By Kay Whatley, Editor
The annual Town of Wendell Spring Fling is coming, with an art exhibition, car show, vendor marketplace, picnic, music, and farmers market — all held in town in the same day!
Come for this great lineup of choreographed events on May 14, 2016. The Spring Fling runs from 9am to 3pm.
Admission to all events — free!
The town will be filled with residents and visitors for this celebration. Celebrate Spring with outdoors and check out everything from the “Art Walk” of local artists displayed around the Wendell Historic District to the vendors along Campen Street, the concert in J. Ashley Wall Towne Square, and the car show at Universal Chevrolet… Not to mention, many of the town’s small businesses will be open and happy to have you stop in their shops and restaurants throughout the day.
Wendell Antiques & More on N Main Street is planning to be open for their regular hours, Saturday 9am-4pm, and holding a Spring Fling sale. The shop is near Universal Chevrolet, and in mid-April celebrate their second anniversary in downtown Wendell.
Brown Bag Bagels will have special hours for the day. More information is coming soon.
As more shops announce their plans for the day, their information and hours will be added here as updates.
Rolling events cover the day from early morning through evening:
8am-noon – Wendell Farmer’s Market (3700 Wendell Boulevard, Wendell NC)
9am-3pm – Arts and Crafts in the Alley (on Campen Street, Wendell)
9am-3pm – Eastern Carolina Corvette and Classic Car Show (Universal Chevrolet, 114 N Main Street, Wendell)
10am – 5pm – Art Walk and artists in action (Wendell Historic District)
12-3pm – Sidewalk Chalk Artists (N Main Street, Wendell)
3pm – Car Show Awards ceremony (Universal Chevrolet)
5-7pm – Bluegrass Picnic (J. Ashley Wall Towne Square, at Third and Cypress Streets, Wendell)
5:30-7pm – Judging of art along Art Walk
7pm – Artists’ Reception (Wine 101, 21 N Main Street, Wendell)
7:30-8:30pm – Silent Auction of displayed art
For the hours of specific Wendell restaurants or shops, check their Facebook pages for posted updates.
Wendell Farmer’s Market
The Wendell Farmers’ Market is open, 8am to noon, on the day of Spring Fling. Children’s activities, a food truck, and music are in the planning.
This market is a great gathering of bakers, product makers, craft vendors, and farmers bringing locally grown, seasonal produce. Start the day right with some local goodies, and support the farmers market, before checking out the art and classic cars.
The market accepts EBT, debit and credit cards; just stop by the market information tent to swipe your card and receive tokens in exchange. The tokens can then be used like cash during Spring Fling and throughout the market season.
The market posts updates and news on its Facebook page.
For more information on the Wendell Farmer’s Market season and vendors, email the market Director, Cathrine Evans.
Arts and Crafts in the Alley
Dozens of vendors will line Campen Street, just behind the Agave Mexican Bar and Grill. Vendors are local artists and craftsmen, offering a variety of homemade goods.
For those interested in being vendors during the event, the fee is $20 for a space (12×12) without electricity. Setup and other details will be provided on registration. Tracie Hicks and Stacy Bradfield from the Town of Wendell are organizing this event, and questions or requests may be emailed.
Eastern Carolina Corvette and Classic Car Show
Universal Chevrolet is hosting the Eastern Carolina Corvette Club (ECCC) car show, “Corvettes and Classics 2016,” and arranged for it to be held during the Wendell Spring Fling.
According to owner Paul White, several of his contacts, including a retired employee, arranged the car show. The dealership will also have 2016 Corvettes on display.
Cars will be arriving between 9am and noon, and be there to check out through until the 3pm presentation of awards. Several cash awards are planned, including $500 for “Best of Show” and $200 for the “Sponsors Choice” award.
To find out more about the ECCC, visit their website at www.ecccvettes.com.
The sponsor’s website, including information on the new Corvettes, may be found at universalchevy.com.
Stop by Ashley Wall Square for a picnic and listen to Bluegrass, played live by The GRASS CATS, who’ve had three #1 hits on national charts.
With 15 years of performances and eight successful CDs, The GRASS CATS bring their lively, foot-stomping fiddle and banjo music, bluegrass classics, tight vocal harmonies and acapella-style
gospel quartets to Wendell for the Spring Fling. A little about the band:
Songwriter and mandolin player Russell Johnson started The GRASS CATS with original members Tim Woodall (bass) and Chris Hill (fiddle) in 1997. Russell’s soaring tenor compliments Tim’s richly textured lead local and Chris adds the third part harmony that is such a big part of the CATS’ vocal arsenal. Rick Lafleur on banjo and Bailey Coe on guitar provide the drive!
For more information on The GRASS CATS, visit their website at www.GrassCats.com.
Pack picnic-ready foods, grab a blanket or chairs, and settle in at the Square before the music starts at 5pm. Non-alcoholic beverages only, though, as adult beverages are not permitted.
2016 Inaugural Art Walk
The Wendell Appearance Commission is hosting this first annual Art Walk with an open-air art competition. Artists will set up in Wendell’s Historic District, located between Cypress Street and Pine Street Wendell Boulevard and Second Street. Everyone is encouraged to check out all of the artists as they bring their creations to life.
Judging is followed by the artists’ reception and public viewing at Wine 101. Drinks including beer and wine will be available for purchase and light snacks will be available.
