Ocracoke artists will open their studios on Sept. 29


More than 40 Ocracoke artists and craftsmen are participating in the fourth annual Art Walk. Visit galleries, workshops and studios during this free event Saturday, Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

There are 17 different stops on this year’s Art Walk, including the Ocracoke Community Center, which will also serve as an information booth. Maps are available at all artist locations, and Hyde County Transit will provide shuttle bus service throughout the village. Participating artists will be easy to find – bright yellow “Art Walk Participant” signs will be placed in front of their shops and studios.

Local artists Nancy Leach and Amy Howard started the Art Walk in 2004 as part of the Village Days festivities in November. Nancy was instrumental in getting funding from the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Art Walk was able to grow. Last year the event was moved to September, and it drew a big crowd.

“It was comparable to a day in July,” says Barbara Hardy Ray, who serves on the Art Walk committee. “The ferries were full, and we estimate that over 400 people participated.”

Barbara joined the committee last year and says she’s watched the Art Walk grow with public support and public funding.

“Our goal is to promote art on Ocracoke,” she says, “and the Art Walk is one of the highlight weekends of the season. It’s good for everyone.”

Along with this year’s festivities, an “Artists Helping Artists” benefit will kick off the Art Walk weekend. On Friday, Sept. 28, at 6 p.m., Secret Garden Gallery will host a reception to benefit Ocracoke folk artist Elizabeth Parsons. Local artists are donating works to be sold at the reception and for the next three weeks at the Secret Garden Gallery. All proceeds from the donated items will go to help the recently widowed Parsons pay medical and funeral expenses for her late husband, Roy.

If you’re an artist who’d like to make a donation, please contact Barbara Hardy Ray at 928-2598.

The Ocracoke Art Walk is sponsored by the national Endowment for the Arts, NC Arts Council, Hyde County Chamber of Commerce, Ocracoke Civic and Business Association, and private donors. Ann Ehringhaus, Amy Howard, Lisa Landrum, and Nancy Leach are also on the Art Walk committee. For more information, please visit www.art-on-ocracoke.com/ocracokeartwalk.html


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