Around Town

In frame

The Art Shop brings custom designs to life

by Danielle Jackson


As the second-oldest business in Greensboro, The Art Shop has quite a history. And while it’s always had a focus on art and custom framing, the retail business has evolved through the years as well.


But just because its focus is on art doesn’t mean that only art lovers should stop in.


“If you’ve ever felt intimidated walking into an art gallery, you won’t feel that way here,” says Arlene Dolin, vice president and co-owner of the retail art business.


The shop exudes a feeling of casual elegance rather than stuffiness, allowing customers to peruse its collections — including original oil paintings and limited-edition graphics on canvas — and ask its expert staff questions along the way. Even its entrance is welcoming, with an atrium adorned with beautiful columns.


“You’ll see everything from traditional still lifes to contemporary works by the world’s most collected artists,” Dolin says.


“We also have whimsical sculptures, traditional bronze sculptures and fine art glass.”


A storied past

Dolin and her husband, Lenny, purchased the shop in 1989 from his father, Stan, who bought it in 1964 and moved it up Market Street from its original downtown location. The Art Shop’s current space at 3900 W. Market St. is only the fourth spot for the gallery in its 111-year history — all on the same street.


Its original focus was on art, custom framing and photography, but when Stan Dolin took over he dropped the photography aspect of the business and concentrated on custom framing, art, and supplies. Today, the Dolins, who built a state-of-the-art gallery in 2000, focus exclusively on art and custom framing.


The Art Shop also offers expert hanging services; art, framing and photo restoration; and free design assistance. Its commercial art and framing division serves hotels, office buildings, and medical facilities throughout the Triad.


Through its Web site, the shop has developed an extensive international customer base, selling and shipping art and framing to clients throughout the world. And its experienced staff — five of whom have been there for a decade or more — can handle everything from the most basic to the most complicated framing projects.


“It’s quite unusual in retail to find a business with such long-term employees, but we’re a family-owned business and I think that translates into a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere for anyone visiting our gallery,” Dolin says.


“A highly experienced and knowledgeable staff is our biggest asset.”


Danielle Jackson is editor of Triad Living, Wake Living and Fifteen501 magazines.


All about art

The Art Shop, located at 3900 W. Market St. in Greensboro, will host several events this fall and early winter, including a two-man show featuring Korean-born artist Sam Park and Hungarian artist Siska Nov. 19-20 and a holiday open house Dec. 3. For more information on the retail art gallery, call (336) 855-8500 or visit




Sept. 4-Oct. 3

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

As part of its 16th season, the Community Theatre of Greensboro (CTG) will perform “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” Sept. 4-Oct. 3. In the play, six quirky middle school students — played by adults — vie to win the ultimate spelling bee and prove their worth to themselves and their peers. CTG’s other performances for the 2010-2011 season include “The Wizard of Oz” Nov. 12-21; “Periphery” Feb. 18-27, 2011; “Hairspray” April 7-17; and “13 — The Musical” May 13-15.

Phone: (336) 333-7470, ext. 206

Web site:


Sept. 11

Bookmarks Festival of Books

The Bookmarks Festival of Books will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Downtown Arts District, located at Sixth and Trade streets in Winston-Salem. The event brings writers and readers of all ages together as authors, illustrators, storytellers, and chefs share their work and insights through readings, presentations, panel discussions, workshops, and book signings. The festival is free and open to the public.

Phone: (336) 460-4722

Web site:


Sept. 17

Bob MacKay Memorial Golf Tournament

The 17th annual Bob MacKay Memorial Golf Tournament will be held Sept. 17 at the Bryan Park Golf & Enrichment Center in Greensboro. Tickets cost $175 per person; all proceeds from the fundraiser go toward blood and marrow transplant, leukemia, and hematology research at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Section on Hematology and Oncology. The event features a round of golf and dinner, as well as a chance to win a round of golf for four at TPC Sawgrass. To date, more than $900,000 has been raised through the tournament.

Phone: (336) 286-4930

Web site:


Sept. 18

Apple Fest

Apple Fest 2010 will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at Historic Bethabara Park in Winston-Salem. The festival will include unique crafts, traditional music, food, demonstrations, colonial re-enactors and games, and horse-drawn wagon rides. The event is free and open to the public.

Phone: (336) 924-8191

Web site:


Sept. 24

Art Unleashed 2010

The Forsyth Humane Society presents Art Unleashed 2010 from 6-11 p.m. Sept. 24 at the Millennium Center in downtown Winston-Salem. Adopt artfully decorated, full-sized dog and cat sculptures and original art in a variety of media for your business, home or garden during the event, which also features a silent auction. Tickets cost $20 per person or $300 for a table of eight; proceeds benefit the nonprofit organization.

