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Victorian Inspirations Reception
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Victorian Ladies Visit for Teas
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Petteway & White Concert at Historic Sharpe House
Statesville, NC – April 26, 2011
The Historic Sharpe House is pleased to announce its first house concert scheduled for Friday, May 13. Award-winning musicians Al Petteway and Amy White will be the featured performers during this musical evening. “This is a different kind of event for us,” says Site Manager Sherry Johnson. “What we have in store for our guests is very intimate and laid-back—a full evening of good friends, good food and great music.”
The great music is courtesy of award-winning duo Al Petteway and Amy White. Their original music has been described as Celtic- and Appalachian-influenced acoustic groove. Marie Reid, local musician and guest host for the evening, describes the husband and wife team as musicians’ musicians. “This is a terrific opportunity to hear professionals who have been internationally recognized for the quality of their work. Theirs is a fresh way of turning traditional sounds into a very modern body of work that just continues to get better.”
Before moving to the mountains of Western North Carolina, Petteway and White won 50 WAMMIE Awards from the Washington Area Music Association. In addition, the couple was awarded five separate grants from the Maryland State Arts Council for both music composition and instrumental performance. They won an INDIE from The Association for Independent Music. Petteway won a GRAMMY from the national Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He was voted one of the Top 50 Guitarists of all time by the readers of Acoustic Guitar Magazine and in 2008, won the Silver and Bronze medals in the magazine’s Players’ Choice Awards.
The duo’s music was featured throughout the soundtrack of the 2009 Ken Burns EMMY Award-winning documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. In 2010, their album Caledon Wood was counted among the essential albums of the past 20 years in the Acoustic Guitar Magazine 20th anniversary issue. To learn more about Petteway and White or to sample their music, visit their website at www.alandamy.com or www.youtube.com/user/AlPettewayAmyWhite.
Doors will open at 6:30 for a social hour with a cash bar and appetizer buffet available to guests. “This will give everyone an opportunity to relax, visit with the musicians and let the stress of the week fade away,” Johnson outlines the evening. “Then at 7:30 we will settle back for two hours of Al and Amy’s incredible music.”
Tickets for the evening are $25 in advance; seating is very limited. Tickets will be $35 at the door, but availability is not guaranteed. Advance tickets can be purchased in Downtown Statesville at Sir Speedy or Moore Buds & Bows, or by contacting the Historic Sharpe House at email@example.com.
In addition to the concert, Petteway will also present a guitar workshop on “Appalachian Fingerstyle Guitar in DADGAD Tuning” at the Historic Sharpe House on Saturday, May 14 from 9–11 a.m. The workshop is geared for all levels of acoustic guitarists interested in playing the music of the mountains. Reservations are required and seating is very limited. For more information, contact Sherry Johnson at 704-929-3770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heirloom Dress Inspires Wedding Exhibit at Historic Sharpe House
Statesville, NC – February 14, 2011
“Mama’s Lace Party Dress” was all the only explanation attached to the yellowing pasteboard box. The sheer ivory lace dress and petticoat tucked inside was originally worn by Statesville resident Daisy Potts Barringer back in 1909. An excellent example of the Edwardian style, it is a relic of a period of intense femininity in women’s fashion and an era that still impacts many of our wedding traditions. Could this century-old gown inspire modern designers to create an ideal setting for a modern bride?
The Historic Sharpe House is pleased to announce a unique exhibit “Victorian Inspirations: A Wedding for Daisy” on display February 24 – March 5. An opening reception will be held on Sunday, February 20 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. in conjunction with the Statesville Bridal Expo. Guests of that event are encouraged to step across the street for a visit at the Historic Sharpe House after leaving the Civic Center; the public is also invited to attend. The exhibit features the combined talents of local vendors: Moore Buds & Bows, Sweet Thing Bakery & Cake Studio, Southern Gourmet Catering and Jay White Photography.
“The purpose of this event is two-fold,” explains Site Manager Sherry Johnson. “As a design challenge, it showcases the talents of some great local businesses. Secondly, it helps brides-to-be and other visitors visualize how this historic home can be turned into a perfect venue for their special occasion.”
The idea for this exhibit came from the donation of several heirloom dresses by local resident Richard Boyd. Boyd has recently placed these family treasures on permanent loan with the Historic Sharpe House. “Historic clothing is a fascinating reflection of past values and ideals, but it is also very difficult to preserve,” Johnson comments. “We appreciate Richard’s trust in us to take care of these items and to utilize them in future exhibits or educational programs.” The dress worn by Daisy Barringer will be on display as part of this exhibit. Barringer, who resided at 512 West End Avenue, was Boyd’s paternal great grandmother.
