“Rhapsodies in Blues” by Harry Burrell

Rhapsodies in Blues

Southport, Open Your Doors! offered local artists a unique opportunity to bring to life an artistic representation of thriving in the face of adversity.

Fourteen artists sought to show their own interpretations of what that looks like to them, and how they feel Southport has excelled beyond mere survival.

Here’s Harry Burrell's artistic re-imagining of what that means to him:

“Rhapsodies in Blues” by Harry Burrell


Remembering history is so important. It reminds us where we came from, the battles we’ve won and the storms we’ve weathered, and it’s vital that we always look back with reverence and appreciation.

Harry ‘Skip’ Burrell took this project as an opportunity to do exactly that. As a stained glass artist with over 30 years of experience, he saw these doors and chose to insert stained glass panels that reflect the styles of the time the doors were first built. Art Nouveau and Prairie School (Frank Lloyd Wright) styles were both very prominent when these doors were first created, and would show respect to the rich life the doors have seen.

Burrell has named the door (#19) ‘Rhapsodies in Blues’ in honor of George Gershwin’s iconic theme of the same period.



About the Open Doors Project

Up Your Arts and the Southport Historical Society invited local artists in April 2021 to envision a post-pandemic world that draws strength from Southport’s people and its history. A quote from Maya Angelou provided the overriding theme and a gift of doors from the historic
Harper home on Bay Street provided the canvas.

A juried selection process chose nine solo artists and two collaborating teams to decorate the doors using whatever mediums they preferred.

Thanks to the generous support of local business people, the results are on stunning display throughout downtown Southport at 11 retail locations during November and December 2021. After the holidays, the doors will travel to 11 non-profit organizations then be auctioned off at a gala event in March 2022. Proceeds will be used to support Southport Historical Society’s ongoing stewardship programs and Up Your Arts’ efforts to turn the Old Brunswick County Courthouse into a community center for the creative and performing arts.

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