Archive for the ‘design’ Category

Shopspace is expanding space, classes, community

20181206_185532If you’ve ever driven on Capital Blvd. towards downtown Raleigh, chances are you’ve see the row of warehouses stretching along south of where Wake Forest merges onto Capital Blvd. One of those buildings is the new and much expanded home of Shopspace. Shopspace is a community forging and welding shop that has been in Raleigh since 2016. Read more about the original space here.

The expanded space will allow room for more classes. Shopspace currently has two classes, Introduction to Forging and Introduction to Welding, where students get to learn making small metals before diving into the more complex tools. For those who have already taken intro classes, the shop offers Personal Project Time, using Shopspace’s equipment to make more of what they desire. Thanks, in part, to the History Channel show, “Forged in Fire”, more and more people are becoming interested in working in metal crafts.

With the new space, the folks behind Shopspace have big plans for the future to expand not only the classes, equipment and programming offered and to respond to broader community needs.  Lucas House explains that they hope to provide the equipment and space for hands-on craft that the community needs, be that increased metal work, or other craft areas. You can see their plans here. They hope to host team buildings for companies, provide meeting space and even a library. More instructors are on the way, all of whom would be local artisans who are dedicated to the craft. Check out updates on their website.

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Artist Link Project – Arts Access Promotes Accessible Arts & Artists with Disabilities

821364.aa-artist-link-projectby Annie Poslusny

Arts Access recently launched the Artist Link Project – a directory of North Carolina artists, teaching artists, and advocates. Program Coordinator Jennifer Marshburn explains, “The Artists Link Project is primarily designed as a database for artists of all mediums who identify as having a disability, and for arts educators who offer (or wish to offer) inclusive arts programming.” The Artist Link Project will allow the public to search for a unique artist based on a variety of search criteria or to search for teachers of varied art disciplines who welcome all abilities in their programming. Inclusion in the database will enable artists to exhibit and promote their work and fully participate in the cultural and artistic life of our state. To join the database, click here.

“We suggest three broad categories of art form: Visual Arts, Performing Arts and Literary Arts and allow our artists to categorize their work however they see fit.” Marshburn states, “Our current database is populated with 32 artists ranging from painters, photographers, actors, musicians, and writers. All of our artists range in skill level from the Novice or Hobbyist to Professional. The purpose of our program is to support and promote the work of artists who have disabilities and wish to develop in their craft.”

Arts Access also offers monthly opportunities for the group to get together and enjoy cultural events around the Triangle. These events double as a networking opportunity for the artists. Future meetings will include an evening at Imurj’s Just Make Something and a tour of the Museum of Natural Sciences’ current featured exhibit “Race: Are We So Different.” These events are determined based on polling members and venue availability. Check Art Access’s website for more details.

Arts Access, a nonprofit organization based in Raleigh, enables North Carolinians with disabilities to have full access to arts programs and facilities. Arts Access provides audio description, consulting and training services, as well as on online resources on their website which connects individuals, artists, educators and organizations throughout the state. To learn more about Art Access’s programs, click here.

Annie Poslusny is an art history major and interior design/studio arts minor at Meredith College. She enjoys drawing and creating three-dimensional works of art, writing, and research.

NC Science Festival seeks arts/science proposals

Jonathan Frederick of the NC Science Festival has come to us to help him connect with Triangle artists.  He is ncsf_rgb_updatelooking for artists, of all disciplines, with ideas for events or projects that explore the connection between arts, design and science.  Are you a scientist that is an artist or an artist that explores science themes?  Or have a crazy idea for an event, installation, talk … whatever – that crosses the streams of art and science?  Here is a letter from Jonathan to Triangle artists:


Greetings from UNC-Chapel Hill—

I direct the North Carolina Science Festival, an annual statewide celebration of science and its connections to our daily lives. We’re based out of UNC’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. Each April, we produce and facilitate hundreds of events across North Carolina. To give you a sense of scale, this past April we had over 900 events in 99 of NC’s 100 counties attended by 415,000 participants. These events range from talks on college campuses, nature hikes at parks, demonstrations at museums, hands-on storytime science shows at public libraries, community-wide street fairs, large expos, and more.

