17 December, 2010

Seeping Fuschia - Outer Banks Art... Cool Art... Traditional Art... = Katy Caroline Art

Seeping Fuschia - Outer Banks Art... Cool Art... Traditional Art... = Katy Caroline Art

Um was trying to post this on what I thought was my blogger account. I am very unfamiliar with blogger so... I am trying to figure out how to delete this post but I can't seem to do so. But, it is a happy oooops cuz you can check out my latest art direction. This is a painting using pasto paint and palette knives and I will be delving in this direction for the next several months. Also, I wanted to say Thanks to you two (Sadie & Dave) for the lovely Christmas card that has found a happy home on my desk at ARTspace.

Talk to you all soon!
Katy Caroline

16 October, 2010


Boating and sailing are very big in Manteo; as they are in Bideford too. We've been out on Jamie Daniel's kayak a number of times now exploring the 'mosquito lanes' which connect houses and boat moorings to the open water and getting out in the sound where the water is a bit choppy from the wind. You see fish jumping here, an osprey if you're lucky as we were, pelicans woodpeckers and frogs. Here Sadie is seen in front of the reproduction Elizabeth 2 and I was reminded of a similar image from Bideford, where I'm rowing in front of the 3 masted schooner Kathleen and May.

14 October, 2010

Searching for the real Manteo

We met up with John Wilson, Manteo's ex-Mayor and architect, and responsible for the reproduction Roanoke Marches Lighthouse and the look of Manteo today; a look that is making it a tourist hit and has put the town in the top 10 places to get married in the country. But what does Manteo look like away from the waterfront, where the 'real' people work and live? Here is a selection of photographs of a Manteo you rarely see in a Google or Flickr search:

13 October, 2010


Connected historically through the first American colony of 1587 (later known as the 'lost colony') under the command of Sir Richard Grenville, Bideford's Lord of the Manor; Bideford (Bidufud) and Manteo (Maneo) are twin towns or sister cities.

The towns were twinned in April 1984 in Bideford and this is a photograph, by Angel Khoury from her historical book Manteo A Roanoke Island Town 1999, showing the American flag flying from the town hall during the ceremony. Like the colony the details of this twinning were lost with a change of administration. In 2008, after an embarrassing prompt in the form of a gift brought to Bideford from Manteo and international press coverage (which did no harm at all to the towns' tourist industries) a delegation left from Bideford to make amends.

Here is the Harry Juniper traditional sgraffito harvest jug brought to Manteo at the time on the lap of Mayor Andy Powell, because it was deemed too fragile to travel in any other way; and the other picture shows the reception area come council chambers at the Town Hall in Manteo where Harry's jug is displayed in a cabinet and two of Graham Hobb's panoramic photographs of Bideford adorn the walls.

I talked with Kermit Skinner, Manteo's town manager, about the importance of art in the town and he agreed with me that it is related to culture and heritage and tourism and so to the whole economy of the town. Manteo is built on it's heritage but also it's art and the same is/could be true of Bideford. It's interesting that gifts exchanged at a twinning ceremony are gifts of an art/craft nature, something handmade or unique reprosenting each town.

06 October, 2010

Art Heritage

Manteo laps it's history up, where it exists it is exonerated, where it is vague the mystery and myth are celebrated and where it doesn't exist it is subtly added. Yet it has the vibrancy of a college town rather than the sterility of a heritage site.
Sunshine brings it alive, the first for 5 days put the last farmers market of the year in the shade of trees by the waterfront. There are no farmers in Dare County, except for the Island Farm, the oldest building on Roanoke Island dating from the 1850's and now a historical interpretation rather than a producing farm. The market is made up of artists and craftspeople, everything has to be handmade including bakery, coffee and lemonade. The work on sale has a regional, Outer Banks (OBX) flavour jewellery with shell motifs, concrete slabs embossed with starfish or in the shape of giant flip-flops decorated with genuine recycled Manteo glass fragments. We were attracted to the old hard-backed books that had been taken apart and reassembled with the addition of note making pages. And also to the work of Mike Tames who works in the antique business salvaging obscure items to make new art items; a similar process to Bideford's Rachel Sumner.

