Catholic Conference Center Hickory, NC

Visited this Center for a private spiritual retreat. It is available for corporate events as well. Found the area quiet, immaculately maintained, and a great spot for all types of reflection. The following pictures say it all.

The Grounds

Many Beautiful Trails to hike

Places to sit and reflect as a group or individually,

Conference Areas

Dining Hall

Guest Rooms

The web site for the Center is

Friendly staff are available to accommodate both business and spiritual needs.

The Hickory Art Museum: Paul DeLongpre Paintings

Paul DeLongpre, (1855-1911), was born near Lyon, France, to a Creole heiress and a father who squandered his wife’s fortunes. One of eight now impoverished children he often skipped school to paint the flowers around his home. His love of flowers continued even after joining his older brothers in the silk trade. He married in 1874 to Josephine, a seamstress, and they had three daughters.

Though he had little formal training, his passion for painting flowers continued and he became well known in France. The French government even adapted his models for state art schools. As his prominence grew he decided to leave his homeland for America.

In America his first place of residence was New York City where he acquired a decorative painting commission. From his commissions he gained notoriety and became well known throughout the United States.

Frustrated by the cold weather of New York City, and missing his flowers, he relocated to California. There he had flowers all year long. He built a large mansion with gardens attracting tour groups to his estate.

The Moorish Mansion he built in Los Angeles
Room in the Mansion where he displayed and sold his work

Hollywood was attracted to his estate and work. At the exhibit a silent movie clip of Mary Pickford acting at the mansion is present. It is said she even purchased a work during her filming.

Known as The King of Flowers, and in some circles Hollywood’s First Celebrity he died in 1911. His family returned to France and tragically his mansion was torn down to make way for a street.

Thanks to the museum placards for this information.

Now, let’s drink in these beautiful still life works.

Spring Floral Spray with Lilacs and Roses, 1881
Red Roses on a Doily, 1899
Hanging Basket, 1897 here the artist places the flowers among a backdrop of fencing
Still Life with Roses and Three Vases, 1886 The Artist won a gold medal at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 for this painting.
Peonies with Butterflies
Pink Orchids – the definition of these paintings are akin to a photograph, what precision..

And let’s close with a burgeoning Paul DeLongpre, who knows where this gal will go??

Another phenomenal exhibit at the Hickory.

Thanks to Barbara and Randal Williams for sharing these works.

Hickory Art Museum: Kids

With the Museum’s summer camp many kids were at the museum enjoying art.

What a great summer camp inspiring creativity and thought. Can’t let those little brains stagnate over the summer…

Here’s a look at one of the fun places at the museum.

And an exhibit to provoke thought..

What a fun summer camp

Hickory Art Museum: Mishmash


The Museum had a fascinating collection of BEE apparel and accessories. This is something on my Bucket List to become a BEE keeper. Take a look..

Next – some celebrity portraits. Hey, I said it was a mishmash.

These black and whites were taken by photographer Philippe Halsman, and gifted to the museum by William Solotkin.

Red Skelton, 1952
Peter Ustinov, 1952

The Museum also had an Art Nouveau collection of vases in this exhibit area. Lovely.

Can’t wait to see the next exhibit at this Museum..

Saved the best till last.. Next.. The Paul De Longpre Exhibit

Hickory Art Museum: Betty Bowles Garou

The last stop on this Hickory tour was the Hickory Art Museum. There was much change since last visiting several months ago starting with the Betty Bowles Garrou collection. Ms. Garrou was a Hickory artist who started painting and drawing at age 5. She studied art throughout her life and has paintings in the National Gallery of Art in Washington.

Check out the following paintings and enjoy.

Ms. Garrou had an art gallery in Valdese, North Carolina for several years. If you follow my blog you will recognize a Waldensian woman in this painting. Waldensian Widow, 1975, is a haunting portrayal of great depth.
Ice on a Mountain, 1985
Summer Landscape, 2010
Grass and Light, 1977
Fall Colors, 1980 In this work Ms. Garrou worked in paper creating a collage. Throughout her life she worked in many mediums, watercolors, oils, and inks. While Ms. Garrou is no longer with us she definitely left a legacy.

Hickory Furniture Mart

Open Monday-Saturday 9 to 6

Busy Hickory Day, and we aren’t done! Since Hickory was once, or possibly still is, the Furniture Capitol of the World sought out this spot to see the latest furniture designs. This Mart attracts folks from all over the world and I can understand why. The variety and selections are extensive in this 4 level building of the best names in furniture.

And, if you don’t have the time or desire there are the Designing Women.

Let’s take a look around, starting with the living room. Chatted with one salesgal and she said beige was this year’s color. Like the color accents, don’t you??


My favorite, the chaise, it’s on my bucket list in a floral print. I’m sure the perfect print is in this wall of fabrics below.

Interesting to see the construction of the chairs..

Next on to Amish furniture – great display of baby and young children furniture

Dining Rooms

Could just see this in a NYC high rise. Lovely..

Liked this table and it’s wood was something I’d never seen.

Furniture for enclosed patios

Business Furniture

Bedroom Furniture

Looks like a bedroom for Madonna with its fur covers and glossy pillows..
What a lucky little girl to have this bedroom furniture.

And let’s close with some levity.

If only I had a house or office to decorate.

What a fascinating place!

Hickory Flea Market

This Flea Market is open every Thursday from 5 till noon. It lies on the grounds of the Hickory Fairgrounds which is happening September 1-6. If in the area, another blog…

There were the usual food vendors, however, few so have breakfast before the visit..

Reminder of Costa Rica – most of the vendors are Asian and Latin American

And don’t forget your carrier, this one is the best.

Many children help out at the booths. Isn’t this little guy adorable?? And he sells shoes to boot.. Ha!Ha!

Some other booths: leather goods, rugs, phone accessories, fishing gear, tools, clothing, and ducks — unsure if they were for sale but you never know..

Flowers – Alive and Silk..

Something different – a table of Coca Cola memorabilia

And a positive sign of the times – face shields on CLEARANCE

Some dog love among vendor friends..

The grounds also have a building for weddings – what a thought marry on a Thursday and your guests could visit the Flea Market..

Let’s end with more levity, always need a good laugh in these times, or any time.


Evita at Hickory Community Theatre

Caught the last performance of Evita at the Hickory Community Theatre and was I glad. It was an amazing performance with actor’s singing, dancing, and acting.

The Hickory Theatre began in 1948 with a series of radio dramas and by 1949 the Hickory Little Theatre was created. It grew throughout the 1950’s and its home became the former city hall.

Throughout the years managing artistic directors have impacted the theatre growth as have volunteers, fundraisers, patrons, and the actors as well.

Current Managing Artistic Director with his dog welcoming the audience.

It is truly a community endeavor and well done.

For tickets and other information:

More Hickory: Romance of the Garden Tour

What an amazing tour of 5 magnificent Hickory gardens. Join me on the tour..

An English Cottage Garden

The Garden on 6th.

And every gardener’s dream…. a greenhouse..

11th Avenue

Another work of beauty with a pleasant greeting upon arrival..

What a spot for breakfast!

More places to relax..

Jones Garden

Chairs for one or Chairs for two..

Saint Francis who loved his gardens

Next: The Finale- Garden plus house tour