Arts & Culture

Arts news and events

Leave your mark

McGregor Hall in Henderson opened its doors in January. Now the venue would like you to take a seat – or at least put your name on it.

A $1,000 donation will put a brass marker with your name, that of a loved one or a business on one of the venue’s 997 seats.

“The completion of the Performing Arts Center at McGregor Hall marks an important milestone for our region,” Tommy Deadwyler, director of the new arts and education center, said in a statement. “We have created the Take-A-Seat campaign to provide an opportunity for area citizens and organizations to mark their place in history on this important landmark.”

The money raised will be used for programming and facility needs.

McGregor Hall is part of the Embassy Cultural Center Foundation. The nonprofit was formed 16 years ago when local leaders decided the area needed a cultural center. Its first order of business was building the Perry Memorial Library. McGregor Hall Performing Arts Center was next. The complex also houses a gallery for art exhibits.

Its first season included the touring production of “Buddy, The Buddy Holly Story” and a performance by the N.C. Symphony. Still to come is a performance Saturday, June 18, by the Manhattans featuring Gerald Alston of Henderson, and Keb Mo’ Band on Oct. 14.

McGregor Hall is at 201 Breckenridge St. in Henderson, about 40 miles from Raleigh.

For additional information on naming a seat or to see the entire schedule, go to

Get creative

The Nasher Museum of Art will offer a chance for adults and kids to explore their creativity in the coming weeks.

At 10 a.m. Saturday, June 18, artist William Paul Thomas will share a brief sketching demonstration, and then visitors can try their hand at it. The museum will provide drawing pencils.

Then at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 21, the kids will get a chance to create Bubble Wrap paintings inspired by artist Dan Walsh’s Cycle X in the current exhibition “A Material Legacy.”

The Bubble Wrap activity is intended for children ages 5 to 10, and for groups no larger than eight. If you have more than eight people in a group, contact

Both events are free with museum admission: $10 for adults, $5 for students with ID, $7 for people 65 and older and the military with ID. Children under 12 and members get in free.

The Nasher is at 2001 Campus Drive in Durham. For more details go to or call 919-684-5135.

Art in the park

The Museum Park at the N.C. Art Museum has a new sculpture. Cuban artist Yoan Capote recently installed “Open Mind (Barricades)” in the 164-acre park. The piece, which took three days to install, is made from metal crowd-control barricades and is designed to resemble a brain if viewed from above.

It was paid for by an anonymous donor and is the first installation funded by the NCMA’s new Art in the Environment Fund. “Open Mind” is the second work by Capote in the museum’s permanent collection.

In a statement about the piece, Capote said: “When I saw the piece from above, it made me think of each barricade as all the rules, dogmas, and taboos that are intended to control our behavior.”

Visitors can find the piece on the eastern side of the park near once of the entrances to the forest; to get there, follow the gravel path down the hill past the colorful sculpture that looks like a piece of fabric (Yinka Shonibare’s “Wind Sculpture II”).

The museum, on Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh, is open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission to the park is free.

Into the woods

You couldn’t really call Carl Schenck a tree hugger, but the man George Vanderbilt hired to manage the forests around Biltmore Estate is credited with helping conserve America’s trees and build its forestry education. He’s the subject of the documentary film “America’s First Forest: Carl Schenck and the Asheville Experiment,” which will be shown at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh at 7 p.m. Friday, June 17. The film will be followed by a panel discussion that includes James G. Lewis, the film’s executive producer . The event is free.

For details, go to