Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Ah, winter! What better way to celebrate than to visit the GreenHill Center for North Carolina Art, which presents its 42nd annual Winter Show December 5 through February 16, 2022.
The two-month exhibition exemplifies GreenHill’s focus on cultural diversity, illustrating high levels of creative expression throughout the state. The show features wide-ranging contemporary works in multiple mediums — including paintings, sculpture, photography, ceramics, jewelry, wood and fiber works. The museum’s extensive digital catalog and curated visits for small groups complement the sheer artistry on view.
“Winter Show inspires connection and openness to new perspectives,” explains Barbara Richter, executive director and chief executive officer of GreenHill. “The exhibition offers coveted access to many of our state’s most innovative and thoughtful creators both online and in-person. More than 400 works by emerging and established artists showcase the resilience of our multi-faceted, cultural community.”
GreenHill offers a touch of warmth and connection on cold winter days.
Happy Holidays, Untapped
Since opening in November 2019 in the Oden family’s historic (circa 1930–1940) soft drink bottling plant, Oden Brewing Co., owned by Bill Oden, has grown into a thriving business — and contributor to the community.
And the holidays are no exception. First, on Friday night, December 10, the brewery on Gate City Boulevard will host a release party for a beer brewed in partnership with Ales for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Ales for ALS provides hops. Proceeds go to the ALS Therapy Development Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to developing drug treatments for ALS patients.
Then on December 12, Oden will host Carols & Ale from 3–5 p.m. Sponsored by Greensboro Beer & Hymns — an ecumenical organization that fosters a sense of community among diverse groups by sharing a drink and singing hymns — attendees will be belting out a variety of holiday favorites. Post your favorite carol on the Carols & Ale Facebook page for possible inclusion. It’s outdoors, so dress warmly and soak up your suds at one of their picnic tables or feel free to bring your own lawn chair.
“I Made My Family Disappear”
The Carolina Theatre continues its Carolina Classic Holiday Movies series this month. Here’s a sampling of the festive flicks with spoiler alerts:
December 4 — It’s a Wonderful Life, 7 p.m. George changes his mind, Clarence works to get his wings and a bell on the tree rings itself.
December 5 — White Christmas, 7 p.m. Not the same old song-and-dance when Bing Crosby and friends help save an inn.
December 15 — Home Alone, 7 p.m. Latchkey kid becomes man of the house and repeatedly wards off a pair bumbling burglars.
A Well-Deserved Honor
Since 1963, North Carolina has recognized more than 21,000 Tar Heel stalwarts with the state’s highest accolade — the Order of the Long Leaf Pine (O.Henry’s Jim Dodson among them). Celebrated are those “who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments.”
So, it’s no surprise that UNCG’s former director of the Weatherspoon Art Gallery, Nancy Doll, has been honored with the prestigious distinction. During her 22-year tenure, her steadfast leadership served as a model for community-engaged art and active promotion of the inclusion of female artists and artists of color.
On October 19, UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam Jr. presented the visionary leader with the award at a university event.
Congratulations, Nancy, we can’t think of a more worthy recipient.
Merry and Bright
This month one of Greensboro’s loveliest neighborhoods is proving its beauty radiates inside and out. For more than 20 years, the residents of Sunset Hills have celebrated the holiday season by hanging glowing Christmas balls on the towering oaks that line its streets — hundreds and hundreds of glimmering orbs. Onlookers drive from miles away to gaze at the balls-of-light displays. So much traffic, in fact, Sunset Hillers decided some years ago to use its popularity to help others by asking visitors to contribute nonperishable food to help feed residents of the Triad. The goods go to Second Harvest Food Bank. The tradition not only bestows light and color on dark winter nights, but it also illuminates the community’s gift of comfort and hope.
By Ogi Overman
I love the holiday season, I really do. I shop year-round but intentionally wait until the eve before Christmas Eve to finish. I intentionally wrap presents on Christmas Eve while It’s a Wonderful Life is playing; unlike anyone I know, I intentionally eat a full Claxton fruit cake every year. And, adding to all that, I intentionally hit as many concerts as possible. After the 2020 famine, this year there are some good ’uns.
• December 2, Carolina Theatre: Anytime of the year is a good time to hit a Robert Earl Keen show. But, while most touring acts are shutting down in December, REK plans tours around it. And if you know anything, you know why. Hint: bring a bag of lemons and some Diet Sprites, a box of tampons and some Salem Lights.
• December 4, Ramkat: I have a special place in my heart for the Waybacks. I did my annual MerleFest story on band leader James Nash a couple of years ago. And Jessica and I saw their last Ramkat show before the shutdown. So, there’s a good chance that anytime they’re in the vicinity, I’m going to include them here. You can thank me later.
• December 9, Greensboro Coliseum: For me, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra show marks the unofficial start of the Christmas season. There is literally nothing like it on the planet . . . well, except the other, identical touring show. Yep, they have to cram so many shows into December that it takes two of them. You get extra eggnog if you knew that.
• December 18, Greensboro Coliseum: I almost never double-down on a venue in the same month but had to make an exception for Eric Church. He is, after all, the biggest name in country music right now, and, even better, you don’t have to love C&W to love him. I’m living proof — I’ve had a man-crush on him for several years.
• December 18, Tanger Center: When I saw Music of Queen listed on the Tanger program, I rather dismissed it, thinking it was a tribute act, which I never recommend in this space. Reading on, however, I discovered that it is being performed by the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. Wha? Wrap your mind around that and give it a shot.