Palustris Festival 2011 - Second Annual and Even Better with Special Events

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Coordinated by the Arts Council of Moore County (http://www.artscouncil-moore.org) and the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen, (http://www.HomeOfGolf.com) the schedule for the four days of the Festival really does have something for everyone’s taste. All festival information is found at http://www.PalustrisFestival.com

Ben Owen Pottery

Special Events cover theatre, music, visual arts as well as exhibits, hands-on classes, and demonstrations.

The choices are awesome among the more than one hundred separate events celebrating the visual, literary and performing arts at the second annual Palustris Festival to be held March 24 - 27, 2011. Coordinated by the Arts Council of Moore County (http://www.artscouncil-moore.org) and the Convention and Visitors Bureau of Pinehurst, Southern Pines and Aberdeen, (http://www.HomeOfGolf.com) the schedule for the four days of the Festival really does have something for everyone’s taste. All festival information is found at http://www.PalustrisFestival.com

“Special Events” is one of several categories found on the Festival’s website that coordinators have assigned to help people choose their events throughout the four days. However, in some cases the lines get blurred when a “visual art” or a “lecture” or “tour” designation can also describe some of the impressive special events that are planned by the many area galleries, businesses and other organizations such as Sandhills Community College or the Moore County Historical Association, and the Weymouth Center for the Arts and Humanities.

For example, the Festival gets off to a start on Thursday, March 24th, with the first three visual art events that are all special in their own way. Early risers can have breakfast with Pinehurst artist Kathleen Miler at Artist Alley, as she shares her passion for painting. Or they can take in the Art in the Garden sculpture exhibit sponsored by the Sandhills Horticultural Society on the campus of Sandhills Community College.

A third choice is the display of William Mangum Art and Ben Owen Pottery at the Campbell House Gallery. One of the most respected and collected artists in North Carolina, Mangum’s work has made its way into private and corporate collections, as well as being shown in notable museums and exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Ben Owen III has made pottery since he was 13 years old at the site where his grandfather and father established the Old Plank Road Pottery in the Seagrove area     Ben has been commissioned to do works for many prominent figures, including a special gift for musician James Taylor, as a lifetime achievement award on behalf of the University of North Carolina.

During the weekend, history buffs have several special events from which to choose. One, to be given at Sandhills Communty College on Friday evening tells The Story of Jugtown as it elaborates the pottery history of the Owen family going back several generations. This cultural theater production focuses on an account of pottery making as told through the words of Vernon Owen, Ben Owen III, and other members of the family. Accompanying the presentation will be music and a pottery demonstration.

On Saturday morning, the Arts Council and the Moore County Historical Association combine to present two performances at the Old Bethesda Presbyterian Church in Aberdeen. Based on a narrative by Ray Owen, the director and producer who brought the popular, “Greeting the Train” to the 2010 Palustris Festival, Bleeding Pines of Turpentine is inspired by the V-shaped cuts made in the area’s longleaf pines to promote the flow of resin collected for turpentine, pitch and rosin.

With photography by Brady Beck and Frank Hunter, the production features the Together-N-Unity choir, composer and guitarist Ryan Book, actress Abigail Dowd, dancer Diana Turner-Forte and Wake & District Public Safety Pipes & Drums. It should be noted that since the Old Bethesda church can accommodate only 200 people, tickets at $15 for reserved seating or $10 for general admission for each performance are available.

Other special events include a Friday night return of Affair of the Arts at the Pinehurst Fair Barn. There is a living-history tour highlighting the Scottish Heritage of the Sandhills at the Shaw House, a group read at the Country Bookshop of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, followed by a Mark Twain look-alike contest. Also during the festival, a reception featuring instructors and participants of the Center for Creative Retirement at Sandhills Community College will be held, and a Sunday afternoon performance by the African American Dance Ensemble of Durham.

Complete details, including ticket information and prices, locations, times and days of all of these and other happenings of the Palustris Festival may be found on the website, at http://www.palustrisfestival.com or by calling 910 692-4356.

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Chris Dunn