Art Daytrip: “An Alexander County Christmas” Decorations, Exhibits
The holidays are a special time at the Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center’s Lucas Mansion as staff and volunteers work together to decorate all three floors of the historic, Victorian and Edwardian era home with lavish holiday decorations that center on a unique theme. This year’s theme is “Over the River and Through the Woods: An Alexander County Christmas.” These special holiday exhibits and decorations will be on display beginning December 2nd – 22nd; December 27th – 30th during the Center’s operating hours, which are Monday – Friday 10:00 am until 4:30 pm and Saturday 10:00 am until 3:00 pm.
Throughout the month of December, visitors will travel “Over the River“ as they begin their guided tour of the Center’s first floor, historic museum. A magical holiday journey through Alexander County will take visitors “Through the Woods”, stopping to explore landmarks and attractions along the way. This special journey includes decorations that showcase well known Alexandrians such as the mansion’s namesake “Diamond Jim” Lucas, tourism favorites like Rocky Face and the Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center, industries such as apple orchards, furniture, textiles, and farming, and the spirit of giving and generosity that is so important to this special season of the year.
Guided tours of the first floor museum are affordably priced at $4 for adults and $3 for senior citizens and students. Proceeds benefit the Center’s ongoing arts and cultural heritage programming. Children 5 years of age and younger are admitted free. Dues paying members of the Center’s Friends program are also admitted free of charge.
The Lucas Mansion Gallery, located on the second floor of the mansion, features Winter Landscape Paintings by Jeremy Sams. An award winning representational artist living in Archdale, NC, Sams’ inspiring landscapes are created using delicate brush work and skillful acrylic painting techniques achieved while on location en plein air. “It is of utmost importance for me to spend time studying and painting the particular scene on location, en plein air: to experience the sounds, the smells, the cool breeze or the humid air, and the movements of wind and shadows,” Sams explains. The artist’s personal inspirations come mostly from the play of light and atmosphere and their effects on objects and landscapes. His most favorite areas of subject matter are the rolling hills and mountains of North Carolina along with its waterways, and special array of trees and meadows. “The challenge is often not to recreate every little detail, but to merely offer a suggestion so as to not lose the primary focus. If I can do this and achieve a desired emotional reaction within the viewer, then I consider it a successful painting.”
All second floor Lucas Mansion Gallery exhibits are self guided, admission free, and open to the public.
The journey through an Alexander County Christmas continues on the third floor of the Center’s Lucas mansion as festive road signs and fun decorations lead the way through an extensive collection of antique dolls and toys. Watch for road signs like, “Yield: Princess Promenade,” “Caution: Don’t Get Your Tinsel in a Tangle,” and “Reindeer Crossing,” just to name a few! The third floor collections and exhibits are also self guided and admission free for all visitors.
The Lucas Mansion gift shop will offer holiday shopping for handcrafted, unique, and one-of-a-kind artistic gifts. Gift shop sales will benefit local artists, crafters, and the Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center.
Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center events, exhibits, and programs are made possible in part through the generous funding of Alexander County government, the Town of Taylorsville, the Eileen and R. Y. Sharpe Family Foundation, The Winston Salem Foundation, Duke Energy, the Catawba Valley Community Foundation, the Friends of the Center membership program, and by the Grassroots Grant of the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center’s Lucas Mansion and Educational Complex are wheelchair accessible.