Concert to blend music, art

From News ReleaseNovember 15, 2013 

Singer-songwriter Barbara Bailey Hutchison will share her passion for music and the visual arts with the Clayton community this month.

The Grammy Award winner will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at The Clayton Center, 111 E. Second St. The performance will follow a week-long visual-arts residency at Clayton High School. The concert will showcase the students’ individual and group artwork.

The project “is an excellent example of how we can continue to develop community partnerships to support and strengthen Clayton’s growing artistic culture,” said Scotty Henley, executive director of The Clayton Center.

The Clayton Center recently celebrated 10 years of presenting professional performing artists in the renovated auditorium. It also houses monthly art exhibits presented by Clayton Visual Arts.

“The Clayton Center is home to some of the most active performing and visual arts events in the area,” Henley said. “We are excited to be a part of this unique, interdisciplinary community arts outreach and to work closely with Barbara and (Clayton High art teacher) Jane Roberts. I urge local arts patrons to come out to support our student artists.”

Lyn Austin is president of the Clayton Cultural Arts Foundation. She first heard about Hutchison and her unique program last year at a meeting of the N.C. Presenters Consortium.

“I was so impressed with the idea of bringing a project like this to Clayton, where we already have such an active performing and visual arts community,” she said.

“The foundation has always been a huge supporter of Clayton Youth Theater,” Austin added. “CYT is such a success and has provided such great opportunities for our youth that we believed that supporting the visual arts would be a natural next step. The foundation wants to embrace all opportunities to provide unique and exciting arts experiences for our community members of all ages.”

Throughout the week of Nov. 18-22, Hutchison will work with about 55 art students on two portrait projects: one of the student themselves and one group project creating a four-by-four portrait of a famous person. No one but Hutchison will know the subject of the group project until the portrait is complete.

The underlying lesson of the residency is that a big task can be conquered by breaking it down into smaller pieces.

Hutchison will display the student portraits and unveil the finished group project during her Nov. 23 concert.

As for her singing, Hutchison’s voice is familiar to millions of television and radio listeners. Early in her career, she sang in hundreds of commercials for McDonald’s, Hallmark, Heinz and other national advertisers.

She grew up in Detroit, Mich., and launched her career in music while attending Michigan State University. She began touring colleges and universities throughout the United States and was voted Best Solo Performer, Best Acoustic Performer and Best Female Performer in a national magazine poll.

In 1996, Hutchison won the Grammy for Best Musical Recording for Children , for an album of original lullabies she produced for a friend. She then began to perform concerts for children and families.

Tickets to the concert cost $10 for adults and $7 for youth 18 and younger. They’re available online at, by phone at 919-553-1737 and from the box office, which is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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