The Celebration press release that I sent out this morning. Hopefully it will get picked up!!
Opening on Friday night with the Gala Preview Party, attendance in the historic Luck’s Cannery exceeded 400 people. Dr. David Jones, Director of the NC Zoo and, his wife, Janet were in attendance. Dr. Jones stated, “I think the thing that really impressed me, apart from the numbers attending and the huge effort that had obviously gone into organizing it, was to see all those potters in one place. The sheer kaleidoscope of colors, shapes, sizes and designs was just mind blowing. I'm used to seeing the work of one or two artists together in a single setting but to see fifty potters (and a (pottery) jeweler) under one roof was extraordinary.” And he was not alone in those comments!
Booths were open for sales, the jazz band entertained, White Rabbit catering provided a delectable buffet and guests enjoyed sodas, wine and beer. Coordinated by volunteer Nan Revel of Asheboro, the event was festive and enjoyable. At 8:00 PM the collaborative auction began with the Jugtown collaborative piece bringing in the top amount at over $1000. Several other pieces, such as the Ben Owen/Michael Mahan piece signed by participating artists and a teapot by Pam Owens and Jennie Lorette Keatts also brought very high amounts. Bidding was competitive and friendly, sales at the booths were good. Paul Ray of Ray Pottery stated “Sheila and I have been doing around 20 shows per year for the last 7 years. Many of them have a gala or preview night. The Celebration Of Seagrove Potters gala was, by far, the classiest we've seen. The food, band, and especially the pots were all superior! The gala was a good indicator of the rest of the weekend, great! It gave us a great sense of pride in our community to see how we were able to come together and work for a common cause.” A sentiment held by many!
Bonnie Burns of Great White Oak Gallery headed up the volunteer committee. “The event could not have gone on without them. It was heartwarming to see how many people volunteered their time and efforts to ensure that the Celebration was seamless.” Seagrove is a close knit and caring community, as evidenced by the volunteers and artists alike. In the midst of such success, unfortunately one of the family of Seagrove artists suffered a tragedy. Saturday night, Chris and Lisa Luther lost their shop and studio to fire. Fortunately, another potter passing by saw the fire and notified authorities before the fire could spread to their home. The potters and artists pulled together to support one of their own, from covering their booth, to donating pots and items to the Seagrove Potters Relief Fund booth, to giving hugs and support when needed.