We suppose you don’t need us to tell you what a wonderful time this is in this town. The milieu speaks for itself. And frankly, like many of the very best cultural melting pots, you simply don’t have time to do it all. The old saw they used to tell about New York City when I was growing up in the area was if you tried to eat at all the restaurants A-Z in NYC, you’d never finish because by the time you got through Z , there would be new A’s, B’s, & C’s. That made quite an impression an eleven year-old me, and while Durham’s art scene hasn’t quite reached those peaks, it is positively impossible even using the services of The Bridge Bus and the Bull City Connector to hit all the good events and exhibits on a single night. Luckily most of these shows are on-going.
Best to start with the exception, at Goldenbelt in Room 100 curated by Durham Arts Guild a one night only event, “Spiral Dance” an evolving site-specific installation by artist Mary Ann Anderson. Be part of the dance. Participate. And then budding art collectors, build your collection by taking paintings from the walls, for $1 (min.) per painting. All contributions for the paintings go to the Durham Arts Guild. Organizers promise you will change the design, creating new pauses, and leaps, then Spiral Dance will change, dissolve, and disappear. 3rd Friday reception 6-9 PM, July 18th.
In that same neck of the woods, and also on the ONE NIGHT ONLY Pop-up tip, at Goldenbelt in Studios 3-104 & 3-130 is OFF THE RADAR. It is an curated arts series this month featuring artists, Jules Floss and Jo Ann Hart, peeling back the layers of political and social power structures to open windows of individual perception. According to the press release, “Floss will present two bodies of work. The first uses camouflage and mimicry found in nature as a metaphor for US militarism and the abuse of power. The second, a series of self-portraits, seeks to contemporize the Sibyls, oracular women believed to possess prophetic powers. Jo Ann Hart probes the depths of experiential reality constructing images that harness the power of the grotesque and sublime. Working with a process of progressive deterioration, Hart reminds us that to create something new, we must destroy.”
Right around the corner from Goldenbelt is Spectre Arts. If you are in the the know and a 3rd Friday regular, you have already been there. If you haven’t, get on it! They consistently feature great work. This month it’s “Squirrels, Gas Masks, Tin Men & Monsters” by Dwight Morgan and Erika Wilson. Found objects and everyday experience create paintings and sculptures commenting on the state of culture and a vision of the future.
Spectre Arts is also hosting a community listening party that evening, under the stars in the garden weather permitting, in the gallery should Mother Nature say otherwise, the theme is “Fish out of Water.”
Echoing a theme of waste not, want not that seems to be everywhere in Durham across the way at The Green Gallery in The Scrap Exchange, are paintings by Allison Tierney. Repurposing discarded materials into the canvases and using excess house paint Tierney, an Ackland Fellow in pursuit of an MFA in Fine Arts at UNC Chapel Hill, has shown her work in galleries throughout the Carolinas.
Back inside the downtown loop, The Pleiades Gallery hosts “Truth to Power 2.” Recognizing Durham’s place in the national socio-cultural debates about our future it takes serious aim at issues including the economy, gun control, state education policy, poverty, women’s rights, and the environment. The exhibit was juried by Kenneth G. Rodgers, Professor of Art and Director of the NC University Art Museum, who selected over 30 works by NC artists, including many prominent local creators.
The Carrack hosts Antoine Williams and William Paul Thomas, “Nah’ Mean.” The Carrack aims to share this art in hopes of bridging the gap between P.C. conversations and oversimplifications of race and class based conflict. (Remember they make no commissions off of the artists’ work, they are entire donation supported.) Opening 3rd Friday, Artists’ Talk on Saturday, July 26th at 2pm. Gone soon thereafter…
And don’t forget to stop by to see the upcycled fashions of Jennifer Collins-Mancour’s ReVamped at the Bull City Arts Collective.