A downtown gallery is finding ways to demystify the creative process, everything from how artists work in their studio to whose work ends up on the walls.
Artspace has worked to connect the community with artists since the 1980s. This summer, new exhibits and new spaces within the building on East Davie Street near Moore Square seek to strengthen that connection.
The show’s newest juried show, “FRESH,” offered 150 North Carolina artists the chance to display and sell their work. A large-scale, collaborative installation by artist-in-residence Jaimie Warren involved a month of volunteer participation.
Both exhibitions will be featured during First Friday, Raleigh’s monthly gallery walk.
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The gallery also will expand its arts education classes to include young elementary school children and debut a new lobby that puts classes and artists front and center when visitors walk through the door.
Mary Poole, president and chief executive officer of Artspace, said the creation of a strategic plan last year is helping to guide the organization’s efforts.
“It’s about seeing art in unexpected places and continuing to make what’s happening inside and outside the building much more dynamic,” she said.
“FRESH” offers a twist on the traditional juried show by giving every artist who submitted a chance to show off their work at viewing parties, rather than only the final 30 or so selected for inclusion.
Cora Fisher, curator of contemporary art at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, said the show includes a mix of traditional and contemporary artists.
“It is such a fast-track to get a view of all that is going on,” she said.
On June 11, the gallery also will hold a panel discussion that builds on the exhibit by asking Fisher and other curators to share a behind-the-scenes look at how a show is put together.
Annah Lee, director of artistic programs, said the panel will answer technical questions for artists but also give viewers an idea of how their experience is affected by the choices a curator makes.
“We want to have an open, transparent discussion,” she said.
Want to go?
First Friday, from 6 to 9 p.m., is a monthly art event in downtown Raleigh. Galleries stay open late, and many restaurants offer special deals. To learn more, go online to FirstFridayRaleigh.com.
More First Friday
▪ 311 West Martin Street Galleries and Studios, 311 W. Martin St.: “Bird’s Eye View,” work by Joe DiGiulio, Jacob Joubert and Anthony Casaletto
Adam Cave Fine Art, 115 1/2 E. Hargett St.: “The Enchanted Forest,” sculptures by Greg Carter
▪ Brushstroke Studio & Gallery, 520 N. West St.: paintings by Susan Bolick
▪ CAM Raleigh, 409 W. Martin St.: “The Nothing That Is: a drawing show,” various artists and “Big Bent Ears,” multimedia installation, various artists
▪ Designbox, 307 W. Martin St.: PBaRt Show
▪ Gallery C, 540 N. Blount St.: “The Magical Realm of Haitian Art,” various artists
▪ LGBT Center of Raleigh, 411 Hillsborough St.: work by Joseph Wheeler and E. Ross Genzel
▪ Litmus Gallery, 312 W. Cabarrus St.: “A Natural Passion,” photographs by Alan Clark
▪ Local Color Gallery, 22 Glenwood Ave.: “Images of Summer,” acrylics by Margo White
▪ Lump, 505 S. Blount St.: “With Everyone Watching,” work by Carrie Alter and George Jenne
▪ The Mahler, 228 Fayetteville St.: “Capturing the Light of the North Carolina Landscape,” paintings by Ron Slaughter and dance performances by Continuum Collective dance troupe, choreographed by Kate Davis
▪ Nature Art Gallery of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 W. Jones St.: “ Transparent: Overlapping Images of Nature,” work by Trena McNabb
▪ Nicole’s Studio and Art Gallery, 719 N. Person St.: “New Realism,” pastels by Diana Coidan and oils by Cecilia Guitarte
▪ Roundabout Art Collective, 305 Oberlin Road: paintings by JJ Jiang
▪ Trinity Gallery, 549 N. Blount St.: landscape photography by Rick Ward
▪ Visual Art Exchange, 309 W Martin St.: “SCOPE: The Southern Landscape,” various artists; work by Karen Cleveland