About this blog

This is my blog on the arts scene of Carrboro, Chapel Hill and surrounding Triangle communities. I'll focus on visual arts and the 2ndFriday Artwalk and other visual art events but that doesn't mean I won't chat about music, literary events, film or anything else in the local creative world. Please email with ideas, links, comments or brickbats. [I have comment moderation on so if you don't see your comment right away that means that I haven't had a chance to approve it yet. Sorry, but the spammers.....]

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Johnny's of Carrboro Craft and Music Fest

Johnny's at 901 West Main Street Carrboro will hold a fair this Saturday, December 19th from 9-5.

From the Facebook event page
This is a day of food, fun, crafts, and music. Come out to support your local craftspeople as well as culinary artisans in addition to sipping some yummy eggnog, wine tastings throughout the day and live music. Keep an eye on the FB page for a listing of who is playin' and displayin'. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the local non-profit, Carrboro Community Garden. (Rain date is the next day, Dec 20th.)
 It oughta be fun and you know you have some local shopping still to do!

Frank (Franklin Street Arts Collective) to open in January

The new Art Collective in downtown Chapel Hill is now scheduled to open in January 2010.  It's a pretty exciting development both for downtown CH and the Chapel Hill and Carrboro art scene. From the WCHL radio website:

The 3,400 square foot space at 109 East Franklin Street will employ one full-time director, Barbara Rich, who is herself a painter. Twenty-five core members will exhibit their art year-round and work in the gallery. Up to 50 other local and national artists will show their work on consignment. 
So far the only artist I know who's amongst the 25 is Alan Dehmer who works in gum bichromate photography.  His work is exceptional -- it's a good sign for the Frank.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Steven Silverleaf at the Fleet Feet Gallery -- Wow!

I took a walk over to the Fleet Feet Gallery at 406 E Main St, Carrboro before my show at Weaver Street Realty last night during the 2nd Friday ArtWalk. I wanted to stop by and check out Steve's new collages.

You may have seen Steve's wonderful figurative pieces (drawings, acrylics and oils) of bightly colored bold and other times quiet and cool depictions of people in chairs and other settings and reposes. These often deceptively simple works are moving and thrilling, for example Conversation 1 to the right.

As good as these paintings are I've always been even more excited by his collages.  Still I was unprepared for this latest batch.  Most fairly small (say 12" wide by 36" tall) but a handful of a larger scale, they are playful, dramatic and compositionally strong and complex.  Some have colors that draw you in like an embrace.  Others grab ahold of your eyes like a magnet.  Most play with the image of a bird.  Really thrilling work of the highest quality.  The small photo to the right does not do them justice (but you can find the bird!)

Steve is one of the treasures of the Triangle artist community, much underexposed and often under appreciated.  This is a must see exhibit.  To see some of Steve's older paintings and collages go to his site but definitely make a point to stop by Fleet Feet!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Gotta go to this Friday's 2ndFriday Artwalk!

Don't forget the ArtWalk this Friday in Carrboro and Chapel Hill.  The weather should be nice and cool for a lovely walk between venues (stopping of course at Weaver Street Realty for some wine and a look at some of my new pieces.)

There will be many things to see but there are two that I hate to miss while smoozing at my opening.

The first is collages by my friend Steven Silverleaf at the Fleet Feet Gallery 406 E Main St, Carrboro.  If you haven't seen Steven's collages you are in for a treat!  Bright, vibrant and strong.

The second thing that caught my eye was the showing of some big artwork on shirts and paper by Jenifer Padilla at the Merch 101 Lloyd St, Carrboro. According to the 2nd Friday webpage "Jenifer's most recent, experimental works combine silkscreen with her original drawings and paintings." See some samples at her website. They look really interesting.

Friday, December 4, 2009

2ndFriday ArtWalk Opening at Weaver Street Realty on Main St, December 11th

I will host an opening for my show of new & old works at next week's 2nd Friday Artwalk. The pieces include small to large pastels, acrylics, collages and photos in representational to abstract styles.  I'll post some pictures of the pieces on Flickr this weekend.  Hope you can make it.

