WILMINGTON — Mary Ellen Golden, a native of Rose Hill, has been selected as the 2016 North Carolina Azalea Festival featured artist.
Her painting for the North Carolina Azalea Festival was unveiled Friday, Nov. 6, in the City Hall lobby at 5:30 p.m. Her piece, “Springtime on the Cape Fear,” is a watercolor depicting the beauty of Spring along the historic Cape Fear River. Limited edition prints of the official piece will be available for sale and 2016 calendars depicting the piece, as well as past Festival artwork and Children’s Art Contest winners, will be available for sale as well..
Mary Ellen began painting in oils and worked in acrylics before discovering the excitement of watercolor medium. She opened a studio gallery in 1977 in the Cotton Exchange, and teaches classes in water technique. She also has co-authored an instructional video entitled, “Watercolor Can Be Easy.”
Mary Ellen is a member of the Wilmington Art Association, the Watercolor Society of North Carolina, and an associate of the American Watercolor Society. Her works appear in many corporate collections such as: General Electric, Bank of America, IBM, BB&T, Corning, First Citizens Bank, and in many private collections throughout the world.
She finds that “the beauty in the natural world around us is my favorite subject. We experience all sorts of beauty in flowers: color, shape, fragrance, the associations and memories which come crowding in. This seeing and feeling experience is the most important part of being an artist.”
“Mary Ellen is such a predominant artist in our community. When I found out she had never been the Festival’s official artist, I knew she was someone we had to reach out to. Her artwork is loved and cherished throughout Wilmington, and I am happy to now have one of her pieces included as a part of our Festival tradition,” says 2016 North Carolina Azalea Festival President Robby Collins.
Nov. 6 also marked the beginning of the Azalea Festival Children’s Art Contest. The contest is open to elementary and middle school children in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender Counties. Young artists are asked to submit an illustration of their favorite Azalea Festival tradition. Children’s Art Contest first place winners receive an invitation to the 2016 Governor’s Press Conference in Raleigh to present official contest artwork, an invitation to ride in the 2016 North Carolina Festival Parade, and Festival tickets and other prizes. The deadline for the Children’s Art Contest is Jan. 15, 2016. Winners will be notified in February.
For more details on the Official Art Unveiling and the Children’s Art Contest, contact North Carolina Azalea Festival Executive Director Alison Baringer at: [email protected] or 910-794-4650.