Watercolor Society in Elizabeth City, NC
Elizabeth City’s thriving arts community and district led to its selection as the host city for the Watercolor Society of North Carolina’s annual exhibition and workshop.
While the event has traditionally been held in the Raleigh area, organizers wanted to begin moving the location to other parts of the state, and Elizabeth City was a perfect fit.
When the group’s president visited Elizabeth City, she “totally agreed that the (Arts of the Albemarle) center was great, the town was unique and there were great expectations for community support,” says Mary Crutchfield, a local artist and workshop teacher and a former member of the WSNC board, who lobbied for Elizabeth City to serve as a host city.
Carolyn Peel, wife of Mayor Joe Peel, served as chair of a fundraising project to create public art to welcome the Watercolor Society. Using grants from the Elizabeth City Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Watercolor Society, the project involved all the art teachers at local schools and more than 200 students in grades kindergarten through 12 in painting banners to hang from the streetlights along Elizabeth City’s Main Street.
“We wanted to make the area shine with public art created by our own students,” Crutchfield says. “The project developed with fabulous partnerships between the teachers, the students and the community, who donated money to sponsor these banners. We even closed Main Street one afternoon to have a street party with all teachers, kids, parents and friends, which was a joy.”
Hosting the WSNC exhibition and weeklong workshop “is indeed a win-win partnership with our Arts of the Albemarle, the school system, the students and the residents who are very supportive and anxious to see the great art that comes from artists all over the state,” Crutchfield says. “We can show these artists all the reasons that Elizabeth City is a great place.”
Learn more on the arts in Elizabeth City.