"This Is ClearWater Artist Studios (May 2019)", New Video, Launched Online

For Immediate Release

Click here for the PDF copy of this—-

May 14, 2019

CONCORD, NC -- ClearWater Artist Studios and the City of Concord, NC are excited to announce a new video, crafted as a dynamic introduction to the Studios & art center, which are open to the public. 

Johny Walker, videographer & owner of Blue Label Visuals in Charlotte, worked closely with Sarah Gay, Manager of ClearWater for the City’s Planning & Neighborhood Development Department, to create the 4-minute video.  It illustrates just some of the exceptional talent to be found in the tenant artists, as well as the variety of events and opportunities available for the community to share in.

We hope you enjoy, and  -- please share as widely as possible!  

This video can be accessed on the website, FaceBook, InstaGram (IGTV), and NextDoor platforms of ClearWater Artist Studios. Some may take a few days to work out upload glitches.

This link goes straight to the video on the YouTube channel of ClearWater Artist Studios.

NOTE - The YouTube version can look grainy, if you don't set your resolution settings to HD within your device/ YouTube window.The video is HD, so it can handle playing that high if you have the internet speed for it. Apparently this must be set at the viewer's end.

Please feel free to call or email Sarah with any questions;

704-784-9535 or (also


Thank you—



‘Dream In Color’ Exhibit, Up Thru 1/25, A Milestone for Local Painters

Press Release – For Immediate Release: Concord, NC: January 17, 2019

 See the PDF version of this release—-

CONTACT: Sarah Gay, 704-784-9535 or

…OR either artist, upon request.

CONCORD - Andell McCoy and Erin Allen became friends over 10 years working together at Stanly Community College. With different personalities, backgrounds etc., they found that they shared a love of art, and were both working on a lifelong dream of becoming a painter, in their spare time. Now their artworks hang side by side in their first-ever joint exhibition, ‘Dream in Color’ which is on view until Jan. 25, 2019 at the Main Gallery at ClearWater Artist Studios in Concord, NC. 

“We have different styles, temperaments and personalities… but we both love abstraction and letting color tell us where to go with the painting,” said McCoy.  Over the years, they’ve encouraged each other’s efforts, sharing opinions, notes on techniques and influences. Until recently, they only entered their paintings in the annual community college show, garnering awards over the years. Until this past fall, neither had ever exhibited her works in a public gallery.


When Andell McCoy approached Sarah Gay, Manager of ClearWater Artist Studios for the City of Concord, about a ‘guest artist’ show, they discussed sharing the experience.  Gay invited her to consider a joint show. McCoy’s first and only thought was of Allen.  “I love her work, her commitment, and our sharing and support for each other over the years,” McCoy said.


Erin and Andell grew up in neighboring counties, and both enjoyed other careers before reconnecting with art.  After high school McCoy was accepted in UNC- Charlotte's Nursing School; upon arrival she decided that nursing was more of a dream for her mother and grandmother and she opted to pursue classes in the arts before transferring to UNC- Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism, receiving a BA in Radio/TV and Motion Pictures (now Communications) with a minor in Journalism.  She then moved to the Washington, D.C. area for a time at Howard University Law School before moving to Los Angeles. Through years of work in advertising, TV, real estate and education, McCoy wound up getting a Master’s Degree in Psychology with emphasis in Marriage, Family Therapy before returning to NC.


Allen also moved to the Washington D.C. area, working in a CPA firm, publishing, and the federal government while raising a family. Eventually she also returned to NC. Allen has maintained a steady career in education administration.


McCoy is gregarious and sometimes boisterous in manner; Allen, quietly cheerful and enthusiastic. Their different approaches to painting were evident in their Artist Talks at the Opening Reception of ‘Dream in Color, on Friday Nov. 2, 2018. Allen methodically presented several of her artist-influences, and then shared her own process in a carefully annotated slideshow; McCoy free-formed her talk, encouraging the audience to share their emotional responses to the art and their own connection with the creative process.  The audience of roughly 80 were enthusiastically attentive to both women.


Allen’s methodically intentional approach, McCoy says, is the opposite of her own.  “Erin plans a painting after being moved by a color, a shape; she stands back, looking at each painting over days, and reflects on where she wants to go with it before making each new addition.”  McCoy said.  “I just let how I feel guide where I put the brush though I do pay attention to the balance of color; I work fast, being responsive and spontaneous, very present in the moment.” For both, the process is therapeutic. 


