Outsider Art Gallery says goodbye

Outsiders Art & Collectibles

Durham is growing by leaps and bounds. It is the story we hear, day after day. Our arts, music, culture, and technology scenes are booming. But growth has all kinds of success stories. Sometimes in the sweep of change there are first movers left by the wayside as the tapestry of time unfurls forward.

Outsider Arts

Outsiders Art

This weekend Outsider Arts joined a list populated by The Ringside, Joe and Joe’s, Another Thyme, Troika, and The Broad Street Cafe to name just a few of the memories of days gone by. Friday night there was a grand farewell fete. The beer was donated by Fullsteam. It was a celebration worthy of owner of Pam Gutlon, complete with Bulltown Strutters. When they promenade around the foyer of your business, you know you are Durham made, in grandest mafioso sense of the word.

The room was packed

The room was packed

The food trucks were the same vibe, the catalysts, the early adopters, Only Burger and Kokyu; Pie Pushers had engine trouble and didn’t make it.

The guest were of the same bent, artists and art supporters, starters and doers. Co-tenant, Holly Phelan, of Happymess Art(1) had a yearbook of sorts she had created for people to share their thoughts, wishes, dreams, and recollections with the woman who had made it happen.

In some ways it feels appropriately timed that Outsiders Art is closing just as the monolithic Harris Teeter complex opens on 9th Street. Durham’s past and Durham’s future are tussling. Again, we, at the Clarion Content, are shocked that Mayor Bell, development architect, is going to run for re-election, for a seventh tern, essentially unopposed.


One day people will fondly say “Remember when…” about something they did, saw, or heard at Outsiders Arts.

And either you were there or you weren’t.

Thanks for the memories, Pam.


(1)We hear Phelan is expanding HappyMess Art and adding Durham’s first, artist designed, art supply store. Full disclosure, The Clarion Content has a business relationship with HappyMess Art. Among other things, we designed and built their website.

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Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.


  • Reply November 8, 2013

    Caroline Crawford

    Pam posted this on Facebook and I wanted to say thanks for putting my thoughts into words…I really thought Outsiders would be around forever…the way we want things we love to be….

  • clarioncontent
    Reply November 8, 2013


    Thanks, Caroline. It is a little disconcerting to watch the change happening so fast around us in the place we call home.

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