By Josh Whitener
The Mint Hill Arts gallery will soon be filled with paintings boasting all kinds of colors, subject matter and techniques as the nonprofit presents its annual August watercolor exhibit.
The show is open to Mint Hill Arts members, as well as nonmembers. Intake is scheduled for Aug. 2, a Friday, from 4 to 6 p.m. and Aug. 3, a Saturday, from 10 a.m. to noon. The show will remain on display at the Mint Hill Arts Gallery, 11205 Lawyers Road, suite A, through the beginning of September.
The artwork will be judged, with cash prizes of $100, $75 and $50 going to the first-, second- and third-place winners, respectively. Eight honorable mentions also will receive $25 in the form of cash or gift certificates. Awards will be given during the show’s opening reception on Aug. 9, a Friday, from 7 to 9 p.m. The free event features wine, appetizers, soft drinks and a chance to view the artwork and meet the artists. Winners will be announced at 8 p.m.
The annual watercolor show has been popular among watercolor enthusiasts and community members for several years, according to Romie Mizell, co-president of Mint Hill Arts.
“(Watercolor) is so different,” Mizell said. “We try to have a show like that to draw in people who specialize in that, because not all artists work in all media.”
Mizell said the watercolor show typically features a plethora of subject matter, ranging from realism to abstract art. The variety of subject matter often allows gallery visitors to interpret the works in their own way, he said.
“Sometimes you’ll have different interpretations than what the artist has seen,” Mizell said. “There’s a combination of so many different things that makes (the show) enjoyable.”
Another element that makes the show unique is the variety of techniques the artists use when creating their portraits, Mizell said. Some artists pay close attention to detail, while others pour the watercolors onto the paper and let them flow freely. Others use more uncommon methods, such as sprinkling salt onto the paper to create the imagery of stars, flowers and more, he said.
“There are different techniques you can do with watercolor,” Mizell said. “We see a broad cross section of watercolors work, all types. Some are very loose and flowing. This media lends itself to totally different effects than oils.”
One of the great aspects of the watercolor exhibit, Mizell said, is it attracts artists not just from Mint Hill, but from other communities, as well. Mint Hill Arts sends out word to other watercolor organizations in North Carolina and often draws in artists from all over the state.
“That’s another part of doing” the watercolor show, he said. “We see (artwork) from a much broader range of people.”
Mizell said hosting a watercolor exhibit is important because it allows artists of all levels – beginner, intermediate and advanced – to showcase their work. But it’s also important because it educates community members about watercolor painting, he said.
“If you don’t see all the types of watercolor that you’d see at a watercolor-only show, you won’t have as broad of a viewing experience,” Mizell said. “If you want to see the best in watercolor in the area, you have a watercolor show.”
Find more information including entry fees and guidelines on the Mint Hill Arts website, www.MintHillArts.org, or call 980-226-5532.