Arts & Culture

Asides: News of Triangle arts, in brief

The four-piece string band Steel Wheels, noted for its old-time music, will perform Friday in Raleigh.
The four-piece string band Steel Wheels, noted for its old-time music, will perform Friday in Raleigh. INVISION

Collectors donate art

Art collectors Jim and Mary Patton have donated 100 works of modern and contemporary art to the N.C. Museum of Art in Raleigh, including works by some mid- to late-20th-century masters.

Museum Director Lawrence J. Wheeler announced the gift earlier this month.

“(It) significantly expands the breadth and scope of the Museum’s permanent collection and will allow our visitors to have an even more engaging and exciting experience in our modern and contemporary galleries,” Wheeler said.

The Pattons grew up in Durham; Jim Patton graduated with honors from UNC-Chapel Hill, and his wife attended what is now UNC-Greensboro. The couple’s passion for art started with Mary Patton’s interest in painting. She is an artist in her own right.

Their collection includes works by Milton Avery, Richard Diebenkorn, Jackie Ferrara, Helen Frankenthaler, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Ellsworth Kelly and many others. Eighty-three works have already been accepted and 17 have been promised.

“I am thankful we were able to collect this art and give it back to the world,” Jim Patton said in announcing the gift. “I like the idea that these works that Mary and I enjoyed over the years will give pleasure to other people.”

New shows in Durham

New exhibits are on view in several Durham venues. Here’s a rundown:

“Housecleaner Project”: Open through February at Duke University’s Perkins Library is a photo exhibit about the struggles of Durham’s house cleaners. Fifteen Latinas shared their stories through photos and other media with 15 Duke students in a class called The Housecleaner Project. The women also took photos of themselves at work at home. The project was designed to focus attention on issues such as job insecurity, low wages, language barriers, gender equity, occasional discrimination and the threat of deportation.

“Durham Sparkles”: Curators Cathy Kielar and Paola Kipp highlight Durham’s cultural celebrations in “Durham Sparkles,” on view at the Scrap Exchange’s Cameron Gallery through Feb. 14. The exhibit features costumes, hats, videos and photographs made by community members for such events as Durham Mardi Gras, the Pride Parade and the now-defunct Marry Durham parade. The gallery is at 2050 Chapel Hill Road.

Local spotlight: Duke’s Nasher Museum of Art presents a survey of noteworthy work by local artists in “Area 919: Artists in the Triangle.” The exhibit, which will be on view Saturday through April 12, will feature the work of Jeff Bell, Casey Cook, Andre Leon Gray, Lincoln Hancock with Yuxtapongo, Harrison Haynes, George Jenne, Stacey L. Kirby, Lavar Munroe, Damian Stamer, Bill Thelen, Hong-An Truong, Stacy Lynn Wadell and Jeff Whetstone. Curators say these artists have found inspiration at Nasher and also helped it forge a presence in Durham’s creative community. The museum is at 2001 Campus Drive.

PlayMakers’ performance

PlayMakers Repertory’s mainstage season continues Wednesday with the backstage drama “Trouble in Mind,” by Alice Childress.

“Trouble in Mind” is set behind the scenes of a Broadway play in 1957. In rehearsals for a potentially landmark, racially integrated production, the leading actress must choose between the role of a lifetime or compromising her values. Playwright Childress was the first African-American woman to have her work professionally produced on the New York stage.

Kathryn Hunter-Williams plays Wiletta Mayer, the lead actress. Tony Award-winning actor Roger Robinson appears as Sheldon Forrester.

Performances are in the Paul Green Theatre on Country Club Road in Chapel Hill. Curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays through Feb. 8 and at 2 p.m. Sundays and Jan. 31.

PlayMakers is the professional theater in residence at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Info: 919-962-7529 or

Thomas Wolfe awards

Entries for the Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize, which awards the winner $1,000 and possible publication in The Thomas Wolfe Review, are being accepted through Jan. 30.

The competition is open to all writers regardless of geographical location or prior publication. Contestants should submit two copies of an unpublished fiction manuscript not to exceed 12 double-spaced, single-sided pages. The winner will be chosen by best-selling author Lee Smith, a 2008 inductee in the N.C. Literary Hall of Fame who teaches creative writing at N.C. State University.

For contest rules, visit


• The

Steel Wheels

, a four-piece string band noted for its old-time music, perform at 8 p.m. Friday at A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater in the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts in Raleigh. The concert is part of Pinecone’s Down Home Concert series.

Info: 919-664-8302 or


Robert Weiss

, artistic director of the Carolina Ballet, and choreographer-in-residence

Zalman Raffael

discuss their upcoming performance of new dances set to music by some great classical composers. The talk is at 7 p.m. Thursday at Quail Ridge Books & Music, 3522 Wade Ave., Raleigh.

Info: 919-828-1588 or

• Local poets will share their work at Open Mic Poetry at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Cameron Gallery at Durham’s Scrap Exchange. Published authors

Lou Lipsitz


Hugh Giblin

will read their poetry, and members of the audience can read their own afterward. The gallery is at 2050 Chapel Hill Road. Poetry open mic will continue on the third Sunday of each month.

Info: 919-688-6960 or