Take a look at our 2016 Final Report to get a sense for the feel for what we do.

For the 2017 NC Science Festival, we’re exploring the theme of Art & Design. I would love to connect with artists on what might be possible. With enough interest, I’m happy to host a brainstorming meeting sometime in the near future. If I could have it all, I’d love to see: science-themed murals painted in cities and towns in NC, theatrical performances, installations, musical interpretations and so on. There is a ton of potential all tied to time, talents and funding. We have a network of thousands of scientists who may be up for collaborating as well.

If you’re interested in talking further, please let me now.

Warm regards,
Jonathan Frederick
Director, NC Science Festival
Producer/Host, Carolina Science Cafe
UNC’s Morehead Planetarium and Science Center
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Got an idea?  Shoot Jonathan an email!   And I know you are all wondering, is there money in it?  The answer is a solid “maybe”.



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Shopspace metalsmith classes/studio opens in Raleigh

By Thea Howell

For those working or interested in working in metal, there is a new resource in Raleigh. Shopspace, a fully equipped metalsmith studio, is forging a great place for artists in downtown Raleigh. Led by Lucas House, Shopspace is making the art of metalsmithing more accessible by providing the tools, equipment, and resources to artists in a safe studio environment. “There is a wealth of knowledge in the building, metal, and craft industry here in the Triangle, and we believe it should be shared.” says House.

Operating in a space in AntFarm studios, Shopspace is currently offering artists of all skill levels the opportunity to experience forging and welding in the well-equipped studio in small-sized classes.  As they further develop, ShopSpace will expand the current 2-person classes into more class offerings and also offer the studio for rent to ShopSpace-orientated artists who will be able to execute their metalsmith projects.  Visit ShopSpace to read their great story, what resources they offer and to contact them about classes.

Thea Fotiu Howell is an artist, arts educator, and arts director. She is a contracted Teaching Artist at the NC Museum of Art, owner and facilitator of the Triangle Artists Concierge Meetup group and Arts Director for Imurj, an artist venue which opens later this year. Thea is excited about working closely with arts entrepreneurs and is creating programs to encourage and fortify a well-connected artist community. She’s passionate about getting to know other artists in dynamic ways, so you’ll find her mixing in with artists of all disciplines at local programs and events.

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More than a Fashion Show – A New Direction for Redress Raleigh

Redress Raleigh 2015

A collection by Artemis Clothing Co. featuring no-waste patternmaking on the runway at Lincoln Theatre at the Redress 2015 Fashion Show


By Beth Stewart
Redress Raleigh, Executive Director

Most well known for planning one of the area’s most highly-anticipated annual fashion shows, Redress Raleigh has always been dedicated to our mission of nurturing independent designers. This year, we’ve become an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit and are launching a renewed mission to include a greater focus on designer education, as well as advocacy to broaden public understanding of sustainable fashion and textiles and inspire support for the designers who make them.


Increased support for emerging designersRedress_2016DesignerAnnouncement_Graphic copy_1

In order to nurture promising independent designers, Redress’ accepted designers will now be taking part in an educational and mentorship program as part of their participation in the show. This experience will provide them with invaluable knowledge and exposure as well as connections to industry players such as manufacturers, media, and boutique owners – all of which are essential as they grow their businesses as designers.

Advocating sustainable fashion

In addition, we are working with other environmental groups to bring to the forefront the idea that apparel comes from the earth and is made by someone – encouraging more responsible purchasing habits among the general public. With this twofold mission, we intend to increase the market for responsibly-produced goods while at the same time increasing the support system for independent fashion designers.

