Category Archives: Local Points of Interest and Events

August Happenings

Before heading back to school, take advantage of the last few weeks of summer!

Music: Miley Cyrus, Booker T Jones, Reevestock, Hillsong Worship, The Bacon Brothers, The Legendary Briarhoppers 80th Anniversary, James Taylor, Gavin Degraw, Matt Nathanson, NIN, Soundgarden, Keyshia Cole, David Gray, Linkin Park, 30 Seconds to Mars, Panic! at the Disco, One Republic, The Script, Scotty McCreery, Motley Crue with Alice Cooper, 3 Doors Down, Old Crow Medicine Show, Keith Urban, Needtobreathe, Blake Shelton, The Band Perry, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Rich Robinson, Drake vs. Lil Wayne, Passenger, G.Love and Special Sauce, K Michelle, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Enjoy the last month of Alive after Five at the Epicentre.

Performing Arts: Things you shouldn’t say past midnight, Slam Charlotte Poetry Slam, Dream a Little Dream, The Spice of Life, Narrow Daylight

Films: From Swastika to Jim CrowThe Golden Dream, Modernism+Film: Sagrada the Mystery of Creation, Charlotte 48 Hour Film Project

Sports: Charlotte Panthers pre-season games, Charlotte HoundsCharlotte Roller Girls

Charlotte Knights‘ Bark at the Ballpark invites fans to bring their four-legged friends to the game!

Festivals: Charlotte Pride Parade with headliner Leann Rimes, 9th Annual Shakespeare FestivalBon Odoro Festival, Hummingbird Festival, Queen City Bike Fest,  Matthews Alive,  Build your own Boat FestivalTriple C Summer Folk Festival

Chews&Booze: Taste of the Mint, Science on the Rocks,  Food Tours, Teas of the British Isles, Bar Cocoa Cooking Class: Baby cakes, Scotch Society Meeting

By the by, tickets for October’s Taste of the World go on sale August 1.

For the kids: Back to School event with free backpacks, haircuts and immunizations, SouthPark’s Movies under the Stars, The Fresh Beat Band, Uh-oh!, Alien Worlds and Androids, Dick’s Sporting Goods Invitational,  Back to School Monster Truck Bash, 12 Angry Jurors, Sweeney Todd: School Edition , Shark Week at Discovery Place, Read with Baron the Dog, Penguins 3D, Geometrics and Pizza, Miss May’s Garden Tea

For laughs: Anjelah Johnson, Charlie Murphy, Dave Attell,  Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival with Louis CK, Aziz Ansari and Marc Maron, Caroline Rhea

Races: Charlotte Running Company Cross Country Run, 5k and fun dog walk, Sundae Run, Labor Day Trail Race, Yiasou Greek Festival 5k

Other fun happenings: Southern Ideal Home ShowThe Great Gatsby Gala, Repticon Charlotte Reptile and Exotic Animal Show, Sing for the Cure,  Bearden Birthday BashHairWalk:the Movement,  Stuff the Bus, Carolina Guitar Show, Labor Day celebration, Strand of Pearls Luncheon, Teal Tea Party

~Jamie Sunnycalb~

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July Happenings

*July 4th*

There’s so much to see and do this Independence Day weekend: Skyshow Fireworks Spectacular at Knights Stadium, USNWC Fireworks, Independence Day at Raffaldini Vineyards, White Lights 4th of July party, Red White and Pabst Blue Ribbon party, 11th Annual Pool Party Weekend, Red White and Belmont, Plaza Midwood Pig Pickin’, 4th of July at the Charlotte Museum of History, Coulwood Community 4th of July Parade, Indian Trail 4th of July Festival, Matthew’s People’s Parade, Waxhaw 4th of July Festival, Tega Cay 4th of July Celebration, 4th of July Festival at Birkdale Village

Music: Justin Timberlake, The Bacon Brothers, Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Vans Warped Tour, Leon Russell, Matty B, Pete Seeger: A Musical Tribute to Courage, Chop Shop Music Fest, The Neighbourhood, GooGoo Dolls, Daughtry, Plain White T’s, Beck, Marc Cohn, The Fray, OAR, Phillip Phillips, Bad Company, Lionel Richie, CeeLo Green, KISS, Def Leppard, Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Rascal Flats, Sheryl Crow, Micheal Franti and Spearhead, Sara Bareillis, Zak Waters, Swans, River Jam, Brother Edge, New Edition, Touche Amore,  King Buzzo (of Melvins), Hank 3, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Dirty Heads and Pepper, BarnStock

Musicbox Lunch Series at Romare Bearden Park

Performing Arts: Porgy and Bess, Dream a Little Dream, Gruesome Playground Injuries, Narrow Daylight, Brothers of the Knight

Booze&Chews: Queen’s Feast Charlotte Restaurant Week,SouthEast Crab Feast, Drink&Draw at Mellow Mushroom

Enjoy the last month for all you can eat Fall River Clam Bake for $20 at Emeril’s e2.

