Cultural centers

Letter to the Editor: Cultural opportunities abound along the Outer Banks – The Coastland Times

Dear Editor:

Last month on the Outer Banks was filled with wonderful artwork, new history, and looks like a lot of rain. . . hasn’t there been four consecutive days of intermittent lateral rain? It’s time to refocus on something other than the empty place where the mask was hanging from the car window. This article has provided comprehensive and revealing updates on the Don and Catharine Bryan cultural series and their first two world-class performances. There was the possibility, which now seems perfectly feasible, that many – if not all – of the Lost Settlers had departed with their much-maligned host probably to the “paradise” of Hatteras Island. And then a son gave me tickets to the Chatham Rabbits and Old Crow Medicine Show. I finally got to hear live “every time I kiss you, girl, it tastes like pork and beans”. Many more have joined us.

However, for me, the main cultural thrill for my wife and I was a local exposure to Master Gardner’s Volunteer Plant Sale at the Baum Center (a major event in itself). Sitting about 2p up on the circle formed by the cabins was a wall of precisely carved shorebirds, and sitting next to that beautiful wall was Ellen Berg. If you know her work, you know that she keeps it in reserve and isn’t afraid to try a series of images that interest her. We discovered Ms. Berg when the Duck Blind Gallery was right at the entrance to downtown Duck. She placed a lot of her work there and went through an owl phase. I bought six of these, and they have an uncanny ability to keep their big eyes on you. But as I found out in a previous chat with Ms. Berg in Whitestone, Va., she said she had to quit owls because “eyes got too expensive.” But they sure did Mrs. Berg’s job.

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Now she seems to have focused on a series of purple swallows carved out of an interesting wood (maple I think) that her husband was able to source for her. His work is a prime example of what few others have mastered. She also underestimates her work, in my opinion. We really enjoyed its birds, plaice, and other interesting wood scrapes that capture the essence of the Outer Banks. She is a master and her husband Vic is one hell of a guide, from what I understand.

Russ Watkins
south coasts