_RNE1715Redress 2015 Spring Fashion Show_N,2015_Raleigh_NC_ErnestoSue

Beth Stewart addressing attendees of the 2015 Redress Ecofashion and Textiles Conference

Redress will continue growing our capacity to support independent designers through many different avenues – planning future educational programs focused on specific methods of sustainable design, hosting socials for anyone interested in the creative community and staging public advocacy events that draw people’s focus to sustainability in the fashion industry. Redress’ exciting new direction will benefit emerging fashion and textiles designers in the area while at the same time expanding Raleigh’s local, authentic fashion scene. As Raleigh’s reputation for fashion and design grows, the local economy benefits, creating jobs for manufacturers and other people involved in the fashion supply chain. Our ultimate goal is to make Raleigh a national leader in sustainable fashion.

For more information about Redress Raleigh and our work, check out our website.

Currently serving as Executive Director of Redress Raleigh, Beth Stewart engages with people to create new mindsets about fashion and encourages them to #GiveADamn through their own personal style. As a passionate advocate for a more environmentally and ethically minded fashion and textiles industry, she loves finding new ecochic designers to support and questioning the status quo of apparel production. A strong believer that we all have a responsibility to make the world a better place, she also volunteers with organizations working with individuals with special needs or helping alleviate hunger.


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New South Manufactory Fills Void in Design Community.


David Brown in part of the production facility.

By Teona McCain

On September 1, 2015 New South Manufactory swung its doors open to the public. Though they have been open for just over a month, this new company is already impacting the fashion and design community in the Triangle –  filling a longstanding gap in production.

David Brown decided to start New South after trying to keep production in the States for his own apparel brand.  The cost and hassle of sending his products overseas or even across the country was more than someone starting off could afford and he realized many of his peers in the local fashion industry were having the same problem. Brown thought “What if we do this in house?” and New South was born.


Christina Shipman – New South’s Production Director.

New South describes itself as a “niche sewn products manufacturing facility”.  They can take a simple idea and turn it into a full-blown product, from start to finish. Services include making 2-dimensional patterns from an idea,  creating prototypes from a design and creating samples for test marketing.  They can also accomodate Micro-Production (runs as small as 20 units) Small Production and Regular Units.  Both small and regular production consists of cut, sewn, trim, and pack for units from 250-1000 units to production over 1000 units.  Find out more about their services here.

Brown wants his company to be a space for creative minds across the board and to add a new avenue of business for the arts community. He has found a way to bring creativity to numbers.  For more information or to contact New South, check out their website.

TJ McCain is a senior at UNCW and an intern at Triangle ArtWorks. She is a jack of all trades and has a passion for The Arts.

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Raleigh’s Art Bar – Space to Work, Equipment & Classes for All Disciplines.

By Dana Kubissa

ZWE0NhI38V6OynTW6b2JzC4FCYPcb9UNNZNjI6L-ej8,mZ-c7BoHiLOiHQJMXHkpaW6xamneGittNuMcgqX3tfEAffordable art studios in Raleigh are tough to come by – its difficult to find the space, equipment, and sometimes the community you need to work  That is where Raleigh’s new Art Bar comes in.  Located just off of Old Wake Forrest Rd. in North Raleigh, this art studio by day, art bar lounge by night boasts invaluable resources for artists of all styles. But to save you some time, we’ve narrowed down our top five:

  1. Open art studio with a community vibe. –  Art Bar is big enough to accommodate 60 working artists at a time, yet small enough that you feel part of a creative family. Art Bar’s staff is always around to inspire ideas and lend a hand. Plus, everyone gets to know each other, so there are opportunities for collaboration.
  2. Equipment/supplies free with a studio pass.  – Art Bar allows artists complimentary access to their tools, resources, and mediums. This includes paint brushes, easels, tables, wash down sinks, safe work storage, and Art Bar’s signature dry media bar.
  3. CwgadGANzzgto3RPWvzMs9vj4vqD4qPv2QSAHcOwG-E,CG3hAF5opWC_MEZ6aOy5C7CE8dF85xLWjcCgSqoQSXI

    Work space, with view of beer/wine taps.