December 11th, 2009 6-9 PM during the 2ndFriday ArtWalk
Refreshments (including adult beverages) will be served.

Weaver Street Realty
116 E. Main Street
Carrboro, NC

And a reminder that the show at the Red Bicycle Coffee Shop on Homestead at Airport Road is up through December.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ginger Young Southern self-taught benefit art sale this weekend

Ginger Young is a great collector and promoter of Southern folk and outsider art. Once a year she has a holiday benefit art sale and it's this weekend, December 5th and 6th. More information at her website.

The 4th Annual Carrboro Film Festival!

The 2009 Carrboro Film Festival was a great success!  Everything went flawlessly. (The AV guy -- I forget his name - was terrific.)  We had a full crowd with big applause and much whooping and hollering for folks' favorite films or directors. 

For me the two best films were the first, Fait by Chris Crutchfield and the last, Empty Space, directed by Rob Underhill and Aravind Ragupathi and featuring the wonderful talent Mike Wiley doing bits from his one-man show Dar He: The Lynching of Emmett Till.  Both truly memorable but they were just the tip of the iceberg.

Fait can be seen on Chris' Vimeo page.  The trailer for Empty Space is here.

If you don't believe me (and I have a vested interest as a Film Fest committee member) Mark Maximov of the Independent has an enthusiastic and insightful blog piece on the event.

Mark your calendar for next year's show: November 21, 2010.

Still from the 2009 Carrboro Film Festival interstitial by Ajit Anthony Prem.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Nice article on the Carrboro ArtsCenter and new director Ed Camp

From Debbie Meyer's column in the Chapel Hill News

He wants to meet you, too. On Nov. 13, during the monthly 2nd Friday Artwalk from 6 to 9 p.m., the public is invited to come to The ArtsCenter, 300-G E. Main St., and talk with Camp.
"I will tell attendees about the ArtsCenter's vision, dispel rumors, ask about their experiences with the ArtsCenter and how they want it to be different," Camp said.
Stop by if you can.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Final lineup announced for the 2009 Carrboro Film Festival

"The Carrboro Film Festival fast approaches, highlighting the area’s most talented filmmakers on Sunday November 22nd, 1pm to 7pm at the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St.

This year’s festival received over 105 films and will feature 27 of those films day of the festival, each one running 20 minutes or less. The categories range from fictional narratives, documentaries, music videos, experimental and animation.

The festival is held at Century Hall at the Century Center in Carrboro, NC.
Tickets are $5 at the door. Children ages 10 and under are free." 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A nice article on the 2nd Friday ArtWalk

Here's a nice article on the 101st 2nd Friday ArtWalk of Chapel Hill & Carrboro.  In nine years over a million people have attended the ArtWalk, in rain, shine, snow and heat.  Congrats!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A new show at the Red Bicycle in Chapel Hill

I will have a show opening this weekend at the Red Bicycle Coffee Shop on the corner of MLK/Airport Rd and Homestead Road -- physical address is 2805 Homestead in the little shopping center with Chapel Hill Wine. It's where the old coffee shop was located. I'll hang the show either Friday or Saturday and it will be up through December. I may try to have a event but I'll keep everyone posted.

I will have some new things, some old things and for the first time some photography (priced conveniently for the holidays!) A couple of samples are below.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Great opportunity for emerging poets!

North Carolina Poetry Society
The North Carolina Poetry Society announces the seventh year of the Gilbert–Chappell Distinguished Poet Series (GCDPS). In this series, poets in middle school, high school and college as well as adults are invited to apply to be mentored by a Distinguished Poet (DP) in eastern, central or western North Carolina. Three DPs will mentor four student poets each. GCDPS student poets will work with DPs for four to six months on a dozen pages of their original poetry and then read at a regional college or university with other student poets and their mentor in April 2010.

Deadline: November 1
For more information: Visit www.ncpoetrysociety.org or contact Bill Blackley at wjblackley@gmail.com or (336) 835-4630.

Gratuitous self promotion of an oil pastel of mine of the poet and overall bon vivant Jean Cocteau.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Carrboro Art: where next?