Phone: (336) 453-4456

Web site:


Sept. 24

Jonathan W. Flowers Memorial Golf Tournament

The YWCA of High Point will host the Jonathan W. Flowers Memorial Golf Tournament Sept. 24. The annual golf tournament benefits the Jonathan W. Flowers Endowment Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarship opportunities for regional YWCA youth programs.

Phone: (336) 882-4126

Web site:



Oct. 1-10

Dixie Classic Fair

The Dixie Classic Fair will be held Oct. 1-10 in Winston-Salem. The annual event features a world-class carnival with rides and games, nationally known musical entertainment, food and beverages, livestock and poultry exhibits, and arts and crafts. This year, animals will be available for adoption through several local agencies.

Web site:


Oct. 2

Harvest Festival

RayLen Vineyards & Winery in Mocksville hosts the Harvest Festival from 1-5 p.m. Oct. 2. Bring lawn chairs to the outdoor event, which will include barbecue from Bennett’s Smokehouse and musical entertainment by Charlene Williams & Friends. Tickets cost $10 per person. The winery also will host a Halloween Open House from 6-10 p.m. Oct. 30.

Phone: (336) 998-3100

Web site:


Oct. 9

Rabies Vaccination Clinic

The Animal Control Program of the Guilford County Department of Public Health hosts an animal rabies vaccination clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 9 at Pleasant Garden Town Hall. Vaccinations cost $5 per shot, per animal; cash and personal checks will be accepted during the clinic.

Phone: (336) 641-7777

Web site:


Oct. 14

Dark in the Park

Dark in the Park will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. Oct. 14 at Historic Bethabara Park in Winston-Salem. The event includes live music with a Halloween twist. Bring the entire family in costume to the free event, which also will feature hayrides and children’s activities. The park also will host a holiday band concert from 7-8 p.m. Nov. 18 at Maple Springs United Methodist Church.

Phone: (336) 924-8191

Web site:


Oct. 19, 27

Gathering of Friends

The 15th annual Gathering of Friends dinner will begin at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Grandover Resort & Conference Center featuring actress Vicki Lawrence. There also will be a luncheon beginning at 11:45 a.m. Oct. 27 at the Sheraton Four Seasons Koury Convention Center featuring Kelly Corrigan. Both events are hosted by Friends for an Earlier Breast Cancer Test. Dinner tickets cost $75 per person, and lunch tickets are $50 each.

Web site:


Oct. 26

YWCA/Belk Lancome Fundraiser

The YWCA of High Point and Belk will host a Lancome event Oct. 26. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward programs of the YWCA.

Phone: (336) 882-4126

Web site:



Nov. 4

March of DimesSignature Chefs Auction

The 19th annual March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction will begin at 6 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Empire Room in downtown Greensboro. During the fundraiser, 15 of the city’s chefs will compete for top awards; the event also includes a silent auction. Tickets cost $100 per person. All proceeds from the event benefit the March of Dimes Foundation.

Phone: (336) 231-3766

Web site:


Nov. 4-6

Gingerbread Arts & Crafts Fair

The Gingerbread Arts & Crafts Fair will be held Nov. 4-6 at the South Fork Community Center, located at 4403 Country Club Road in Winston-Salem. Hourly door prizes will be awarded during the fair, which is free and open to the public.

Phone: (336) 403-7476


Nov. 13

RayLen Vineyards Thanksgiving Open House

RayLen Vineyards & Winery in Mocksville hosts a Thanksgiving Open House from 1-5 p.m. Nov. 13. Stop by for a complimentary tasting to learn which wines pair best with holiday meals. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature Chef Stacy Johnson of From Thyme to Thyme. The winery also hosts a Holiday Open House from 1-5 p.m. Dec. 11.

Phone: (336) 998-3100

Web site:


Nov. 14

Lake Wobegon Days

The Stevens Center of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) in Winston-Salem will present Garrison Keillor in his highly acclaimed one-man-show, “Lake Wobegon Days,” for two performances at 4 p.m. and 7:30 pm. Nov. 14. The show tells tales of the quirky personalities of the fictional Minnesota town of Lake Wobegon, “where the women are strong, men are good-looking and children are above average.” Keillor is the host of public radio’s popular “A Prairie Home Companion” and author of the bestselling “Lake Wobegon Days.” Tickets cost $57 per person for orchestra-level seating, and $38 and $46 for balcony seats.

