Staff photo by Cole Dittmer
Eclipse at Blue Moon held a grand opening March 28 for the artisan boutique’s new space, where the works of local mixed media artists are displayed for sale.
An empty unit just outside the doors of Blue Moon Gift Shops led Owner Mary Ann Masucci to look at the space as a possible outlet for larger works from some of her artists and vendors.
On March 28, Eclipse at Blue Moon held a grand opening with 400 people in attendance to showcase the eclectic mixed- media art displayed in the space. Fitting to the name, Eclipse partially covers the storefront of Blue Moon.
The artisan boutique features pieces from both Blue Moon artists and new artists.
“We wanted to keep it something in the arts, but we really didn’t want a formal fine art gallery. So we came up with the concept of a very eclectic mix of fine art, pottery and crafts,” Masucci said. “There are a lot of handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces in here.”
One artist, Mike Fox, has the booth named The Man Cave in Blue Moon that features collegiate and professional sports team pieces. In Eclipse, Fox has pieces like chandeliers and bistro table and chair sets made of repurposed wine barrel staves and bands.
As in Blue Moon, a large copper-sheathed desk made by local artist Doug Campbell sits at the center of the space as one of his stainless steel mermaids swims overhead.
On one side of the space a life-size stainless steel blue marlin designed and made by Kirk Davis of Morehead City arcs toward the ceiling while resting on top of a large coquina rock.
Other Wilmington artists prominently featured include mixed-media artist Linda Hartman, potter Marty Allran, glassblower John Burchetta, painter Alessandro Giambra and found object metalsmith Jonathan Bowling. For many of the artists, Eclipse is the only place they display their work for sale.
Masucci said Eclipse made the decision not to put any of the artists’ names on their pieces so customers would inquire about the art if interested.
“Everything in here has a story; every artist in here has something we can talk about, which really makes it interesting,” she said. “Proper protocol is that you put the artist’s name on their piece but we don’t because what it does is it gives us the opportunity to talk about the art to you.”
Although she was unsure how Eclipse would be received as a high-end, handmade artisan boutique, Masucci said the reception has been positive.
“It is very inspiring for us to hear that because, with how the economy has been, to open a business like this was a big risk,” she said.