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.....]

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Big Star's Third

Went to the "The Fully Orchestrated Live Premiere of 'Big Star's Third'" Thursday night, December 9th, 2010 at the Cradle. It was a sloppy, manic, touching, wonderful night held together by the Maestro Chris Stamey. Highlights included Big Star founding member Jody Stephens singing "For You", a blistering "Kanga Roo" and a beautiful "Take Care". Whoda thunk the biggest crowd response would go to "Holocaust"? I'm betting last night's show was cleaner and even more crowded.

Well done guys and girls! Here's a little video of Big Star's Jody Stephens from Thursday. A larger version is available at Youtube.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A panorama of the Coming Abstractions show at the Carrboro Century Center

Here is a panorama of the art in the Coming Abstractions art show at the Carrboro Century Center. Click on the icon at the bottom right of the photo (sort of an arrow pointing up and right) and it will go into full screen mode.

The panorama was created using a free and very cool online site called Dermandar 360.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Coming Abstractions: A Group Show at the Carrboro Century Center

Please join us for an artists' reception during 2nd Friday Artwalk
Friday, November 12th, 2010,     6 - 9 pm     
Carrboro Century Center.

"Coming Abstractions"
An eclectic exhibit of artwork in different media, from rugs to collage to paintings, all focused on abstract elements. Artists include:  Chris Beacham, Ben Gunter, Helen Henry, Collan Kneale, Steven Silverleaf, Sydney Sobol, Eric Starke, Karen Stone and Maggi Grace.

This exhibit will be on display from November 3, 2010 - January 3, 2011
The Carrboro Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
   (call for hours of operation)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Love Language video and a note on an art party

The Love Language are a very good local band with a terrific new album.  The excellent Triangle Music blog has a post on the band here.   Excellent stuff! 

The Love Language - Heart to Tell from Merge Records on Vimeo.

One reason I mention it is that they will playing this Saturday night, November 6th, for the after party for the Ackland Museum's Silver Factory Gala  celebrating the museum's exhibit of Warhol Polaroids. The after party is at the Top of the Hill, downtown Chapel Hill.

More info after the jump....

Monday, October 11, 2010

Calling all area visual artists!

The Town of Carrboro Arts Committee is always on the lookout for artists to show in our venues at the Town Hall and the Century Center.  More often than not we feature up-and-coming artists but we'll show an established artist occasionally.  The application process is very simple.  Go the Town Arts Committee page for more info and the application forms. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Now a music and art post

Thursday night (September 16th) on the lawn at the Nasher Museum on the Duke west campus local favorites Superchunk will debut their new and excellent new CD "Majesty Shredding."  This is part of an exhibit at the Nasher called The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl.
The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University presents a groundbreaking exhibition that explores the culture of vinyl records through 50 years of contemporary art.
The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl features work by 41 artists from around the world, from the 1960s to the present, who use vinyl records as subject or medium. The exhibition includes sound work, sculpture, installation, drawing, painting, photography, video and performance.
The Record includes rising stars in the contemporary art world (William Cordova, Robin Rhode, Dario Robleto), outsider artists (Mingering Mike), well-established artists (Jasper Johns, Ed Ruscha, Carrie Mae Weems) and artists whose work will be shown in a U.S. museum for the first time (Kevin Ei-ichi deForest, Jeroen Diepenmaat, Taiyo Kimura, Lyota Yagi).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Casbah Drum Grand Opening Party!

Okay so this isn't Carrboro or Chapel Hill but it's still going to be fun! Jana & Fergus have a great lineup for the grand opening party of the Casbah in downtown Durham next Wednesday the 15th with Caitlin Cary and Matt Douglas of Small Ponds with Joy Kills Sorrow.  Tix are $10 and available through etix.  A nice writeup at the most excellent Triangle Music Blog

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Time to submit your films to the 5th Annual Carrboro Film Fest!

Yep, it is time for you budding film makers to get your films in for review.   We are now accepting early submissions with special early entry pricing - up to 4 films for $20! After August 20th - $25 per submission, so submit early and save! 
Submission deadline is September 30, 2010.

