Posts Tagged ‘Raleigh’

Centerpiece Gallery Opens in Person Street Neighborhood

Centerpiece Horizontal LogoRaleigh has a new gallery showing the work of local and international artists, with the opening of the The Centerpiece in Raleigh’s Person Street neighborhood. The Centerpiece focuses on contemporary fine art, including paintings and glass works, both by established and emerging artists. The Centerpiece is open Tuesday – Friday from 10 AM – 5 PM, and Saturdays from 11 – 6 PM.

In addition to gallery space and framing, The Centerpiece is also hosting artists workshops at all career levels. The Centerpiece welcomes artists interested in teaching workshops to contact Miranda Estep. Artists interested in showing their work at The Centerpiece should send digital copies of their work to Katie Brown at Centerpiece to be considered for a Spotlight Show.

Katie Brown and Miranda Estep at The Centerpiece.

Katie Brown and Miranda Estep at The Centerpiece.

The Centerpiece prides itself in providing high quality service in everything it offers. From hand-selecting original art to showcase in the gallery to working individually with clients to design frames made specifically for them, they work to fit the needs of everyone that walks through their doors. They bring the same attention to detail to their art worksho
ps, bringing in only the highest quality instructors, guaranteeing an amazing, enriching experience for participants.
The gallery will be hosting a two-day Grand Opening event on June 7th and 8th! These events will feature a sneak preview in tandem with First Friday, and the official grand opening on Saturday, June 8th. The Saturday event will feature artist demos, raffles, refreshments, and more! You can check out their social media for updates closer to the event.

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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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BEST project transforms empty Raleigh storefronts.

By Jess Moore

BEST is a new initiative in downtown Raleigh that fills unoccupied storefront windows with art. BEST, which stands for Beautifying Emerging Spaces Together, formed late last year with their first installations starting in February 2012.

One of the group’s creative minds is Donna Belt, an interfaith minister, writer, and artist. An advocate for the “transformative value of art in people’s lives,” Belt sees the storefronts as an opportunity to change a negative – empty space – into a positive – a new vehicle for integrating art into daily life.

A goal of BEST is to actively involve the community and include a variety of voices. The first group to hang work in a storefront is ARTHOUSE, a children’s art studio. The window is located at 300 W Hargett St. and includes the children’s work along with quotes from each child speaking about their art. BEST is also creating interactive projects, like constructing a city skyline with sticky notes. The pieces of paper will include quotes from Raleigh citizens describing what they love most about their city.

Many of the people involved in BEST are members of the Downtown Living Advocates, a group of residents interested in the growth of downtown. DLA connects BEST with property owners, most recently helping the group obtain space at 215 S. Wilmington Street.  Formerly the site of the Raleigh Sandwich Shop, the space is now vacant, but the work of artist Patrick Shanahan will soon enliven the windows. He’s creating interior scenes that reflect what the business may have looked like in its prime. His lively paintings, filled with important figures from the past and present, will mask the plywood boards that cover the windows, creating an alternate reality for the historic space.

For more on BEST and information on how to get involved, visit their website.


Jessica Moore is a founder and organizer for the Durham Storefront Project.  Durham Storefront Project organizes installation series in underutilized spaces to highlight the history and architecture of Durham, provide new opportunities for artists and add to the vibrancy of downtown

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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?



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Raleigh’s Artspace makes changes to expand artist opportunities.

Raleigh’s Artspace new term limits and more residencies increase opportunities for artists.

by Jess Moore

Artspace artist Paris Alexander at Family Day. Photo by Jameka Autry Photography

Sitting at the corner of Davie and Blount Street, Artspace has anchored the downtown Raleigh art scene for over 25 years. Inside the deceptively unassuming building, on any given day, there are over 30 professional artists, 2 artists-in-residents, several exhibition spaces, and numerous arts education programs. All in furtherance of Artspace’s mission – to inspire individual creativity by engaging the community in the process of the visual arts by presenting quality exhibitions and educational programs within an open studio environment.

