Things are getting busier at the Blount-Bridgers House and Hobson Pittman Memorial Gallery.
After being closed much of 2020 because of restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the facility reopened in May with the arrival of Eric Greene as the first-ever director of the newly formed Tarboro-Edgecombe Public Arts Council.
Now, after Greene spent his first summer back at Blount-Bridgers — he worked there from 1994-2005 — cleaning and organizing things in general and fine-tuning a digital filing system for all of the artwork, it’s time to get the public back inside the circa-1908 house.
And Greene has a plan for that.
Currently, an exhibit titled “Selected Works by Hobson Pittman” is on display. The internally acclaimed Pittman is Edgecombe County’s best-known artist. The exhibit includes oils, pastels, watercolors, pencil sketches and linocut prints.
“We have his works hung around the house and we have his studio, which had become a bit of a storage area, cleaned up and out and presentable,” Greene said.
Upcoming events include the return of the Great Tarboro Art Bazaar from Nov. 4 until Nov. 30, the Annual Holiday Exhibit from Dec. 9 until Jan. 10, 2022, and Aquarelles: Teresa Bray Muse and Russel Yerkes II from Jan. 20 until Feb. 28, 2022.
The Great Tarboro Art Bazaar will celebrate its 30th year when it opens to the public at 5 p.m. on Nov. 4, following a members-only preview reception the evening before.
According to an arts council flyer distributed to Tarboro’s Golden K Kiwanis, the annual show will feature local and regional artists who will offer paintings, drawings, prints, photography, pottery, sculpture, jewelry, woodwork, baskets, ornaments and other decorative art for sale before the Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Commission proceeds will benefit the arts council’s Friends of the Arts Fund.
The Annual Holiday Exhibit, which is another 30-year event, will see the Blount-Bridgers House decorated for the holidays, while the gallery will feature an exhibit of works by various artists from the permanent collection.
The Aquarelles: Teresa Bray Muse and Russel Yerkes II — Aquarelles is French for watercolor — exhibit of watercolors will be presented in memory of two Tarboro artists who passed away during the pandemic.
Muse, 66, who died in November 2020, taught many children and adults about the love of art. She was an accomplished watercolor painter with artwork being shown and sold around the country.
Yerkes, 65, died in May and was an internationally recognized artist who earned signature recognition from the American Watercolor Society and Midwest Watercolor Society. He served multiple terms as president of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina and strongly supported the development of art education in North Carolina public schools.
While both were watercolor specialists, their respective approach to the medium was quite different.
“The gallery will be a very colorful place as we honor these two artists we’ve lost,” Greene said.
Greene said other exhibits are on the horizon and added that the Happening on the Common will return on May 21, 2022.
For more information on any of the arts council’s activities, call 252-823-4159 or contact Greene at firstname.lastname@example.org.