After the winners are announced, a silent auction starts at 7:30pm, offering the Art Walk artwork for sale. Half of the money raised by each painting will go to Appearance Committee, and the other half to the artist. Payment will be collected the night of the auction as cash or check (made payable to Town of Wendell with the memo stating “Appearance Commission”).
The Wendell Historic District is on the National Register of Historic Places. The district is a few blocks roughly along the railroad tracks, Main Street, Third Street, and Pine Street.
Can’t Make It? See the Art Afterward. For those who miss the Spring Fling and Art Walk, aw. Fear not, though, because the Art Walk paintings will be displayed at Town Hall for one month — before they are passed along to the winning bidders. Plus, the paintings will be scanned for possible reproduction by the Town of Wendell and added to its collection of public art. (Did you know that the town had such a collection?)
The Art Walk’s 2016 artists include:
Sidney Baynes – Sidney Baynes began drawing and painting as a young child. His limited edition prints entitled “North Carolina Heritage” and “God Bless North Carolina” feature some of North Carolina’s most beloved State symbols and historic sites. The Baynes and Company Gallery offers these prints and Sidney’s original paintings as well. More art, and framing, information online at www.baynesandcompany.com/bandc_sidsart.htm.
Amy Beshgetoorian – Amy has had two paintings juried into the 2015 Juried Art Show at Rocky Mount’s Maria V. Howard Arts Center. This show runs through September 13th. She also had a piece juried into Cape Fear Studios’2015 Annual National 2D Exhibit, which ran through July. Amy won first place in painting at the Johnston County Arts Council’s Art & Food Festival. Another blue ribbon was won at CVA’s Paint The Town competition. More art information online at www.amytbesh.com.
Melissa Blackley – Educated at Pitt Community College, Melissa has exhibited locally for several years, including the Tiny Art Show at the Emerge Gallery in Greenville NC, and a 2015 student exhibition at Pitt Community College Goess Building in Winterville NC. She has served as a Juror at the Community Exhibition and the Black History Month Exhibition. More art information online at mjblackley507.wix.com/mjbart.
Kaitlynn Blow – Kaitlynn Marie Blow was born in 1998. Raised in Pennsylvania, Florida, and North Carolina, she grew up in a large family that’s still growing. Come September 7, 2016, she will be starting classes at Union College in Schenectady NY — majoring in the Arts and minoring in Japanese. She has been doing art since middle school, and only recently became very certain of wanting to pursue a career in it. Most of her art’s end goal is to always evoke something within the audience and remind them how beautiful the world is. Kaitlynn is often inspired by nature, stories, and the chaos around her. More information online at fishingforlightbulbs.weebly.com/about-me.html.
Kirby Carpenter – Kirby currently has paintings on display at Aubrey’s and Peedie’s Grill on Wendell’s Main Street. Wendell Antiques & More, 123 N Main Street in Wendell, carried his art in 2014.
Neal Conoley – a Fishery Biologist, Cooperative Extension Service Specialist, and Aquariums director, Neal is an accomplished painter and author of two books: Waterfowl Heritage: North Carolina Decoys and Gunning Lore , and Carolina Flare: Outer Banks Boatbuilding and Sportfishing Heritage. More artist information online at www.darearts.org/artists.
Ryan Fox – His award-winning watercolor paintings have appeared in the Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors, American Watercolor Society, Watercolor Society of North Carolina, Pittsburgh Watercolor Society, and Illinois Watercolor Society shows. Two hardcover art books, Splash 15 and Splash 16, published by F+W Media, include his work. More information on the artist available online at www.rfoxphoto.com.
Bill Gardner – Information available at the event.
Tamah Hughes – Tamah Hughes was born in Louisiana where she developed a love for art and painting at an early age. During her school years, she took art classes but really developed into the artist she is today when she began art classes in the early 2000’s while a stay a home mom. Her preferred mediums are oil and pencil and she enjoys trying new art adventures. She was accepted in the 2006 National Arts for the Parks Top 100 Contest in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She currently lives and works in Wendell.
Peggy Lee Mead – Peggy studied art in high school and college, graduating cum laude with a B.A. in Fine Arts from California State University at Long Beach CA. Her greatest joy as an artist began when a clients asked her to paint angels on all the ceilings of a beautiful mansion. Working on the high scaffolding painting angels and clouds day after day, she says that she felt enraptured with the presence of God. Her work is greatly influenced by the desire to give clients a room with more than paint, but an atmosphere of an inner condition – peace, joy, comfort, playful. She never just “puts something up,” but always tries to capture the person’s reason for wanting the walls changed. More information is online at peggyleemead.com.
Medrith Nuttle – Medrith Nuttle is a well-known contemporary Impressionist painter. She paints both en plein air (that’s French for “outside”) and in the studio. She will paint anything that will hold still and some things that won’t. She has never wanted to be anything but an artist, so she went to art school instead of regular college. She has been painting for at least 50 years, so you would think she knows what she’s doing. Medrith has had paintings accepted in local, regional, national, and international competitions. Her work has won prizes ranging from Honorable Mention to Best in Show, and has been purchased for numerous private and corporate collections. Medrith still loves her job after all these years. She hopes you enjoy seeing her art as much as she enjoys creating it.
Michael Russo – Information on this young artist available at the event.
Art Walk 2016 sponsors include Hendrick Insurance Agency and Klip Chicks Salon. Some sponsorships may still be available. Contact Mr. Reidy to find out how to directly support this event.