Posts Tagged ‘visual arts’

Meet Buffy Taylor, Visual Artist and TEAL Member

This month, we are kicking of our Fall Fundraising campaign by looking at how we are impacting the Triangle Arts Community. 


First, we look at our impact on individual artists, by talking to Buffy Taylor. 

Artist Buffy TaylorBuffy Taylor is an emerging visual artist working in the Raleigh and the greater Triangle area. While her creative works include multiple mediums and substrates (including walls and sidewalks in public spaces) she mainly uses acrylic paint on canvas. Buffy has been a part of the Triangle Artworks community for two years, serving on our TEAL Steering Committee, attending our professional development workshops and participating in our annual SMASH event. She is just one example of how Triangle ArtWorks actively WORKS to provide support, community and opportunity to the Triangle’s artists of all disciplines.

“Joining the TEAL (Triangle Emerging Arts Leaders) Steering Committee was the best decision I could have made as an emerging artist. Every moment I put into planning and attending the educational and social events by TEAL for Triangle Artworks benefits me ten-fold. Connecting with new people leads to new opportunities and new opportunities connects to new creative groups of people. The Triangle area is flourishing in creativity and creatively minded people. Having an organization that is out there helping us to better ourselves as we better our craft is incredibly rewarding. I truly am humbly grateful for this experience.”

Buffy Taylor, Visual Artist and member of TEAL Steering Committee

We love artists (like Buffy) and we love supporting them! But we simply can’t do it alone. We need YOUR HELP to keep working hard for the area’s creative community. Show your support for building a thriving Triangle Art scene with a financial gift to Triangle ArtWorks today – any gift amount helps!




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CURRENT Opening Electrifies Downtown Chapel Hill Arts

Downtown Chapel Hill gained an exciting new arts venue with the February 2 opening of the  CURRENT™ ArtSpace + Studio on Franklin Street.CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio Presented by California Performing Arts at the University of North Carolina, the 7,000-square-foot space houses both an adaptable black box-style theater and multi-purpose studio. The facility is designed to feature immersive and co-creative arts experiences, including interactive theater and full-scale installations by exciting and emerging artists. CURRENT™ will also serve as Carolina Performing Arts’ physical and intellectual home for world-class artists-in-residence to collaborate with faculty, researchers, students, and the community.

The new venue,  strategically located in the new, mixed-use development adjacent to both the UNC campus and the vibrant downtown shopping and dining district, is distinguished by its unconventional, flexible architecture. The 3,000-square-foot Studio features three floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Carolina Square outdoor space, passersby can peek in to see dance rehearsals, artist lectures, and much more.

Photo & Caption, University Gazette: The CURRENT venue features one wall that is all glass and seating that can go anywhere (one side to four sides)—or nowhere (completely retractable).

The Studio is also a new home for the Carolina Performing Arts artists-in-residence to develop their work in collaboration with others. The theater space can accommodate many different configurations, depending upon the needs of a particular event, from artist talks to post-performance gatherings, creative workshops, and many other artistic and community events.


Emil Kang, Executive and Artistic Director of UNC Performing Arts and Special Assistant to the Chancellor at UNC, speaks at the Opening Ceremonies.

The CURRENT™ opening ceremonies included a tour of the inaugural Sound Maze installation by artist Paul Dresher. Sound Maze is a hands-on art experience featuring more than a dozen giant musical instruments invented by Dresher. Visitors were invited to wander through and discover new ways of creating sound with these fantastical instruments. Opening events included works involving audience participation (“We are Gob Squad and So are You,” and “Revolution Now” by Gob Squad) ; activist hip-hop performance (Boots Riley and the Coup); and contemporary theatre (“The Fever” by 600 Highwaymen).

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ArtWorks and RTF Collaborate to “Open Walls” at RTP Frontier to Artists

ArtWorks and RTF Collaborate to “Open Walls” at RTP Frontier to Artists


Since moving in to the Frontier, Triangle ArtWorks has been working with Research Triangle Foundation (RTF) to develop ways to support the artists working in RTP, and to bring more Triangle artists into RTP.  RTF has just kicked off its latest program created through this Collaboration called “Open Walls”.  If you have never been to the Frontier, it is a vibrant and engaging space full of people day and night.  RTF describes it as “RTP’s centrally located spot to plug in, collaborate and plan your next big move. The Frontier is open to anyone with bold ideas and big dreams.” Every day there are people working in “Home Base” and attending meetings or conferences, while almost every night there is an event.  Last week, ArtWorks hosted their SMASH event at the Frontier!

