By Gretchen Laming
Siler City: unofficial birthplace of down-home charm, final resting place of Aunt Bee, and hub for local arts and creativity. Everyone waves to me in Siler City, including women, hair in rollers, sitting in a beauty parlor along North Chatham Avenue just before closing.
The city’s friendliness is matched by their spirit to foster grassroots artistic expression. This is most present at the NC Arts Incubator, a multi-building space for working artists with studios, galleries, and a coffee shop. Spinning wheels and potters wheels fill the historic rooms. Palettes bless the work benches. Paint blended and reworked. It is as though you can see the creative process in action right before your eyes. Arts Incubator hosts a Third Friday Art Walk every month from 6 to 9 pm. I’ll let you in on a secret too, you art walk aficionados; this is the best art walk nosh ever, and it’s homemade! About a dozen other studios and galleries are open late as well. For example, artist Roger Person’s galleries, Person to Person and Wingnut Gallery, exhibit his bright, comically provocative assemblages.
Across the street from Wingnut and just three days into it’s conception, the Hotel Hadley Studio sells, what they call, utilitarian art, and plays, what I call, experimental music. In less than a week, these artists had set up a gallery, booked a live performance, and invited a crowd of adoring fans. Local hang-out meets artistic entrepreneurship. I’m anxious to see what these burgeoning artists will do with more time in the space.
My favorite discovery was the work of Johnny Glaze, whose most recent project is beyond adorable. Johnny Glaze, as close to the originals as possible, transfers the boyish imaginations of his young son, Owen, onto his hand-built pots. We’re talking green, warty monsters with eight arms and bulging eyes. We’re talking pirate ships fully equipped with robbers of the deep sea flanked in swords. A wonderful combination of Glaze’s expertise and Owen’s unconstrained imagery. Owen will have an exhibition of his work during next month’s Third Friday on August 17, 2012, 6 to 9 pm.
I hope that Siler City can continue the artistic heritage is has created by welcoming more local artists to work, share, and create. If you’re in need of an affordable work space for your art, I think I know of a place.
Triangle ArtWorks is changing the way it covers arts community news in the Triangle. We will now be working more closely with local arts bloggers who are already doing a great job covering local arts news stories. Thanks to Gretchen Laming of Downhome Expressions for this story. Downhome Expressions features stories of arts outside the Triangle’s urban centers. If you are an arts blogger and want to partner with us to keep the community informed, let us know.
Tags: Ann Bass, Chana Meeks, Downhome Expressions, Gretchen Laming, Hotel Hadley Studio, Johnny Glaze, NC Arts Incubator, Roger Person Galleries, SIler City, Wingnut Gallery