Monarch Creative Arts and Community Center Launches Art Gallery to Showcase Participants’ Works
Beautiful hues of carefully crafted pottery were neatly displayed among creative artwork hanging on the walls of Monarch Creative Arts and Community Center’s newly opened “Monarch Gallery: Where Art Takes Flight.”
Showcasing creativity was the theme during MCACC’s reception introducing the community gallery on Thursday, Nov. 1, to over 75 community leaders, program participants, families and community members in attendance.
During the open house, shoppers carefully selected and purchased handmade pottery crafted by MCACC participants and Developmental Specialists Milton Simmons and Enjoli Allbrooks, as well as unique artwork created by participants.
Where Art Takes Flight, located at 1662 Richards St., Southern Pines, is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:30 – 3:30 p.m. MCACC is a day program with course offerings including pottery, art, dance and music programs for the 60 participants with intellectual and developmental disabilities who attend.
During the open house attendees watched pottery demonstrations as well as enjoyed musical and dance performances. The Moore County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting kicking off the evening’s event.
The MCACC gallery becomes a part of the approximately 650+ members of the Moore County Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President and Chief Executive Officer Linda Parsons presented a special gold coin as a welcome gift to the MCACC Community Engagement Team Leader Bob Huber and told attendees the gallery is an asset to the business community. “All pieces of art tell a story. I encourage the community to stop by when they are considering shopping local,” she recommended.
Huber said the gallery has sparked motivation in day program attendees.
“We are enjoying a season of amazing creativity because of the gallery. Many of the people we support who have not painted or created pottery before, or have not done it in a while, are now excited about having their pieces displayed for those in the community to see. What a great confidence and self-esteem boost to display and have the opportunity to sell their works of art!” Huber commented.
The gallery will also provide day program participants the opportunity to make community connections in a variety of ways. “MCACC’s gallery has opened the door to opportunities for the people we support to engage within the community. The day program participants and staff have begun to meet and learn from area artists,” Huber added, noting that attendees have the chance to attend art shows, take part in demonstration classes and enter art contests.
Monarch gallery will also regularly partner with regional artists to feature their work alongside that of MCACC participants. Currently, MCACC is partnering with local artists Doug and Maria Rowe of Sanford with a select number of their works on display within the gallery. The Rowe’s works depict paintings of landscapes, portraits and still-life. “It is a privilege to have our paintings in the MCACC gallery,” the couple said during the event.
MCACC has been fortunate to receive several grants to assist in funding programs. The current MCACC kiln is a newer model since the class began in 2015 thanks to a grant from the John W. Roffe and Marjorie A. Roffe Endowment for Moore County, managed by the Moore County Community Foundation, granted in 2016.
In late 2017, MCACC received a generous donation from the Donald and Elizabeth Cooke Foundation to further support the pottery program. This donation helped expand MCACC’s capacity to teach pottery on-site and allow participants with an interest in pottery to take classes at the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove. The contribution also supported the development of the Monarch Gallery.
Photo Caption: MCACC Open House attendees cut the Moore County Chamber of Commerce ribbon to officially open “Monarch Gallery: Where Art Takes Flight.”