    Specialized equipment for rent, or available free to all members. Thinking of starting your own print line? Rent Art Bar’s printing press! Looking to expand your clothing line? Rent Art Bar’s sewing machine! In-house tools like projectors, light pads, industrial sized easels, a table saw, dark room and screen-exposer encourage artists to step outside their creative comfort zone, and get a little messy in the process!

  4. Huge gallery & performance space for rent. – Art Bar’s 2,000 square foot gallery is available for exhibitions, shows and events, and always looking to provide more opportunities to the local art community. The venue is flexible to a variety of events, hosting occasional meet-ups, photography shoots and fine art exhibitions.


    2000 feet of open space are available for rent for shows, performance, and other creative events

  5. 5.  Full-service beer and wine bar. – Waiting to get a bartender’s attention is a thing of the past with Art Bar’s state-of-the-art self-serve beer and wine taps! Pour your own, work on your art, have a seat in the lounge or play a game of Pictionary.The quickest way to find out more info about this artist’s oasis is to visit the website, or call (919)307-8107 to ask about studio space, beginner, intermediate, and advanced art classes, and Art Bar’s extensive calendar of visiting master artists.


Dana Kubissa, Director of Artist Workshops at Art Bar Raleigh, is the engine behind bringing renowned artists to teach in the Triangle. Her passion for making every artist’s visit an experience is putting the studio on the map as a hub for instructors and students alike.

Makerspace Opens in Raleigh

By Taryn Oesch

Picture a small warehouse just outside Downtown Raleigh. It’s white, fairly nondescript. Now picture yourself going inside. Again, it’s small – but it packs a punch.  Inside, there are people milling around, looking at machines and at a variety of artwork and crafts hanging on the walls and sitting on tables. There might even be a robot or two mixed in with the guests.

Raleigh makerspace created logo1No, you’re not in a sci-fi movie. You’re at the Raleigh Makerspace.

Rebecca and Matt Cooley opened the Raleigh Makerspace about a year ago, but the idea percolated in Matt’s brain for a while before then and really has its roots in a gift Rebecca gave him: a Groupon for the local branch of TechShop (a nationwide makerspace franchise). Matt took almost every class TechShop offered, discovering the makerspace was a good diversion to “exercise his creative muscles” after working in IT during the day.

Matt and Rebecca got married, went on their honeymoon, and returned to Raleigh to find the RDU TechShop had closed, leaving a lot of local creators – Matt included – without the advanced equipment they needed to finish their projects. He decided to try to buy some equipment of his own so he could at least do his own work. The idea grew, however, especially after some focus groups helped them realize how many people were looking for the same thing.

They purchased some equipment and the space, a 1500 square foot warehouse with an industrial, “kind of hip” feel to it. They worked to make the space usable, putting up walls, painting, and installing doors. Eventually, they want to move into a larger space, with more coworking space and areas for more classes; Rebecca, for instance, wants to teach painting classes. For now, however, it’s perfect.

Laser Cutter

The Makerspace’s niche is computer-assisted designs, and to that end, their two main tools are a laser cutter and a ShopBot. The laser cutter allows makers to engrave designs onto almost any material (paper, wood, and acrylic are best). They simply load their art onto the computer, provide the software with some instructions using color-coding, and press start. Matt demonstrated the laser cutter by making me a dog tag with my name on it. He’s also made keychains, and Rebecca made earrings by creating a design, having the laser cutter engrave the design into thin plywood, and going over the finished product with a paint pen.

