Artists sought for Garden Party and Fine Art Show

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Preservation of Wilson is calling all artists to be part of the annual Preservation of Wilson Garden Party and Fine Art Show to be held on Sunday, May 7, beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The event will be located in the garden of the Herbert D. Bateman House, 200 Gray St., home of Gaynell Stallings.

The art show is open to all artists working in any medium. Artwork must be matted, framed or with gallery wrap. Work must have never been shown before at a Preservation of Wilson Fine Art Show and must be available for sale. Each artist may submit up to five art pieces. Artists will need to provide their own easel. No commission will be taken by Preservation of Wilson.

This year’s party will be held in the garden of the home of the late Herbert D. Bateman, former BB&T president. Bateman entered the banking field in 1903 and in 1916 began his career with BB&T as a cashier. Two years later he was elected vice president, and in 1924 he because president until his retirement in 1952. Son Harry Bateman, a former vice president of BB&T, remained in the house until his death.

Betty Lou Walston has fond memories of the many parties held at the Bateman House.

“The parties hosted by Harry were the epitome of Southern hospitality,” she said. “Harry hosted a wedding luncheon for Henry and me in August with the summer heat and no air conditioning. But with the attic fan bringing in the cool air, I still remember the sheer drapes moving to the breeze from the open windows.”

Gaynell Stalling, who purchased the house in 2004, has heard many stories about the lavish parties Harry held at the house.

“Harry was famous for his Christmas Day party,” she said. “He also had many Sunday lunches that went well into the night. When the children attended any of those gatherings, they could be seen walking the brick wall that surrounds the property. When I am sitting on the porch that image lights up my spirit.”

As each artist gets inspiration for their artwork through their North Carolina experiences, organizers hope a focus on BB&T in the Wilson community and the many parties that were held at the 1913 historic home will be considered.

Artists must be a member of Preservation of Wilson to register. This will allow artists to attend the event and watch over and promote their work. Memberships begin at $25; join online at www.preservationofwilson.com.

Members of the 2017 art committee are Sally Barnes, Agnes Cherry, Karen Gliarmis, Jo Rhodes and Betsy Peters Rascoe.

All artists interested in participating in the event must submit the exhibition contract found at www.preservationofwilson.com under Events. To have an application mailed or for more information, contact one of the art committee members or Kathy Bethune at kfb@preservationofwilson.com or 252-234-7694.

Preservation of Wilson is a nonprofit corporation that provides leadership in the revitalization efforts of Wilson County’s unique architectural properties. It actively promotes historically, architecturally and culturally significant properties.

The Garden Party and Fine Art Show is an appreciation event for the supporters of Preservation of Wilson and held each year to celebrate the growing preservation spirit. The only ticket to the event is to be a supporter of Preservation of Wilson.

For more information about the garden party, membership or registering to be a part of the fine art show, visit www.preservationofwilson.com.