Intersection: Textiles and Printmaking

16Limitless is the only way to describe the exhibitions at Gallery 208 in Fayetteville. Each exhibition is an opportunity to share experimental contemporary artists, how curiosity has shaped an artist’s style and how material, sometimes the immaterial, can communicate an idea or feeling in a work of art.

Intersection: Textiles and Printmaking by Martha Sisk is the newest exhibition, opening July 12, and exemplifies an artist who has merged the boundaries of fiber arts and the art of print. The public is invited to meet the artist during the reception of Intersection at Gallery 208 on July 12, between 5:30 to 7 p.m., to view an exhibition of wall hangings and fine art prints. Visitors to the reception will see how effortlessly Sisk moves between fabrics and printmaking — each medium influencing the other, and the ordinary becomes extraordinary!

Whether it is fabric or printmaking, the core of this artist’s success is being inspired by nature and how fragments, or parts, can result in balanced completeness. Working methodically and intuitively, Sisk responds to pattern, color, shapes and texture to create cohesive designs and compositions.

Working with fabric since she was a child, as an adult Sisk continues to work with fabrics to create dolls, children’s clothing, quilts and wall hangings.
Her turning point towards creating nonfunctional fine art with fabrics took place in 2005 when Sisk attended a workshop on a “confetti” embroidery technique. Her piece, “Thank you, Monet,” is the result of the workshop and is being exhibited in Intersection.

“Thank You, Monet” is an 18” x 24” inch framed work created from an assortment of many, many small pieces of fabric arranged to create an image. Created by the “confetti” technique, Sisk and the other participants were inspired by pictures they took to the workshop. Many small scraps of fabric were arranged to resemble their images, the surface of loose scraps held in place with “tull,” an undetectable netted fabric, then machine sewn on top to keep all the small pieces of fabric in place. (On the label, next to the work, is a small picture by Claude Monet, which inspired her interpretation of his landscape using fabric.)

In comparison, fast forward to 2014, an 18” x 24” woven silkscreen in the exhibit titled “Borne Along by Dreams” is an example of how Sisk was influenced by her experiences in fiber arts to create an original type of fine art print. Rhythmic patterns of shapes of color and the surprising ways of creating a recognizable image by the unexpected placement of various textures are the results of her fiber arts experiences.

Since the 1970s, due to the Women’s Movement, there has been a growing interest in fiber arts as fine art. During the last thirty years, a true renaissance in fiber arts has taken place by contemporary artists — nationally and globally. Gallery 208 is exhibiting Sisk to share a regional artist’s response to fabrics by displaying her wall hangings and original prints as a way for visitors can compare the ways two different mediums have influenced each other.

Intersection is also an exhibition that exemplifies the ways in which artists respond to materials and the endless possibilities of any medium to express an idea. Sisk has been influenced in many ways to continue to work in fabrics and eventually printmaking.

“I am a collector of materials and tools, machines, patterns, books, paper and thread; I have a willingness to try something new, and a fascination with nature,” she said.

“In any work I create, I am always trying to share my love of nature — especially trees. Trees are so beautiful and fantastic no matter the shape, condition, size or type. I have an appreciation for forms and colors; I notice textures and see beauty in places and things many people might not. I see color most of all. I would like for the viewer to see what I see — beauty in the way I have used colors and shapes. Hopefully, the viewer will be transported to their own memory of places in nature.”

The progression from fabric to screen prints as a material for her work has been natural.

“After so many years of cutting up fabrics, it seemed natural to cut up unsuccessful silkscreen prints and use the colorfully inked paper surface in some way. What began as an experiment, cutting the silkscreen into long bands of color, then weaving them into an abstracted image, became an exciting way to work with the printed image.”
When asked about the pleasures of working with fabrics or printmaking, Sisk shared the importance of enjoying the process and working towards a finished product.

“Sometimes, solving a problem is a joy because the problem allows you to think in a different way — occasionally even allowing collaboration with a family member. It is satisfying to hear the solutions and work together.

For both, just being creative is a positive activity that makes me happy.

