On National Arts Day it is only fitting that we celebrate all of the arts and cultural treasures that we have in Hickory, Catawba County and throughout the entire Hickory Metro.
Art can come in forms like furniture, film, pottery, woodworking, music, dance, theatre and more. Every day, but especially today, we celebrate the arts and what it brings to our community. The arts bring a sense of belonging, a view into the local way of life, a glimpse of beauty from another’s perspective and sometimes a feeling of tradition and gratitude to where we are and where we came from.
Our community houses the second oldest Museum of Art in the state of North Carolina - the Hickory Museum of Art. The Hickory Museum of Art holds a rather large and awe-inspiring collection of Folk Art from our region and the largest and most unique collection in the Southeastern United States. It also houses rotating exhibitions that are curated, and hand selected by world-class leaders at the museum. Art is not only about a painting or drawing as most people tend to silo that term. Art can, in many cases, take on a meaning of its own as art is in the eye of the beholder. In the Hickory Metro, we feel that we have many talented artisans with a focus on many different niches of art.
Furniture is a mainstay here in the Metro. It is what a lot of families have built their lives around and still to this day, it has a rooted foundation in our manufacturing industry. However, sometimes, I think it is lost on people just how much creativity actually goes into the art of making furniture. The actual design of a piece of furniture, the design and creation of the fabric that is used or the leather that is treated and processed. There is more of a design and artto the making of comfortable furniture than meets the eye. Some might say that it could even go one step further and the act of arranging and designing an entire room of furniture and the flow of the room could be an act of art from the perspective of an interior designer.
Film making takes a certain eye and creativity and we celebrate that in conjunction with the Foot Candle Film Society every Fall at the Footcandle Film Festival. The Festival welcomes submissions from all over the world and narrows the event down to 10-15 films ranging from full length to shorts, over three days of viewing. The festival wraps with a large celebration honoring all of the films but awarding the best of the best for that year. It is a truly successful festival welcoming the actual screen play writers, producers and more to the HickoryMetro area from all over the world.
When it comes to the performing arts, the Hickory Metro area has a wide variety of venues and opportunities to see mainstage productions, live music and more. With two well-known Community Theatres, live concerts, Choral Society and Symphony concerts you are sure to find something for all ages.
Other crafters in our area focus on other art forms when it comes to working with their hands. Woodworking and pottery have also had a place of tradition from our area. The annual Klingspor Woodworking Show is held in October each year and brings about 80 vendors and thousands of attendees each year. Hickory also hosts one of the longest running Pottery & Antiques Festivals in the Southeast eachMarch. There are about 125 vendors each year and thousands of people attend each year to see the treasures that have been crafted by hand. Catawba County is also home to Master Woodworker Eddie Hamrick, who has made numerous crafted wooden pieces for dignitaries, government officials and more.
On this National Arts Day we hope that you will support local artisans and crafters by exploring the arts and cultural treasures in the community. As a community of makers and doers, our artisans are creating and enriching lives of locals and visitors. With their works on display at local shops and galleries we are able to glimpse their view of their life in this community and it sure is beautiful.
Fortunately, art in all its forms, is being taught to children in our community not only at school but also at local organizations like the Hickory Museum of Art, Hickory Music Factory, Western Piedmont Symphony, the Green Room and Hickory Community Theatre and many more arts and cultural organizations. Leaders in our community know the importance of arts and thankfully established artisans in all forms are sharing their talents to Millennials and Generation Z which guarantees that the Hickory Metro will continue to be a place where all forms are arts is found.