s also a great event for downtown Matthews.
“It’s just one of the nicest events that downtown Matthews has,” she said. “It’s just a really nice social event for downtown Matthews.”
Weaver estimates about 1,000 people stop by each year over the course of the show’s two days, and she’s excited about interacting with the public again this year.
“I just can’t believe how excited people are every year,” she said. “They ask, ‘When is the art show going to be?’ It’s just really heartwarming.”