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.....]

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Durham's Carrack Gallery nearing its Kickstarter goal! Help!

Here's another very worthy place to put your dollars. The Carrack Gallery in Durham is a....well let's let them describe themselves:
The Carrack Modern Art is a zero-commission, no-strings-attached exhibit space for artists in the downtown area of Durham, NC. We stay open entirely on donations from the community and encourage artists to take full control of their shows... why? There is a simple premise: by being entirely zero-commission, non-commercial and open to all artists to have one day, one weekend, and up to two week shows, we free the artists from any curatorial pressures and provide them with a high quality space to put on the best possible shows. To artists, we simply say: “Yes, you can do it here, put on a great show and good luck.” To the community, we say: “Come to the Carrack!” See for yourself, we're located at 111 West Parrish Street, Durham, NC 27701.
Gallery Director Laura Ritchie and artist John Wendelbo with one of his sculptures
But they could do more with a kickstart:
So far, the community has supported us and kept the space open entirely through grassroots donations but, as we switch gears and build a program of ever more ambitious exhibits, we need some degree of certainty as to the roof over our heads. We have a fantastic exhibit space in the heart of downtown Durham, help us raise a full twelve months of rent to secure this great space for the artistic community to use!
With rent secured for a full year, we will have a sturdy platform to build upon the existing synergies already underway at the Carrack in a substantial, meaningful manner.
Go to Kickstarter to help them get over the top! They are trying to raise $12,000 and you could be the one to put them over the top as 178 people including yours truly have already pledged $11,650. If you don't know about Kickstarter the project is only funded if they get pledges at least as much as the goal. So if by 4pm on December 3rd Carrack has only $11,999 pledged then they get nothing. Nada, zilch, zero. And my pledge is burning a hole in my pocket and dearly wants to go to this project.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Carrboro Film Fest Video Opener

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Town of Carrboro the Film Fest Committee developed an opening video for the standing room only crowd. Matthew Krieg filmed and Nic Beery of BeeryMedia produced. I "played" UNC President Francis P. Venable.  

Carrboro was first known as West Of as in "west of Chapel Hill" and then Venable after the UNC president of the time.  Along came cigarette magnate Julian Carr (an interesting if sometimes despicable character) who provided electricity and streets in return for having the town named after him. He was a bit too uppity to actually live in Carrboro though! Check out Jackie Helvey's Carrboro site for more on the town history. The video is below:

Carrboro Film Festival Show Opener 2011 from BeeryMedia.com on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Periodic artist apportunities from the NC Arts Council

The NC Arts newsletters are a great way to keep up with opportunities for all kinds of artists.  Check back often.

The 2011 Carrboro Film Festival was a great success!

The 6th Annual Carrboro Film Festival was held this past Sunday, November 20th with 29 excellent short movies produced by filmmakers with North Carolina and Carrboro ties in front of a standing room only crowd. A committee of dedicated film lovers had to narrow down nearly 100 films to 29, about 15 hours to 3 1/2 and then choose winners amongst the 29. It was a tough but rewarding effort and I want to thank all the committee members including the chair Nic Beery. As always the Town of Carrboro staff, led by Kim Andrews, was invaluable in making the festival go so smoothly. Lastly I want to thank all our sponsors (visit the link above to see the list) including that little village to our east, the Town of Chapel Hill, which made a generous donation.

Here are the winning films:

Audience Awards:
Wiggle Room and Scraps

Festival Commitee Awards:
Best Pro Film: El Caffinato
Best Student Film: Nite Lite
Cinematography: Scraps
Best Animation: Wiggle Room
Best Documentary Film: One Night in Kernersville
Best Narrative Fiction: DEVILING
Best Acting: Robert Haulbrook in DEVILING

Photo courtesy of Jackie Helvey

Monday, November 21, 2011

KickStarter campaign for a non-profit gallery in downtown Durham

From my friend Steven Silverleaf:
This is an appeal for your help. Don't want to read this whole email? Get straight to the point by clicking here

I am writing to a few of my (mostly) local artists friends to call your attention to a wonderful new exhibit space in downtown Durham, The Carrack Modern Art Gallery. It is located right in the heart of the city on Parrish Street, right across the street from the Mechanics and Farmers Bank. I know some of you already know about it and may have even shown work there. For others, this is an introduction.