ArtWorks SMASH at Frontier.

ArtWorks’ SMASH at Frontier.

But there are a lot of empty walls.

Rather than just buying art to hang on the walls, RTF and ArtWorks saw an opportunity to “incubate” visual artists.  In the Open Walls program, Triangle-based art galleries, guilds, collectives and organizations will be provided access to wall space in the Frontier for display of art work for sale. Our goals are two-fold: 1) Provide a new space for artists to reach new patrons,  2) Let it be known that The Frontier is a place where creative and artistic thinking is not only encouraged but expected. As RTF writes on their website, ” We want people to feel creativity oozing through The Frontier when they come here for a meeting or event or simply to work.”

Here are the “Nuts and Bolts” from RTF’s Website:

"Home Base" in The Frontier, in the morning before it gets busy. Look at those blank walls!

“Home Base” in The Frontier, in the morning before it gets busy. Look at those blank walls!

We are limiting the application for the Open Walls program to groups, such as arts organizations, collectives, studios, galleries and guilds). To be eligible the groups must commit to changing out the art every two months for one calendar year. The applications will be examined on a rolling basis and at the end of the one year term there is an option to reapply.

The Open Walls program will be available for viewing during The Frontier’s hours of operation. The Frontier is generally opened Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm with expanded hours coming over the next six months. If there is a sale, we present two options: 1) it can be removed and given to the patron and immediately replaced with another piece or 2) remain for the remainder of the two month period. The Frontier will take 0% commission on works sold. We see this as a barter – the artists are lending us work to beautify our space and make people feel inspired and in return we are foregoing the standard commission applied. Win-win!

For more information, and to fill out the application, look here.

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Brushstoke – New Working Studio and Gallery in Raleigh –

By Lucy Gardiner

Image 4Located in Downtown Raleigh at 520 N. West Street, Brushstroke was created by Susan Bolick to be a workspace, art gallery and event space. The day I visited, Susan and fellow artists, Shade Elam Maret and Gail Scoggins were at their easels painting in the wonderful light filled space. The atmosphere was one of community and creativity.  Artists interested in joining them can contact Susan through their website.

Susan Bolick

Susan Bolick

The gallery is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday from 10-5. Visitors can enjoy the completed works of the artists that cover the walls, as well as meet the artists and see work in progress. Brushstroke participates in Raleigh’s First Friday Gallery Walk (6-9 PM) and often features guest artists whose work is on display for one week. If you are interested in showing your work, you can email samples of your work to Susan. Information about upcoming events are on the website.

ImageLooking for event space? This may be perfect…it’s size (1300 sf), design and location make it ideal for a variety of events including, but not limited to art shows, workshops and cocktail parties.

So if you haven’t already discovered Brushstroke, next time you are in the Glenwood South area stop in and enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and see their wonderful art!

Lucy Gardiner is a visual artist working in multiple media.  One of her passions is teaching art to both adults and children in small groups in her studio.  She also is a frequent volunteer for Triangle Artworks.  Learn more about her work here.  

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Golden Belts newest arts space – SPECTRE Arts

by Brandon Cordrey

Durham’s newest art venue is scheduled to make its debut as part of May’s Third Friday events. Just across the street from the Golden Belt complex a small white church is being renovated to house SPECTRE Arts. The space will offer rotating exhibitions, two artist studios, and great indoor/outdoor space available for event and workshop rentals. Alicia Lange purchased the property two years ago and has been overhauling it for the past year.

Demolition uncovered many unique elements of the original 1910 structure. Restoring many of those details and adding modern and environmentally friendly components has created a visually interesting space. Vaulted ceilings, natural light, and an open floor plan make the space ideal for art exhibitions of both two and three dimensional works. Those characteristics and SPECTRE’s location make it ideal for hosting events.

The two studio spaces are located at the back of the building. They have private entrances and individual alarm systems, with a shared restroom and kitchenette. Additional doors that open the studios up to the gallery will allow the artist to work more publicly and welcome visitors if they choose. SPECTRE is also offering artists who rent these spaces access to a van for moving work, the option to have one solo exhibition a year and a discount on renting the gallery or outdoor spaces for events or workshops. The studios have ample wall space, tall ceilings, and tons of natural and working light.

Studio spaces at SPECTRE.

