From staff reportsSeptember 21, 2013 


Whirligigs by artist Vollis Simpson are being restored and relocated in November to the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in downtown Wilson.

ROBERT WILLETT — 1999 News & Observer photo

Jazz at Burning Coal

Gregg Gelb and the Second Line Stompers will close out Burning Coal Theatre Co.’s 2013 MusiCoal Summer Music Series with a concert at 7 p.m. Sunday.

The Stompers are a newly formed Raleigh-based band that plays New Orleans-style jazz, also described as Dixieland or traditional jazz.

Band members include pianist Steve Wing, who was born in New Orleans and grew up with jazz. He learned to play piano from his late mother, the composer and producer Lee Wing.

Other musicians are Gregg Gelb on clarinet; Greg Cagle on cornet and vocals; Dave Wright on trombone and vocals; George Knott on bass; and Dave Albert on drums.

Tickets for the show are $10 and are available at the door. Info: 919-834-4001 or

Whirligig art display

Whimsical whirligigs created by the late North Carolina folk artist Vollis Simpson will be on display through Oct. 3 at the Hanes Art Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The items are from Simpson’s personal collection and range from small tabletop examples to about 5 feet tall.

Simpson died in June at the age of 94.

His large whirligigs – up to 50 feet tall in the field beside his Wilson County home – are being restored and relocated in November to the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in downtown Wilson.

Hours at the Chapel Hill gallery are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. The free exhibition is sponsored by the art department in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences.

‘Structures’ on exhibit

Artists from three states are being featured in a show throughout September at Lee Hansley Gallery in Raleigh.

“Structure in Painting” is the theme, with images of real and imagined structures within representational paintings.

The artists are Charles Ladson of Macon, Ga.; former Raleigh resident Nancy Scheunemann, who now lives in Wilmington; and Sherry Sanabria of Leesburg, Va.

The show remains on view through Oct. 9.

Lee Hansley Gallery is at 225 Glenwood Ave. Info: 919-828-7557 or

Consumerism at museum

The North Carolina Museum of Art will open “Copia – Retail, Thrift and Dark Stores” on Sept. 29, showing photographer Brian Ulrich’s investigation of consumer culture in America.

The show features about 50 images showing big-box stores, suburban shopping centers and other symbols of “class and excess,” wrote Linda Dougherty, chief curator for contemporary art at the NCMA, in a written statement about the exhibit.

“His work invites us to contemplate the broader ecology of consumer culture and the interconnectedness of consumers – what they buy and what they choose to leave behind,” Dougherty said.

Photos for the exhibit, organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art, were taken by Ulrich beginning in 2001, after politicians urged the public to shop in order to stimulate the economy. The exhibit is divided into three parts: “Retail” (2001-2006), “Thrift” (2005-2008) and “Dark Stores” (2008-2011).

The images come from various parts of the country, including one taken at the Rialto Theater in Raleigh.

See ‘The Mountaintop’

PlayMakers Repertory Company kicks continues its main-stage production “The Mountaintop” by Katori Hall through Oct. 6.

PlayMarkers, the theater-in-residence at UNC-Chapel Hill, joined with Triad State of Greensboro to produce “The Mountaintop,” which opened Friday in its regional premiere.

The play is set in Memphis, Tenn., in the final night of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. The production commemorates the civil rights leader, as well as the 50th aniversary of the March on Washington.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and Sunday, Sept. 29; 2 p.m. on Sundays and Oct 5. There are no performances Saturday.

Info: or

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