Phone: (336) 721-1945

Web site:



Dec. 2

Guilford Education Summit

The 2010 Guilford Education Summit will begin at 7:30 a.m. Dec. 2 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. The event features keynote speaker Ron Clark, a North Carolina native and Disney American Teacher of the Year.

Web site:

Triad Treasure: A gathering place

The Briles House, home to Junior League of High Point, serves a variety of groups

by Malia Thornton


Upon seeing the Briles House for the first time, you might stand in awe of its gorgeous exterior. Once inside, you can find elegant décor that is reminiscent of a time long ago. But what you might not realize is that this historical structure is home to the Junior League of High Point.


This home, situated along Main Street in town, once served one small family but now serves the greater community not only by serving as the league’s headquarters but also by offering a venue for meetings and special occasions. And some recent renovations have helped breathe new life into this stately home.


A bit of history

The Briles House, which was constructed in 1907, initially was not welcomed with warm wishes. Randolph County natives Lee Addison Briles and his wife, Bertie Wallace Briles, initially were teased by people during the construction of the home for building in what then was considered a rural area. Many of these same people were in awe of the property after the home was finished, though. The couple had inspired others to follow in their footsteps, and upper Main Street soon was filled with gorgeous homes.


In 1912, Lee Briles decided to return to Randolph County, where he developed the Hoover Hill Gold Mine. While the couple lived in Randolph County, they rented their home to Weaver Marr, who at the time was superintendent of the High Point City Schools, and Harry Raymond, whose daughter Katherine was a charter member of the city’s junior league.


The house remained in the Briles family for 100 years until the death of Ruth Briles, one of three Briles children. In 2002, after she died, the house was purchased by the Junior League of High Point to serve as its new headquarters. In 2007, renovations were completed with the community’s support. Today, the Briles House serves a dual role, both as the headquarters for Junior League of High Point, which is located on the home’s second floor, and a place for the community to gather.


A gathering place

These days, the Briles House also is utilized for a variety of fundraising efforts for individuals and other groups in the community. Through pledge options, members can rent the first floor of the house for personal events as well, from showers to meetings.


Other fundraising efforts include a Kentucky Derby Party, where guests dress in their Sunday best and don Derby hats; volunteer opportunities, including the Briles House Clean Sweep; and the Trowel and Error Garden Club, which works to maintain the grounds around the house. Members are recognized for their efforts in a variety of ways, including the Carraway Award of Merit.


“The Carraway Award was presented to sustaining member Mary Powell DeLille for her tireless efforts to refurbish the house,” says Leigh Anne Kasias, who serves as communications vice president of the Junior League of High Point.


In addition to fundraising, the Briles House also offers opportunities for volunteer work and interactive events for children, such as Done-in-a-Day and Kids in the Kitchen. Last year, the organization focused its Done-in-a-Day projects on children in the community. Working with the Boys & Girls Clubs, participants made crafts for virtually every holiday, including pumpkins for Halloween and unique heart creations for Valentine’s Day. Also, during the free fifth annual Kids in the Kitchen interactive event, children learned how to make healthy eating choices. The event was attended by more than 100 kids ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade, who learned not only about nutrition but also about exercise, hygiene, and staying active.


Through the help of volunteers and members, the Briles House has been given a new look that is sure to inspire not only homeowners but residents as well. What began as an elegant house in 1907 has become more than an attraction. It has allowed the women of the Junior League of High Point to come together to bring about a sense of community to the city.


Malia Thornton is an editorial intern with Triad Living and Wake Living magazines.


If you go

The Briles House is located at 1103 North Main St. in High Point. To learn more about the home, call the Junior League of High Point at (336) 442-4981 or visit

Honoring dads

Several hundred people from throughout the Triad gathered at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center in June to celebrate the four outstanding area men honored during the 2010 Father of the Year awards dinner.


Benefiting the American Diabetes Association, the event is sponsored annually by the Greater Greensboro Area Father’s Day Council. This year’s honorees included Robin Britt, executive director of Guilford Child Development; Henry H. Isaacson, senior partner with Isaacson, Isaacson, Sheridan & Fountain LLP; Donald Moore, president and general manager of the Greensboro Grasshoppers; and Michael Sterling Smith, president of Sterling Financial Services. Honorary co-chairs were Dr. and Mrs. Robert Sevier, with Robin Saul serving as event chair.


Now in its fourth year, the local event identifies and honors fathers who have demonstrated an ability to balance their personal lives, serve as role models for their children, and help make a positive difference in the community.

