Monday, November 25, 2013

Chatham Studio Tour 2013

The Chatham Artists Guild will hold our annual studio tour the first two weekends in December. My studio, gallery and sculpture garden is number 32 on the tour map. I hope that you will visit. Details:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fall-winter schedule for Chatham County artist Handler Works on exhibition

Sept. 28 Reception FrAnk Gallery ‘Inspired by the Lens’ Sept. 10-Oct. 6, Chapel Hill

Oct. 20 Artists Studios @Fearrington Outdoor Ann’l Show, 20 booths of arts, crafts in the Village Center 10 AM – 4 PM, Pittsboro

Oct. 18 Reception, Durham Art Guild 59 ann’l. Juried Show, Oct. 10-Nov. 9, Downtown Durham

Oct. 19-24 Internat’l Furniture Market, ‘Revolution Artists’ showroom, 104 N Main St. High Point, Open to the trade only

Nov. 7 Reception 5-7 PM, Domicile Realty, newly renovated Bold Building,   Oct. 30-Nov. 25 One Man Show, 50201 Gov’s. Dr. Chapel Hill

Nov. Reception date tba. Suzanne Connors Fine Art, gallery Opening, 544 Northwood Rd., W. Palm Beach, Fl.

Dec. 7 Gala @ Greenhill Center for NC Arts, admission charge 7-11PM, Dec. 8, 2-4PM Free public viewing, Greensboro

Jan. 5 Reception, 2-4 PM Chapel Hill Historical Soc. @ Horace Williams House, Jan. 5-Mar. 23

 Jan. 16 Reception 5:30-7:30 Theater Arts Gallery, High Point One Man    Show Jan. 16- Mar. 30

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chatham Artist Awarded for her Pastel Paintings

Many people lay low during these hot and humid Summer days, but not Chatham Artist Kim Werfel. She has been very busy making a splash in the area arts scene. She won two awards at the state wide exhibition  North Carolina Pastel Societies at the Hickory Museum of Art. Her best in show pastel, “The Lookout” depicts a group of deer seeking food in the morning light. Werfel’s “Queen of Swords” won  the Pastel Society of Virginia Award. It is a haunting portrait of a young girl leaning on fencing foils.   An avid animal-lover, Werfel’s art was featured at the 20th anniversary of the Cole Park Veterinary Clinic in Chatham County.

The Lookout by Kim Werfel
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Kim Werfel now resides in Fearrington Village, NC with her husband Eric and her beloved bichon frise, Summer.  She is a former Wake County, NC art teacher and long-time advertising production coordinator for Time, Sports Illustrated and People Magazines, NYC.  She earned a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in Advertising Design from New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, NY and a Masters of Science in Art Education from L.I. University, C.W. Post Campus, Brookville, NY.

Werfel is known for her pastel portraits of people and animals. Her sensitive realistic interpretation and impressionistic colors give her portraits personality and spirit as well as a likeness. Her paintings have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout North Carolina. Commissioned portraits are held in New York, California, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia. Werfel is active in artist groups, including Fine Arts League of Cary (, The Pastel Society of NC (, the Piedmont Pastel Society, Artist Studios at Fearrington Village ( and the Chatham Artists Guild (

You can see Kim Werfel in her studio at the 2013 Chatham Studio Tour the first two weekends in December.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

L'Homme Vert

The legendary Green Man deity of the British Isles and Europe was believed to create rain, sustain nature, and support livestock and pasture. He has adorned churches, all sorts of buildings, and feels very comfortable in the garden. L’Lomme Vert is created from cement, peat moss, chicken wire, 100 year old tin roof tiles and found deer antlers with tarnished bronze coating, exterior house paint and eye balls by Jonathan Davis. I will display “L’Homme Vert” starting Saturday August 24th at “Come Out and Play” at JimGin Farm. Then, this assemblage will be at the North Carolina Botanical Garden “Sculpture in the Garden” September 21st through December.



Duck Duck Goose, A sculptural kids game

Duck duck goose
Critters on the loose
Children laughing in the garden.

Goose duck duck                                      
Kids have all the luck
Running wild in the yard, and

Duck duck goose
They use any excuse
To laugh and run without regard, and

Goose duck duck
The kids have run amuck
This game is so avant garde, and

Duck duck goose
I guess you can deduce
Life is so much fun in a garden.

