Millstock opened to bright, sunny skies

Millstock rocks

Clayton Visual Arts, Inc.’s Millstock Art and Music Festival continued its success in 2013.

The June 1 event brought 37 artists and 1,500 spectators.

Held for the third year on Clayton’s downtown Horne Square, the block provided an open, compact, intimate space for artists to exhibit their work and mingle with the crowd and other artists. There was ample room for six food vendors, as well.

Artist/jewelry-designer John McFadden of Clayton Visual Arts, Inc., headed the event for the third year.

Millstock expanded its advertising, using a billboard for the first time, which was up all during May. It was located on U.S. 70 Business (west) and greeted motorists as they approached town from the Raleigh side. The billboard created a nice buzz about the event.

The committee also took three ads in the Clayton News-Star, the Raleigh News & Observer’s “Weekend” section, and the Smithfield Herald. The Clayton News-Star printed a “before” story on Millstock, which ran on page 1 of the May 19, 2013, edition.

Millstock used the Internet and the Clayton Visual Arts website to invite artists and keep them informed. Several social media outlets—local blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.—communicated information to townspeople. A short video featuring Millstock Chairman John McFadden helped raise last-minute interest.

Pint-Sized Picasso at work
The traditional free Children’s Booth was a crowd-pleaser. Sponsored and run again by the Woman’s Club of Clayton, it was busy the whole day as nearly 100 “Pint-Sized Picassos” tried their hands with paint. A face-painting booth and a “bounce house” also drew youngsters’ attention.

Millstock’s Chalk It Up chalk art contest claimed the attention of young and old alike as sidewalk art spread down South Lombard Street—20 squares were completed. Six winners—three adults and three children (under 18) took home cash prizes of $25, $15, & $10.

The festival was lucky once more with weather. The day was sunny with highs reaching the mid 80s in mid-afternoon. The fresh air of Horne Square brought Clayton residents downtown. It gave them the opportunity to meet the artists who came to town in another Clayton Visual Arts event designed to “bring art to Clayton.”

Clayton’s Farmers’ Market gave up their use of Horne Square for the day and used the adjacent North Lombard Street, where they were easily accessible to Millstock-goers.

At the Flipside, some bands were inside, some outdoors
The Flipside restaurant, originators of Millstock 13 years ago, brought in a slate of four bands for the day. Two played indoors and alternated with two outdoor bands.

As Millstock wound down, evaluation sheets turned in by participating artists (30 of 37) gave the festival top marks on communication, organization, and friendliness/help before and during the event. Most artists said crowd size, and quality of other vendors met or exceeded expectations. All answered “yes” to “Would you like to be invited to participate in this or a similar event in the future.”

On the downside, many artists reported that sales failed to meet expectations.

Millstock sponsors were Johnston County Visitors’ Bureau, Johnston County Arts Council, and the Town of Clayton. Other support came from Dunkin’ Donuts, Home Towne Realty, Agri-Supply, the Clayton Center, Pepsi, Clayton Downtown Development Association, and numerous volunteers.

Chalk art has 6 winners

Chalk It Up, Millstock’s chalk art contest, named six winners June 1.

Adult category winners were Cameron Cannon, first place, $25; Amy Beshgetoorian, second, $15; and NaNcy Guss, third, $10.

In the children’s category, Lexie Afton took first, $25; Sophia Woznichak was second, $15; and Laina Beshgetoorian was third, $10.

There were more than 20 entries in all. The chalk-art drawings were done on large sidewalk squares on the east side of South Lombard Street.

Clayton Visual Arts produced both Chalk It Up and Millstock.


Many Millstock spectators also visited the adjacent Farmers’ Market
Singers add punch

Kennedy Fitzsimmons
John Buttgen
Clayton Visual Arts, Inc., is a nonprofit, 501 (c) 3 organization funded in part by the Town of Clayton Cultural Arts Fund.