The ShopBot is for 3D carvings like signs on wood or other materials. It has a spindle that works like a drill, turning the cutter according to computer instructions, which, like with the laser cutter are based on your design. All makers are also required to take introductory classes to the machines at the Makerspace before using them. The machines can have a learning curve and Matt provides one-on-one assistance as well. He says they’re starting to see more makers who don’t have a tech background but are inspired to create, and they want to support them and their creativity

The back half of the space, showing work areas and Makerbot

The back half of the space, showing work areas and Shopbot

Now that the Makerspace has been open for a year, it’s easy to see that Rebecca and Matt – and the Raleigh creative community – are getting excited for what comes next. Many of their original members are still with them, and they say the “Raleigh community has really come forward” to help them grow. Both of them are passionate about providing access to equipment for people who want to create – “It’s a real part of us,” Rebecca says. They’re also collaborative and invite their members to contribute their ideas for the Makerspace – there’s a whiteboard on the wall where makers can leave suggestions and write messages.

Work by Raleigh Makerspace members.

Work by Raleigh Makerspace members.

You can get involved any way you want, from just following the Makerspace on Facebook or by email, to becoming a member. There are three membership options that range from hourly access by appointment to receiving your own key with 24/7 access. Visit the website to join or request a tour. You can also come to a Hacker Night. These events are open to the public and held on the first Friday of every month from April to October at 6:30 p.m. You can meet other Makers, see what they’re making, and see a demo of the laser cutter.

Most of all, as Rebecca says, “Just make. Just keep creating.”

Taryn Oesch is a freelance writer and long-time Raleigh resident, graduating from Wakefield High School in 2006 and Meredith College in 2010. She enjoys volunteering for The Justice Theater Project and organizations that support children and teens with chronic illness and disabilities. In her free time, she plays the piano, spoils her godchildren, and battles for apartment space with her uncontrollable collection of books. 

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ArtWorks Kicks-off Legal Practicum Series

Do you work in the arts and have questions about copyright? Trademark? Taxes? Contracts? Business law?  Are you tired of attending “legal issues in the arts” talks and going home with more questions and no tools to help you? Stock photo of man w: question mark

Members of our new Law + ArtWorks group were tired of giving those talks too. So they have designed a series of workshops, or Practicums, that will provide hands-on targeted learning for the arts community.  These monthly workshops will have limited enrollment, allowing attendees to learn from each other, as well as the Practicum facilitators.

Practicums will take place the Second Tuesday of each month from 4-6 p.m at the Frontier. The program will kick-off in March with a Practicum on copyright for visual artists with local attorney to the creative community, Pamela Chestek.

Here’s a look at the first three months of Practicums:

March 10 – Copyright Registration for Visual Artists: This first Practicum session is for visual artists (drawing, jewelry, painting, sculpture, printmaking, stained glass, surface design). Local attorneys Pamela Chestek and Ed Timberlake will walk attendees through the process of submitting a copyright application form to register one of their works. Find more information and instructions on what you need to bring on the registration page. Click here to register.

April 14 – Visual Artist Contracts – Brian Sullivan of Wyrick Robbins leads a workshop on contracts for visual artists.  This Practicum will help attendees learn how to read and interpret contract terms, what to look for, and how different terms may affect business and their rights to their work.

May 12  – Copyright Registration for Authors – Continuing the copyright registration series, this session is for authors of written works.

Practicums will costs $15.  Register here for the March 10 Practium.  Watch our social media or sign up for our email to receive notice of future Practicums.

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When is a book visual art? New Group supports Triangle Book Artists

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Susan Leeb’s book Hidden Identity, on display at the “Code X” show at The Carrack Modern Art in December 2013. Photographer: Elisabeth Strunk-Effron.

by Taryn Oesch

One of the exciting characteristics of the Triangle is the great variety of art forms represented in the artists and organizations that live here. One of those art forms is the book arts, which Triangle Book Arts describes as including “bookbinding, artists’ books, printmaking and printing, papermaking, zines, calligraphy – followed by a hearty et cetera.”

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Book sculptures by Mary Blackwell-Chapman, as shown in the “Code X” exhibition at The Carrack Modern Art in December 2013. Photographer: Josh Hockensmith.

