Want some art with that book?

May. 31, 2013 @ 08:48 PM

 The library is one of the last places Mike Richardson expected to showcase his art, but he’s glad he could.

“I never thought that I would be showing my work in the library,” said Richardson, a lifelong High Point resident, “but so many people from all walks of life come through here.”
Richardson and other members of Piedmont Artists United, a collection of local artists, offered some pieces for sale Thursday during a reception at the High Point Neal F. Austin Public Library. The pieces were on display at the library for the month of May.
Jeff Beck said he started the group in January because he knew of artists in the area but hadn’t seen events to showcase their work, only artists from far away.
“We want to focus on local,” he said. “We try to keep everything as local as we can.”
About 20 artists from High Point, Lexington, Greensboro and surrounding areas are consistently involved in the group’s showcases and events. Online, Beck said, more than 115 members actively follow the group.
Richardson, a freelance graphic designer, said he believes the group is needed because many people have the misconception that artists only live in certain areas, mostly large cities.
“Our push is to show local people that there are local artists,” he said. “People are always surprised to hear that I’m an artist in High Point.”
The event was sponsored by the High Point Artists Network, a collaboration between the library, High Point Area Arts Council, High Point Theatre and Theatre Art Galleries.
Nic Covington, who leads Arts and Entertainment Programming with the library, spearheaded the effort to bring local art there. He said the library is a great venue for showcases because it sees more than 1,500 visitors daily.
Covington, who also is an artist, said he got the idea when attending a HIPAN show.
“I had no idea there were so many artists in town,” he said.
The library started showcasing art from various groups in February with new works every month. June’s artist is 10-year-old Victoria Christie of High Point. Her reception will be June 9 at 2-3:30 p.m.
Covington said the community response has been so positive that the space is booked into 2014.