Rules?  To enter, you must have breathed in the good air of Orange County, NC, USA sometime in your life.  The film should be less than 20 minutes long (the average length is normally 8-9 minutes with many only a minute or two).  Animated, documentary, comedy, experimental, whatevah!  We also encourage student films. 

Go to the Film Fest website to download the entry form and also to see all the rules and details.  For you Facebookers please join the Carrboro Film Festival group to keep up with what's happening.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tomorrow is the big night for the 1st Annual Carrboro Community Art Project!

We will start our celebration of the 1st Annual Carrboro Community Art Project this Friday, May 14th during the 101st 2nd Friday Artwalk at Carrboro Town Hall. The Town's new Poet Laureate Jay Bryan will start the festivities at Town Hall with a poem at 6:30 followed by a performance by the Scene of Crime Rovers, a marching band unlike any you've ever seen. The Indy's Grayson Currin described them as "an evolving Durham collective of out-minded people, musicians or not, as a marching band unlike anything you could have imagined." Check them out here.

Lucky's Starlight Lounge, "an old fashioned jazz duo with a swanky modern twist" will play at the Century Center starting at 7:30 They play an eclectic mix of jazz standards, lounge music and unexpected revisions of old and contemporary favorites. Follow them on Facebook!

We will host receptions at both Town Hall and the Century Center where the 60+ pieces of art are hanging from 6-9 during the ArtWalk. We encourage artists to bring beverages or finger food (no utensils needed) to the reception.

Another thing: check out the great new 2ndFriday logo below!  My favorite part of the logo?  Obviously the patron walking off with a piece of art that left some money in an artist's pocket and a spring in her step!

Last thing: Read Debbie Meyer's column on the 101st ArtWalk here.  Here is a photo from the article of Ed Camp, Exec Director of the ArtsCenter and Jackie Helvey, our own Ms. Carrboro.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

It's "Take a picture at 11 am Eastern Time Day!"

It's "Take a picture at 11 am Eastern Time Day!" as described here.   The New York Times is collecting photos to display online that are taken at 11 am May 2, 2010. That's today for you calendar challenged folk.

The rules are simple, you have 5 days to get your photo submitted (electronically), you own the copyright and you won't be left out if you follow the rules.  (On this last bit they are copying the Carrboro Community Art Project rules.  Imitation is flattery.) 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

My piece (probably) for the Carrboro Community Art Project

This a mostly oil pastel taken from a photo I took one day during the Thursday Weaver Street Music series.  The guy had a great knit cap over his very long hair and a very cool shirt.  I took liberties of course.

Music at the Weave.  Oil pastel on black artist grade sandpaper.  About 12" x 18"

Final reminder on the Carrboro Community Art Project

We'll collect your art this coming Saturday, April 24th at the Carrboro Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St. Remember the rules: basically anyone who, lives, works or plays in Carrboro is eligible, any 2 dimensional medium, 16" x 20" or less, and ready to hang. Our website www.communityartproject.org has all the details and a submission form.  You can also fill out the short submission form when you bring in your art.

You are free to price and sell your art though I am encouraging donating sales $s to a charity of your choice.

CraftNet, a great source for developing your art/craft livelihood

Here at RTS we do a great deal of collaboration with mostly rural community colleges in the creative economy, helping them develop their economies through their local artists and crafts people.  The Craftnet website is a great source for learning and seeing what others are doing.  A recent article describes a new curriculum developed by CraftNet members schools to teach ecommerce to artists.  The PDF of the curriculum is here.

If you want to subscribe to the quarterly newsletter which will keep you up-to-date on CraftNet and offer many stories of successful artists/crafts people and best practices for communities click here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

2nd Friday ArtWalk tonight in Carrboro and Chapel Hill & the Frank opening

Please join local art lovers on the ArtWalk tonight from 6-9.  More info here.  It's supposed to be nice and just a bit cool for the evening, so no excuses!  While there will be interesting art and people all over our two towns, the big event is the open of Frank, the Chapel Hill arts cooperative on Franklin Street.  Stop on by and support one of the biggest recent events in local arts!