Josh Hockensmith is one of the founders of Triangle Book Arts, a local group that has its origins in a series of events hosted by Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill in 2010. Josh, who works at UNC’s Sloane Art Library, noticed the same group of people were going to each event and decided it would be beneficial for book artists to have a network. At first, this network consisted of 10 to 12 people.  Four years later, it’s going strong with over 100 people on its email list and 20 to 30 active members. Triangle Book Arts gathers monthly for planning meetings and workshops taught by members. They also hold group shows. These shows are gathering momentum, with three held over the past few years (including shows at The Scrap Exchange, The Carrack, and Daylight Project Space). They also have two shows in the works for 2015. Workshops are taught by members on topics such as working with mica, content generation, or specific book binding techniques. A couple of years ago, one member even hosted California’s “Wandering Book Artists,” Peter and Donna Thomas, to do a workshop, and Triangle Book Arts is hoping to host more out-of-town artists for future workshops.

Josh says he is still surprised, four years later, that he finds new people who do book arts in the Triangle all the time   Josh says this area is “saturated with people doing this kind of work”, as well as a “really vibrant arts area in general.”  This artistic climate is valuable to Triangle Book Arts, he says, because when it holds a show at a local gallery, its artists “reach a really rich art audience who may not have connected with book art otherwise.” There are book arts events in other areas of the state, too, especially in Asheville, which has a book arts show every year or so. Triangle Book Arts uses Asheville as an inspiration and an opportunity to collaborate, and the book arts groups in both places are working on holding a two-group, two-city show in 2015. Triangle Book Arts is looking for a gallery interested in being the Triangle host.

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A table of books at the Triangle Book Arts exhbition, “Code X,” at The Carrack Modern Art in December 2013. In the foreground is Lisa Gilbert’s book Seeking Nirvana: The Unintentional Buddhist. Photographer: Elisabeth Strunk-Effron.

How does one become interested in the book arts? For Josh, it started with a love of books. He is a self-described “bookworm” who majored in English in college, planning to go into creative writing. He discovered handmade books and artists books, though, and they became his “obsession.” His job at UNC has been great training.  He worked there repairing books for seven years, getting hands-on craft experience, then moved to the art library, where he works with artists’ books.

The term “artists’ books” calls to mind coffee-table books containing reprints of works by Picasso or Monet, but it actually refers to an art form. Rather than a collection of art, it is a genre that “uses the book form expressively to embody an idea or a concept.” Many of the book arts are represented in the artists’ book, including printing, binding, and papermaking. When Josh makes an artists’ book, he begins with a more conceptual, text-based idea, then thinks of a way to embody that idea in a book, including determining what materials will resonate with the idea. For example, when he makes a book of haiku, he uses Japanese materials and a Japanese binding method so that the materials, technique, and text together result in a cohesive, resonating piece of art.

Josh also says the book arts are more accessible today, thanks to the same technologies that are used to make digital media prominent. These technologies make it “easier to make really cool books….Layout programs are getting more powerful and more interesting,” and he can use InDesign and an inkjet printer to make a book at home that would have only been made in a professional shop 10 years ago.

Triangle Book Arts is celebrating a successful year with a holiday potluck on December 13; it’s open to the group, so artists who are interested in going should email Josh to be added to the listserv. He says it will be a great opportunity to meet members, who will be showing and discussing their latest work. The group will pick up with workshops and other meetings in January; these events will be communicated on the listserv. Triangle Book Arts also has a blog and a Facebook page that interested individuals can follow. In addition to Triangle Book Arts workshops, artists can learn more about the form by taking workshops taught by Triangle Book Arts member Kathy Steinsberger at Pullen Arts Center in Raleigh. The book arts community, like much of the arts community in the Triangle, is passionate, dedicated, and eager to share its talent with you.

Taryn Oesch is a freelance writer and long-time Raleigh resident, graduating from Wakefield High School in 2006 and Meredith College in 2010. She enjoys volunteering for The Justice Theater Project and organizations that support children and teens with chronic illness and disabilities. In her free time, she plays the piano, spoils her godchildren, and battles for apartment space with her uncontrollable collection of books.

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