With fabrics, the art form includes so many variations that it is impossible to ‘get tired of it.’ Plus, it is a ‘clean’ art — requiring no water or solvents — nothing to clean up after I am through — except little threads on the floor and other little messes made from scissors and fabric. In printmaking, you have the advantage of multiples. But I like the monotype printmaking approach — weaving together parts to make one unique print.”
Since all mediums have their advantages and disadvantages, Sisk explained, “Since I don’t use plain fabric, it’s difficult to find fabric with the colors and pattern I like. I love tools, but scissors and needles can get blunt and thread breaks. Unfortunately, sewing machines themselves can break. Quite differently, the tools for printmaking are simpler — almost primitive — and not inclined to break. However, the supplies used in printmaking, like ink, can be difficult to get consistent for an edition. For me, printmaking requires more patience than sewing. In silkscreen printmaking, drying time prevails; after pulling one color, the screen must be cleaned, then areas blocked out and have to dry before the next color; drying time is required before one layer can be added to the older layer.”

Working with fabrics has always been an enjoyable hobby throughout her life, yet Sisk did not become a professional artist until after a non-art career. With the many responsibilities as a military spouse, Sisk earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Master of Arts degree for Exceptional Children in the late 90s and became an educator. It wasn’t until she went back to school in 2013 to take some art classes at Fayetteville State University that she decided to complete the FSU Visual Arts degree. While working on the arts degree, Sisk began exhibiting her work; as a professional artist, her works are in many private collections.
Intersection is more than an exhibit of works by Martha Sisk; the exhibit is a tribute to ways in which an artist explores the potential of material, alternate surfaces, shapes, color and texture.

Hopefully, visitors will leave the exhibit excited about the possibilities of any collection of supplies, crafts or art and see the potential to express and share something beautiful, an idea or a feeling with unexpected materials.

The public is invited to attend the opening reception for Intersection: Textiles and Printmaking by Martha Sisk on July 12, between 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The exhibit will stay in the Gallery until Sept. 30. Gallery 208 is located at 208 Rowan St.

Hours of operation are Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For information, call 910-484-6200.

Sail the seas with 'Pericles'

22Sweet Tea Shakespeare will be closing its summer season with the thrilling play "Pericles." The story tells how a young prince finds his way in the ancient Mediterranean. Pericles faces off against an evil, adulterous king, fights off the best of the best to win the love of his life and wrecks every ship he sets foot on.

"It is like a high seas adventure story, episodic through the whole thing. So instead of one long adventure, it's five little vignettes," Guest Director Marshall Garrett told Up & Coming Weekly.

Garrett is not new to Sweet Tea Shakespeare. He previously directed "The Devil's Charter" for the troupe in 2020. Garrett mirrors the mindset of Sweet Tea when it comes to performing Shakespeare.

"We spend a good deal of time at the beginning of the process, making sure that everybody is on the same page," Garrett said. "How to approach Shakespeare as a performance text and how that's different than, say, a classroom, making sure, we all know the words, and we all know not just like the exciting Shakespearean ambiguities, but also what the play means to us right now. And we've just finished that phase with 'Pericles.'"

The production has moved past the script's subtext and is currently being staged.

"This next phase is actually creating the theatrical events, using a script. Also, all of the actors are singers and musicians, and they put on the kind of concert that envelops the production," Garret said.

While this may be the last production for the season, new faces are joining the performance.

"We do have some old favorites coming into the show, but we also have a lot of fresh blood," Garrett said. "So the vibe will be a bit of a variation on the theme as far as the general Sweet Tea experience."
The show will run for two weeks at 325 Arch St. in downtown Fayetteville starting on July 13 through July 24. Performances will be held Thursday through Sunday. Each show will feature a live music preshow starting at 6:45 p.m. The play will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Parking is available in the garage across the street, and patrons should expect sloped and uneven terrain in the yard.

As with every Sweet Tea Shakespeare event, food and signature drinks will be available for purchase.

Following its two-week run, "Pericles" will perform alongside two other productions from this year's season from Sweet Tea Shakespeare.

"Much Ado About Nothing," "Party at Jay's," and "Pericles" will run in two weekends, where audiences can, in the span of just a few days, see all performances.

"Much Ado About Nothing" will run on July 28, July 31 and Aug. 5. "Party at Jay's" will run on July 29 and Aug. 6. "Pericles" will run on July 30, Aug. 4, and Aug. 7.

