Studio EIS, Andy and Opie
Elliot and Ivan Schwartz are artists and brothers who often collaborate on projects. Ivan trained in sculpture at Boston University and Elliot received his BFA from California University and his MFA from Yale University. They founded Studio EIS in 1976 in Brooklyn, New York.
The artists were selected by TV Land and the City of Raleigh to produce the bronze sculpture, Andy and Opie. The sculpture was commissioned to honor North Carolina native Andy Griffith and his television show, and depicts the show’s famous opening sequence of the father and son walking hand-in-hand, with their fishing rods. The sculpture is located in Pullen Park.
Andy Griffith and Opie had a very close and open relationship. I try to instill those family values. Everybody is so wrapped up in the unimportant things: the social networking and kids are dealing with so many different problems at young ages. I think it was a much simpler time back then. I think that todays kids and todays parent-child relationships have so many other challenges that that family and close relationship gets lost.
The Andy Griffith show had values, it had morals, and [was] a lot like the little town I was from. Andy always found good things in people. He never criticized people he would always find the good in them. I was deeply saddened by his death and when he died I went to Pullen Park and put flowers on his statue. He touched a lot of lives.
“I’m Jim Grimes”
“I’ve been in Mount Airy for over 47 years”
“When I was a senior at…uh…”
“When I was a freshman at the University of North Carolina, Andy Griffith was a senior”
“We didn’t know each other, but I end up coming here”
“…and I came with the Chamber of Commerce”
“I retired in 1995” “I was interested in tourism because we have a lot of assets that weren’t being talked about”
“We formed our tourism committee and…”
“Before I retired, we had a full time person on the chamber staff…”
“…taking care of tourism”
“…and meantime, second year after I came we started all these festivals”
“Which gets 250,000-300,000 people year on” “Three day weekend, second weekend in October”
“Mayberry Days started about 23 years ago” “because of Andy naming the grammar school where he attended the Andy Griffith playhouse”
“…and about 4–5 years ago, we built an Andy Griffith Museum here” “and many people come from all the states”
“we even have them from foreign countries that are visiting Mayberry so to speak”
“and it’s called Mayberry because”
“Andy used his show, The Andy Griffith show, when he started in 1960”
“He took the ideas of his life here in Mayberry to the time he went to the University of North Carolina”
“Therefore we followed that same theme and started all these festivals to commemorate that”
“This particular festival…er…23rd festival” “Mayberry days has more attendance because of Andy’s death on July 3rd…this year”