The beauty of their personal connection, and complimentary spirits is evident in the exhibition. The two styles help set off the power of each other’s work.  “Just like our friendship supports our mutual goals of returning to an art path,” says Allen.  “Why we had to wait until later in life to find our way back, we aren’t sure; but we are happy to have done it together, and we hope this will inspire others to allow ‘Dreaming in Color’ to free their artist’s spirit!”


The exhibition is on view at ClearWater Artist Studios through Friday, January 25.  Groups are welcome to schedule a visit with a guided tour.



ClearWater Artist Studios is located in Gibson Village, less than a mile from Downtown Concord, 223 Crowell Drive NW. Its Gallery is open to the public most weekdays, Noon-5pm; every 2nd Saturday10am-4pm; and/or by appointment. The Gallery, outdoor Green, and open-air covered Market are available to rent for private events. For details, see; or call 704-784-9535.


Opening Event of Collaborative Art Project A Success – With More To Come

For Immediate Release: Date: July 3, 2018

CONTACT: Sarah Gay, Manager of ClearWater Artist Studios; 704-784-9535 or

[Photos below]

Opening Event of Collaborative Art Project A Success – With More To Come


CONCORD, NC – The 2,000-square-foot Gallery hummed with cheerful greetings, contemplative conversation and some hilarity last Sunday as collage-gluing, mark-making and paint-throwing got underway.  A backdrop of original, electronic beats music soon filled the space, and the audience settled into rows of chairs to watch an unusual event unfold: the synchronous, live-painting of a huge work of art by multiple artists.  Four regional members of the Global Art Project, or ‘GAP,’ an international collaborative-artists organization, and one non-affiliated artist converged on ClearWater Artist Studios and spent three hours working together to create large, colorful mixed-media artworks on the Studios’ “Giant Easels.” An appreciative and diverse audience, ages one to 80 watched, munched on refreshments, and took in the surrounding exhibition. 

It was the Opening Reception/ Live Painting Demo for “Visual Strategies: A Collaborative Project,” the brainchild of local artist, Mikel Frank. Frank, former Event Coordinator and Stage Manager for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York (for 29 years), and artist Carl Heyward, who founded & coordinates GAP and lives on the West Coast, collaborated with Sarah Gay, the Manager of ClearWater Artist Studios, to realize an exhibition plus a series of events.


“When I saw the space, I thought it a perfect venue for an exhibition like this,” said Frank, who was in the Rowan Cabarrus Community College Faculty Show at ClearWater this past February, when he met Gay. “The artists here have been incredibly welcoming and supportive, and Sarah is great to work with. The space is so unique; it works very well.” 


The exhibit, on view through August 24, showcases international collaborative artworks. The three events introduce live collaborative painting to the public, with the third inviting families to come in and paint with Mikel. All hosted at ClearWater, which houses the working studios of 14 artists as well as the Southern Piedmont Woodturner’s Association in an old, former water and utilities plant in the Gibson Village Neighborhood. Gibson Village was originally built for mill workers in the heyday of Concord’s textile industry, and is one of Concord’s most diverse neighborhoods, near the Historic Downtown.

Participating members shipped their collaboratively constructed artworks in from all over the world for the exhibit. GAP promotes the use of ‘frags,’ or fragments, which artists in the group send to each other through the mail to incorporate into larger artworks. Most are abstract. They are glued, sewn, painted, drawn, etc. The artworks hail from Spain, the UK, Belgium, The Netherlands and Japan, as well as the USA. Two videos are in the exhibition; one, a dance sequence of five dancers in Italy, shot in slow-motion against various street-art backdrops, choreographed by Macha Melanie; the other, a video exploring the spaces between relationships by Christopher Padgett Hunnicutt, one of the artists who came Sunday, from Raleigh, NC.

The other artists participating in the live collaboration were Nancy Perry, from Anderson, SC; Sandee Johnson, from Asheville, NC; and Claire Schauseil as well as Mikel Frank, from Charlotte – and, Frank’s 5-year old Grand Nephew, Liam Borges, from York, SC.


“Who knows when I’ll get a chance like this again?” Said Perry, who drove 3 hours and took a motel room in order to participate. “I’ve been an active GAP member, but this is the first time I’ve been able to meet or work with these artists in person. I can’t go to Senegal (Where the GAP group convenes in 2018), but I could make it here- and we’re working really well together, for people who’ve never met!”


Artist Chris Hunnicutt agreed.

“What a joy it is to connect in this open space between autonomy and communion; a heart-felt and ecstatic collaboration!” he said.  The artist was variously up on a ladder, spattering paint in improvisational expression, and helping glue in paper cut-up collage fragments from the others. He works as a full time artist in Raleigh with his sweetheart, Jenny Jensen, who contributed her photography. Christopher’s family was also present; his parents came to the event, as well as his son, Henry Hunnicutt, who “stood in” as Audio-Visual Manager, facilitating the digital music—which was composed by Dylan Frank (son of Mikel), aka. 'daedaepivot,’ who co-produces the music of Chicago rapper, Saba.