Ticket prices range from $10 to $22. A live stream ticket can also be purchased for $10 and will be available only for Saturday night performances. Tickets can be bought at

Memoir details legal woes for Charles Kuralt's lover's Montana land

25Would you be interested in a new privately published memoir by a Bozeman, Montana lawyer, titled “Tilting at Montana’s Windmills for 50 Years”?

But what if he were my law school classmate? Still, no?
But what if I told you my classmate-author had been the lawyer for Charles Kuralt's long-time extramarital lover in her effort, after Kuralt's death, to secure a valuable tract of land in Montana that Kuralt had promised her before he died?

Does that get you interested?
Kuralt was beloved by people all over the country, but especially in his native North Carolina, for his human-interest stories on CBS TV’s “On-the-Road” and “Sunday Morning” programs. His warm, authoritative voice with perfectly pitched rhythms was irresistibly convincing.

Kuralt was married for many years to his second wife, Petie, and they lived together in New York City. Only a few people knew about his dual life and his long-term friendship and financial support for Patricia Shannon.

My Yale Law School classmate, Jim Goetz, is a hero in Montana for his work saving creeks and rivers. In his memoir, Goetz writes that Kuralt, “who fished in Montana, particularly in September, purchased land located on the Big Hole River.”
Kuralt and Shannon had planned for him to convey this property to her in the fall of 1997 when Kuralt would be in Montana to fish. Earlier, however, Kuralt became very ill, suffering from lupus.

To reassure Shannon about his intention to convey the parcel of Montana land on which she was living Kuralt wrote the following:

"June 18, 1997 Dear Pat - Something is terribly wrong with me and they can't figure out what. After cat-scans and a variety of cardiograms, they agree it's not lung cancer or heart trouble or blood clot. So they're putting me in the hospital today to concentrate on infectious diseases. I am getting worse, barely able to get out of bed, but still have high hopes for recovery ... if only I can get a diagnosis! Curiouser and curiouser! I'll keep you informed. I'll have the lawyer visit the hospital to be sure you inherit the rest of the place in MT [Montana] cx. if it comes to that. I send love to you … Hope things are better there! Love, C.”

Kuralt died in a New York hospital on July 4, 1997, at age 62.

Goetz agreed to represent Shannon. Although it was clear from the handwritten letter that Kuralt intended to give the land to Shannon, Goetz writes that the sole issue is whether the language or the letter “is sufficient to establish Kuralt’s intent to devise that property to Shannon.” Goetz writes that most of the estate lawyers he talked to thought that the language was “well short” of what is required to constitute a valid will.

The judge in the first hearing agreed, ruling against Goetz and Shannon. But after four appeals to the Montana Supreme Court, “the first in 1999, the fourth in 2003,” they won. Shannon was awarded the property.
Goetz acknowledges, “Although we won, most estate lawyers I’ve talked to think the result was wrong. Nevertheless, the case is discussed routinely in many courses in law schools around the country, probably because of Charles Kuralt’s celebrity status.”

Goetz does not have a high opinion of Kuralt. He writes, “My impression, by the way, is that Kuralt, although a very warm public personality, had a dark, depressive streak. Rumor was around Dillon [Montana] that he and Shannon were heavy drinkers.”

Goetz is a good friend and is entitled to his opinion, but if he ever comes to visit, after I thank him for his fascinating book about lawyering for good causes in Montana, I will remind him that for me and most others in this state, Kuralt will always be one of North Carolina’s great heroes.

Public Works Art Exhibition opens at The Arts Council

13On Friday, June 17, the Public Works Commission will host its 17th Annual Public Works Art Exhibition. The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m.

The self-proclaimed "biggest local art show" will be on display at The Arts Council of Fayetteville and will be an evening filled with much to see.
To celebrate 100 years of service, PWC teamed up with The Arts Council of Fayetteville|Cumberland County and became an official sponsor of their annual art show. This event, previously titled Public Exposure, was a part of the community before PWC's involvement in 2005. With a name change to Public Works, the event has become one of PWC's most valued endeavors.

The Public Arts Exhibition is the Arts Council's largest attended show each year, with as many as 200 pieces of art on display. According to PWC Communications and Community Relations Officer Carolyn Justice-Hinson, for PWC, each year continues to get bigger and better.

While some might question the pairing of a utility service and local art, Justice-Hinson feels it makes perfect sense.

