The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC


October 28, 2011

The Great Tarboro Art Bazaar

TARBORO — Every November, the Edgecombe County Cultural Arts Council turns its headquarters, the historic Blount-Bridgers House into a grand art bazaar.  The draw of the “historical” house is set aside for the month.  Showtime begins November 3rd with a members-only gala preview, with the house brimming from every nook and cranny with original artworks by local and regional artists from eastern North Carolina and from around the Triangle. Letters went out early September to the arts council’s growing number of participating artists to announce this year’s annual show and sale. Artwork will begin arriving in the gallery the third week in October for the arts council’s gallery committee to stage.   

The Bazaar will be open to the public November 4th through Sunday, November 27th. The “whole-house” gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 am - 4 pm and Sundays, 2 - 4. “We’re opening Tuesdays to give everyone a full week to browse and to shop for holiday gifts until the show ends the Sunday after Thanksgiving.

The annual bazaar attracts 60-75 artists, including a number of newcomers each year.  “It is a very major part of our mission here at the arts council to promote local and regional artists,” says house manager, Carol Banks.  “It’s win/win for the artists and for the arts council.” For staging and promoting their works, the arts council gets 30%-commission from each piece that the artists sell.

The Great Tarboro Art Bazaar is well known for having fine quality original art at affordable prices.  Arts Council patrons look for works by particular artists that have participated before, adding to their collections.  Our local masters seem to have regular fans who snap up their works quickly.  Each year we have newcomers that add new interest to the mix, many of which have exhibitions of their own making a good living at it.  They might very well have gotten their start and an event like the one we have here in Tarboro.  “We’re confident that visitors shopping for art this year will see many new works and many new styles from the artists that are participating this year,”  says Banks.  “We emphasize to our artists that they must bring new works; repeat pieces will not be accepted.” As promised, the bazaar will have plenty of original holiday decorations, ranging from needlework to hand-carved and painted ornaments and glasswork.  

In addition to the two main floors, the Blount-Bridgers House has a museum and consignment shop located in the basement level which is open year-round.  Most of the artists participating in the Bazaar plan to bring items for sale through the Christmas shopping season.  Some crafters and potters have produced seasonal items just for the shop that’ll make great holiday gifts.  The shop has books, note cards and prints that will always be a staple.  “The shop offers our hometown folks and our visitors something to take home,” said Banks. 

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