But in recent years, Artspace’s Board has struggled with how to keep its open studio environment dynamic and relevant to the community, while also expanding ArtSpace’s opportunities for studios, residencies and exhibitions to more artists.  I recently talked to Artspace’s Executive Director, Mary Poole, and Director of Programs and Exhibitions, Lia Newman, to learn more about how they’ve addressed this issue.  As Mary Poole explained, “When Artspace first opened its doors 25 years ago, the Board and leadership did not consider the need for creating a limit on how long an artist could maintain studio space” in the building. But recently, “we recognized how Raleigh, its downtown, and arts community has gone through considerable change and growth, so we wanted to make sure Artspace was remaining vibrant and dynamic in keeping up with these changes. Artspace needs to remain relevant with the changing environment.”

In short, ArtSpace Board approved three changes to the organization’s operational policies, including 1) Term limits for tenant studio artists, 2) A review process for subsequent studio terms, and  3) Plans to expand its artist residency program.

Term limits and new review process

In order to become an Artspace studio artist, you must first be juried into the Artspace Artists Association. If interested in studio space, members of the Association put their name on a list for a studio – a first come-first served process.  Under the newly established term limits, once an artist is in the building, they can stay 3 years with the possibility to extend for two more periods of 3 years. After 9 years, an artist must take a one-year break before he/she can apply again for studio space.

After the conclusion of the first three years, the artist must now go through a review process to continue for another three years. This review is not a curatorial/juried process, but instead it is more of a review of the artist’s development.  Newman explains, “We want Artspace to be a place where artists feel energetic about their work —  not a place where they plateau. The review process is more of a check for both sides that the relationship is mutually beneficial.”  The review is a formalized communication process – a chance for artists to reassess where they are in their development as a professional and evaluate whether Artspace is still the place for them to work.

Studio artist, Nancy Taylor. Photo by Jameka Autry Photography.

So what does Artspace hope to accomplish with these new term limits? Two ideas are at play here. Artspace is building a more dynamic environment that will attract a larger contingent of repeat visitors. Newman compared this to visiting your local museum, explaining, “I always visit the traveling exhibitions at our local museums, but don’t go through the entire permanent collection on every visit.  I seek out the pieces I love.  The same could be said for Artspace visitors.”  Museums know that you’re not going to get repeat visitors if they never change their exhibitions and Artspace is addressing the same issue. They want to keep their audience happy and, with increased studio turnover, as well as additional artists-in-residence, repeat visitors now have the opportunity to see, and hopefully buy, more art by more artists.  Ultimately, Artspace believes these changes will “further expand the breadth of what we present in the building over time and will provide opportunities for more artists in the community”, according to Poole.

Increased emphasis on residencies

Artspace also will be working towards increasing the residency opportunities for artists in the building. This year, they added two more six-month residencies, which doubles their previous residency placements. The spaces for residencies have also changed, moving to the second floor to Studios 215 and 215A.  For more information on how to apply for Artspace residencies, click here.

Artspace, Regional Emerging Artist-in-Residence, Tanya Casteel. Photography by Jameke Autry.

Artspace is already seeing the effect of the term limits and their expanded residency program. Poole mentioned, “In June, there were some artists that were ready to move on and with those artists moving out and the expansion of the residency program, we actually had six new artists move in the building in July.” Although a small change in the way that they operate, the term limits and added residencies will open up many new opportunities for Artspace member-artists, studio-artists, artists in the community, and visitors, ensuring Artspace’s place as an anchor in Raleigh’s growing art scene.

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NCSU’s Hidden Gem Plans For New Setting

Triangle Hidden Gems – NCSU’s Gregg Museum of Art and Design

By Melinda McKee

One of the Gregg's main galleries.

There are museums where visitors feel compelled to stand at a reverent distance; where they are expected to look but not touch; where they understand they’re gazing at the work of an elite club of creators.  Not so at the Gregg Museum, an institution on a mission to make art accessible.  Here, art is not held at a distance, but placed right in the palm of your hand.

Currently tucked away in NC State’s Talley Student Center, the Gregg Museum of Art and Design is perhaps one of the Triangle’s most under-discovered treasures. After visiting the second floor galleries (often accompanied by a cellphone-guided tour), know that your exploration has only just begun.  Above this rotating exhibit space, the third floor storerooms are home to a permanent collection of more than 20,000 fascinating works of art and design, including ceramics, furniture, sculptures, photography, and more than 5,000 textiles.