Just for laughs: Jerry Seinfeld, Lavell Crawford, Maria Bamford

Races: July 4th Spectacular 4 miler, River Jam Run, 25th Anniversary Prediction Run 5k

MoviesMade in 1984- Hollywood Films from 30 years ago

For the kiddos: Peter Pan Jr., Jack in the Box Summer Shootout Series, Over the River and Through the Woods, Alien World and Androids, Paws to Read, Earth to Echo opens in theatres July 2nd, Kids Summer Paint Camp, Petapoolza at the Charlotte Nature Museum, Once Upon a Time…Exploring the World of Fairy Tales

Charlotte on the Cheap has a huge list for how to entertain the kids this summer.

Other fun eventsCharlotte Black Gay Pride, Hoshicon 2014, Charlotte Bachata and Salsa Festival, International Collectibles and Antiques Show, Color Festival, Martini and a Makeover, Zimsculpt, Charity Magic Show, Carowinds Military Days, FREE Fishing Day

Need even more fun in your summer? Creative Loafing has its own guide to summer 2014. Check it out here!

     ~Jamie Sunnycalb~

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April Happenings

Here’s what’s happening this month, peeps!

Easter egg hunts:

PALS Easter celebration April 13 at 3:00 pm at Freedom Park (at the Princeton Road entrance). You’ll find everyone in the Princeton shelter!

Romare Bearden Park, Independence Park, Queens UniversityLatta Plantation, Historic Rosedale Plantation, Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt, Peter Rabbit’s Garden Adventure. Charlotte on the cheap has even more!

Easter Brunch deals

Earth Day: Earth Day Play Date

Music Miley Cyrus, Miles and Coltrane, Lady Antebellum, Chevelle, Kenny Loggins, Kat Williams, Bruce Springsteen, Chick Corea, Weezer, Local Natives, Jimmy Buffett, Zucherro, Tuck Fest

Performing Arts: Othello, Other Desert Cities, Ghost the Musical, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Dances of India, Debby Boone—Swing This!, Little Red Riding Hood, All Russian, Charlotte Symphony Youth and Junior Youth Orchestras Youth Festival Concert, Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights, Post Secret: the show, Blue Man Group, Peter and the Starcatcher, Tao: Phoenix Rising, Ben Sollee, Spring Forward, Star Gazer: A Trek to Outer Space

Sports: BB&T Ballpark Grand Opening, Charity Golf Tournament, Wells Fargo Championship, Queen’s Cup Steeplechase

For laughs: DL Hughley, Nikki Glaser, Doug Benson, The Rich Guzzi Comedy Hypnosis Show

For the kids: The Reluctant Dragon, The Owl who was afraid of the dark,

For the “furry” kids: Pet Palooza, Bark in the Park

Chews&Booze: Amazing Race Bar Crawl, Taste of the New South Savor the Sixties, Taste of the the Nation, $15 all you can eat crawfish boil at e2, Free cone day at Ben&Jerry’s, Alive After 5

Races: Charlotte 5k Color Vibe, TuckFest Half Marathon, Freemorewest 5k on the Greenway

Other fun events: Girls’ Night Out, Passport for Fashion, Purses with a Purpose,Record Store Day, Jillian Michaels, Tiny House Conference, Dixie Charlotte Gun & Knife Show, Charlotte Auto Fair, Hands on Charlotte Day, Kings Drive Art Walk, Better Living  Home & Garden Expo

~Jamie Sunnycalb~

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The Art of Downtown Charlotte – Part V: A Regular Commentary of Art and the Art Scene in Charlotte


As dreams of going to Super Bowl fade and another year ends for the Carolina Panthers NFL team, I felt it was time to reflect on another significant bit of public art. And yes, I would call the six, twenty-two foot long heroic style monuments public art. After all, the Panthers stadium was built in large part through huge tax incentives and other municipal perks that allow the owners and the well heeled to enjoy skyboxes. Then there was the recent deal where the city gave the owners of the Panthers $87.5 million for “stadium improvements.” So while the average Joe or Jill that pays taxes in the city has to struggle to cough up the funds for a ticket in the nose bleed seats to see a Panthers game, you can enjoy the dynamic power and beauty of the these monolithic statutes that loom over you. The photo above makes me think the thing is laughing at me in a maniacal sort of way.

