Posts Tagged ‘creative business’

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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Sound Pure opens storefront in Durham

by Brandon Cordrey

Sound Pure is the Triangle’s newest independent music store. Since 2000 their online store has been selling high-quality equipment to musicians around the world. The new storefront marks the company’s newest chapter and strengthens their continued commitment to the local music community. Sound Pure recently purchased the Raleigh music store Indoor Storm as well as the vacant building next to their preexisting one on Washington Street in downtown Durham in order to provide even more services to their clientele.

Online sales have been strong since the start, which was in owner Todd Atlas’s Duke University dorm room in 2000. The new retail space is only the latest in a series of expansions since then. The original building on Washington Street, next door to the store, houses a full professional recording studio, acoustic guitar showroom and offices.

Don’t expect to buy anything made by Fender or Gibson, you won’t find the “big name” instrument companies on either the walls of the acoustic guitar studio or in the new store. The guitars available at Sound Pure are handmade by artisans from around the globe. It is time consuming and tedious work to make instruments by hand rather than in production, for this reason some of the instruments Sound Pure carries are one of a kind while others are extremely rare. This is also the case with the wide range of items in their new store. For proof that Sound Pure is confident about the products they sell look no further than their recording studio, which is fully stocked with items they market. Everything from the computers to the furniture, down to the cables, is available for purchase.

Sound Pure has been bringing national and international clientele to Durham for many years now, advertising the city to clientele looking to tryout and purchase rare handcrafted instruments and record in their studio. They also work with several well-known musicians in the area, including Shirley Caesar, Nnenna Freelon and Clay Aiken.

Sound Pure just ordered a sign for their new location, their first in 13 years of business. The new store is also the first opportunity for customers to access all the company has to offer, without appointment. However, they have been supporting the Triangle’s music community for many years already. They sponsored the Troika Music Festival during its time in Durham as well as Centerfest. They will be participating in the upcoming IBMA in some capacity and hope to continue that for the three years it will be held in the Triangle.

For more information about Sound Pure and its products, check out the website. For information on the recording studios, look here.

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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Groundworkk – How $5 Can Empower the Arts Community

By Amy Saltmarsh

There is a new method in the  Triangle to raise money for your creative idea. groundworkk is a monthly social event that connects local entrepreneurs, artists, and (for the evening) venture capitalists. On the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, a crowd pays a $5 door fee and gathers at a pre-selected venue (Raleigh’s Longview Center, the HUB Raleigh, Tir Na Nog, and Durham’s Mercury Studios, to name a few). From 6:30 to 8:30pm the crowd enjoy presentations, networking, and a light cocktail hour. Presentations start at 7:00 and presenters are given four minutes to pitch their creative ideas and projects to the audience. Each presentation is followed by six minutes of audience led Q&A. After the pitches, attendees enjoy food prepared by a local chef and then, it’s time to vote! At 8:30pm votes are tallied and the winner is announced. The winner is awarded the evening’s earnings via the ever symbolic mason jar. 

groundworkk founder Matt Konar, with first grounworkk "winner" Whitney Robinson.

groundworkk operates through Raleigh and Durham Executive Committees. Each committee is charged with selecting and mentoring presenters and assisting with event logistics. groundworkk Raleigh’s Executive Committee is comprised of Victor Lytvinenko of Raleigh Denim, Carolyn Jackson of Raleigh Charter High School, Matt Tomasulo of City Fabric, and Daniel Whittaker of Green Planet Catering. Durham’s Executive Committee is comprised of Katie DeConto of Mercury Studio,  Laura Ritchie of The Carrack Modern Art, and Krista Anne Nordgren of The Makery.

How to become a presenter.

Triangle entrepreneurs and artists submit their ideas to groundworkk via With the input of the Executive Committees, up to four presenters are selected each month. Leading up the the groundworkk event, presenters are assigned a mentor who assists them with the planning, conceptualization, and logistics required for their presentations. 

