Visual Art Exchange gets a larger space and expands programming..

If you are a visual artist and have never heard of Visual Art Exchange, then you are missing out on a great resource.  Not only does VAE now oversee SPARKcon, but they also provide tons of services for the visual arts community, such as the annual “Business of Being an Artist” seminars, as well as other programs.  They describe themselves as a “non-profit creativity incubator and gallery that supports and educates emerging, professional and student artists”

But if you HAVE heard of VAE, then you know what great work they do.  And now, with the recent relocation of their gallery to a new 4,080 sq. ft space at 309 W. Martin Street in the Warehouse District of Raleigh, they are able to do much more.

The Main Gallery.

This move has been well documented in the media (such as here, here and here) so we don’t have to go into all the background, but I think it is important to highlight what this move means in the way of additional services and opportunities for artists:

  • Doubles the size of the Exchange Gallery.  The Exchange Gallery can now feature 8 to 10 VAE artists every month.  Click here for info on how to apply.
  • Doubles the size of the Main Gallery, allowing VAE to expand the number of artists in their current schedule of 12-16 exhibitions a year.  More information here.
  • Adds a new experimental space called “The Cube“.  Previously, VAE had separate annexed space (without HVAC!) for experimental work and installations. The new space will allow for a year round schedule of exhibitions and more opportunities for artists who work in alternative mediums.  Artists are juried into this space.  Find more information here.
  • Provides room for a new Retail Incubator Program, that combines business education with exhibition.  VAE will feature and work with 5 artists (currently a potter, clothing designer, paper crafter, clock maker, and a painter) on exhibiting their work and expanding their education and experience as retail-minded artists. The exhibition space for the retail incubator artists is in the front corner of the gallery.  There will be a Call for Artists for the Retail Incubator Program in the Spring.
  • Tons more storage, adequate office space, and, finally, a meeting space, which will allow VAE to take better care of artwork, and have more room for volunteers and interns.

Bathroom art by Zachary Horn.

VAE was formed in 1980 and had its first space on Hargett Street, moving to its City Market location in 1996.  VAE’s new Martin Street space makes the west end of Martin Street in Raleigh a regional arts hub, given the proximity to 311 West Martin Street Galleries, the Contemporary Art Museum,Flanders Gallery, as well as creative businesses such as Designbox and the Curatory.

“One of the most exciting things for me” says Sarah Powers, Executive Director, “is to see artists who have supported us and exhibited at VAE for a long time come in and compliment the space. Their comments about how much we have grown and how this space and neighborhood is just right for VAE really mean a lot to me, as they have stuck by us for many different eras of VAE”.

How has VAE helped you as an artist?  What other local resources have you found helpful in your work?

Beth

 

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