By opening the gallery up for events and workshops, Lange hopes that SPECTRE will draw appeal to many different communities and become a hub for collaboration. Their May 17th grand opening is the perfect example of what will make this venue unique. A range of businesses from the Triangle will be pitching in for a night filled with music, film screening, photography, food and drink. SPECTRE will not only be displaying its inaugural exhibition, it will also act as a platform for many local businesses to market themselves and grow their clientele. If you’re going to be in Durham for Third Friday be sure to stop by and take part in the activities.

SPECTRE is currently reviewing portfolios for exhibitions, booking events and workshops, as well as considering artist interested in studio spaces. For more information about those items or any of the upcoming events at SPECTRE, visit their website or email.

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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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Cary’s New Manifestationz Gallery Showcases Emerging Local Artists

by Sarah Hager

Manifestationz Gallery opened on December 28 in Cary’s Old Cary Commons area.  “Manifestationz Gallery’s goal is to be a platform for emerging artists and a conduit for their exposure and inspiration,” gallery owner Omar Cummings said. “We want something from everybody for everybody.”  The gallery is doing just that by showcasing North Carolina natives as well as emerging local artists. With weekly and monthly rotations of both two- and three-dimensional art, the space is set to have a consistent flow of new exhibits. The current feature is a Meredith College exhibit in honor of the College’s February art club re-launch, headed by Cameron Johnson.

Cummings began drawing more than a decade ago and expanded to using canvas. He immediately became aware of the affect art had on others’ inspiration, and has fed off that energy since. “I like interacting with other artists and the dialogue of imagination. Every artist sees things differently.” The gallery will include studio space, giving artists the opportunity to take advantage of this collaborative aspect. Cummings also has plans to conduct art classes and kids’ activities at the venue, as well as its own version of wine-and-paint classes.

Manifestionz regularly partners with neighboring wine bar, Unwined, for special events. At Cary’s Final Friday, Unwined hosts live music and fills itself with Manifestationz art, with a new artist (individual or group) feature each month. When the weather breaks, the walkway connecting the venues will be lined with outdoor art creating a Parisian feel.  Its location is ideal for creative cross-pollination considering its proximity to Cary Innovation Center and Cary School of Music, also located in Old Cary Commons.

“I want to give others the opportunity to be featured that they may not have had otherwise,” Cummings said.  To submit your art, send and email email with a short bio, artist statement, contact information and 3-5 jpegs of work.  For more information about Manfestationz Gallery, visit their Website.  Manifestationz Gallery is located at 201 West Chatham Street #100, Cary, NC. Temporary hours are 11:00AM-4:00 PM Tuesday-Thursday and 11:00AM-8:00 PM Friday-Saturday.

Sarah Hager is a graduate of N.C. State University and currently works in marketing. She DJs at WKNC 88.1 and is enthusiastic about North Carolina’s music scene. In her free time, she enjoys going to shows, reading and playing guitar. You can follow Sarah on Twitter or email her.


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The business side of your art – learn how to do it better.

Alex Lehmann talks about tax issues affecting arts businesses at a recent Artists Night at VAE.

If you are a visual artist that sells your work or wants to sell your work, then you run a business. Part of Triangle ArtWorks mission is to help visual artists (as well as artist in other disciplines) have better access to the tools they need to be more financially successful. One such tool is education -ways to learn how to run a better arts based business and make more money doing it.

If you follow us on social media (twitter, Facebook) you know ArtWorks will keep you informed about all the educational opportunities that we know about.  But there is a great opportunity coming up that we want to bring special attention to.

Visual Art Exchange, a local organization that has tons of great programs to support visual artists in the Triangle will present Business of Being an Artist on April 21.  VAE presents this lecture series twice a year.  This year, the program covers the following topics:

Finding Exhibition Opportunities & Presentation

  • Panel Discussion: What are galleries looking for?
  • Portfolios and why you need one!
  • Resources: finding exhibition opportunities.
  • Framing your artwork.

Broadening Your Art Business:

  • Teaching workshops: Is this a good option for you?
  • Etsy: getting started.
  • Free websites.

Marketing and Self-Promotion

  • Panel Discussion: Self-promotion for working artists.

I have participated in BOBAA before and it is always a wonderful, engaging program and well-attended.  I am particularly excited this year, as I will be moderating the panel on Arts Marketing, and have lined up some panelists with varied and extensive experience in marketing themselves and others.  So far, the panelist include, Kim Wiess of Blueplate PR; visual artist Heather Gordon of Golden Belt; and visual artist/cartoonist, Paul Freidrich.  I know these people have some great stories to tell of marketing successes (and failures) to learn from, as well as tips and tools.

So, come join me, and VAE on April 21.  And learn how to be a better business.


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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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