Midtown Raleigh News

First Friday: Artist shows off Raleigh’s beauty

Dan Nelson paints scenes of Raleigh. This one is called “Early Evening on Fayetteville Street.”
Dan Nelson paints scenes of Raleigh. This one is called “Early Evening on Fayetteville Street.” COURTESY OF NICOLE KENNEDY

For local artist Dan Nelson, there’s no better subject to paint than the city where he lives.

“You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to fly to exotic locations,” said Nelson, who lives in Raleigh. “If you just have eyes to see, you can create beauty out of any scene.”

Nelson paints Raleigh and other local towns and will be featured in the “Life in the City” exhibit at Nicole’s Studio & Art Gallery. The exhibit will run through Dec. 23.

Nelson will paint a Raleigh scene live at a presentation of the exhibit during First Friday this month.

“Life in the City” also features paintings of European cities by Burt Salt and Nicole Kennedy, who owns the art studio on Person Street.

“We like the whole idea of the energy of city life,” said Kennedy, whose work for the exhibit focuses on New York City and Italy. Her husband owns Caffe Luna on Hargett Street in downtown Raleigh, and she often paints streetscapes of Italy for use in the restaurant.

Recently, Kennedy started painting scenes of New York City, where she grew up. She considers her work to be like a narrative, telling a story through the people in her scenes.

“I’ve always felt at home in cityscapes,” she said. “A lot of it is very nostalgic to me.”

Nelson said he started painting scenes of Raleigh because it was the most available subject matter to him. He considers it his mission to show people how beautiful the city is.

He regularly paints scenes during festivals and events downtown.

“Most artists really like painting in private, and they don’t like being bothered,” Nelson said. “For some reason, I love an audience.”

Nicole’s Studio & Art Gallery is located at 719 N. Person St., Raleigh.

Mechelle Hankerson: 919-829-4802, @mechelleh

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

Litmus Gallery, 312 W. Cabarrus St.: “Anything Goes 2015” exhibit with 40 local artists

N.C. Museum of History, 5 E. Edenton St.: WRAL’s Bill Leslie will perform Celtic music, and there will be samples from Bull City Ciderworks and beer from Southern Pines Brewing

The Morning Times, 10 E. Hargett St.: Local artists, artisans and musicians

Block Gallery, 311 W. Martin St.: 13th Annual National Arts Program exhibit featuring works by city and county employees

Local Color Gallery, 22 Glenwood Ave.: “Let it Snow” mixed-media show featuring 12 local female artists

High Cotton, 19 W. Hargett St.: Meet the winner of the Collegiate Design Competition

Nüvonivo Children’s Shop, 111 E. Hargett St.: Sproutsongs holiday music class for children

Brushstroke Studio and Gallery, 520 N. West St.: Aviation Studio show with acrylic paintings of the ocean and nature

Briggs Hardware, 111 E. Hargett St.: “Art and ALS,” a local painter’s work that focuses on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Tipping Paint Gallery, 311 W. Martin St.: “Y’Alltide” event with gifts