This goofy gaggle was made of recycled rebar and plastic bags, cement, peat moss, chicken wire, steel, and tarnished bronze coating. I will display “Duck, Duck Goose” starting Saturday August 24th at “Come Out and Play” at JimGin Farm. Then, this assemblage will be at the North Carolina Botanical Garden “Sculpture in the Garden”  September 21st through December.


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Fearrington Writers Read

The first (annual) Fearrington Writers’ Read will be held at McIntyre’s Book Store in Fearrington Village on Wednesday, June 26 at 2 p.m.

Here’s your chance to hear your neighbors and friends, who are members of the Fearrington Writing Group, read short prose work they have written.

You are in for a treat when you listen to, and ask questions of, these eight skilled writers:

             Sherman Poultney (coordinator, Prose Group II) 

Dick Merwarth (coordinator, Prose Group I)

Forrest Greenslade (co-founder, Fearrington Writers’ Group)

William A. Polf

Caroline Taylor

Les Ewen

Barry Reece (co-founder, Fearrington Writers’ Group)

Laura T. Jensen (facilitator, Fearrington Writers’ Group)


About the Fearrington Writers Group

The Fearrington Writers’ Group is open to any resident interested in writing. Our aim is to:
-discuss the art and business of writing;
-aid one another in composition and publishing;
-share useful information; and,
-give participants a platform for our work.

Many members of the group have shown interest in family history, personal memoir, essays, creative non-fiction, fiction and poetry. The group meets regularly from September through May. The format of our meetings is influenced by input from members.

In general, we attempt to:
-provide useful information for writers and anyone who is thinking about writing’
-encourage members to share experiences from writers’ conferences and workshops;
-provide a forum for sharing your writing; and,
-encourage writing – in any form – for any purpose.

We encourage everyone to write something! There are two subgroups: one for folks interested in poetry (see below) and another one for those interested in prose writing (see below). We are eager to fine-tune our mission and change our meeting format to meet the needs of the group. We encourage any and all comments and suggestions.

Contact Laura T. Jensen at:
Dick Merwarth (Prose Group)
Bill Sommers (Poetry Group)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Art in the Village Rescheduled for June 2nd

April showers came our way. The winds of May nearly blew us away. But the second of June will be our lucky day. Artist Studios at Fearrington Village will present Art in the Village on Sunday June 2nd in the village center from 10 to 4. We really mean it this time. Come join us in a celebration of the visual arts. Art, Music, beautiful gardens, exciting shops.
In addition to the original art, the beautiful gardens, the home-made music and the exciting shops, visitors can enjoy the gourmet food of the the Dancing Goat and the Old Granary. A special feature for this show will be made to order wood-fired pizzas prepared by Pittsboro's own Capp's Apizza-Artisan Wood-Fired Pizza . They will be just behind The Roost, serving their yummy selection of pizzas hot from their mobile wood fired oven.

Do a sun dance!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Art in the Village -- Spring 2013


APRIL 28, 2013


(Rain date May 5)


SANDY BEACH                               FUSED GLASS

VIDABETH BENSEN                      SILK SCREEN

ANNE BIGELOW                             JEWELRY

EVELYN BROWN                           POTTERY




MURY HANDLER                           ACRYLIC, INK BRUSH PRINTS



HORTY JACOBS                             PHOTOGRAPHY




ROY LINDHOLM                              PHOTOGRAPHY

JOHN MAKOWSKI                          CERAMICS


PAC McLAURIN                              NEW ARTIST

KAY MURPHY                                 JEWELRY

JANE PALKOSKI                             FIBER ART

ZEN PALKOSKI                               SCULPTURE

STAN POMERANZ                         POTTERY

ANNE RAMOS                                MISCELLANEOUS CRAFTS


EL TREMBLAY                                PAINTING




Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Happy April

Spring is in full bloom in Fearrington Village – and so is the art

Painting by Florence Johnson, Photo by Matthew Leavitt
Artist Studios at Fearrington Village presents Art in the Village, an outdoor exhibit and sale showcasing  visual artists who live and create in Fearrington.  Come to the Village Center on Sunday, April 28th, from 10 to 3 for Exhibitors: painters, potters, sculptors, photographers, jewelers, woodworkers, fabric artists - a wide variety of styles and media. Join us – it’s family friendly and free!