To date, groundworkk winners include: Whitney Robinson of Freshly Given, a leather accessory line; Chris Tonelli and Charles Wilkes of So and So Books, an up and coming downtown Raleigh bookstore; Aaron Gerry of Startup and Play; Owen Jordan of Resqd; and Chef Kabui of Organics and Sound, an all organic catering company in Durham. 

Upcoming events include:

DURHAM: Tuesday, 22 January 2013 at Mercury Studio
RALEIGH: Tuesday, 12 February 2013 at the Visual Art Exchange

For regular updates visit  

Amy is the Manager of the Midtown Farmers’ Market in North Hills and the Sales Manager for Green Planet Catering.  She’s also the behind the scenes charge for groundworkk and has a love of all things locally grown and created. 


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NC State Begins Offering Arts Entrepreneurship Minor

by Sarah Endaya

While the idea that the arts are an important business community is not a new idea, supporting them like one is.  NC State has recently taken a significant step in that direction by recognizing and training emerging arts entrepreneurs.  In the Spring semester of 2012, NC State began offering a minor in Arts Entrepreneurship. The program at NC State is one of only three such programs offered in the country and the only one that is offered campus wide.

Dr. Gary Beckman developed the Arts Entrepreneurship Minor program for NC State.

The Minor is a Music Department initiative directed and developed by  Dr. Gary Beckman. Beckman comes to NC State from the University of South Carolina School of Music where he developed the country’s first music entrepreneurship minor, edited the field’s first essay collection, Disciplining the Arts: Teaching Entrepreneurship in Context, and co-founded the world’s first academic journal on arts entrepreneurship education, Artivate, where he serves as founding co-editor.

Classes include Foundations of Arts Entrepreneurship, Practical Art Entrepreneurship, Capstone Experience in Art Entrepreneurship and more. These classes help students envision the arts in different ways, learn how and where art is consumed and how to become arts entrepreneurs. Dr. Beckman uses a mentorship approach to teaching and gives the students an opportunity to work with the Raleigh arts community through the Capstone Experience.  This course puts students in a “consulting role” for Raleigh art entrepreneurs and arts organizations, in addition to building their professional network.

Dr. Beckman also works to build a community in the classroom. The students who are currently taking this minor come from all over campus. No previous arts experience is required. At its core, the Minor is designed to be a platform for students to express their major discipline in the arts, from engineering to management to zoology. Students simply explore what it is they want to do as an arts entrepreneur and make it their own. The students get real experience and exposure to the arts community through classes, hands on experience, and projects that explore all spectrums of the arts, such as music technology, textiles, film,  music production and more.

Arts Entrepreneurship in action at the Lulu eGames

Student entrepreneurs from Lulu eGames Arts Feasibility Study winner, Leiva Strings, talk to Gordon Smith during the eGames Expo.

Even though this program is new, a number of Dr. Beckman’s students are already following through with their entrepreneurial ideas and starting businesses this summer. This year, an Arts Entrepreneurship Feasibility Study Category was added to NCSU’s Lulu eGames (hosted by the NCSU Entrepreneurship Initiative in partnership with Lulu).Four students from the Arts Entrepreneurship program competed in the final round, where students completed a feasibility study for a new for-profit or non-profit arts venture, and each finished with prize awards.

Demand for this minor is quickly growing. Dr.Beckman is working to make this minor an integral part of the university and will continue to elevate the program and its presence in the arts community. His vision is to make the Minor a national model in Arts Entrepreneurship education and a premier training ground for emerging arts entrepreneurs both in the Triangle and nationally. NC State’s Arts Entrepreneurship Minor is a foundational brick helping to empower the Triangle  arts community.

Sarah Endaya is a volunteer for Triangle Artworks and a Business Administration student at North Carolina State University.  She enjoys making music and finding out more about the Triangle’s arts community in her free time.

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Help shape the future of the arts in Garner on April 23.

Do you live in Garner?  Do you have ideas for how the Town can be more supportive of its arts community and more welcoming to artists of all disciplines?