Warren had invited us to see him at the wonderful reproduction Elizabethan ship, the Elizabeth 2, made here in Manteo 20 years ago. The original 55 tonne ship of the 1585 voyage would never have docked in Manteo as the waters of the Roanoke Sound are too shallow for a ship of it's size. Smaller, partly assembled boats, were part of it's cargo and these took the 55 crew from the ocean to the Island. This ship is hugely popular and the 'flagship' of the Roanoke Island Festival Park, which also has an Indian Village based on John Whites drawings, and a recreation of the original settlement with historic costumed interpreters. There's an army of costumed interpreters in the summer but we learned plenty from the few that were left in October; the lone Scotsman manning the fort performed a fine blacksmithing demonstration and made Sadie a square sided nail.

One of the eye-catching, photogenic, enhancements of Manteo's waterfront is the 2008 reproduction lighthouse, based on one which used to stand on stilts in the marshland. This genius piece of town planning replaced the town's water treatment plant (I'd call it a sewerage works) with the most photographed building in Manteo.

01 October, 2010

Flooding in Manteo

After 5 days of rain and the Easterly wind blowing the sea up into Manteo from Roanoke Sound we got flooding this morning on Elizabeth Street. I was alerted to this from a new photography friend at 7am by a phone message. This is a real rarety here so we should be pleased to witness it. Let's hope the sun comes out soon!

30 September, 2010

First Contact

This trip has been so long in the dreaming, imagining, planning and organising that a reception for Sadie and I on Tuesday 28th September 2010 was a little daunting. We had blogged, emailed and even phoned people in Manteo prior to the visit, but nothing beats face to face contact. Sharon Enoch, restaurateur and potter at the Full-Moon café/gallery had offered to organise the reception some time ago, originally at her own premises, but the venue changed to the new 'Dare County Arts' gallery and offices in the old courthouse across the road from Full-Moon. Sharon laid on a wonderful seafood based buffet, wine and local beer; enough to attract a good number of local artists, crafts-people, arts administers and culturally interested locals to attend. I was so busy chatting between 6pm & 8.30pm that I didn't get to sample any of the food but luckily there was a doggy bag to take 'home' afterwards.

Sadie gave a short speech:

  • thanks to Sharon for organising, Laura Martier and Dare County Arts Council for hosting, Carl Curnutte for various finding us accommodation and for Fort Raleigh NP for providing it.

  • Churchill travel fellowship proposal and what Sadie is doing, where we have been already

  • Pottery / arts connection

  • Bideford / Manteo shared history

  • Bideford 500 – who we are and our plans

  • Heritage Day 2011 plans – Elizabethan theme, joint activity with Manteo, live web link?

  • Artists exchange programme – what we'd like to set up between Bideford and Manteo

and I followed talking about:

There was a very optimistic air to the reception, a good positive reaction to Sadie's and my suggestions.

The biggest regret is that I didn't get a photograph of the reception but hopefully in future posts here and at http://www.sadie-green.blogspot.com/ you'll get to meet the people, hear what they have to say and see some of our proposals coming into fruition.

Getting to Manteo

We've been in Manteo for 2 days now, and it hasn't stopped raining yet!

The rain started earlier in Wilson NC, we'd checked in early at a Jameson Inn with a coupon and were driving downtown towards our destination Golden Corral 'all you can eat buffet' (excellent food from Raleigh based national company), when the first rain for 6 weeks came. We had earlier read about the drought that the Eastern States were experiencing; record breaking high temperatures and the risk of Alabama's peanut crop being ruined. There had been early warnings on the TV and we'd heard rumblings of thunder, but nothing could have prepared us for the ferocity of the downpour. I managed to park less than 30 feet from the entrance yet still everything but our waterproof jackets were soaked.

Great weather for frogs, they were all out over the roads when we got back to the motel. Deep fried frogs legs is one of the many Southern delicacies on offer at the Golden Corral.

The journey to Manteo on the old Albemarle Highway 264 was a slow one with rain sometimes so torrential that I had to find somewhere to pull over, windscreen wipers just couldn't cope with the deluge.

Leaving mainland USA for Roanoke Island on the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge which must be at least 5 miles long is a sight to savour even on a dull, rainy day. The low, long, straight bridge suddenly peaks in the middle, to allow ships to pass underneath, and it's at this point that you realise where you are.

Our home, where we'll be based for 4 weeks, is a detached wooden 3 bed cabin, all on one level. It's at the North End of the Island in Fort Raleigh Historic National Park, surrounded on 3 sides with thick forest, the other having some Nat Parks service buildings. This lovely gift of fruit was left for us from our 'friends at the Lost Colony'. It's very quiet hear in the evenings except for the continuous drone of insects and the rain, of course!

