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.....]

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The East End Holiday Craft Shop Pop-Up

There is a good bit of interest in the Triangle in creating an energetic pop-up art scene. Pop-ups typically find temporary uses for underutilized space where artists, collectives, art groups, etc. take advantage of the surplus of available space in many of our towns and cities. I'm on the board of Triangle ArtWorks and we're researching options to identify sites, examine the legal and financial issues and gauge the interest of the various parties -- downtown development, artists, real estate owners and agents -- in using free space (free as in available and perhaps free as in rent-free or low rent). It can be a win-win for all parties but we are particularly interested in wins for artists and art groups.

Many of you are familiar with the small space in front of the main area of the ArtsCenter in downtwon Carrboro. The ArtsCenter has used the space for temporary exhibits that mostly revolve around the 2ndFriday Artwalk. The East End Holiday Craft Shop is a little different. There's some good info on the project at their Facebook page.

Yesterday I popped in to the pop-up to see what was happening there. There's a wide range of arts and crafts materials -- interesting multimedia art pieces, cool silk screened t shirts and other clothing, jewelry, home goods, etc -- all made by local, independent artists and craftspeople.

River, one of the artists pictured below gave me some background. Check it out. You know you need presents for somebody, right?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Local artists interested in joining a Chapel Hill gallery?

The Focal Point Gallery at 1215 East Franklin in Chapel Hill is accepting artist applications. The gallery is near Cafe Driad and near the campus. Go here to apply. I haven't visited yet but the photo on their webpage shows a pretty impressive space.

Reminder: Karen Stone Reception this Friday Dec 9 at Carrboro Town Hall

In November I mentioned that the wonderful artist Karen Stone had a reception for her show of paintings and photos at the Town of Carrboro Town Hall at 301 W. Main Street, map here.

She's at it again this Friday from 6-9 pm with lovely art, photos and good snacks and wine. Come by and visit with us and see the art including some new photos since she sold several pieces last month. A couple of samples are below. See you tomorrow!

An occasional series on Carrboro galleries: Vespertine

I've been meaning to start a series on various galleries/art venues in Carrboro (and Chapel Hill). I'll start with a fairly new place that I have barely visited except virtually: Vespertine. Their story is here at their blog but you can like them on Facebook. For those not in Carrboro (or who like to do their shopping in slippers from the comfort of their keyboard) they have an Etsy site. And to completely fill in the social networking details, follow them on Twitter too.

So who are they? Glad you asked. She started in Pittsboro in 2008 or so but had been eying a spot in Carrboro:
This winter I had an amazing opportunity to open a second store in a space in Carrboro that I have admired (dreamed about) for years.  I used to gaze across at the beautiful windows when I worked at The Original Ornament nearly 10 years ago......

My Carrboro store is located in a wonderful old building at 118 B East Main Street. It is semi-connected to This and That Gift Gallery (we share doorways and the bathroom). I really lucked out with my building mates ~ not only are Joy and Paul really nice and fun, but Paul is a photographer! He generously took the super-cool 180 degree shot above.  That's my new view from my counter.
 The full Carrboro story is here. The view she speaks is below (not above!):

Go by and check them out for holiday presents or to treat yourself. Home furnishings, handmade jewelry, clothing, soaps, etc.

I bet they'll be open this Friday for 2nd Friday Artwalk!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Today this is the Carrboro Love Scene blog

Forwarding from a friend:
Do you love Carrboro?  Are you single?  Have you ever wanted to be on TV?  Do you want to be in love?

If you, or anyone you know is single, and interested in applying for Oprah's new show Lovetown, USA. Find the link to the application and contact info below.  You/they must live in Carrboro.  Please forward and spread the word!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Part 1: A fond farewell to the Carolina Collects Exhibit at the Ackland

The Ackland Museum on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (the last bit redundant in my mind) is a terrific resource for the art community. Easy to get to by foot, bike and bus with a very good permanent collection and free. Did I mention free?

They have had some excellent shows during the 15 or so years I've lived here but none approach the recently closed Carolina Collects exhibition. And forget any IMHO idea. I wrote about it here when you, dear reader, had a chance to go. No more.

I rode the bike over Sunday for the final day of the exhibit. Walked into the Ackland in my paint splattered, ragged jeans and the ratty old Man Ray t-shirt looking like someone who the people at the corner liquor store would react to by reaching down for the double barrel shotgun they keep under the counter for just such an occasion. The Ackland staff didn't blink.

On the other hand they did take the weapon from my hand -- that being the pen I started to write with in my little journal to record notes on the show. The guard was quite the gentleman and brought me a pencil; apparently the acceptable implement for recording musings on art. I'm guessing they feel like one should have the flexibility to change one's mind. I was rating paintings on an arbitrary 5 star scale and several times changed my mind and needed the eraser. So I'm thinking they had a point.

I started in the modern room, mostly post 1970. I wanted to move counterclockwise through the rooms ending at the beginning. Don't ask why. The modern room mostly left me unmoved but maybe I don't have the guts. The small Louise Bourgeois sculpture Henrietta is quite lovely but I prefer LB at her most eccentric and this is a bit tame. The Gerhard Richter 1992 untitled abstract was interesting with its scraped paints and striations suggesting skyscrapers in sedate blues and greys. But these were post-60 pieces by older artists. My fav here was a pair of large (maybe 3' tall) ceramics by Betty Woodman, very Matisse-like constructions with beautiful colors, shapes and textures. Either the owners don't have children or grandkids or they lock them away when the kiddies come by to visit. They'd be too, too fun to play with! I expect that Humpty Dumpty would be pretty hard to put together again.

I'll end part one of this look at Carolina Collects by noting that the NYT has an interesting article on Betty's daughter Francesca Woodman. Francesca was a photographer who died at 22 from a suicide leaving a pretty amazing portfolio for someone so young. What a tragedy.

Part 2 coming soon wherein I yawn at a Calder piece but exalt over a couple of photos from Sally Mann and Irving Penn.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Paul Simon Kicks Ass at the DPAC

Great seats BTW

Okay whine about your age all you want. Just don't bring your complaints to 70-year old Paul Simon.

Instead he brought his A-game to the wonderful Durham Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, Dec 1. What a setlist: a great selection of originals (including three from the new album) spanning nearly 50 years with a few choice covers performed over 2 hrs. Take that Mick Jagger.

It's difficult to pick a favorite from the show but it's hard to beat Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes which got the respectful but reserved crowd on their feet. I'm not sure I'm ready to go as far as David Menconi in his N&O review of the show, who called the band one of the best he'd ever seen, but he's not far off. Not only are they all multi-talented but everyone seemed to be having the time of their lives (and why not?)

If you get a chance to go see this tour -- do it!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Carrack Gallery Kickstarter update!

As of today the Carrack Gallery Kickstarter campaign has 194 backers for a total of $12,200. In other words, they made it! There is still some time (till Saturday) to add to the total and help the gallery out even more.