All the above factors should not detract from the skill of the artist Todd Andrews, who has been doing dynamic bronze sculptures for over thirty years. The process to make such massive bronze monuments requires not only skill as an artist and sculptor but requires an excellent knowledge of engineering and metallurgy.  I imagine one also has to have good managerial skills, as the process to bring these sculptures to completion requires coordinating a team of artist apprentices, as well as working out the logistics to deliver the final piece to its location.

In many ways the six panthers remind me of similar monuments going far back into antiquity. After all, what was a sphinx before the Temple of Isis or gargoyles on the Cathedral Notre Dame? They were the avatars of power and influence meant to awe the onlooker. I am reminded of the French axiom, “plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose.” The more things change the more they stay the same.







I think I have made my point.

~Kim Allman~

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February Happenings

The second month of the year is jam packed with lots to do in Charlotte!

Super Bowl XLVIII is Sunday February 2 at 6:30 pm. The CIAA Basketball Tournament is always a crowd pleaser!

Valentine’s Day is February 14th, lovebirds! Be seranded by a $12 jazz concert at the Bechlter before or after a special 3 courses for $30 dinner at e2 Emeril’s. For those who haven’t been struck by Cupid’s arrow, check out these alternatives: Love Sux Party , Guys&Dolls Bachelor+Bachelorette Auction, I Would Cuddle You So Hard Bar Crawl.

With or without a “plus one”, continue the revelry at Queen City Brewer’s Festival , Bartender’s Ball, 2nd Annual Banana Crawl, Party with a Purpose. Laissez les bon temps rouler at Charlotte’s version of Mardi Gras.

Music: Demi Levato, Iron and Wine, Artic Monkeys, Angelique Kidjo, Vanessa Carlton, Joe Pug, Lauryn Hill, Jon Batiste&Stay Human, Pat Metheny Unity Group, Tinsley Ellis, Housingfest: A Concert to End Homelessness with The Blind Boys of Alabama & Jim Lauderdale, Mayer Hawthorne, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic,  Jagged Edge

Performing Arts: C.S. Lewis The Great Divorce, The Mountaintop, Jake Shimabukuro, The Improvised Shakespeare Company, UNC Clef Hangers, Tosco Music Party, Rock of Ages, Alton Brown Live! The Edible Inevitable Tour Tyler Perry’s Hell Hath no Fury like a Woman Scorned,Boeing Boeing, The Other Place, By the way meet Vera Stark, The Miss Firecracker Contest, Sizwe Banzi is Dead, An Evening with Mika and Joe

For laughs: Wayne Brady, Ron White, Frank Caliendo, Steve Rannazzisi

For the kids: Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Fly, Petite Rouge: a Cajun Little Red Riding Hood, Ringling Bros. & Barnam & Bailey Circus, 101 Inventions that Changed the World at Discovery Place, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library Day at the Gantt Center, Puppet Show, SeaLife Aquarium opens at Concord Mills, Family Day at the Bechlter

Keep those New Year’s Resolutions up and running! Races: Cupid’s Cup 5k and Fitness Walk, Frigid 5k Run and Plunge, Charlotte 10 Miler. Scope out local gyms during Fitness Crawl.

Other fun eventsBroadway Rocks!, NC Dance Theatre’s Innovative Works, Art with Heart, Hoops&Heels Ladies Night, Taste of the Mint, Pink in the Rink, Al Gore

~Jamie Sunnycalb~

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The Art of Downtown Charlotte – Part IV: A Regular Commentary of Art and the Art Scene in Charlotte

This time around, I am responding to a request made by a reader about the six gigantic discs on display near the Scaleybark Station at the Lynx Light Rail. While these sculptures are not downtown per se, they are part of the often contentious dialog concerning the Queen City’s purchasing of public art. Also, many commuters that ride the Lynx and those driving to work toward downtown on South Boulevard are familiar with these sculptures.


The Lynx light rail zooms past two of the discs that make up the sculpture Furrows. Photograph from Thomas Sayer’s website. All rights reserved.

