Art in the cold

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 6, 2016

You cannot, it seems, outrun winter.

After recent weather that felt more like spring than the current season the calendar claims, it finally came time this week to pull out the sweaters, scarves and heavy coats.

Rowan County didn’t get snow. Oddly enough, that happened instead on the northern Outer Banks, where a light dusting and the possibility of up to a half-inch prompted a winter weather advisory.

We did, however, see temperatures only climb into the 30s after a low of about 20 degrees the night before. And that had people bundling up and trying to get where they were going quickly to avoid staying outside too long.

Well, most people.

Artist Joesph Heilig parked himself in his usual spot in front of Innes Street Drug on Main Street and went to work on his drawings.

Heilig uses the money he makes creating artwork for people to help purchase food and to help him get along from day to day — even on days when the temperature is not very comfortable.

On Tuesday, Heilig moved from bench to bench to stay in as much warm sunshine as he could. At the end of the day, when the cold shadows would have overtaken his work area, Heilig planned to pack up and take his earnings to a nearby downtown restaurant for an evening meal before heading home.

“Even though it’s cold, you still gotta do what you gotta do,” he said.