Speaking of which, it's just stopped so here's a picture of the outside of the accommodation. I'll show you the inside when the sun comes out. Thanks to the Park's Service for such a good rate on this and to Carl Curnutte for getting us the deal.

25 September, 2010


We've just visited North Carolina's State capital, Raleigh. We all know who Raleigh is but did you know that the name in Olde English meant oak forest? That's what this city was before it came into being. The oak motif adorns the city in various public art often using stainless steel.

I went in search of art while Sadie took care of her official business. One encouraging place was Art Space, originally a livery, then Ford car dealership; it's now a large artists' studios, exhibition space and workshop/education facility - just the kind of place we were/are hoping for in Bideford.
With a little help from the State and City and lots of patronage from annual sponsors Art Space survives and flourishes. There were no empty studios, in fact there's a waiting list. Artists pay a rent for their studio to the not-for-profit 'art-space' organisation, but the individual artists can make a profit personally. Part of the deal is that they have to use their studio for a certain amount of time and that they must allow the public into their studios to see what they're doing, answer questions etc. It's based on a similar art space at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria near Washington DC.

Another place was the Visual Art Exchange, similar to art space but without the studios or teaching areas; a co-operative gallery, getting help from sponsors, showing quality and graduate work.
There is a really good, free, arts magazine in Raleigh, or the Tri-city region with Durham and Winston-Salem. artsee premièred this year with it's July/August edition. You don't often see a new magazine coming out in a recession especially a free one.

22 September, 2010

From the UK to NC

Sadie Green is on her 'Sir Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship' trip to North Carolina and Virginia to see where North Devon's 17th and 18th century pottery was exported to and to make contact with the people and arts community in Manteo on Roanoke Island NC. I her husband Dave am accompanying her on the trip and representing Bideford Bay Creatives (BBC). I go partially supported by a Networking Artists Network (NAN) Go-and-See bursary. My role is to extend the hand of friendship from our local artists in Bideford to those across the water in our 'sister city' Manteo. I'm hoping to find ways of solidifying the twinning process by building real relationships through the artistic community in both towns. I'm also a photographer and will spend some of my time exploring and documenting the similarities and differences between Manteo and Bideford.

The closest international airport to Manteo is Norfolk Virginia, a 2 hour drive away. We decided to fly to Richmond VA instead, a 4 hour drive but close to the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Appalachian Trail (AT). The AT runs the length of Virginia and the western edge of North Carolina and much more, it's over 2000 miles long. We just hiked about 12 miles of it, staying in a cabin 2 miles from the trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of Americas most 'scenic' drives. I now understand the lyrics '...on the trail of the lonesome pine' - there aren’t any pine trees, or very few; it's all deciduous trees here and starting to change colour in the early 'fall'. Blue Ridge Mountains - I was expecting hard grey slate pinnacles, but instead of this there are trees, you see the blue as the sun sets, all of the shaded areas are blue. (the picture, one of Sadie's is of some locals making pastel pictures of the sunset) Trees, lots and lots of them will be a lasting memory of VA. We drove for 4 miles from the 4000 ft peaks to America's first 'permanent' settlement at Jamestowne, down tree lines roads for almost the whole journey; and by tree lined I mean driving through deep forest.

You can read all about the pottery in Jamestowne in Sadie's blog: sadie-green.blogspot.com
Left are some full-sized replica ships in Jamestowne.
We've now arrived in NC's state capital Raleigh, a 3 hour drive from Jamestowne once we'd crossed the James river on a free 15 minute ferry ride. We could have avoided the ferry, knocked 1/2 hour of our journey and taken the free-way but our route took us through a quiet, rural part of the 2 states full of romantic colonial houses, often partially in ruins.

11 July, 2010

Bideford Heritage Day

I have been an enthusiastic member of Bideford 500, a local voluntary group researching and celebrating Bideford's history, for the last 2 years. In June I got the 2 day per week job as Project Development Worker for the group. This post came about through a Leader 4 grant which also financially assists the inaugural Heritage Day on 17th July. It's a very exciting position to have at an exciting time, when Bideford is really starting to grasp it's forgotten past. This past links it to our twin town of Manteo through the 1585 settlement of Roanoke Island under the leadership of Sir Richard Grenville, Bideford's Lord of the Manor.

