Love of art pays off for 18-year-old

Scott Witten | Civitas Media

April 12, 2014

ST. PAULS — Isaiah Reyes loves art.

The people putting together next month’s N.C. Folk Arts Festival love what Reyes can do with art.

Committee members were at St. Pauls High School on April 8 to present the 12th-grader with a $50 check and T-shirt with his design on it. The design contest was open to all the students at the high school.

Reyes, who is 18, said he would like a career in computer mechanics, but art is his first love.

“I’ve always been interested in art,” he said. “And the design was just something that came to my head and I decided to draw it out. I think it is more spiritual than anything else.”

Reyes’ design included elaborate lettering, flowers and musical notes.

“I love the design that Isaiah came up with,” said Joy McGugan, an art teacher at the high school. “He has a great ability with letters. This for him was pared down because he gets really fancy with his letters. I thought he did a fantastic job.”

Duncan Mackie, president of the festival’s organizing committee, said each year the Folk Festival committee holds a design contest to provide the logo for the event’s T-shirts. The daylong festival is set for May 10. It is in its 14th year.

“Ms. McGugan was kind enough this year to take it on as a design project in her art class, which is a relationship that we hope will continue over the years,” Mackie said. “We think Isaiah did a great job and his design should help us sell a lot of T-shirts.”

The shirts are $10 for small to extra large sizes and $12 for 2x and 3x sizes. They come in three colors — neon green, pink and red. The shirts can be purchased at Town Hall, Lumbee Bank, First Bank and Brissom Drugs Inc. Proceeds help with festival expenses.

Mackie said the committee putting the May event together is still looking for volunteers to help with the festival.

“We want people to get in on the fun and excitement of bringing the NC Folk Arts Festival to downtown St. Pauls by volunteering to serve on the festival’s committee,” Mackie said. “We can certainly use the help.”

The next organizational meeting is April 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the Foxridge Apartments office at 120 S. McGoogan St.

“People are absolutely welcome to volunteer,” Mackie said. “There will be plenty to do the day before and the day of the event. And it is the kind of work that you don’t need a lot of experience to do.”

The annual event draws thousand of people, artisans and vendors selling crafts and food. Last year’s festival drew about 5,000 people to downtown St. Pauls.

“We will have a wide variety of artists and woodworkers,” Mackie said.

Last year, pottery was featured in the R.E. Hooks Center, and nearby the Annie Hubbard McEachern library held a cake auction, with a Red Velvet and a 20-layer chocolate up for grabs.

A children’s train also weaved its way through the booths and crowd, and a bounce house and pony rides were provided while live music was performed on a nearby stage.