The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday December 5th

Canvas

Jill McCorkle's short stories inspire Hillsborough art exhibit

A local author’s short story collection serves as the inspiration behind the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts’s latest exhibit, “It’s All About the Story.”

Jill McCorkle, a Hillsborough-based author, is reading pieces from “Going Away Shoes,” the collection that inspired all of the works in the exhibit at the gallery Sunday from 2-4 p.m.

The “It’s All About the Story” exhibit is running throughout March.

Lynn Wartski, one of the 22 member artists and co-owners of the gallery, said the gallery typically has two group shows a year and the rest of the year is devoted to showcasing the work of individual members.

“We were thinking about the fact that Hillsborough is home to so many authors,” Wartski said about the inspiration behind the exhibit.

This is the gallery’s second year running the “It’s All About The Story” exhibit — last year’s display focused on Durham writer Michael Malone’s “Red Clay, Blue Cadillac: Stories of 12 Southern Women.”

McCorkle said she didn’t set out to write a whole collection of stories around shoes, but stumbled upon the theme as she was writing the title story. “Going Away Shoes,” like others in the collection, has a Cinderella-esque theme. Although the shoe motif is featured throughout the collection, the overall idea is much deeper.

“I also have a collection of women who are working very hard to claim their own feet and paths,” she said.

McCorkle, who graduated from UNC in 1980, said writing was a lifelong dream.

“I’ve just always loved to write since I was a kid, and it’s just been a great realization that what was really a childhood passion could become part of my adult world and career,” she said.

The author has called Hillsborough home for six years, although the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts has been around for a year longer, opening in 2006. The gallery features artists that work with a variety of mediums.

As a sculptor, Wartski said the goal of the organization is to highlight local talent.

“(The gallery’s) main focus is to continue to provide a venue where established local artists can continue to be seen,” she said.

Wartski described the exhibit as an extension of the talented artistic community.

“It’s bringing together something that only can come together in a town like Hillsborough,” she said.

McCorkle will see the exhibit for the first time at her reading this afternoon and said she is looking forward to it.

“I think it will be a wonderful blend of arts, of putting writing with the other art forms and just to showcase all that’s going on in this community,” she said.

“There are just so many artists and writers living here, which is something to celebrate.”

arts@dailytarheel.com

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