But the real treasure at the Gregg lies in its storerooms.

The best part?  To see these back-room beauties, all you need do is let them know you’re coming (preferably 1-2 days in advance). Gregg Museum staff will happily lead you on a tour behind the scenes, where most museums are closed to public. And if something particular has already struck your fancy (check out the museum’s online catalogue), they’ll have it ready and waiting for your discovery, white handling gloves and all.

The Gregg Museum excels in providing hands-on experiences for NC State’s future designers and artists, complementing programs in the Colleges of Design, Textiles, and beyond. This focus is intended to energize students, says museum director Roger Manley, “to show them they have the ability to achieve these same things.”

Archived pottery and textiles.

It’s not just for students, though; the Gregg Museum is all about making art accessible to anyone with a curious or creative streak. Manley continues: “People come to our shows to a feel a point of access, to see the connection between art and themselves.”

A Beautiful “New” Home

The Gregg museum is now pursuing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make its art even more available to the public. The historic Chancellor’s Residence on Hillsborough Street is set to be renovated as the museum’s new home, along with a new 16,800-square-foot addition. Preparing to move a collection of the museum’s size is no small task, acknowledges Manley. “It’s daunting to move 20,000 things, but it’s a chance to rethink what all we’re trying to accomplish.”

Once completed, the move will allow the Gregg Museum to fulfill its potential as never before. Portions of the permanent collection will finally be on display in the main building, along with a library and lecture room, while the new wing will house state-of-the-art galleries and classrooms. The beautifully landscaped outdoor areas may one day host concerts, film screenings, sculpture gardens, and more.

Museum leaders hope to begin the renovations and construction in Fall 2012, though they must raise $4.5 million for the project before breaking ground. For more information about contributing to the Gregg Museum Campaign, please visit their website.

Special Note: Our condolences go out to the family, friends and coworkers of Dr. Lynn Jones Ennis, associate director of the Gregg Museum. Dr. Ennis recently passed away unexpectedly, leaving behind a legacy of art and many fond memories. You can read more about her life here.

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

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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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Contemporary Art Museum Punctuates Historic Warehouse District

By Teri Saylor

CAM Raleigh Features Striking Design

From anywhere in downtown Raleigh, pedestrians can follow a series of stickers leading to a grand façade on Martin Street in the historic warehouse district where contemporary art unfolds.  Once a dream and now a reality, the new Contemporary Art Museum will bring contemporary art to life and serve as an anchor in Raleigh’s historic Warehouse District.  “The city has been very supportive,” said Rosemary Wyche, the museum’s director of development and communications.  Wyche believes the museum will be a focal point for a growing arts community and a catalyst for more art venue development.

An old nondescript building in downtown Raleigh is barely recognizable today.  In the 1920s Brogden Produce occupied this warehouse. Later it became a paint store.  Today, the transformation is complete, and the public will be able to explore the space the last weekend in April, when it officially opens for business.  More on the opening weekend festivities can be found on CAM’s website.

CAM Raleigh is not a collecting museum, Wyche said. Curators will fill spaces by reaching out to artists they wish to invite. The museum already has artists lined up to exhibit after the current exhibitions close.  Elysia Borowy-Reeder, the CAM Raleigh’s new executive director, takes the reins on May 17.

CAM's educational space for classes and workshops.

CAM Raleigh will also be the only area museum with a dedicated gallery for emerging artists and designers.  These emerging artists will have their own home in CAM Raleigh, in the Independent Weekly Gallery.  Through exhibiting emerging artists whose work is still in progress and fresh from the studio, the museum supports early career contemporary artists in an atmosphere where they are encouraged to foster a cross-fertilization of ideas and dynamic interaction with visitors.  CAM Raleigh celebrates the diversity of artistic expression and places the artist at the center of the community.  Art lovers from all walks of life will often have a chance to meet and exchange ideas with the artists this series celebrates.

Developed through a partnership between the community and NC State University’s School of Design, CAM Raleigh was designed by the architectural team of Clearscapes and Brooks + Scarpa.  CAM Raleigh’s inaugural exhibits feature artists Dan Steinhilber of Washington, DC in the main gallery.  New York-based Naoko Ito is the first artist featured in the Independent Weekly Gallery Emerging Artists Series.

