The art of enrichment

Feb. 06, 2014 @ 11:58 AM

Whether it is through words and prose, the sanding of wood, a brushstroke of purpose, or the melody of a song that lasts generations upon generations, art, in any form, enriches.
The historic flavor of Hillsborough is a community that tastes better because of the influence of many local artists. Here, artist of all genres inject purpose and spirit and sustenance of character to a town of many characters.
For Neil Stutzer, the chairman of the Hillsborough Arts Council, the growth of artistic recognition and culture is, “huge and growing rapidly,” he says with emphasis on the word growing. Originally from New Jersey and New York and now the chairman of an integral part of the language of Hillsborough’s art scene, Stutzer is hoping the council’s decision to open a gallery and gift shop will further enhance art within the town.
Stutzer is familiar with the process of moving ideas forward and perfected his ability to communicate and plan and implement while once serving as the logistical and security director for Christopher Reeve, also known as Superman. “I was in charge of making the world accessible to him,” Stutzer said.
One of the continuing missions of the all-volunteer membership is to foster art that is accessible to everyone in Hillsborough, not just artist. “We are always trying to identify new ways to explore art in our community and to seek new and local artist, especially those from our rural community,” Stutzer said. Inside the gallery, artist may apply to have pieces sold by commission in an art retail environment. “We have over 100 artists that we work with and volunteers and this place allows us to offer them the ability to grow into their chosen path as an artist,” Stutzer said.
The space is intimate, with exposed brick on the wall and a properly worn wooden floor; all compliment the environment while not distracting from the items on display and for sale. “We work with many local groups, including Cedar Ridge wood workers and OCIM and we sponsor parlor music, where local historic homes are the venue from which a performance is heard,” Stutzer said.
The council is well known for its work in the handmade parade, the Last Friday’s art walk and other activities that are sponsored within the town. Still, Stutzer acknowledges that the council is seeking expansion with artists that contribute and simultaneously is hoping to bring more of the community of Hillsborough the county together where each visitor to the gallery will hopefully identify with that which is communicated by art.
“Hillsborough has so many renowned artists within the town and rural areas that we feel one of the most valuable assets we have to offer is direct mentoring ability to aspiring artists,” Stutzer said.
From inside the gallery and gift store, the purpose and vision of an artist, exists. From within the community, artists contribute to broadening the character of this town. The result might be called artistic production, or it may just be called enrichment.

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