Village charm

State Street Station still drawing a crowd

by Danielle Jackson


Built in the 1920s as a shopping center for nearby Cone Mill Corp. employees, Greensboro’s State Street Station had experienced waves of both activity and inactivity over the years. But since building contractor John Harmon and mortgage financier Len White breathed new life into the space during the 1980s, State Street Station has become one of the Triad’s most popular shopping destinations.


Often compared to places like San Francisco’s Union Street and Boston’s Newbury Street, the six-block, 65,000-square-foot center now houses 32 locally owned retail and service businesses. Its nine buildings, all constructed between the 1920s and 1980s, offer an eclectic look, with a similar green and white color scheme to tie it all together.


“Something we’ve worked really hard on is getting the mix more oriented toward retail shops to bring back more of the shopping crowd,” says Scott Kutos, operations manager for Alliance Commercial Property Management, which purchased State Street Station in 2005.


“It’s more of a community village, which makes it warm, friendly and inviting not only for customers but also for tenants,” he adds. “It goes back to the old days of shopping.”


A community feel

John and Suzan Magee know State Street Station’s community feel better than most people. The couple, who purchased The Secret Tea Room earlier this year, also live in the neighborhood. Their restaurant is a popular spot for bridal luncheons, baby showers and birthday parties.


“The residents and neighborhood are warm and friendly,” John Magee says. “We just love the atmosphere.”


Earnhardt Optical has been located at the same spot along State Street for the past 14 years. Owner Bill Fonner chose the site for its distinctive, upscale nature.


“We were looking for a smaller location but wanted something that was a bit more unique,” he says. “It’s quaint, upscale shopping with a history.”


Mechelle Lindenberg opened Mechelle’s Resale Shoppe, which sells both new and consigned items, a little over a year ago for similar reasons.


“We’re like a little community,” she says. “So far, it’s been a wonderful experience.”


After having her business in High Point for seven years, Joyce Darr decided it was time to make a change. The aesthetician and owner of The Skin Care Center finally decided to open the State Street Center for Renewal — a community of independent holistic practitioners — there “because it was the perfect location for me to move my business,” she says.


Kathy Flack, owner of Kathy & Associates, had a 3,800-square-foot space elsewhere but decided to pare down the services she offered and focus exclusively on what she does best: hair.

“I wanted a simple situation and liked the fact that people are always out walking on State Street,” she says. “It’s homey, and everyone chats with everyone else.”


Jody Martin, owner of plus-size sister shops Linnea’s Boutique and Rubenesque for Less, considered several areas before relocating from Battleground Avenue earlier this year. She chose State Street Station for its diversity of offerings.


“Each business brings its own unique energy to the street,” Martin says.


“Together, we create a wonderful feeling of community among residents, shop owners and customers.”


James Hogan, a specialty fine women’s apparel shop, is one of State Street’s newest tenants. The shop, which opened in April, has other locations in Boston and Savannah.


“The ambience and charm were paramount, and it reminded us of our other stores,” says Michael Hammon, general manager and buyer for the shop.


“The easy parking and close proximity to our existing clientele also was important.”


A focus on local

Lillo Bella, a shoe boutique specializing in both established and up-and-coming brands, opened for business at State Street Station two years ago. Owner Emem Ikon believes that the spirit of each shop owner is at the heart of the district.


“All of the shops are locally owned and operated, allowing for more emphasis on customer service,” she says.


“As small-business owners, we come together to support and encourage each other, especially in these difficult economic times.”


Many of State Street Station’s businesses — including Lillo Bella and Mechelle’s Resale Shoppe — are members of Buy Triad First and Local Triad First, organizations that encourage residents to shop at locally owned, independent businesses. Monthly Ladies Night Out events round out the shopping district’s hometown community feel.


“We love to have area women come enjoy an appetizer and drink during Ladies Night Out,” says Diana Carl, owner of Southwyck Antiques and Gifts.


“It’s a lot of fun walking store to store,” Lindenberg says of both the monthly events and the shopping district as a whole.


“It’s different from anything else in Greensboro.”


Danielle Jackson is editor of Triad Living, Wake Living and Fifteen501 magazines.

Main street mentality

Jamestown thriving through small-town living


The drive through Jamestown is short but scenic. From bucolic pastures to small-town storefronts, it makes up for in charm what it lacks in size. Should you decide to spend a day — or even a weekend — in this little Triad town, then you’ll find one-of-a-kind retail shops, upscale dining, outdoor adventure and colonial history, all within a few square miles.


Bridging the Triad

Head down High Point Road in southwest Greensboro and you’ll notice that the traffic-prone commercial district slowly begins blending into a relaxing drive past white-fenced pastures with grazing horses. On your drive, you’ll pass through a haunted underpass beneath the Southern Railway. Soon after, you’ll cross over from High Point Road onto Jamestown’s Main Street.