The  Garner Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department and Garner Revitalization Association are working together to create a Town that is more supportive to artists and provides more of what they need to succeed; and to promote collaboration between the arts community and the rest of Garner’s business community.

And the best way to start to develop such a plan is to get input from the arts community itself.  So, they inviting local artists and creative professionals  of all disciplines to attend a networking meeting on Monday, April 23 at the Garner Performing Arts Center located at 742 W. Garner Road.  The event will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner and networking, followed by a brainstorming and discussion session from 6:30-8:00 p.m.

As stated in the event invitation, these organizations “are working to grow the impact of the arts on the local economy. To do this effectively, we need your help to understand:

  • Who our local artists are and what they create
  • What resources artists need to create, exhibit, perform or sell more of their works
  • Ideas for events, promotions, markets and other ways to increase awareness of the arts
  • Ideas for collaborations between artists and the business community to spark economic development

All artists are encouraged to attend, including visual artists, performing artists, photographers, creative professionals, hobbyists and anyone interested in helping grow the arts in the Garner community.”

Triangle ArtWorks will be working with these organizations to facilitate the event.  Please join us!  Also, please spread the word to other members of the Garner arts community.


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These population demographics may surprise you….

What will our region's population look like in 10 years?

UPDATE!!  Mitch Silver will be presenting his “Understanding Trends – Planning for the Future” talk on August 14 at Fuquay-Varina Community Center (Click for More info).  

Mitch Silver, City of Raleigh’s Planning Director (and husband of ArtWorks awesome Board member, Mary Silver!) is currently traveling the country, talking about  what the results of the 2010 Census tell us. As President of the American Planning Association, Silver is mostly talking to city planners and economic development people around the Country. But the information is important for people in all business areas to know.

And the information in these talks will surprise you about what it tells us about changing families, changes in lifestyle trends and the aging of America.

Things such as:

  • By 2030, North Carolina will be the 7th largest State (and Silver suggests that we start to act like it).
  • Single households are increasing, while “traditional families” are decreasing.
  • The Hispanic population is expected to triple from 2008 to 2050 (Due to the birth of children, not immigration.)

If you run a business or arts organization, or if you are planning on starting a business, these are numbers you need to know.

How will future populations want to spend their free time?

Mitch has presented this talk to many groups locally, and I was lucky to see it for the first time at United Arts of Wake County’s “State of the Arts and Culture” event in Wake County” event at NCMA.   You can find online a summary of his talk that was part of the Chapel Hill 2020 process, you can watch the complete presentation that was part of Innovate Raleigh on Raleigh Television Network between now and February 26, or much of the information is immediately viewable here (the relevant statistics start around 35:00).  Although the summary is good, the presentations are better, as you get to hear Mitch’s comments on the trends and what he thinks they may mean.

The business or arts organization that is not aware of these trends and prepared to adapt their work accordingly, will likely suffer in the future.  Don’t be caught unaware. Get informed.





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New Legal Resources added to Site.

Do you have a business idea and don’t know where to start?  Do you have a creative idea that you want to protect?  Do you even know where to start to look into these issues?

L-R, UNC Law Students Eric Roehling, Amanda Gladin-Kramer, David Kirby.

Well, Triangle ArtWorks is here to help. A great team of law students from UNC Law School’s Pro Bono Program has scoured the internet for you and pulled together a list of the best resources and links they could find on the issues of business form and copyright. Although these resource pages are not a substitute for legal advice and CERTAINLY should not be used as such, they are a good place to start.  We have done that first search for you, saving you the time of searching the internet and wasting time on irrelevant sites.

So far, we have loaded new sections of the Resource Directory on Copyright/Trademark and Starting a For-Profit Business. We will be adding resources on Contracts and other business forms after the first of the year.

But wait, there’s more…..

Pulling together these resources is just the first step.  Now that we have the basics on the site, ArtWorks will start looking at other ways to help fill the legal needs of the community. Some possibilities we are looking at are articles on relevant legal topics,  short talks or “ask a lawyer” session on general or specialized topics, or development of a Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts-type program.

If you want to help or have input for us on programs or needs, let us know!