Go to their website for more info on Frank and the opening.  If you need directions go here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Following North Carolina arts issues

ARTS North Carolina is the group you need to know about if you want to keep up with arts advocacy and politics (funding, arts programs, museums, etc.)   Here's who they are:
We are North Carolina’s statewide advocacy organization for the arts. ARTS North Carolina calls for equity and access to the arts for all North Carolinians, unifies and connects North Carolina’s arts communities, and fosters arts leadership. We speak for the arts wherever there is need.
 You can keep up using their various web activities:

Main web page
Facebook page
Their blog
and Twitter!

Monday, March 29, 2010

"Playing with Paint" an art series class with Maggi Grace

Back in my dark ages, circa 2006, I began painting as a form of therapy.  I was lucky enough to have Maggi Grace take me under her wing.  She taught me techniques and such but mostly she opened my mind to my possibilities. 

She continues in her quiet way to try to make the world a better place, whether it is teaching painting and poetry, traveling to India to volunteer (her idea of a vacation), or simply in the way she lives her life.  She has a class coming up that she calls "Playing with Paint." I encourage those of you who have always wanted to paint but thought that was only for "artists" to give her class a try.  The same holds true if you've painted before but seem to be stuck.  I promise you'll discover your inner creative self.

Playing with Paint
7 Tuesdays this Spring   (April 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18, 25) 
    10:30 am-1:00 pm * 

Description   "You begin with the possibilities of the materials”—Robert Rauschenberg

It’s spring.  What a perfect time to paint and play!  Here’s a course for anyone who has ever said, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body!” or “I couldn’t even draw a stick figure,” but who is secretly attracted to the world of painting. Get acquainted with PAINT in a safe, non-threatening, non-competitive environment. We’ll play with different paints, colors, textures, shapes and various surfaces to paint, and experiment with the brush and lots of unexpected tools.

Instead of trying to duplicate exactly what we see, we'll play with paint and see what we have created.  Playing with Paint allows you the luxury of creating at your own pace, focusing on possibilities instead of the results. Whether you’ve never touched a paintbrush before or you are an artist needing a new spark, join us for this workshop as a SPRINGboard into new creative thinking.  (Flexible schedule available)  Continuing students may bring their own projects to work on here.

* Class is held in the artist’s Carrboro studio. (Two creative cats live there, too). 
* Please wear comfortable, non-precious clothing (or bring a painting smock/shirt). 
* Contact me with any special needs  maggi.grace@gmail.com  
   (Visit:  www.maggigrace.com)
* Choose Any 6 of 7 Tuesdays* for $235.  Nothing to buy-ALL materials included !      (*Will adjust fee for desired times &  number of sessions.)  

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sex Pistols Baton Rouge, January 9, 1978

This post has nothing to do with Carrboro except I live here and only a tenuous relationship to art depending on your perspective.  Instead it has to do with me finding a very good recording of the 4th of 7 Sex Pistols concerts in the US, specifically January 9, 1978 in my home town Baton Rouge, LA.

I have few regrets in my life but most of them have to do with missing concerts.  The Stones in Baton Rouge performing Star F***ker with Mick jumping up and down on a giant inflatable dildo at the first show of their 1975 tour or a teenage U2 playing a little club in Chico, CA, cover charge 97¢ for example.  Well I didn't go to this show either.  What a loser.

The band is obnoxious, the crowd is worse and they rock (band and audience)!  So here's a hot and noisy version of EMI which is of course a blatant copy of Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers' Roadrunner.  The finale was Liar, the first 30 seconds or so are spent with the crowd arguing with Johnny Rotten (lots of f-bombs -- Joe Biden was in the audience and an odd fellow screaming "Bay City Rollers" over and over) before Rotten screams "Shut up!" and then they rock.  (Right click to save them to your drive.)

Full show here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A little promo blurb on WCHL on the Carrboro Community Arts Project

The station called me yesterday and interviewed me about the Carrboro Community Art Project that is coming up in May (but you have to get your art by April 24th!)  You can listen to about 23 seconds of the interview here.  I sound coherent in the first clip, the second clip....not so much!