Audience members from the local community – many in the space for the first time—made appreciative comments, saying they were glad to know a community facility like this exists here in their town.  Roughly 55 people attended the event.  Heyward, and another 150 FaceBook friends and GAP artists supported monitored the live video feed that Frank had running via FaceBook, shared posts, and made supportive comments (“Smash them Frag Particles!” from Heyward).


Two more live-painting events will be held, both on the 2nd Saturday of the month, when ClearWater Artist Studios holds its monthly Open Studios open house:

On Saturday, July 14th, Mikel Frank and longtime collaborative painting partner, Gerard Amsellem, who together form the Visual Passion Duo (, will present a 5-hour, Live Collaborative Painting Demo, accompanied by live music with local jazz pianist, Noel Freidline. The Duo has performed with Ethel contemporary classical quartet.


Then, on Saturday, August 11 the Studios will host the 3rd and final event, Family Collaborative Painting Day; Sessions at 11am and 2pm will be facilitated by Mikel Frank (until 4pm). The community is invited to come paint a large work together, facilitated by Frank, which will then be added to the exhibition. 


Doors open at 10am for 2nd Saturday Open Studios.  Details are at See for more on the Global Art Project.


ClearWater Artist Studios wishes to acknowledge and thank Charlotte-area store, Binders Art Supplies (located in the Cotswold area of Charlotte), for their generous donation of paints and painting medium used for the event (and for those to come).



ClearWater Artist Studios is located in Gibson Village, less than a mile from Downtown Concord, 223 Crowell Drive NW. Its Gallery is open to the public most weekdays, Noon-5pm; every 2nd Saturday10am-4pm; and/or by appointment. The Gallery, outdoor Green, and open-air covered Market are available to rent for private events. For details, see; or call 704-784-9535.


Local Master-Level Decorative Artisans Featured in Pop-Up Show

For Immediate Release: Date: December 6, 2017

 Click HERE to see the PDF of this release


CONTACT: Sarah Gay, Manager, ClearWater Artist Studios;

704-784-9535 or


Local Master-Level Decorative Artisans Featured in Pop-Up Show at ClearWater Gallery


CONCORD, NC – For a brief three weeks, starting this Saturday, the public can get a view of a ‘hidden art’ in the special exhibit, “Creative Surfaces: The Art of Decorative Artisanal Walls,” on view Dec. 9-29, 2017 in the Gallery at ClearWater Artist Studios.

Decorative Artisans transform mundane walls, ceilings, floors and more into custom-designed, jaw-dropping interiors –often tricking the eye into believing solid stone, hand-carved plaster, metal, or leather exists where surface applications simply dress up drywall.  Those at the top of the field are hired by moguls and millionaires, to make homes, corporate spaces and places of worship look richly and uniquely appointed.  Many reach a level of fine art, in their handcrafted details.

Two such artisans reside here in Concord, NC and are in high demand.  They’ve been in this business for 25 years as a couple, running their home-based business from their house on Union Street South; and also their studio.  Bob and Cindy Andrews have created custom decorative finishes for clients all over the Southeast and the country; they run classes for others mastering the craft and materials, and rub elbows with colleagues doing castles and churches on far-away continents. 

Their 2nd studio is based at ClearWater Artist Studios, in the Gibson Village Neighborhood.

This exhibit of their Sample Boards and site photos, on display in the ClearWater Gallery for a limited time (Dec. 9-29), gives a glimpse of the intriguing materials and methods of these ‘Wall Magicians.”

This Saturday, on December 9, the artisans will be available in the Gallery to meet and speak with, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. during ClearWater’s monthly open house, ‘2nd Saturday Open Studios’ (monthly 10a-4p on 2nd Saturdays).

ClearWater Artist Studios is the artist haven and community hub housed in the City of Concord's nearly century-old former water works and utility operations facilities. It launched a new, interactive website in August; feedback on the new is welcomed. Email or connect on Facebook, @ClearwaterArtistStudios.


ClearWater Artist Studios is located in Gibson Village, less than a mile from Downtown Concord, at 223 Crowell Drive NW. Its Gallery is open to the public Weds-Friday, Noon-5pm; every 2nd Saturday 10am-4pm; and/or by appointment. The Gallery, outdoor Green, and open-air covered Market are available to rent for private events. For details, see; or call 704-784-9535.