A Blog about Finding Inspiration

"We have a wonderful world to be inspired by and each new day is like an adventure into the unknown, where things that require a second glance can be captured in time on a canvas for anyone to enjoy forever." (Louise Corke)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Artist Date in New Bern NC 8 '11

New Bern City Hall
BJ and I had been confined to the house far too much this week, so we decided to set aside our chores for a day and do something interesting. We set out sights on the small town of New Bern, NC. It is a four hour (one way) a road trip to this picturesque town and well worth the drive.  Whether you are an architectural painter or a  nature photographer, or just a lover of art and history, this place has it all.
Water Front
 New Bern is located at the confluence of the Trent and the Neuse rivers in what is known as North Carolina's Inner Banks region. It was first settled by Europeans in 1710 by Swiss and German immigrants. It was named after the capital of Switzerland, Bern, meaning courageous, which is something these settlers must have been to brave the wilderness. New Bern is the second oldest town in North Carolina and served as the capital of the North Carolina colonial government and then briefly as the state capital.
County Courthouse

Today, New Bern has a population of roughly 30,000. people. Like most of America, most pf its day to day businesses and shopping have moved to newer shopping centers in the suburb. and it's inner city is struggling to find a new identity. Still for a community with such a small population, the residential and commercial historical areas are in remarkably good state of preservation. The unique architecture of those areas, along with the natural beauty of New Bern's location, has helped to make the town a bit of a mini tourist attraction.

The downtown area is very walkable, and every direction you go leads to something interesting. This path lead to a small courtyard park called "Bern Park which was filled with carved bears. (Actually the whole town has colorful statues of bears around it. I never did find out why. )

The town also has a lot of churches  And I do mean A LOT... all are beautifully maintained, with interesting facades.

New Bern's 's downtown commercial district is not only well preserved but has really interesting places to shop There are lots of eateries, art stores, and some great one of a kind places to visit.

This former bank building (c.1913), headquarters of the Craven Arts Council & Gallery, is both a cultural and architectural treat. The classical facade of Ionic columns provides a grand entrance for the two-story gallery. Changing exhibitions of various media such as painting, sculpture, photography, pottery and fiber art by artists of the southeastern United States are provided free of charge in the gallery area.  It is one of the most beautiful galleries I have ever visited. Be sure to visit the Bank of the Arts Sculpture Park on the corner of Broad and Middle Street across the street from the Cultural Council Gallery

PS I didn't get any photos of the residential neighborhoods, but if you enjoy photographing or painting architecture those are really interesting  as well.

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