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Ackland Adds Store/Gallery space on Franklin Street

Local artists are included in the retail area in the front of the photo, as well as in the gallery along Franklin Street, seen at the back of this photo.

On May 5, the Ackland Museum opened the Ackland Museum Store at the corner of Columbia and Franklin Streets (100 E. Franklin), finally filling a long empty, but important corner in Chapel Hill.  The Ackland Museum Store will help promote and support the Ackland, especially given its very visible location, while proceeds from the location will support exhibitions and educational programs at the museum. Melinda Rittenhouse, gallery manager, says “We want to be a gateway to the Ackland, directing people to it’s wonderful collection of art”.

In addition to promoting the Museum, the Store will also promote local artists and craftsmen. While it has the usual eclectic mix of books, children’s toys and home goods we have come to expect at museum stores these days, the Ackland store also features local artists, such as Seagrove potters, in the “store” side, while the “gallery side” has “rotating exhibitions of original artworks in a variety of media by local and regional artists and artisans”.   Currently, the Gallery is featuring “Nothing is Impossible” which represents seven North Carolinians who have in some way been transformed by association with the Penland School of Crafts.

The Store’s staff is currently working on a process for reviewing art and craft for inclusion in both the store and the gallery.  At this point, they require artists to submit images of work, which will be reviewed by staff of the Gallery and the Museum.   Rittenhouse says, this procedure is “still a work in progress” .

Part of the current gallery show "Nothing is Impossible".


The gallery is open late for Chapel Hill’s Second Friday Artwalk and is planning further special events.  So far, response has been good, according to Rittenhouse.  “The opening has been well received by the community” The central location at Columbia and Franklin, across the street from FRANK Gallery and next door to the Ackland, certainly helps concentrate more arts venues at this end of Chapel Hill and expand the stops for the Second Friday ArtWalk.

Store hours will be Mon-Sat, 10-5:30 pm, Thursday 10-8:30pm, Sunday 12pm-5pm.


Do you have some news affecting the Triangle Creative Community?  Tell us about it!  Email.

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Collaborative gallery breathes creative life into Raleigh’s Hillsborough Street

by Melinda McKee

You may have noticed Raleigh’s warehouse district enjoying an artistic resurgence recently, from the Contemporary Art Museum setting up shop in April, to the Visual Art Exchange’s planned move this fall. They join, of course, several other galleries who’ve been paving the way for a cultural renaissance in the Martin Street area.

Fortunately for local art lovers, though, downtown Raleigh isn’t the only region experiencing a creative facelift these days. Hillsborough Street, once home to bulky construction equipment and disruptively churned-up pavement, is now poised to reclaim its place as a destination of choice along the city’s western edge — particularly due to one of its newest inhabitants, the Roundabout Art Collective.  The 2-month-old gallery is the new home for 25 Triangle-area artists, whose creations come in an array of forms: glass, paintings, jewelry, metal, mixed media, pottery, apparel, furniture, sculpture, wood and photography grace the gallery’s 1,250 square feet.

Roundabout artists, Susan Dahlin and Anna Ball Hodge, model Roundabout t-shirts.

Local painter Susan Woodson (also known as NCSU’s First Lady, wife of Chancellor Randy Woodson) heads the Collective as its founding president. Susan was first inspired to start the group while taking a painting class last summer at Pullen Park. “As our class watched the final construction on Hillsborough, I thought — what a great opportunity to grow the arts by encouraging folks to rediscover Hillsborough Street, and to help promote local artists,” says Susan.   “I think Hillsborough Street is such a great welcoming to NC State, but there was nothing there to promote the great art scene already happening in Raleigh. My main goal was to bring that thriving appreciation of the arts up to Hillsborough Street.”

Of, By and For the Community

Located across the street from NC State’s iconic Belltower, the Roundabout Art Collective looks forward to a lively relationship with the university community, including the College of Design and the Gregg Museum of Art & Design.  In addition to taking home fine pieces crafted by regional artists, local community members will be able to enjoy numerous events hosted by the Collective, from pottery workshops and art lectures to poetry readings and woodworking classes.