 The sculptures have been called everything from the chocolate chip cookies to moonscapes, as well as other less complementary names. Furrows, by North Carolina sculptor Thomas Sayer have garnered a fair amount of attention ever since they were first installed.  I will confess I was among those that upon first seeing these monoliths shook my head in bewilderment and wondered about how our tax dollars were being spent, but more on that later.

According to the Lynx website and Thomas Sayer’s own words Furrows is…

…six large concrete and steel sculptures cast from Carolina earth, pays tribute to Scaleybark’s agricultural past. The 18′ sculptures were inspired by harrow disks, the agricultural tool used behind a plow to cultivate farmland. The title Furrow refers to the cultivation trench, or “Vee,” left in farmland behind a plow.[1]

And that folks is a darn big plow! Each of the six discs weighs 11 tons and is created using a method known as earth casting. Literally, a giant mold is dug into the ground and the sculptures are created using a steel framework along with concrete mixed with earth. Iron oxide is added to the mixture to create the rust orange coloration.[2] The earth for Furrows came from 72 cubic feet of material excavated from the I-85/485 station. The installation is supposed to be able to withstand hurricane force winds. However, the discs for Furrows only measure about nine inches in thickness, which creates an interesting contrast as while each disc is massive it also appears somewhat fragile.

The pockmarked surfaces of the discs have chunks and small bits of rocks imbedded in them. The contrast of the concave and convex shape and irregular surface catch the light of the sun as the day passes. This creates an interesting interaction of the sculptures with the environment.


Thomas Sayer has another sculpture in Charlotte that has raised eyebrows. This one, titled Grandiflora, sits at the corner of Randolph Road and Wendover Road and has been derisively called the Onion Rings.

Regardless of how you might feel about these two works, Sayer is a master technician and engineer. The sheer mass and size of these works is amazing, just in terms of the trial and error and physical effort required to create them.


Grandiflora from the blog site, Hmmm…I don’t know what to tell ya!

Alright, I said I would get back to my opinion about Furrows. After doing the research on this article, I have a higher appreciation for Furrows and Mr. Sayer in particular. However, looking at Mr. Sayer’s website, he has many earthcast sculptures that work better and are far more interesting.  Of course, that is the problem with any work of art.  Not everything a master artist does is a master piece. Regardless, Thomas Sayer is a master artist and has created something unique and interesting. His work also challenges the viewer and creates dialog. The last is perhaps the most important aspect of these works.

~Kim Allman~

Sources for this article:

[2] Remember nothing rhymes with orange

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The Art of Downtown Charlotte: A Regular Commentary on Art and the Art Scene in Downtown Charlotte-Part III



In my last article I talked about the Firebird in front of the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.  If you recall, the work is by American-French artist Niki de Saint Phalle. However, I also mentioned Saint Phalle’s long time romance and marriage to another icon of modern art, Swiss painter and sculptor Jean Tinguely. Charlotte is fortunate to have works of these two significant contributors of the art world. A number of Tinguely’s works are part of the permanent exhibit of the Bechtler Museum. The focus of this article is on a monumental piece that is on display in the Carrillon Building on 227 West Tryon Street titled Cascade.  This was Tinguely’s last sculpture he created before he died.


Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle in 1963

Cascade is over 40 feet tall, suspended over a fountain, and is an amalgam of a wide range of found objects or junk art. The sculpture contains antlers, animal skulls, bits of wood, metal, a car hood, balustrades, machine parts, chains, light bulbs, and parts from the demolished building where the Carrillon Building now stands. 15 motors slowly turn this massive mobile of objects. Tinguely was influenced by the Dada moment of art and is best known for his kinetic sculptures or metamechanics.  Tinguey’s metamechanic sculptures are satirical commentaries on materialism and mass production in an industrialized world.  Given that these often massive creations are made of the cast off detritus of the modern world, who is to say he did not have a point to make?

Very few museums or public venues in the United States have/own any of Tinguely’s kinetic sculptures. The Bechtler has three smaller pieces and, of course, Cascade in the Carrillon Building, putting Charlotte on a par with the Museum of Modern Art in Washington D.C. and the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. Not bad for a place some would declare as culturally conservative or even deficient.

If you decide to visit the Carrillon Building, take a moment to look toward the back of the lobby past Cascade. You will see Sol Lewitt’s Wall Drawing #683; which makes the office lobby of the Carrillon building a pretty interesting place artistically. But that is another article.

Below is a link to an amateur YouTube video of Cascade in motion. The commentary is most entertaining.

Till next time,

~Kim Allman~


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