Rowan County residents win gold, silver and bronze at annual Silver Arts showcase

Published 12:05 am Sunday, March 18, 2018

By Jessica Coates

SALISBURY — There was song. There was dance. There was a wooden kaleidoscope on a pedestal.

The 35th annual Silver Arts Extravaganza event — held Friday at 10 a.m. at the Salisbury Civic Center — brought more than 70 Rowan County residents over the age of 50 together to celebrate life and their own unique talents.

“They are still so full of passion and excitement for so many different things,” said Silver Arts Assistant Coordinator Savannah Daniel.

The Silver Arts participants competed in four main categories — performing arts, visual arts, literary arts and heritage arts. But within those categories were many more subcategories, with woodworking, knitting, acrylic paint, photography and quilting being just a few.

“For a lot of them, they do art as a hobby,” Daniel said. “Some take classes. But everyone has to be 50 or older to participate.”

Participants’ artwork was judged Thursday by some combination of eight judges. Daniel said they tried to get judges who had experience with the category they were judging.

The first-place winners in heritage arts were: Bernice Hager for crocheting; Joanne French for jewelry; Marcia Bremser for needlework; Karen Morgan for hand-stitched quilting; Rebecca Lyerly for machine-stitched quilting; C. William French for stained glass; James Baird for woodcarving; Richard Taylor for woodturning; and Lanie Craven for woodworking.

The first-place winners in literary arts were: Shane Tolliver for essays; C. William French for life experiences; Phyllis Loflin-Kluttz for poems; and Helen Sienerth for short stories.

The first-place winners in visual arts were: Janet Isenhour for acrylics; Carolyn Blackman for drawing; Cathy Yochim for mixed media; Phyllis Steimel for oil paints; Phyllis Steimel for pastels; Ernest Griffith for digital photography; Richard Lapham for film photography; Charles Heilig for sculpture; and Carolyn Blackman for watercolor.

There were also winners for arts like food, housewares, live plants and sewing.

The judges this year were: Karl Hales and Jim Epperson for performing arts; Deal Safrit for literary arts; Frank Saye, Frances Driscoll and Wayne Hinshaw for visual arts; and Bunni Sinclair, Terry Francis, Debbie Barnhardt, Shavonne Walker, Ann Miller and Sue Misenheimer for heritage arts.

Phyllis Loflin-Kluttz, who has been the Silver Arts coordinator for the last 18 years, said before the performing arts portion of the event that the judges had “a ball” looking over the contestants’ work.

“They really fought hard about it. They loved all the work,” Loflin-Kluttz said.

The event featured more than 60 artists and approximately 200 pieces of art, not including the literary and performing artists and art.

The performing arts portion of the show, which began around 12:30 p.m., featured seven local acts in singing, instrumental and dance performance.

The first-place winners of the performing arts portion were: Tim Smith, the “Spoon Man,” in first place; Hazel Trexler-Campbell, Debbie Hoffman and Jane Smith-Steinberg — “The Donnettes” — in second place; and George Clyburn, the “Man of Motown,” in third place.

Teresa “Peanut” Lambert & The Girls opened up the performing arts portion with a half-hour performance of dance, song and jokes.

This year’s Silver Arts Extravaganza was sponsored by Trinity Oaks, Carillon Assisted Living of Salisbury, Comfort Keepers of Salisbury, Humana, Laurels of Salisbury, Magnolia Gardens, Novant Health, The Medicine Shoppe, Genesis Healthcare’s Salisbury Center, and Carepath Insurance.

Loflin-Kluttz said that, if participants want to know what judges said about their submitted pieces, they may come to Ellis Park — 3541 Old Mocksville Road in Salisbury — to receive a copy of the feedback. 

For more information about the Silver Arts — or Senior Games — program, email Loflin-Kluttz at

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.