As you know, there are very limited exhibit opportunities for visual artists in Durham even though the art scene here is growing by the minute. The Carrack is a non profit gallery model we can all get behind. Here is why.  First of all it is a beautiful space with lots of wall footage for hanging work, plenty of open space for sculpture, decent lighting, and a convenient location even though there are still some accessibility issues to resolve. Second, the space is open to suggestions from artists for exhibits in a generous two-week rotation (sometimes less). Third, it has already shown itself to be a popular gathering space, able to put on a fine opening party and draw appreciative audiences. Finally, it is a commission free space for artists to exhibit and sell their work. Did I say no commissions for sales? Yes. You keep what you get unless you wish to donate a portion to the gallery (something I strongly encourage). Sounds good, right?

That brings me to the point of this email. The Carrack is trying to raise enough money to operate for a full year to fully develop the model of a free access, open gallery for local artists. You can help by making a pledge of any amount through the gallery's Kickstarter Campaign. Here is how it works. You make a pledge of any amount toward the $12K goal. If enough people contribute and the goal is reached, you pay your pledged amount and receive one of the premium gifts and the satisfaction of knowing that you made it happen.  If the goal is not reached, you owe nothing. Fair enough? There are about three weeks left in the campaign so get right on it.

I have already made my pledge. I hope you will add your name to the list of supporters on Kickstarter. Oh, one more thing. Please help spread the word. If we as artists don't get behind things that help us, who will? I

All the best,


Jim Lee --- Bamboo Turtle Studio
Website: http://www.bambooturtle.us
Blog: http://bambooturtle.blogspot.com/

Rock Nest Monster:http://www.bambooturtle.us/Rock_Nest_Monster.html

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sweet Baby James Taylor in Cary next Friday to support President Obama!

From my email:

Chris --

One of North Carolina's favorite singer-songwriters will be back in the state for a special concert in support of President Obama. On Friday, November 18th, James Taylor will be joining us for an evening in Cary -- and you're invited.

James has been a long-time supporter of the President. He gave five concerts during the 2008 election and performed at the Presidential Inauguration. That's why he's stepped up to help build this campaign again, with just a year to go.

Can you make it? Here are the details:

What: Obama Victory Fund 2012 - Concert with James Taylor

Where: The Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Avenue
Cary, NC 27511

When: Friday, November 18th, 2011
Doors open at 6:00 p.m.

Not only will this be a night to hear some great music from a five-time Grammy award winner and North Carolina native, it will also be an opportunity to get together with other campaign supporters and talk about the year ahead.

We're gearing up all over the country -- including in North Carolina -- to build the grassroots structure and neighborhood teams that will lead us to victory in 2012.

That means opening up field offices, hiring field staff, engaging volunteers, and hitting the streets to share why we need to protect our progress and re-elect President Obama.

Help support that work and enjoy the music of James Taylor by joining us in Cary on November 18th:




Rufus Gifford
National Finance Director
Obama for America

Poetry Reading Friday, November 11, 7:30 p.m. at the Ackland Museum Store

From Jay Bryan, Poet Laureate of Carrboro:

On Friday, November 11, from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., there will be a reading of poems by Stephanie Levine, Grey Brown and myself at the Museum Store at 100 East Franklin Street. 
Here is a link to a web page about Stephanie - http://stephanielevin.com/?page_id=24, and a link to Grey Brown's web page - http://www.greybrownpoetry.com/.
Hope you might be able to come!
The Ackland Museum Store is at 100 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill 2751 at the corner of Columbia in downtown Chapel Hill.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Arts vanity license plates

From the Orange County Arts Commission:
ARTS SPECIALTY LICENSE PLATE. Help support Arts North Carolina by purchasing a specialty license plate! $20 of every plate sold goes to Arts North Carolina “to promote the arts” each year the plate is renewed. $10 of every plate sold goes back to North Carolina for the wildflower program, tourism, and welcome center accessibility. Cost: $30 in addition to your yearly car registration; $20 tax-deductible as a charitable donation. For more information please visit http://www.artsnc.org/support-join/license-plate/
 For me that would require that I actually have a car!

Manitowoc, WI bicycle license plate
From Andrew T. on Flickr

Monday, November 7, 2011

Karen Stone Art Reception at Carrboro Town Hall This Friday, Nov 11th 6-9 pm

My partner Karen has a reception for her new show of photographs and paintings this Friday 6-9 pm, Nov 11th at the Carrboro Town Hall, 301 W. Main Street in Carrboro during the 2nd Friday Artwalk. The photos are mostly macro and the paintings were done mostly with credit cards instead of brushes. Wonderful work by my sweetie! (And most is for sale ;-)

Oh and we pour pretty decent wine at our receptions!

Rusted Lock

Chicago, acrylics on canvas, 24 x 18