"This event is a great celebration of art in our community because it's open to everyone — just like us," she explained. "We take the opportunity to be there on opening night, and we'll have information available on conservation, and we exhibit a few of our trucks and equipment. For us, it's a good tool for community outreach and education about some of our services.

Like so many other major events around the city, this summer is the first Public Works Art Exhibition since 2019 due to COVID-19 restrictions. The event, held downtown during the Juneteenth weekend, will feature art and artists of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels.

Justice-Hinson is excited to see new art and artists back up on the wall and is excited for them to share their work with the public.

"I love opening night," shared Justice-Hinson. "It's open to so many people, there are a lot of first-time artists, and that's my favorite part of it — to see the artist and their friends and families, standing by their work and sharing their inspirations. It's really gratifying."

The art on display is for sale at the artist's discretion and can at times cause a bit of a frenzy. Justice-Hinson recalls the entrepreneurial spirit of one young artist and his desire to sell his picture of a giraffe, drawn in crayon, for $35 to donate to his Boy Scout Troop. A bidding war ensued, and the little artist walked away with a hefty donation. In short, the PWC Art Exhibition is a place where anything can happen.

This year, the People's Choice Award for favorite art pieces will be online on the Arts Council of Fayetteville|Cumberland County website. Voting will stay open until July 23.
Justice-Hinson feels the show is for everyone, even those not normally inclined to think much about it.

"We have fabulous artists in this community who submit year after year, and you never know what to expect, but you always know it's going to be great. Even if you aren't really into art, people can find something with which to identify in this show. There will always be something that speaks to the times."

The PWC Art Exhibition opens Friday, June 17, and will run until Sunday, Aug. 20.

The Arts Council of Fayetteville|Cumberland County is located at 301 Hay Street in downtown Fayetteville. For more information, visit or

Artist with local ties brings his Reverse Reality back to town

18 Taking what you see and reversing its concept of form — that’s the basic description of Reverse Reality art. Turning organic items like people and trees into geometric shapes and turning man-made objects into more fluid shapes. This type of art made by Jonathon Shannon will be on display at Dirtbag Ales throughout June in the new exhibit, Bringing It Back.

Shannon lives in New York City but has roots here in Fayetteville, growing up in a military family. He spent much of his childhood in our local city before graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design.
Shannon traveled to France and Hong Kong during his college years to expand his understanding of art. He moved to New York City afterward and currently works as an art handler outside of being an artist.

His work has been featured in art shows and exhibitions in New York City, North Carolina, Savannah, Atlanta, Miami, Hong Kong and France.

However, Fayetteville is home. Shannon still has family in the city and came back to live here in the early months of the pandemic.

Bringing it Back is inspired by Shannon’s desire to bring his art in New York City back to his hometown to inspire his friends, family and community to dream big.

“This series is based on me living in New York City at the time. I basically go around the area within Brooklyn Manhattan area, just walking around and just painting on-site throughout the city,” Shannon said. “I do my own interpretation. Where in the past, I used to paint the way I see things, more like impressionists, and then that kind of coupled with that style. But I just kind of thought I was just repeating history. I developed a style called reverse reality.”

This isn’t the first art exhibit Shannon has had in Fayetteville. In 2016, his exhibit, NightLife: A Reversed Reality at Gallery 116th, was on display, and it was during this exhibition that Shannon met the owners of Dirtbag Ales for a sponsorship.

“So I reached out to them and see if they would be open to doing like a small sponsorship, or like drinks at my show. And they agreed to it, and it worked out amazing, and they really enjoyed the interactions with all my friends and family,” Shannon said. “I just enjoy that collaboration so much that when I came back down to visit, probably like, three months ago, I checked out their new location because they expanded because they’re doing so well and opened a new location from the ground up. And they wanted to keep that art theme to have some art in there. So I reached out to them after seeing their available space to have a show.”

The exhibit will be free to the public. The opening reception will be on June 3 from 5 to 10 p.m. Bringing it Back will be on display at Dirtbag Ales until June 30.

“Everyone’s welcome. Don’t feel judged. Art should be for the masses ... that’s kind of why I did it in more of a public area instead of a gallery,” Shannon said. “Galleries sometimes could make people feel a little bit secluded or cut off from society.”

More information about the gallery and the opening reception can be found at

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