Continue your journey, and you’ll come upon quaint antiques shops and flag-lined brick sidewalks. Be sure not to blink, because Main Street quickly fades into High Point’s Greensboro Road shortly after passing Jamestown’s historic Mendenhall Plantation.


If it were any other town, it might simply be a provincial blip in a primarily urban county, but Jamestown offers a unique combination of history, beauty, and location that makes it a desirable place to live, visit, and do business.


Aanessa Reeves, owner of Faux Bella Inc., made her home in Jamestown and eventually set up shop there as well. The New York native says she loves the spot for her design studio, located just off Main Street downtown, because of its charm and convenience, since many of her clients come from throughout the Triad.


“Jamestown is centrally located, which is great for me,” Reeves says. “I can easily get to Winston, Burlington or High Rock Lake. It’s right in the middle of it all.”


Matthew Johnson, the town’s planning director, acknowledges this unique combination as well.


“Jamestown holds great promise in promoting its unique small-town charm amidst the convenience of the city,” he says.


“We are well known as a great bedroom community with access to good schools, an attractive tax rate and great public services,” Johnson adds. “Our location near major thoroughfares, interstates, and airports allows for rapid and easy access to the Piedmont Triad region.”


Culture and collectibles

While Jamestown certainly is convenient to Triad hot spots, it also has a lot to offer on its own terms. For example, it’s recently become a go-to destination for antiques and home décor collectables. Stores like River Twist, a home and garden store located in a renovated early 20th century gas station, and Beverly’s Down the Hill, an antique and consignment furniture store that formerly was called Beverly Hills on Main, offer unique collectables and décor that can’t be found at big-box stores.


“We have vintage furniture, jewelry and décor, and we have consignment furniture of all kinds,” says Beverly Foster, owner of Beverly’s Down the Hill.


Park your car anywhere along the town’s small Main Street district and you can easily walk from store to store, picking up fun, beautiful, unique treasures along the way.


If you get hungry on your shopping hunt, then make a stop at Southern Roots, a foodie’s delight that originally opened in downtown High Point. When owners Lisa Hawley and Mary Ragsdale decided to move the restaurant, they chose Jamestown. They’re also planning a coffee shop down the street.


A storied suburb

In the early 18th century, Keyauwee Indians roamed and hunted the area that’s now Jamestown. Visitors can explore these same grounds by way of the city’s many hiking trails — whether it’s through Gibson Park’s wooded paths or the paved greenway that meanders through Jamestown on its route across Guilford County.


For something more, visit City Lake Park, where you can rent canoes, pedal boats and fishing equipment. If you’d rather be in the water than on the water, take a walk up the hill to the public swimming pool and waterslides. There’s also a playground, merry-go-round and miniature train track.


There are several old buildings on City Lake Park’s grounds that make up a former Quaker meeting house and general store that was owned by Richard Mendenhall, a member of one of Jamestown’s first families.


Quakers began settling Jamestown just before the Revolutionary War. During the antebellum era, they were part of the Underground Railroad, providing several stops and wagons to the cause. Mendenhall Plantation — located across from City Lake Park — offers tours of one of these stops. At the plantation, visitors also can view restored false-bottom wagons that were used to transport slaves to safety in the early to mid-19th century.


Jamestown has quite a bit of history packed into its modest borders. It is home to the Jamestown Rifle, a 19th-century muzzle-loading gun now famous among collectors; Tabitha Ann Holton, North Carolina’s first female attorney; and Oakdale Cotton Mills, the longest continually operating cotton mill in the U.S.


Great things to come

While this town has quite a past, it also has a hopeful future. According to Johnson, commercial and residential development has continued despite the national economic downturn. The town also soon will begin work on a new park across the street from the town hall that’ll include gardens, trails, and play areas and host concerts and outdoor performances. Other enhancements to the town include new pedestrian and cycling facilities, as well as a paddle trail that will connect a kayak and canoe trail on the Deep River with other communities throughout the state.


This revitalization of Jamestown’s public spaces — as well as its booming downtown business district — fit the community’s character and heritage while attracting a diversity of jobs, Johnson says.


“Jamestown is located between two large cities in one of the state’s largest metro regions, yet it retains the character of a small town,” he says.


“Neighbors still know other neighbors, people smile and wave when they pass, citizens can recall several generations of families who have lived here, and folks are always ready to lend a hand to others in need,” Johnson adds. “This small-town charm is something I find inspiring in light of the fact that we are part of a larger region of more than 1.5 million people.”


Jennifer Sellers is a freelance writer based in Greensboro.