February First Friday

After a somewhat quiet past month due to the holidays and cold, this month’s First Friday is great chance to get out of the house and see some great new exhibits! First Friday happens on the first Friday of each month and is a free self-guided tour of downtown’s cultural hotspots. Local art galleries, studios, and museums stay open late and restaurants and retailers often have specials that night. Participating venues often put out the light blue First Friday Flag so that you are able to find them easily, and a map of locations is available online and at the locations.

first-friday-logoThe Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) in particular has a milestone event for 18 artists in this area – the NC Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award Exhibition. The exhibition features nine visual artists, four craft artists, and two film/video artists selected for the 2012 -13 awards. The artists receive a $10,000 fellowship to support creative development and the creation of new work and they were selected by a panel of artists and arts professionals with expertise in each discipline. The opening celebration is actually Thursday the 6th but the exhibit will be open and free to the public on the 7th starting at 6:00pm.

In addition to CAM, Flanders, Lump, and Artspace all have opening exhibits this coming Friday. Flanders Gallery is showcasing frames per second, a show of new video art from artists such as Shen Wei and Lotte Geeven that features interactive videos as well as work incorporated into sculpture. Lump, an artist-run space that prides itself on its lack of commercial compromise, presents Range Life by Midwestern artist Thad Kellstadt. Working in a variety of mediums, Range Life is not meant to reflect the Midwest landscape but rather claims a place within it.

Image courtesy of Artspace website.

Image courtesy of Artspace website.

Gallery 2 in Artspace is presenting Trajectories, by Orna Feinstein and Jeanne Heifetz, sculptural monotypes and non-traditional material portrayed as fiber art. Both artists will also be hosting a talk about their work at 6pm. Gallery 1 is hosting Celdas, haunting installation pieces alluding to the violence behind Spanish colonialism and Catholic iconography by Miami-based artist Alma Leiva. The Upfront Gallery features work from Artspace member artists and this month is Juxtaposition by Mary Ann Anderson. Juxtaposition displays several hundred small paintings with an underlying influence from Asian art and is a participatory exhibit encouraging the viewer to be both curator and collector. In addition, Shannon Johnstone’s heartwarming photography Landfill Dogs will be on display in the lobby.

This is just a sampling – you should wander the city yourself this Friday looking for the flags and stopping in to check out the great variety of art on display in the local galleries!