09 June, 2010

02 March, 2010

New Town Signs

We have new signs on the road entrances to Bideford which now include our American twin Manteo. ‘Little White Town’ was a description that Charles Kingsley wrote in the novel Westward Ho! in 1855. Kingsley was one of Bideford’s famous residents and we have a statue of him near the park. Landivisiau is our French twin, however there are no historic connections to this town.

23 February, 2010

Coming to Manteo in the Fall

Great news - I have been awarded a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust travel Fellowship for 2010 and will be travelling to North Carolina and Virginia for 6 weeks. I will be researching the North Devon Pottery Trade and also making strong links with artists, arts organisations and artists’ networks. Exact dates of travel are to be confirmed but I will be in NC and VA from mid September to the end of October. I will be spending a lot of my time in Manteo on this trip.

I have done lots of research on where to go and who to meet with, but I am sure there will be plenty more to add to my list. So far I am planning to visit Manteo based artists, galleries and arts organisations, Manteo First Friday Committee and the Artrageous Extravaganza Committee; Dare County Arts Council; N C Arts Council; historic sites and museums in Raleigh; Historic Jamestowne and Colonial National Historical Park (including its collection of Pottery; The Lost Colony Production; Roanoke Island Festival Park; Fort Raleigh National Historic Site; arts communities in the Outerbanks area; Seagrove potteries;

I am in the process of writing an itinerary for the 6 weeks and am open to suggestions of other places / people who would be able to help me with my research and also who would be good to connect to, whether they run an arts or heritage organisation/programme; are historians, archaeologists; or are an individual artist, potter or gallery owner. If you are reading this and think you can help please email me at sadie@experiencedevon.com.

The travel fellowship is an award that is open to any UK citizen to apply for and the focus is very much on being able to bring information back to the local community and to disseminate it on my return.

I hope that this fellowship will be a catalyst - a starting point to enable the relationship between both Bideford and Manteo as new sister cities, and the wider relationship between North Devon, NC and VA, to flourish. It will be an opportunity for the local communities and arts communities to begin to get to know each other and for future joint projects and programs to be devised and executed.

Official twinning of Bideford and Manteo

The twinning of Bideford and Manteo will become official with the signing of a formal twinning charter in the Easter holidays this year. This will cement a connection that has existed since Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Richard Grenville first founded a colony on the site of Manteo in 1587. Here in Bideford Sadie Green and I are members of ‘Bideford 500’ a group dedicated to researching and celebrating Bideford’s unique history and heritage, specifically of the last 500 years, hence the name, although the town is more than twice this age. Whilst the delegation from Manteo are here, at the end of March, they will be invited to experience some of Bideford’s past by walking the Heritage Trail. This was devised through Bideford 500 and the Chamber of Commerce and you can follow the link here which takes you to some web pages all about Bideford 500 and the Heritage Trail.

12 January, 2010

Bideford Bay Creatives presents Artrageous! Art for under £100

Artrageous! is a new venture in Bideford in the run up to Christmas. I'd be interested to know what 'Art happenings' will be taking place in Manteo over the Holiday Season?

[Photo]Artrageous! Art for under £100 is now up and running in Bideford Town Centre. It features work by members of Bideford Bay Creatives and artwork can be viewed at Lacey's Ale and Cider House, Cafecinoplus, Froot Loop and the window of Glover, Stanbury and Co.

This follows on from the success of Culture Show, where local businesses were keen to develop their relationship with us and to continue to support local artists by offering their venues for free. In particular, Wendy Johnson, Manager of Cafecinoplus thought it was a good idea to have artwork for sale under £100 inthe run up to Christmas and so the idea was born.

Artwork is on display and is for sale from November 28th through to January 8th 2010 - except for Lacey's where work comes down on December 30th. There is also a special art and craft sale night at Lacey's on December 3rd from 5-7pm where artists will be present to chat about and sell their work. Everyone is welcome to come along and meet us and to find out more about Bideford Bay Creatives and what we do.

Have a look at http://www.bbcdevon.org/ for more information and for details about artists taking part.

Labels: artist, Bideford, business, ceramics, Christmas, craft, exhibition, mixed media, painting, photography, prints, sale, town centre

Link: http://www.bbcdevon.org/2009/12/01/artrageous-art-exhibition-november-28th-january-8th/