“The Roundabout Art Collective is a fantastic retail addition to Hillsborough Street,” says Jeff Murison, executive director for the Hillsborough Street Community Services Corporation. “The amazing, locally created works of art help establish Hillsborough Street as a destination for arts, learning, creativity and fun.  We are thrilled they’re here and helping expand our merchant base, and connecting the community with a destination on Hillsborough Street.”

A Creative Co-op

In true collaborative fashion, Roundabout members help staff the gallery by working two days a month (during store hours, two or more artists are always on hand to run the shop and answer questions). They meet monthly to discuss group goals and plan events; members also pay an annual fee, and supply a small commission to the Collective from each sale.  At present, the Roundabout gallery has reached its capacity of artistic works, and so the Collective is not currently looking for additional artists.  In the future they hope to move to a larger space that will accommodate new and different artists.

For those of you who would like to share in Hillsborough Street’s creative awakening, the artists of Roundabout invite you to join their Circle of Friends — in exchange for annual dues of $30, Circle members will receive advance event invitations, occasional purchase discounts and other perks.

The Roundabout Art Collective is located at 2110 Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. The gallery is open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 11am-6pm (9pm on First Fridays).

Melinda McKee is a nonprofit marketing specialist and creative arts enthusiast from Raleigh, NC.


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Scrap Exchange escapes from a soggy mess into new space….twice.

By Teri Saylor

Scrap Exchange's new space at 923 Franklin Street

Scrap Exchange is finally getting some return on the good Karma it has invested in the Durham community.  After an epic moving odyssey,  the creative re-use facility, is finally settled into a new home, which in time, could be permanent.

“We’ve been through hell,” said Executive Director Ann Woodard, sitting in a tiny, crowded office next to the huge concrete and steel space that will soon be converted into a spacious environment housing a gallery, retail store, and workshops.  She allows that the experience worked in the organization’s favor after all, and after two moves in 10 days, The Scrap Exchange is back in business.  This last move, which took place over the Memorial Day weekend was the third relocation in 10 days. Its new home is at 923 Franklin Street in Durham.

A grand re-opening is scheduled Saturday, June 4 and will feature 10 bands over 12 hours. The $10 ticket fees will support the Scrap Exchange and the Liberty Arts Foundry, also displaced when the building that housed both organizations was condemned.  In case you missed how this all began, look here.

The Scrap Exchange was founded in 1991 to establish a sustainable supply of high-quality, low-cost materials for artists, educators, parents, and other creative people. Successful and popular, the Scrap Exchange is 90 percent self-sufficient through earned income streams, Woodard said.

Woodard loves her new space.

“Our mission is to provide services and low cost resources to our community. We’re in the perfect neighborhood to do that here,” she said.  Parking is convenient. Space is plentiful. The Scrap Exchange now occupies 22,000 square feet.  Its former space was 13,000. When it is completely built out, it will include additional workshop space dedicated to sewing classes.  There will be room for the organization’s eBay sales operation to stage goods for sale and package them up for shipping to buyers.  The Scrap Exchange will continue its retail sales operation to the public and will have an art gallery as well as an artists’ marketplace.

In the midst of displacement, Woodward has found a silver lining.  “We’ve been planning to move to a larger space for a long time,” she said. “We started looking in 2005 and 2006.  We made a 28-page increased capacity plan, and we are surprised that we’ve manifested our plan so quickly.”  With increased space comes a higher investment, and The Scrap Exchange will be paying $30,000 more annually.  She hopes that her organization can buy the building outright in the future.

It’s clear the space was once a manufacturing facility.  The wide open spaces with brick walls and concrete floors are flanked by small offices where superintendents and managers once worked.  Staff and volunteers are working nearly around the clock to be ready for business on Saturday.  “I’m not looking for perfection. I’m just looking to be open,” Woodward said.

Teri Saylor is a freelance writer and photographer in Raleigh. Follow her tweets @terisaylor or contact her by email.

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