Asides: News of the arts, in brief

December 15, 2012 

Exhibit looks at the history of N.C. governors

As North Carolina prepares to inaugurate Pat McCrory as governor next month, the N.C. Museum of History has a new exhibit focusing on more than 200 years of gubernatorial history.

“Leading the State: North Carolina’s Governors” opens Friday and runs through April 28.

The exhibit focuses on how Tar Heel governors have campaigned and been elected, on changes in the office of governor and the role of first spouses.

It is filled with personal items, clothing and portraits from the 67 governors who have served the state. Items include fragments of Apollo 11 moon rocks presented to Gov. Bob Scott in 1969 to commemorate NASA’s first manned mission to the moon. It also features the suit that Bev Perdue, the first female governor, wore for her official portrait.

Other memorabilia includes campaign posters, buttons and bumper stickers and an electronic voting machine used from the 1940s until 2006.

The Museum of History is at 5 E. Edenton St. in downtown Raleigh. It’s open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

Info: 919-807-7900 or

Contemporary craft

Thirty-four works were chosen from more than 430 entries for display at “Fine Contemporary Craft,” Artspace’s national craft exhibition through Jan. 12.

Juror Gwynne Rukenbrod, executive director of HandMade in America in Asheville, judged the biennial competition.

Best in Show was awarded to Geoff Riggle and Lisa Wilson, for “2012,” a sculpture in copper, sterling, nickel, steel and patina.

Alysia Fischer placed second for “Curtain,” and Mindy Herrin, third for “Ring Worm.” Honorable mentions went to Abigail Heuss and Melissa Vandenberg.

Artspace is at 201 E. Davie St., Raleigh. It is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and until 10 p.m. on first Fridays.

Info: 919-821-2787 or

Christmas play

A new theatrical company, hiSTORYstage, launches its first season Thursday through Saturday with an adaptation of the traditional English Christmas play “Saint George and the Dragon.”

Adapted and directed by Jeremy David Clos, the production is a composite woven together from bits of old text, folk legends and medieval Christmas pageants. The rhymed dialogue traditional to ancient plays has been updated with language and comedy for modern audiences.

Performances are on tap at 8 p.m. each day, with an additional show at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Murphey School, 224 Polk St., Raleigh.

Tickets, available at, are $12 for adults; $10 for seniors and children 12 and under.

Info: 919-339-1558 or

Anniversary party

Manbites Dog Theater in Durham holds a free open house Sunday to celebrate its 25th birthday. The public is invited.

Entertainment includes performances by Justin Robinson and the Mary Annettes, The Drowning Lovers and Curtis Eller. Refreshments will be served.

During its quarter-century run, the company has presented more than 150 shows.

The party is 4-8 p.m. at 703 Foster St. in Durham.


‘Black Nativity’

The “Black Nativity,” the story of Jesus’ birth told through the poetry of Langston Hughes, will be performed at Pittman Auditorium of St. Mary’s School in Raleigh Thursday through Dec. 23.

Deb Royals directs the production, which is choreographed by Chuck Davis of the African American Dance Ensemble. Soloists are Rozlyn Sorrell, Connie McCoy Rogers and Allen Brown. Carolyn Colquitt is the musical director.

Tickets are $25 for adults; $20 for seniors, students and military; and $15 for groups of 10 or more. All seating is reserved.

Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 23. Pittman Auditorium is at 900 Hillsborough St., Raleigh.

The production is a project of the Justice Theater Project, an activist group that uses the performing arts to call attention to the needs of the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed.

Info: 919-264-7089 or

Leaders take new roles

The Carolina Ballet has announced a departure and a promotion.

Lisa M.K. Jones, one of the ballet’s founding employees, is leaving in January to become the new CEO of Girl Scouts-North Carolina Coastal Pines. She replaces Rusine Mitchell Sinclair, who is retiring.

Nathan McGaha, who joined Carolina Ballet as production manager this year after serving in various positions including director of operations at the N.C. Dance Theatre in Charlotte, will become the ballet’s new general manager.

“His previous experience, both with Carolina Ballet and with other companies, makes him an exceptional fit for this role,” artistic director and CEO Robert Weiss said in announcing McGaha’s promotion. He starts his new job Jan. 14.

Music and images

An unusual sound and image improvisation is on tap Thursday at Frank Gallery in Chapel Hill.

Members of Carrboro-based mahaloJazz will offer improvised musical response for each work in “Getting Layered: 6 Women Collaborate on Self-Portraiture.” The exhibit features photographs by Barbara Tyroler that inspired self portraits by collaborators in a variety of media, including paint, metalwork, encaustic, fabric and paper. The collaborators are Katherine Armacost, Peg Bachenheimer, Mirinda Kossoff, Luna Lee Ray and Anita Wolfenden.

As the jazz ensemble interprets their works through music, videographer Nic Beery will produce a live-feed video perspective.

Part of the FRANK:inFocus Community Outreach Program, the free event is 6-9 p.m. at the gallery, 109 E. Franklin St.

Info: 919-636-4135 or

Fine Arts League of Cary

Works by winners of the Fine Arts League of Cary’s Members Show are on exhibit through Jan. 2 at the Page-Walker Arts and History Center in Cary.

Jennifer Dasal, associate curator of contemporary art at the N.C. Museum of Art, judged the show. Donna Schultz of Durham won first place; Don Mertz of Cary took second; and Jane Hopkins of Raleigh took third.

Also receiving awards were Paulette Wright, Margie Chenery and Nancy Lee, all of Raleigh; Pat Pierce, Elda Hiser and Kim Maselli, all of Cary; Bonnie Seyford of Apex; Edna Perkinson of Sanford; and Natasha Johnson of Manson.

Page-Walker Arts and History Center is at 119 Ambassador Loop.

Info: 919-460-4965 or


The N.C. Arts Council, United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County and the Arts & Sciences Council of Charlotte- Mecklenburg have launched the Raleigh/Wake County website. Nonprofit groups post projects on the site that need funding, and donations can be made through the site. ... Artspace raised a record $114,000 at its 11th annual Collectors Gala. The money will support its open artist studios, exhibitions, classes and community outreach programs at the Raleigh visual arts center. ... Ann Harwell of Wendell is one of 61 artists showing quilts in “Quilts=Arts=Quilts” at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, N.Y. Jurors reviewed 331 entries from around the world for the exhibit. The show runs through Jan. 6.

Staff reports

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