Pleiades Gallery opens in Durham’s Five Points

by Brandon Cordrey

If you’ve spent time in the Five Points area of downtown Durham in the past month, you may have noticed some curious activities inside the glass storefront of 109 East Chapel Hill Street. This very contemporary space will soon house a new fine art gallery, the newest adventure of entrepreneurs Renee Leverty and Kimberly Wheaton. After having mulled identical ideas over individually, they teamed up while working together at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. Both thought downtown Durham needed a fine art gallery whose main purpose would be to promote artists and sell their work.

After looking at numerous business models on paper and in person, with nothing but support from other galleries in Durham and the Triangle, Leverty and Wheaton chose their own unique plan. Being artists themselves, Renee a sculptor and Kimberly a painter, they decided to build a family of artists whose work would be represented consistently, in a space run by the artists themselves.

Six artists have already taken advantage of this opportunity; the gallery is continuing to accept application on a rolling basis, with the goal being 10-12 artists total. They are looking for artists who are ready to make a serious commitment to art as their career. 3D artist working in glass and fiber, as well as  2D abstract artists are particularly encouraged to apply, but artists working in any style/media are welcome. The artist already on board have come together to help with the renovations as well as sitting down over meals to talk about their art and process. These group meetings and activities are intended to create a sense of community among the artists, and further their knowledge about all the work that will be on display. Part of the uniqueness of Pleiades is that with each visit you are guaranteed to meet at least one of the artists, who will be able to talk to you confidently about all the artists represented.

Four of Pleiades artists: Renee Leverty, Darius Quarles, Calvin Brett, and Jena Matzen.

The gallery has scheduled a soft opening for the first week of April and plan to be open while Durham hosts its popular Full Frame Documentary Film festival. Pleiades also encourages everyone to come to the Durham Arts Walk on April 13-14, where they will be acting as one of the hosts. The official grand opening is scheduled for Friday, April 19th, as part of Durham’s monthly Third Friday art evening.

For more information on the gallery, the call for artists, or a list of their current artists visit Pleiades’ website, follow them on twitter @PleiadesGallery or like them on Facebook.

Brandon Cordrey is a studio artist working mainly in collage with found or reused materials. He also manages the Lee Hansley Gallery on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh. While his main concentration is visual art, he has love for all the arts! Follow Brandon on Twitter: @BMCordrey or email.

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