Stroll through our beautiful gardens. Enjoy lovely and exciting music. Have a snack or a meal in Fearrington’s renowned restaurants. Browse interesting shops. Visit McIntyre’s Books, a delightful independent bookstore.

Enjoy exhibits by local, regional and nationally-known artists and purchase their original artworks.

For more information, visit our blog: and website:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Iraq War: 10 Years Later -- The Real Story

Early in the morning, Kazem was awakened by horrified screams. He ran to the next room where is wife Shatha cowered in the corner. “Look” she demanded. Kazem turned his eyes in the direction of his wife’s extended finger. “There” she pointed again, “Do something”.

Kazem’s eyes then locked on the opposite corner of the small room where Shatha prepared food for the family. In the corner, frantically darting this way and that, was an equally horrified and very small rodent. “Do something” Shatha repeated, with a heightened tenor of urgency in her voice. Kazem grabbed a broom from near the table, and lunged toward the miniature beast – which abruptly turned to the far wall, and scurried through a barely discernable crack in its base.

“Kazem – Do something” Shatha demanded.

Kazem hurried down the street, past one of the towering statues of Saddam, into the neighborhood market place. Making his way through close aisles of merchandise, he went right to the stall of Mogtada, his friend, who sold whatever he could find at a cheap price. Kazem recapped for Mogtada his encounter with the small rodent, and stressed that any level of domestic tranquility in his household depended on his doing something with it. “It is only a mouse” advised Mogtada, “They are everywhere here in Baghdad.”

“What can I do about this mouse?”

“You need a mouse trap.

“OK, sell me such a mouse trap!”

“I wish that I could sell you a mouse trap” Mogtada responded, “But with these United Nations sanctions, Iraq cannot import food and medicines, let alone mouse traps” he elaborated.

Kazem’s mind began to race. He was a very enterprising person, always sensitive to opportunity. “Why don’t we make these mouse traps, and sell them all over Baghdad” he blurted out excitedly. I will be able to do something at home, and we can make a better Baghdad, perhaps even a better Iraq.”

Kazem and Mogtada, anxious to get started on their new venture, rushed to the home of Abu, an influential person in the local Ba’ath Party in Baghdad. They stressed to Abu the importance of ridding communities all over Iraq of these rodent threats. They urged Abu to help them secure the resources needed to design and produce some sort of device for mouse eradication.

Abu was also an astute man with a quick mind for opportunity. He suggested that, for a small percentage of future profits from the venture, he would secure funds from government resources. “Even with UN sanctions, there is plenty for Saddam’s friends” he winked.

The next day, Abu visited the Ministry of Security. His friend, Hamza, was assistant to Assistant Minister of Baghdad Security. Abu outlined for Hamza the strategy for producing devices for mouse eradication. Hamza, quite astute himself, allowed that, for a small percentage of future profits, he would get support from Saddam’s inner circle. “Being well connected in the Ba’ath Party, I will simply send an email message to a very influential person,” Hamza declared.

Hamza sat right down at his computer, one of the very few allowed in Baghdad. He addressed his note to Uday. In the email, he emphasized the critical importance of a program to produce weapons of mouse eradication in order to circumvent the UN sanctions.

In his office in London, Michael sat, bleary eyed from hours of staring at reams of email traffic. Abruptly, his eyes focused tight on the words “In order to circumvent UN sanctions, Iraq’s program to produce weapons of mouse destruction will have the highest priority.” Michael bolted from his chair, and ran into the office of John, Assistant Director of Intelligence at MI6.

John called Clive.

Clive called Reginald.

Dubb'ya in clay by Forrest
And Reginald called Tony.

Tony picked up the red phone, and called Condi. “We are getting a bit of chatter about Iraq’s program to produce weapons of mouse destruction to circumvent the UN sanctions, he said.

“Weapons of mouse destruction?” Condi repeated

Condi Called Donald, “British intelligence has some scuttlebutt about Iraq using weapons of mouse
destruction against the UN.”

Donald dropped the phone, and strode into Dubb’ya’s office, “Saddam Hussein has weapons of mouse destruction, and he plans to use them against the United Nations building in New York City.”

Dubb’ya just stared back “WMD?”

A few weeks later, Kazem looked up in shock and awe, as bombs rained down on his little home in Baghdad. Kazem, Shatha, their four children, and several very small rodents were killed.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Organic Forrestry at Chatham Marketplace

Biologist turned artist Forrest C. Greenslade, PhD ( will exhibit a selection of paintings depicting local  scenes in the CafĂ© at the Chatham Marketplace ( during the month of April. There will be a meet the artist wine and cheese reception on Saturday April  13 from 1 to 3.

