Festival in the Park, Part Three: Artists

I reconnected with one artist, and met another whose work is inspiring, so I'll share with you.

I first met Aaron Reed when he was my neighbor at Capital Jazz Fest in Columbia, MD in June, and it was fun to be in the same neighborhood with him again in Charlotte. Aaron is self-taught, and his images are filled with drama and feeling. Pursuing his art full time, Aaron has created his company, Prisma Fine Arts, to "focus on his own distribution of artwork so that he can later help young artists just like himself." His inspirations include memories of African American art of his childhood, and the work of African American artists Charles Bibbs, William Tolliver, Paul Goodnight, Sidney Carter and Roderick Vines. Aaron is personable, engaging and passionate about his work. Take a look at his website, and enjoy the visual treats there.

Jewelry artist Evette V. Everett (shown here from her appearance on HGTV's "That's Clever) works magically in clay and glass. Specifically she produces 'handcrafted torchwork and fused glass, ceramics and souldful whimsy...art for the body'. Her work is exquisite, combining glass and clay in innovative, beautiful and unusual ways. The piece at left is one of my favorites. Evette says, "I've been designing jewelry for over eighteen years. My goal and joy is to integrate the ceramic and glass elements that I make by hand with beads and semi-precious stones I consider beautiful and spiritually complimentary to my own. I also love working with clay because I can touch and manipulate it in so many ways. I like to experiment and enjoy not knowing how my beads will turn out."

I can certainly relate to that; some of my best pieces are the result of experimentation and serendipity. Evette and I connected immediately, and we are admirers of each others work. So much so that she is now the proud owner of one of my 12" x 12" clocks, and I own these: a gorgeous fused glass link bracelets and a pair of matching earrings. We also traded stories about shows successful and otherwise, and I hope we will stay in touch for years to come.

So, Festival in the Park 2007 is now history. I look forward to cultivating my newest collectors, following up with leads, investigating other opportunities, and staying connected with people I've met as a result of the experience of doing this show.