Thanks to WCHL 1360 AM for supporting us and being a strong member of our community! 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

FRANK opening in downtown Chapel Hill!

Chapel Hill's new community non-profit art collective will open on April 9th during the 2ndFriday Art Walk.  There is not much yet on their website but put it on your calendar.  I'm hoping this a great opportunity to liven up the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Triangle art scene.  I also can see it positively improving the  economic impact of arts in the local community and putting more money in the pockets of working artists.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Announcing the Carrboro Community Art Project!

The Carrboro Arts Committee will be sponsoring a community art event for the 2nd Friday ArtWalk on May 14th at both the Century Center and Town Hall.  It will coincide with Carrboro Day and 101st 2ndFriday ArtWalk.  We'll announce more details soon but there will be a reception and music at both venues.

Anyone with a Carrboro connection -- live, work or play -- is invited. Pieces must delivered to the Century Center on Saturday April 24th (this post and the card below have been corrected for the typo of a non-existent Saturday April 26th) between 10 am and 1 pm.  They'll be up through June.  Full details are available here.  Basically if its ready to hang and no greater than 16x20 you're covered.  No jury!  We really want to fill up the Century Center and Town Hall so get painting, collaging, scribbling, dripping, photographing, printing or whatever mostly two dimensional artistic technique moves you!

You'll be able to sell your work but it will be between you and a buyer as we want no part of that.  I suggest selling your work in exchange for a donation to a worthy charity -- that's what I'll be doing.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Carrboro Citizen & the Mill has the art scene scoop

Every month the Carrboro Citizen produces an insert on the local art scene -- music, comedy, visual art, festivals, film, books, food etc.  Called The Mill, it is one of the best places to keep up-to-date on what is going on.  You can also download it as a PDF, the latest is here.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Handmade Travels blog post on Carrboro's NC Craft Gallery!

Handmade Travels is dedicated to finding and promoting handmade products.  Their latest post is on our very own NC Crafts Gallery.  It includes a fairly in-depth interview with owner Sara Latta Gress.  Stop by 212 West Main Street at the corner of Weaver Street in Carrboro and say hello or visit them during the 2ndFriday Artwalk.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

As promised more local music: The Old Ceremony

The Old Ceremony have been around a while and if you walk Main Street Carrboro or Franklin Street Chapel Hill much you'll have seen Django Haskins, lead singer and songwriter of the band.  They're a wonderful band (love the vibraphone!) and Django writes great literate pop songs.  My personal favorite is their second album Our One Mistake but you can't go wrong with their self-titled debut or the 2009 Walk on Thin Air all available here.

American Romeo from the debut is a wry tale of a young American striking out big time on his big trip over the big pond.  "Three winds to the sheets as I like to say...."

Talk Straight from Our One Mistake is a fairly angry ode to a failed relationship.  It spoke to me directly at, ahem, a particular point in my life.

Ready to Go from Walk on Thin Air is an infectious but melancholy tune that reflects a young man facing mortality.

If you like the music I implore and beg you to go to their website and plunk down the bucks. Their next local show is at Cats Cradle on April 23rd.  See you there!

BTW, I'll keep the mp3s up for two weeks.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Flyleaf Books -- Great new addition to the CH/Carrboro Scene!

When I was in Montpelier Vermont this past fall I was astounded with the number of indie bookstores (five) in the few blocks of their beautiful downtown.  Montpelier is a town of about 9,000 in a county of 60,000, in other words smaller than Carrboro and Orange County.  I was bitching to Karen about our limited book options and she questioned the feasibility of such a store in CH/Carrboro.

Loe and hehold but soon after that little argument, tiff, squabble, spat, disagreement, a test case opens!  While K questions the sanity of anyone opening indie bookstores in this day and age of the Internet, Amazon and the decline in western civilization, she sincerely hopes I win the bet.  (I won't mention what the bet was but I won't let her renege even if she claims there was no bet.)