Bynum Bridge, a relief painting in modeling paste and tarnished metals
"I was that kid you could always find turning over rocks in streams, looking for what wonders nature would disclose to me," says Greenslade. His curiosity about the natural world, led him to a life as scientist and organizational executive. Now in retirement, Dr. Greenslade is again doing what he did when he was ten years old -- turning over rocks and sculpting and painting the wonders that nature discloses.

"I lived a serious life, but now in my dotage, I am just letting the kid out again, " Greenslade smiles."It's more fun than an old guy deserves."

Greenslade’s latest book, Visitations: A Nature-Lover’s Journal ( will on view at the reception.

April 13th is also the opening day for the Marketplace Farmers Market.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Shetland Reverie

Shetland Reverie by Forrest C. Greenslade, PhD 
About a month ago, Carol-Ann and I adopted a Sheltie named Stanley from Triangle Sheltie Rescue. He has stolen our hearts and those of neighbors and many, many folks in Fearrington Village. Stanley is a very good model, and has inspired me to do several paintings of him.

In "Shetland Reverie", I imagine Stanley recalling the ancestral home in the Shetland Islands of this wonderful breed. This is a 16x20 painting using watercolor and colored pencil.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Carolina Brewery Features Chatham Artists Guild Art for All Seasons

Patrons of the popular Pittsboro restaurant will enjoy the colorful and textural works of printmaker Vidabeth Bensen and mixed media artist Rita Spina from February 2 – April 6, 2013. Bensen and Spina are charter participants of the Chatham Studio Tour. There will be a free reception on Sunday, March 3rd from 4 to 6 PM. Come, meet the artists and  share some custom crafted brews and delicious snacks.

Vidabeth Bensen’s original screen prints reflect 27 years living and working overseas.  She is a retired high school art teacher and used her skills as a printmaker while working as an illustrator and graphic artist for the US Army in Germany and for USIS in Morocco. 

Winter Trees by Vidabeth Bensen
Bensen grew up in NYC. “I remember always making art,” she says. She majored in art, with a minor in education at Brooklyn College.  That intersection has been a continuous thread throughout her life. The other constant has been screen printing. In college she had a lot of acting friends, who asked her to make posters for them. Making posters by hand was too time-consuming, so she learned to do silk screening. “The first time I pulled a squeegee across a screen, I was hooked – I have been doing it ever since.”

Her prints are hand pulled in her studio in Chatham County and each one is unique.  Many of her prints could be called “screen paintings” as they are mounted on canvas and are one-of-a-kind mono-prints.  Color and composition inspired by Bensen’s interest in abstract expressionism are the subject matter of several newer prints. . “I consider myself so very fortunate – I have been doing this for over 50 years – Every print that I make is still exciting to me.”

Rita Spina is renowned for the re-visioning of discarded materials into beautiful and distinctive art. “I am a “junque” artist, she grins. Spina’s work is almost always 3-dimensional and is made of materials that have been previously used, which includes, metal scrap, old wood, paper and often organic materials themselves. “I find most of the materials in scrap yards, walks in the woods, rural roads and often on my front deck, as people who know my work pass "junque" along.”

Golden Touch by Rita Spina
Born and raised in Manhattan, Spina always expressed an interest in art, and as a child attended Saturday classes at the famous Parson’s School of Design. She planned to be an art major at Russell Sage College. However, she became an English major, as the Art program was tailored for those who wished to follow the great artists of the world -- that would come later. She married, had four children, went to Hofstra University for her graduate degree in Psychology and eventually headed up the Psychological Center. A subsequent clinical practice followed.

“Whereas in my career as a Psychologist, I put people and ideas together, as an Artist, I now put materials and ideas together,” Spins notes.  “The materials often stimulate the origins of what I do.” 

Life’s cycles, the power of nature and her changes, the tension between natural form and emerging technologies, the remnants of progress and the coexistence of variables are an endless table from which to choose for Rita Spina - nothing ever remains the same.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Nestled Among Shield Ferns

Nestled Among Shield Ferns
This is my first painting of 2013, a mixed media relief painting, inspired by Paul Greene's cabin in the North Carolina Botanical Garden.