When the Witchesâ€™ Brew CafÐ¹ 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 thatâ€™s only the beginning.
â€œThe artists arenâ€™t just hanging on our walls,â€ 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.
â€œItâ€™s creating such a wonderful energy here,â€ said Hewitt. â€œWeâ€™re so tickled to be part of it.â€
Most of the art being displayed at the cafÐ¹ is the work of its regulars. A good number of those regulars are in their teens and early â€™20s.
â€œIt helps to boost their confidence and encourages them to continue,â€ said Kym Miller, a co-owner.
The cafÐ¹ also consistently has work by established artists for sale, courtesy of Rosellee Pressley, an arts association coordinator.
Andrew Atkinâ€™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 cafÐ¹â€™s walls.
The local art, on the other hand, will have a longer stay at the cafÐ¹. Some of it is for sale. For example, customers who take a liking to Jessica Fowlerâ€™s photographs of Italy can take them home, along with a frappe.
â€œSheâ€™s trying to fund college,â€ said Hewitt.
Other artists have no plans to part with their work, they just want to share it with other people. Thatâ€™s fine with the cafÐ¹ owners, who hope it inspires their customers, especially the younger ones.
â€œKids need to find and discover their creative energy, and they carry it with them their whole life,â€ said Hewitt.
â€œIf you donâ€™t have some passion in life, you can get lost.â€
The owners believe the Witchesâ€™ Brew CafÐ¹ offers a space for Lincoln County artists, both old and young, to flourish.
â€œThey come in, and they feel like its their place,â€ said Miller.
Besides exhibiting art and having musicians play on weekends, the Witchesâ€™ Brew CafÐ¹ will be home of a poetry night at the end of September.
Artists interested in exhibiting their work at the cafÐ¹ are invited to stop by.
â€œWe still have room on our walls,â€ said Hewitt.
Want to go? The Witchesâ€™ Brew CafÐ¹ 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