So now we have Flyleaf Books in town!  It's located at 752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd (Historic Airport Rd) by Foster's in Chapel Hill .  As you can see it is quite spacious, bright and lovely inside.  They're friendly folks with grand ideas and a great love of books.  I'll let you visit their web page for the full story but please check it out and buy a book or two.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

How about some local Carrboro/CH music?

The Carrboro Art Scene blog has stuck pretty much to visual arts but we (the royal Triangle we) produce some great music too.  From Supertramp and Archers of Loaf to Squirrel Nut Zippers and Ben Folds to Kingsbury Manx, Tift Meritt, and the Rosebuds the list goes on and on.

Let's listen to a "newer" band today. 

Roman Candle has been around a while but label troubles and the usual music business mess kept them a little under the radar.  Well they hit the radar big in 2009!  Their latest album, Oh Tall Tree in the Ear, is a literate, fun, catchy and basically great album that made several best of the year lists -- certainly mine.  It is hard for me to choose a favorite song so let's choose two.

[March 1: I've removed the mp3s so go to the website to listen.]

Why Modern Radio is A-OK is a combo of great lyrics, a wonderful storyline, name dropping (Merl Watson and Sir Patrick Spens) and catchy driving music.  Listen by clicking here or right click to save.  Then go buy the album here.

Woke Up This Morning is an ode to love and to the beauty of this world when things are going right.  As Skip Matheny sings "everything tastes good to me..."  Listen by clicking here or right click to save.  Then go buy the album again here.

Next week I'll post a mp3 or 2 of Old Ceremony.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We are too cool! And a shout out to GlassHalfull

Metro NC has a new issue with a feature article on Carrboro.  Some interesting history and discussion of what's happened over the last several decades with a focus on design and historic preservation.  It touches a bit on the Carrboro Art Scene.

I can't help but note the mention and photo of GlassHalfull on Greensboro across from Open Eye Coffee where you will find me and my sweetie nearly every Monday night on half price wine night.

Monday, February 8, 2010

February the 12th 2ndFriday Artwalk in Carrboro

Hopefully we'll have better weather than we've been having on 2nd Friday and people will be able to get out.  Here are a couple of things that you should put on your agenda:

Carrboro Town Hall.  301 W. Main St Suite A, Carrboro, 919.942.8541. "In the Middle of the Storm" - Paintings by Ben Gunter. Ben's imaginative representational and abstract works are explosions of color in acrylic, ink, tempera, and mixed media.

Ben is an interesting young man and I know he'd love to see a big crowd. There'll be a nice reception. Also Laura Holley's photos will be at the Century Center for another month.

Fleet Feet Headquarters. 406 E Main St., Carrboro, 919.942.3102. Peter Filene taught American History at UNC until his retirement last year. He remains busy writing fiction, shooting photographs and with his grandchildren. His images portray couples in parks, caf├ęs and subways in Paris and New York including “Excerpts” enlarging certain details-a cheek half-covered by a hat, a pair of hands.

I saw Peter's photography on 2009 Orange County Artist tour and really was impressed.

My show is coming down at Weaver Street Realty but I'm sure they've got a good new show starting this Friday. Thanks to WSR for letting me show my work over the last 2 months! Here's what's next:

Weaver Street Realty. 116 E. Main Street, Carrboro, 919.929.5658. Hannah Shumaker and Ginna Earl are inspired by local flora, farms, and fauna. We'll share an eclectic blend of gorgeous ceramics, jewelry, Gocco print cards, and hand-dyed silk - as well as luxurious goatsmilk soaps and body treats made with local ingredients. Online at www.vespertinecafe.com.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Carrboro Community Arts Project

Check out Ron Stutts interview with Jackie Helvey (unofficial Carrboro woman of the century) about the upcoming Carrboro Arts Project.  More details forthcoming over the next weeks but we'd love to have great participation.  Start thinking about creating some art that reflects Carrboro and our community.

Being the inclusive folks we are, we are open to submittals from Chapel Hill, Orange County, Chatham County, etc.  That includes those of you who might not even live here anymore!  It will be a fun time.....