Annual Main Street Art Exhibition Friday

It’s that time of year again, this week is The Main Street Art Exhibition at Studio Elie! Local artists have been working diligently on original pieces throughout the year and now is their chance to display their art and offer a great cultural experience for the community!

Studio Elie is located in “The Chair Factory” building at 20700 North Main Street and offers weekly art classes: painting with watercolor, oil & acrylic, drawing & sketching and soon to offer sculpting. Landscape painting, live model sketching, private painting parties, customized framing and their signature Sip-n-Sketch are among the events and offerings that can be found at Studio Elie.

“The goal of Studio Elie is to encourage art appreciation and to discover the artistic hidden talents in our community” explains instructor and fine artist Elie Bou Zeiden. His motto is, “Art is the bread of our soul.”

Peggy Bennett, Wanda Whittington, Donna Johnson, Barbie Pollen, Linda Blum, Denise Carter, Valerie Mace, Lynn Manis, Elie Bou Zeidan, Sati Chappelle, Sherl Reindellor

The Main Street Art Exhibition is an annual event, now in it’s 5th year, that showcases the work of the students in a gallery atmosphere open to guests. This year’s Main Street Exhibition will be held on Friday, October 20th from 5:00 – 10:00 pm.

Artists who will be exhibiting include: Elie Bou Zeidan, Lynn Manis, Donna Johnson, Wanda Whittington, Peggy Bennett, Valerie Mace, Linda Blum, Barbara Pollen (Zukauskas) & Carol Knight.

We had a chance to catch up with this year’s exhibiting artists to learn about their goals for the show as well as their impressions of instructor Elie Bou Zeidan.


Donna Johnson:
Cornelius, has been a student for 7 years, and was one of Elie’s original students. She admires Elie’s creative energy and patience. She encourages others to find the artist inside themselves, “Go for It! You will become aware of the beauty in the world around you!”

Lynn Manis: Cornelius, has been a student for 7 years, since Elie began teaching in the area in 2010. Lynn will be displaying her most recent paintings, she can attest to the inspirational atmosphere Studio Elie provides, “Elie is extremely professional, talented and motivating. I love Elie’s positive attitude. He is truly dedicated to seeing students succeed, week after week. We are fortunate to have such a talented artist as Elie here in Cornelius, I love being part of the art explosion here, What a great town we live in!”

Wanda Whittington: Huntersville, has been a student for over 4 years and looks forward to be able to share her appreciation of art with the community. She says Elie passes his love of art on to his students and very professional and is truly dedicated to seeing their progress.

Capturing nature for a painting at Studio Elie

Peggy Bennett: Mooresville resident after relocating from Long Island after retirement from the nursing profession,  has been a student for 4 years. Peggy is excited for the exhibition and hopes to meet new people and perhaps sell a piece or two. She says Elie is more than an instructor, he is a talented and patient ‘professor.’ He is not only skilled at painting, but a master teacher and that keeps her coming back.

Denise Carter:  Stanley, a student for 4 years. Denise enjoys Studio Elie because it is here that she can truly express her love for art and paint with the colors of her soul. She explains, “Elie makes me feel like I can do it. He is a treasure to our community, he works with children and adults, he brings out the art that is in all of us.”

Linda Blum: Cornelius, has been a student for over 3 years. Linda looks forward to Friday to show her works and the techniques she has refined at Studio Elie like brush strokes and color blending. What makes a good painting according to Linda, is to “Define Nothing. Many times we work so hard to define everything.”

Val Mace: Mooresville, a student for 3 years. Val anticipates the exhibition to gain confidence in her paintings and have fun! Her time at Studio Elie has allowed her to see everything around her with more depth. She has learned more here than she believed possible:

I never thought I could even draw. I came to a sip-n-sketch on a whim and it was one of the best things I have ever done. Elie is the best around! My classes have been very rewarding and I’ve met so many amazing people.

Barbara Pollen (Zwkauskas): Cornelius, has been a student for 1 year. Barbara loves painting what she sees with a whimsical style and sees the exhibition as an opportunity to continue to grow as an artist. At Studio Elie, where she says she spends the best 3 hours of her week, “this is real art. Where you learn and grow and develop your own style with a guiding hand.”

Class Schedule:

Monday – Painting (Oil and Acrylic)  @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm OR 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Tuesday – Painting (Watercolor) with Jane Ellithorpe @ 10:00 am- 1:00 pm
Thursday – Painting (Oil and Acrylic) @ 10:00 am – 12:30 pm
Friday – Drawing and Sketching @ 10:00 am- 12:30 pm
Saturday – Acrylic Painting for youth @ 9:00 am – 11:30 am

Elie Bou Zeidan 704-728-5554

OTC is ripe with opportunities for artists of all kinds to grow, collaborate and share their work thanks to artists like Elie. His studio continues to be a driving force in the cultural development of Old Town, helping to pave the wave for a create future for generations to come. Make The Main Street Art Exhibition a ‘must-see’ on your weekend agenda!


I live here in Old Town Cornelius and absolutely love our area's unique character. My life's calling is to work to bring art and culture to the forefront of everyday life. I work full-time for Bella Love, Inc and taking care of my adorable son, Kipton.