As new members of our Chatham County community, Chatham Park is powering our Go See This series this year because art is an integral part of Chatham County’s identity. They join us in inviting you to Go See This . . .
As Chatham County residents continue to spend time tucked away at home to comply with COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, the art world continues to create, using new ways to showcase and share their art. Many musicians, for example, are using social media platforms to play music live, including Bynum Front Porch, The Chatham Rabbits, and The Pittsboro Roadhouse. Local artists such as Stacye Leanza are moving their art classes online. Local writers, such as those who are part of the North Carolina Writers Network, are gathering online from April 16-18 for a Cabin Fever Conference, which is offering more than 630 minutes of instruction, faculty readings, and open mic readings, entirely online.
In our corner of the art world, the Chatham Arts Council is taking ClydeFEST, our beloved folk art festival that we have been hosting for the past 17 years, and making it to-go. For ClydeFestToGo, sponsored by The Jester Group at Baird, we’re here to help you make your own folk art – a ClydeFEST critter cut-out! – to allow the spirit of ClydeFEST to carry on.
We’re hoping you all pick up a ClydeFEST critter cut-out (see details below the interview with Peter Loose) and adorn it with paint, markers, glitter – anything to make a unique piece of art. And if you don’t need to be at the places we’ll have critter cut-outs available, don’t make a special trip! Just download a critter cut-out drawing from our website and get to making! Then, on April 25, post photos of your amazing critters–wood or paper!–via social media under the hashtag #ClydeFestToGo. Together, we will create a celebration of art made with found objects throughout this county.
In the meantime, we spoke with artist Peter Loose, longtime friend of Clyde and participant in ClydeFEST (along with his tortoises!) and asked him to share some memories and thoughts about ClydeFEST. Enjoy!
How did you and Clyde meet?
Clyde and I were introduced by Ginger Young; her gallery represented us both. At the time we were included in the book Light of the Spirit, published by Mississippi Press. We were instant friends and have the animal thing in common. My wife Sandy and I started coming to celebrate Clyde when the festival was at Shakori Hills. We later started bringing our pet tortoises to ClydeFEST each year.
What is one of your favorite memories about working with the kids who attend ClydeFEST?
One year I let kids put wishes for Clyde on my van then added the sticky notes to his porch.
What was your favorite part of the day at ClydeFest?
The chainsaw critter-making was always a great ending to the day.
Do you have any funny stories about traveling with the tortoises?
This was a funny moment.
Do you always travel up in the Clydemobile?
Information about how to participate in ClydeFest-To-Go
How to Get a Critter
ClydeFEST-to-Go critter cut-outs will be available for pick-up as you’re out on your essential weekly grocery runs at: Chatham Marketplace (480 Hillsboro Street/Pittsboro; 919.542.2643) and Oasis Market (117 South Chatham Avenue/Siler City; 919.799.7434). In these uncertain times, we recommend you pick up the phone to verify their hours and critter availability before you truck over. Or, if you can’t get your hands on a cedar cut-out of a critter, just download one to color/glue cool objects to/art-i-fy! at home right here. See below.
How to Adorn your Critter
Just like with folk art, you can take anything you have around your house to embellish your critter. Consider starting with paint and markers, then pile on the glue and add GLITTER!, eyeballs, sticks, colorful pipe cleaners, bottle caps, pieces of broken toys, beads, ribbons – anything that brings your critter to life. There is no wrong way to bedazzle it!
What to Do with your Unique Critter
Don’t keep all your hard work to yourself! Post pictures of your cedar critter cut-out or critter drawing via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag them: #ClydeFestToGo. We’re hoping this virtual event will spread far and wide, sharing the spirit of ClydeFEST with all those who consider the event a family tradition.
How Much Does this Cost?
Nada! Nothing! Zilch! Zero! That’s right folks, #ClydeFestToGo is completely free. However, we have a slew of community partners to thank for making this virtual event happen.
We are Grateful!
Right now, many businesses are struggling. Heck! People all around us are struggling. That’s why pulling off a virtual ClydeFEST is even more meaningful. We had no idea that so many community partners would come together and embrace #ClydeFestToGo the way they have. Chatham is a special place. We are grateful to be part of this unique community.
Chatham Arts Council thanks the local businesses who are making #ClydeFestToGo possible, including generous sponsorships by The Jester Group at Baird; Opus Financial Advisors; Hobbs Architects; R.E. and E.F. Crane Foundation; Dorrie Casey and Archie Purcell; Selbe Bartlett & Mike Dasher, in Memory of Carol Bartlett; Persimmon Hill Neighbors; Chatham Park; Monteith Construction; Sanford Contractors Inc.; Cackalacky; Resolute Building Company; Cheek Electric; Kindred Gallery at the Rosemary House; Deep River Mercantile; Chatham Homes Realty; The Modern Life Deli & Drinks; Robena, Phil, and Twyla Olinger; Fiddlehead Farm; Pittsboro Roadhouse; Seven Year Productions; Katy McReynolds/Chatham Homes Realty; Granite State Electric LLC; Dr. Tammy R. Severt, D.D.S., P.A; Primrose School of Chapel Hill at Briar Chapel; First Bank; Lesley Landis Designs; gh designs; Carolina Brewery; B & J Custom Printers; Blueline Contracting; the Chatham Marketplace; Oasis Market; and the North Carolina Arts Council.