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New Waterworks’ exhibit opens June 1

Waterworks Visual Arts Center in downtown Salisbury will present an exhibition of paintings, illustrations, and cartoon drawings by three North Carolina artists, entitled “Imagine.” The exhibition will open June 1 and continue through Sept. 3.

Waterworks invites everyone to the opening reception for “Imagine” on Friday, June 4, 6-7:30 p.m. at the museum, located at 123 East Liberty St. The event is free to attend. However, an RSVP to admin@waterworks.org is recommended.

A humorous, political cartoonist in Baghdad, Iraq, before moving to the United States, Ráed Al Rawi has lived in Charlotte for more than 30 years. He creates surrealist art and is an art instructor at Piedmont Community College. Al Ráwi’s works are published in a wide range of magazines, children’s educational publications, and have been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Inspired by his Iranian heritage, a deepening sense of history and his imagination, “Coming to a Farm Near You” is a fanciful and humorous view of life, which can be enjoyed in the Norvell Gallery.

Lexington-born Marcus Hamilton has been illustrating the nationally-syndicated daily “Dennis the Menace” cartoon panel from his studio in Mint Hill for the past 27 years. The story of how he went from a Norman Rockwell-inspired illustrator to dedicated the artist behind the beloved “Dennis the Menace” daily cartoon is the basis of “Two Dream Careers: Illustrator to Cartoonist,” a life’s collection of work in the Osborne and Woodson Galleries. 

Originally created by cartoonist Hank Ketchum, “Dennis the Menace” celebrated 70 years in March. Hamilton’s first job out of college was with the WBTV art department in Charlotte. Experience gained working locally built his portfolio, which he took to New York City one weekend and made cold calls to well-known magazine art directors. His efforts paid off with regular freelance assignments for the likes of The Saturday Evening Post and Golf Digest until he was able to make illustration his full-time occupation — that is, until digital art production all but replaced the demand for hand-drawn illustrations.

The oldest of five by her working-class Puerto Rican and Cuban parents, Natacha Sochat was born in New York City and currently resides in Raleigh. Sochat’s education is a juxtaposition of medicine and art, leading her to a career in emergency medicine while also painting full time and raising a family. Sochat says she “views a painting as a part of public health, so she paints for the viewer to have a positive experience even if there are underlying serious elements to the work (she is presenting).”

Eye Am Witness – Paintings for Children,” deals with the shared experience we have in our culture, says Sochat. Her works will be presented in the Stanback Gallery Hall and YPG Gallery. 

The exhibit is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. To learn more about the museum, upcoming classes, and events go to waterworks.org. Call 704-636-1882 to arrange a docent-led group tour, plan an office team-building day or to host a club meeting or social event at Waterworks.

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