The recent events surrounding the exciting Franklin Street Artist Collective have gotten me thinking. What about Carrboro? I know that Carrboro artists can apply to be in the Collective but I'm talking about a lively art scene here in the Paris of the Piedmont.

So any ideas? For example, how do we liven up the 2ndFriday Art Walk? We've lost a couple of places that used to be open such as Jessie Kalisher. Traffic is a little hit and miss. I think I'll propose that the Town Art Committee do a little survey of the downtown merchants and organizations who are on the tour and also those who have dropped off.

What about other issues such as inexpensive studio space, public art, mixing visual art with other media? We're creative, let's use that energy!

Monday, August 31, 2009

A WaPo review of Erica Eisdorfer's "The Wet Nurse's Tale"

This past Friday Carolyn See wrote a quite positive review in the Washington Post of Carrboro's Erica Eisendorfer's just published novel. She writes:

From the title and the cover, this book seems a little dubious -- lots of breasts and steamy sex and way too much romping. But "The Wet Nurse's Tale" turns out to be informative, unusual and intelligent.

It's available at bookstores all over the Triangle or if you must at Amazon

Becky Filene Broun's amazing boxes and books!

Becky Filene Broun has been making boxes and books for well over a decade. Here's a bit about her:

Becky Filene Broun is a native of Chapel Hill. She has been making books and boxes for over 14 years. She received a BA from Connecticut College and a MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University. She has studied box-making and book arts at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and The Center for Book Arts in New York in addition to other workshops. Most recently her work was exhibited at a juried show at Purdue University.

She has recently launched a website of her work with some terrific photos. Stop by and see more.

Photo from beckyfilenebroun.com

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Come Out and Play!

[Photo from the press release]

The annual Come Out and Play Sculpture event has its opening this Saturday from noon til dark. It is great fun: wonderful people including the hosts Debbie Meyer and Eric Brantley, great and interesting art and a beautiful rural setting. For more info see this press release and directions on this flyer. Here's a teaser from the press release:


For the eighth year in a row, sculptors will display their creations in the Come Out and Play sculptor show at JimGin farm just outside Carrboro. Many of the works will be for sale.

The opening party will be held Aug. 29, noon until dark. Every Saturday thereafter through September, receptions will be held starting at 4 p.m. and running until dark. There is no admission, and all are welcome, including dogs if they are on leashes.

Sculptures of many media and form, created by 47 artists, will dot the landscape of this 17-acre horse farm at 150 Wild Horse Run, Pittsboro, NC 27312.

This show began in 2002 as part of a group of shows put on by Hunter Levinsohn, Jackie Helvey, Anke Gassen, Hollie Taylor, and Debbie Meyer to honor the victims of 9/11. Attendees, who loved seeing sculpture in an outdoor setting, and artists, who often don't have a place to display larger sculptures, asked for it to continue. Over 800 people attended last year's show during its five-week run.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chapel Hill Franklin Street Art Collective materials

Karen and I attended the public meeting at the Chapel Hill Town Hall for the proposed Franklin Street Art Collective. I was fairly impressed with the homework they had done and the balanced view they took. I haven't examined the business plan yet but they seem to be using conservative financial assumptions -- a good thing. Amazingly enough they hope to be open by November!

Details (including the presentation, business plan and artist application) can be found here on the Town website but here are a few details:

- 30-40 artists in the collective who put up $500 to start, $20 month and pay a 25% commission on sales. Members are expected to work 6-8 hours month and make a 2 year commitment.
- An undetermined number of consignment artists can show their work but will pay a 50% commission.
- Artists can apply for both membership and consignment at the same time.
- Both categories will be juried and none of the those judging are involved in the collective.
- The application says that you must live within a 25 mile radius of Chapel Hill but I do not believe that is a hard and fast rule.
- They continually harped on wanting to have the highest quality art.
- Michael Brader-Araje, the building's owner, is a hero!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

2ndFriday Art Walk in August

Okay this will be somewhat self serving but it is relevant. The next Carrboro/Chapel Hill 2ndFriday Art Walk will be August 14th from 6-9. Jackie has some of the info at the 2ndFriday website and I'm sure more will be added as we get closer to the big day.

