“She simply wouldn’t take no for an answer,” John Wietzel said with a smile. Wietzel was one of the participating artists for the Art Walkabout hosted by the Cheraw Arts Commission last Thursday evening. He was talking about Lindsay Bennett, the driving force behind what has become an annual event and avenue for artistic interaction on the sidewalks of downtown Cheraw.
Wietzel, a painter who works with reclaimed objects, lives and works in Pawley’s Island, S.C. “It takes a lot of time to pack up everything and travel here,” said Wietzel. Then he smiled again and said, “but she (Bennett) just bulldogged me right into it.” Wietzel said he was glad he returned to this year’s event, admitting it was a great boost to his artistic ego to be in such demand.
The Art Walkabout not only featured the work of individual visual artists, it also was an opportunity for people to participate in various activities while enjoying live music with Mike and the Mixers at Centennial Park. The event also kicked off a series of concert events for the summer. Another free concert, featuring the music of Too Much Sylvia, will be presented June 21 at Centennial Park from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Brenda Branson of Cheraw has learned the ancient Japanese technique for braiding known as Kumihimo. Branson participated in the Art Walkabout by exhibiting her jewelry and demonstrating her mastery of the art of Kumihimo. She incorporates the use of this technique in making many of her uniquely designed necklaces. “It’s the same technique that sumo wrestlers use in tying their sashes for strength,” said Branson.
Anyone wishing to get their hands dirty was offered an opportunity to try out the potter’s wheel with Bennettsville artist Grace Jennings. Children were encouraged to create sidewalk art with chalk and even hula hoops were on hand to shake things up a bit.
The list of participating artists included: Oliver Lewis, Miracle Bowles, Gina Bowles, Yale Bowles, Beth Wicker, Samantha and Lawson Lee, Cheryl Postlewait, Brenda Branson, M.J. Martin, Wendy Woods, John Wietzel, John Chapman, Vicky McLain, Banie Slice, Wade Hurley, Mike Jackson, Jim Norris, Grace Jennings, Felecia McCall, Kelly Bollman, and Melanie Trusky.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, ext. 224, or by email at email@example.com.