When Vintage Church made the move from downtown’s Warehouse District to Moore Square earlier this year, it also meant big changes for City Gallery, which had long hosted art shows in the church’s lobby.
Now, the gallery has its own dedicated space in a room at Vintage’s new home in the historic Long View Center at the corner of Hargett and Person streets.
A grand opening with work by three local artists is planned for Friday.
A bigger space, complete with a stage, means the chance to show off more of the city’s artists as well as welcome musicians, said gallery director Jessi Nickerson.
“We really want to add new elements to it, so it’s not just a place you can see art but a place you can hang out,” she said.
The gallery also is used by the church for events, including Sunday morning socials, meaning hundreds of people will get a glimpse of the artists’ work each week.
“We want to to be a gallery that loves the artist and is a part of the city,” Nickerson said.
The artists exhibiting at the gallery do not need to have any affiliation with the church. The gallery does not take a commission for work the artists sell.
Friday’s opening, from 7 to 10 p.m., features painters Janet Coleman and Kevin Bass and printmaker Reid Coyner.
Move to Long View
Vintage wrapped up a deal for the 30,000-square-foot Long View Center’s sanctuary, which dates to 1880, and its annex at the end of 2013. The center began life as a Baptist church and became a cultural events space in the late 1990s. Other churches also have used it as worship space since then.
After a renovation period, the fast-growing nondenominational church, which has three Triangle locations, held its first services in July. Vintage is part of the evangelical Acts 29 network of churches and adheres to the idea of “church planting” or spreading like-minded churches.
Jessica Janes, communication director for the church, said Vintage aims to be an active participant in the life of the city.
“Caring for the artistic community is one of the ways that we’re able to do that,” she said.
More broadly, the purchase agreement requires Vintage to honor a number of covenants on the property, including that the center remain a venue for live acoustic music and concerts.
The center has hosted events for the Hopscotch music festival and the International Bluegrass Music Association festival.
Vintage isn’t the only church in the gallery world. Holy Trinity Anglican Church on North Blount Street opened Trinity Gallery at the beginning of the year.
Staff writer David Bracken contributed to this report.