Big day you say? For me at least, a last minute Art Walk show at Weaver Street Realty where I'll be showing mostly new pieces. Drop by 116 East Main Street in Carrboro for a glass of wine, friendship and a little art. Oh and go to the other shows too!

The Sea. Acrylics and ink on unprimed canvas mounted on plywood. 33 x 24.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Poetry and Music photography in Carrboro/Chapel Hill

The local fishwrap has two articles this week of interest to the creative community.

The first describes a youth poetry slam group, the Sacrificial Poets, and their trip this week to the 12th annual Brave New Voices International Poetry Slam Festival in Chicago. The young poets talk about what words have meant to them and how they've enriched their lives. They've seen tragedy too young -- one of the founders of the group, Irina Yarmolenko, was brutally and senselessly murdered last year. The group was renamed Sacrificial Poets to honor her but you'll have to read the story to learn why.

At the other end of the age scale is the story of Betsy Harris who goes to local music shows and -- well here's the gist of it:
Revealing only that she's in her "fifties" and graduated from UNC in 1973, Harris is old enough to be the musicians' mother. Instead, she's their friend, recording their art for posterity. Harris is Chapel Hill's superfan, attending two or three shows a night, five to six nights a week. Since retiring in 2003 after 30 years in the human resources department at Chapel Hill Town Hall, Harris has snapped hundreds of thousands of photos, wearing out a dozen cameras.

[Okay, she's not at the "other end of the age scale" -- she's about my age. ;-) So let's say the poets are April and we're July.]

Go check out her Myspace page where she goes by Temples of Grey. Not only does she have tons of vids and music, but she also has a damn comprehensive list of local shows.

Find her photos here and vids here. Check 'em out.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Keep working on those films!

We had a Carrboro Film Fest committee meeting last night (my first meeting and what a great bunch of folks including neighbors I'd never met) and we're all excited about what will be the best Carrboro Film Festival yet. For you filmmakers out there -- get to work! Early entries pay only $10 but you gotta have it to us by August 28. More info below.

As always, community events of this type need, well, community support. We know that times are tough but any little bit helps. We'll be out beating the bushes for sponsorships and in-kind assistance. The Town gets the ball rolling with their funding but we need broader support. Sponsorships are available at many levels.

YOU can be a part of the 2009 Carrboro Film Festival! The next Carrboro Film Festival will be held on Sunday, November 22, 2009 from 2-7pm. We are now accepting film submissions. The early deadline is August 28, 2009. The late deadline is September 21, 2009. We have reduced submission fees this year and are offering cash prizes! Click here for complete submission information and forms. We can't wait to see YOUR movie!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Upcoming Picasso at the Duke Nasher Museum

A heads up for an upcoming show at the Duke Nasher Museum. "Picasso and the Allure of Language" opens on August 20th with a gala reception at 7 pm. For more information go the Nasher site.

The Nasher Museum presents a groundbreaking exhibition examining Pablo Picasso's lifelong relationship with writers and the many ways in which language affected his work. Picasso and the Allure of Language comprises some 60 works in all media by Picasso, as well as select examples by fellow artist Georges Braque, and photographs, letters, manuscripts and book projects by a diverse group of artists and writers. Together, these works illuminate Picasso's deep and multidimensional interest in writing and language, and challenge the notion of what have been considered highlights of his lifetime of work.

If you want to attend the opening I'd suggest going to the site and getting a ticket soon. The show runs through January 3, 2010.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

2nd Friday Artwalk

Don't forget the upcoming 2Friday Art Walk July 10 from 6-9. As always there will be plenty to see up and down Main and Weaver streets as well as Franklin Street and other locations. I highly recommend the opening at the Century Century, 100 N. Greensboro, of new oils by my friend and former roomie Steve Silverleaf. I think Steve's one of the most talented artists we have in this area and I'm very excited to see the new pieces.