The Historic Sharpe House is located at 402 South Center Street in Statesville. Special days and hours have been set for this exhibit. A complete list is available at www.thesharpehouse.org. For more information on the exhibit, programs, tours or facility rental, contact Sherry Johnson at email@example.com or 704-871-2085.
Victorian Costumes on Display
Statesville, NC – September 8, 2010
For those attending United Way’s Victorian Teas at the historic Colonel Silas Alexander Sharpe House, the sight of Victorian ladies in full costume has been a delightful addition to the holiday festivities. Yet few guests understand what it takes to dress in the complex costumes of the Victorian era or what compels modern women to recreate the elaborate ensembles of a bygone era. “I love the fabrics and putting the outfits together—colors, textures and so many possibilities,” says modern Victorian lady Eva Fritsch.
The Sharpe House is pleased to announce its inaugural exhibit “Tastefully Superficial: the Art of Victorian Dressing” on display September 17 – October 15. An opening reception will be held on September 17 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. as part of the Downtown Art Crawl. The exhibit features eight reproduction Victorian costumes taken directly from historic fashion plates dating from the 1870s through the end of the nineteenth century. “Fashion in the late Victorian era is incredibly ornamental and very sculptural,” says Sherry Johnson, Site Manager of the Sharpe House. “This is a rare opportunity to see these designs step off the printed page.”
Historically, nineteenth century women relied on fashion plates in such popular magazines as Godey’s Ladies Book and Petersen’s for information on current styles. Dressmakers and home seamstresses had to decide how to achieve the look of the fashion plates without the aid of commercially printed patterns. Like fashion magazines today, these plates were idealized. Each seamstress adapted the design according to her budget and level of skill.
For modern artists who recreate the styles, the challenges are almost as great. Many of the fabrics once used freely by the Victorian seamstress are no longer available. Although there are a handful of small specialty companies that market basic patterns for Victorian garments, the modern seamstress must determine how to use contemporary materials to achieve the drape, movement and decorative detail depicted in the original fashion plate. “One can’t help feeling beautiful and feminine wearing one of those fabulous costumes,” says Kathy Laughlin in explaining why she is willing to take on these challenges. “The reaction is immediate when others come in contact with you. At times it’s difficult to step two feet before someone wants to take a picture.”
In coordination with the exhibit, the Sharpe House will host a luncheon workshop entitled “Victorian Dressing 101”, a behind the scenes look at what it took for Victorian women to dress in the height of fashion. Presenter Kathy Laughlin will dress a live model from chemise to chapeau and explain the evolution of Victorian styles. A fee will be charged for this workshop; reservations are required as seating is limited.
The Historic Sharpe House is located at 402 South Center Street in Statesville. The house is open Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. or by special appointment. Admission is charged with the exception of the opening reception. For more information on the exhibit, programs, tours or facility rental, contact Sherry Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-871-2085.
Historic Sharpe House Reopens
Statesville, NC – August 20, 2010
During the decades following the Civil War, the home of Statesville’s first mayor Colonel Silas A. Sharpe was a vibrant part of the city’s social and political history. But until the recent installation of a historic marker on the lawn at 402 South Center Street, many did not know its name or history. Plans are underway to change that.
The Silas Alexander Sharpe Foundation is reopening the house beginning September 2 for tours on Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. or by special appointment. “We will add more days as interest builds and our list of volunteers grows,” adds Sherry Johnson, Site Manager. Admission will be $5.00 and free for children under 12.
“The Sharpe House is a jewel of historic preservation in Statesville,” states Dr. Ralph Bentley, Chairman of the Foundation. “Thanks to the foresight and generosity of Katherine Knox and Sarah Nooe, the Foundation is able to make the home of their grandparents available to the public.” Bentley encourages area residents to consider the house for future business or social functions. Rental fees were recently lowered to make use of the house more affordable. “It’s an ideal location for small club meetings, family events, or bridge parties.”
When the Sharpe family moved into their new home in 1866, Statesville was suffering under the devastating impact of the Civil War on the Southern states. “Silas could have given up on Statesville and headed west to start over,” Johnson explains. Over the remaining decades of the nineteenth century, a post-war generation rebuilt Statesville into a thriving business and trading center for seventeen counties of western NC. “It’s an incredible story and considering our current economy, a lesson we need to hear today.”
Johnson anticipates adding programs and events to appeal to a wide range of interests over the coming months. The first will be a costume exhibit scheduled to open September 17 during the Downtown Statesville Art Crawl. No admission will be charged that evening.
A website with complete information, history and upcoming events is currently under development at www.thesharpehouse.org. The house is also available for rent as a unique venue for small meetings or private parties. For more information on programs, tours or rental of the Sharpe House, contact Sherry Johnson at email@example.com or 704-871-2085.