Since 2006, the NCSU School of Design has conducted a popular children’s design camp for middle school-aged children. Starting the summer, CAM Raleigh will serve as the week-long camp’s headquarters.  Determined to keep kids involved, museum staff have been teaching a team of kids to be docents to lead visitors through the museum during opening weekend.

Truly a people’s gallery, the museum opens its doors to adults and kids alike. General admission is $5.00, but visitors will be admitted for free during opening weekend.  Regular hours will be  Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m until 6:30 p.m.  Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.  On the first and third Fridays each month, hours extend to 9 p.m.  It is closed on Tuesday.  Space is available for workshops and meetings, and groups can rent the museum for special events.  It is located at 409 W. Martin Street.

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

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The economic argument for the arts…is it really what you think?

It seems like every time I turn around, I am reading another study done by an arts organization with graphs, dollar signs, and percentages showing the economic impact that the arts have on a community or region or state. Although I am always glad to see the statistics and have often quoted them to talk about the importance of arts in a community, I always felt that they were missing something.  Maybe because they often seemed to look mostly at the major arts organizations, where you could count “butts in seats”, and left out the smaller arts groups or the individual artists.  Or maybe because it didn’t take into accounnt the more personal experience that many people have through viewing or participating in the arts. Somehow, I just felt like something was missing in this argument. There are SO MANY people that realize that the arts and creativity matter on their own, regardless of the money they bring in, or sometimes, don’t bring in.

Imagine my joy in finally hearing from an economist that “got it”.  That the true impact of the arts and creative community on a region’s economy goes beyond statistics.  In his article, “A good economist knows the true value of the arts” in Financial Times (August 11, 2010), economist John Kay has the following to say,

John Kay

“Activities that are good in themselves are good for the economy, and activities that are bad in themselves are bad for the economy. The only intelligible meaning of “benefit to the economy” is the contribution – direct or indirect – the activity makes to the welfare of ordinary citizens.”

He goes on to discuss the current trend of studies on the  economic impact of the arts, saying

“(t)hese studies point to the number of jobs created, and the ancillary activities needed to make the activities possible. They add up the incomes that result. Reporting the total with pride, the sponsors hope to persuade us not just that sport, tourism and the arts make life better, but that they contribute to something called “the economy”. ….. “the economic value of the arts is in the commercial and cultural value of the performance, not the costs of cleaning the theatre. The economic perspective does not differ from the commonsense perspective. Good economics here, as so often, is a matter of giving precision to our common sense. Bad economics here, as so often, involves inventing bogus numbers to answer badly formulated questions.

“But good economics is often harder to do than bad economics. It is difficult to measure the value of a Shakespeare play: you can start with the box office receipts, but this is only the beginning of the story. …. The relevant economic questions are whether the cultural and commercial value of the performance offsets these costs and whether these benefits can be translated into a combination of box office receipts, sponsorship and public subsidy. The appropriate economic criterion, everywhere and always, is the value of the output.”

So, when we talk to funders, grantors, customers or even friends about the value of  the arts to the “economy”, are we best served by trying to quantify the value in pure dollar terms?  Does this make the arts community become too one dimensional, so that someone doesn’t  buy the statistical argument, it then give them an easy out to reject the “value” of the arts?  Instead, as John Kay says, maybe we should focus more on how the arts “make our lives agreeable and worthwhile.”   Maybe our main focus should be to ask them to envision our economy, our region, or their lives, without it?

Read more of John Kay’s article here


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What is your biggest need?

ArtWorks Board and staff are in the process of holding launch events and meetings with arts groups to figure out what unmet needs there are in the arts community in the Triangle.  But we want to hear from everybody.  So, tell us…. what do you see as the unmet needs?  Affordable health care?  Marketing assistance?  Centralized job and grant listings?  Are there more types of information that it would be helpful to have on the ArtWorks website?  Are there classes that would be helpful?  Socials?

Is there something you have always been thinking “If someone would just……”

We are looking for long term ideas, short term ideas….everything.  The Board will take these ideas and prepare a short and long term strategic plan.

Respond to this post and tell us where to start!

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