The Artist and the Model - New work by Steven Silverleaf. The show is comprised of oil paintings and drawings in mixed media. The work concerns his ongoing investigation of the seated figure. The show is suitable for all ages.

For much more info please go to the 2ndFriday website.

Steven Silverleaf. The Conversation I. Oil on board, 27x35

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Good for Raleigh!

In tight budget times the arts generally takes a big hit. Our souls -- young and old -- need art and beauty but feeding souls seem to be of minor importance. Somehow we see arts as optional, quite an odd view given the increasing importance of creativity, design and arts in being competitive in the world economy.

So hurrahs to Raleigh for refusing to slash arts funding this year.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Subversive art in Raleigh

Okay, that's something of an overstatement but Uliveandyouburn, the nom de plume of Raleigh graffiti artist Joseph Carnevale, certainly caused a ruckus with his Barrel Monster creature constructed of, ah, borrowed orange construction barrels. Since the monster's creation and Joseph's arrest, he's been on NPR, discussed on national news and become a worldwide celebrity -- or had at least a good 15 minutes of fame. Good for Joseph!

I'm guessing rights to this photo are with Joseph and WWW.NOPROMISEOFSAFETY.COM but it could be the N&O newspaper

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Carrboro Film Festival!

The 4th Annual Carrboro Film Festival will be held on Sunday, November 22, 2009 from 2-7 pm in the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N Greensboro Street. The committee is now accepting film submissions. The early deadline is August 28, 2009. The late deadline is September 21, 2009.

We welcome all films and videos less than 20 minutes total running time (including titles and end credits).

To enter, the filmmaker must have breathed in the good air of Orange County, NC, USA sometime in their life.

Facebookers: do a search for "Carrboro Film Festival" and join the group. Over 100 (101 to be exact) of your closest friends and family already belong.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Arts Committee needs new members

Interested in serving the Carrboro arts community?

The Town of Carrboro Arts Committee is currently seeking new members! As a member you’ll help us display and promote local arts, build art initiatives, and celebrate the creative within Carrboro. If you think the arts is key to a vibrant and livable community come join us. Application forms are available by emailing arts at townofcarrboro dot org or by downloading a copy here. If you need a hard copy just drop by the Century Center at 100 N. Greensboro and the folks at the Recreation and Parks Department will be happy to provide you one.

The Town of Carrboro Arts Committee new logo!

The Town's Arts Committee, of which I am a new member, has been working on a new logo to use to promote its work. The Committee collaborated with the ever so cooperative local graphic artist Herb Bresky on coming up with just the right Carrboro feel. So here it is:

Look for it around town!

Jon Wilner to retire from the ArtsCenter

From the June 9, 2009 Carrboro Citizen:

Jon Wilner, executive director of The ArtsCenter, will announce his retirement today. Wilner plans to stay on through September to help with a transition once a new director is selected.

After that, he plans to work with the center as a community representative for $1 per year. A formal announcement is expected sometime later today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Why Carrboro's so cool

There have been innumerable letters to the editor in the local Chapel Hill newspaper complaining about downtown, parking, the new NC 54 and Rosemary Street (Greenbridge) developments, the lack of arts, yadda, yadda, yadda. Certainly there are problems though I see many of the complaints as after-the-fact whining and without any focus on solutions.

In response the president of the Carrboro Merchants Association, the wonderful photographer Jessie Kalisher, sent a letter extolling the great things that are going on in walkable Carrboro -- arts, restaurants, music, daylife, nightlife. I'd add that there is only an abstract municipal boundary between Carrboro and Chapel Hill and when you add Chapel Hill's West Franklin and Rosemary streets the options for a great walkable town double. Jessie's letter is below. Here's the Carrboro walking map he mentions.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A new member

I attended my first meeting as a voting member of the Carrboro Arts Committee last night. I'll use this blog to update what's going in the art scene and with the committee. To start, check out my friend Steven Silverleaf who has a show of small pieces at DeWitt Law on Main Street and a show of new oils at Fleet Street Shoes in the Carrmill Mall.

The Conversation I. Steven Silverleaf