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Local and regional art fills downtown coffee house

When the Witches’ Brew Cafй first opened in downtown Lincolnton, the walls were bare.
Now, a mere six weeks later, those walls are filled with the work of local and regional artists.
There are black and white photographs of Italian landscapes, colorful multi-media abstract paintings, pointillism pen and ink drawings and collages by members of a Lincoln County group home. And that’s only the beginning.
“The artists aren’t just hanging on our walls,” said Leigh Hewitt, a co-owner.
On the weekends, local musicians play and throughout the week, poets and writers spend time honing their craft while sipping on coffee.
This is just the way the owners want it.
“It’s creating such a wonderful energy here,” said Hewitt. “We’re so tickled to be part of it.”
Most of the art being displayed at the cafй is the work of its regulars. A good number of those regulars are in their teens and early ’20s.
“It helps to boost their confidence and encourages them to continue,” said Kym Miller, a co-owner.
The cafй also consistently has work by established artists for sale, courtesy of Rosellee Pressley, an arts association coordinator.
Andrew Atkin’s paintings are currently up. Included in his show are older paintings of wolves and fish and recent abstract work, which makes use of roofing tar, wood, metal rings, pull tabs and acrylic paint. Come Sunday, however, a new artist will be featured on the cafй’s walls.
The local art, on the other hand, will have a longer stay at the cafй. Some of it is for sale. For example, customers who take a liking to Jessica Fowler’s photographs of Italy can take them home, along with a frappe.
“She’s trying to fund college,” said Hewitt.
Other artists have no plans to part with their work, they just want to share it with other people. That’s fine with the cafй owners, who hope it inspires their customers, especially the younger ones.
“Kids need to find and discover their creative energy, and they carry it with them their whole life,” said Hewitt.
“If you don’t have some passion in life, you can get lost.”
The owners believe the Witches’ Brew Cafй offers a space for Lincoln County artists, both old and young, to flourish.
“They come in, and they feel like its their place,” said Miller.
Besides exhibiting art and having musicians play on weekends, the Witches’ Brew Cafй will be home of a poetry night at the end of September.
Artists interested in exhibiting their work at the cafй are invited to stop by.
“We still have room on our walls,” said Hewitt.
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Want to go? The Witches’ Brew Cafй currently has art on display by Andrew Atkin, Laurn R. Butchovitz, Andi Cockerline, Ashley Meagan Dean, Arielle Ford, Jessica Fowler, S.M. Hall, Dianne Hammer, Gina Landry, Jason Reynolds and members of RHA Group Homes.
by Sarah Grano

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