Arts Council will open exhibit Thursday in its new downtown location
By Becky Barclay
Published in News on July 18, 2012 1:46 PM
Sharon Kilette's painting of an old country general store titled "Some Americana" will be one of the many pieces of artwork on display during the "Carolina Country" exhibit at the Arts Council of Wayne County. This will be the first exhibit in the Arts Council's new gallery at 201 E. Walnut St.
News-Argus file photo
The new home of the Arts Council of Wayne County at the corner of John and Walnut streets.
The first exhibit to open at the Arts Council of Wayne County's new building will be "Carolina Country."
The display will open Thursday and run through Aug. 23.
"This was something we'd been planning since we were at our old building," gallery director Erin Alemdar said. "It got pushed back, then we moved and haven't had a gallery open."
But this won't be a normal gallery exhibit. It will be an audio tour, Ms. Alemdar said.
"It's just like when you go to a big museum and have those big clunky things to carry around. But this audio tour is available on your cell phone," she said. "You will dial in a number we will give you if you have a regular phone. Then you press the number that's on each work of art and you get to hear the artist himself talking about his work. There is commentary for each work about where the scene is, what inspired the artist to do that piece of art, materials he used and more. It's fun, interesting stuff."
Those with smart phones will be able to scan a code at each piece of artwork to hear the information.
Ms. Alemdar said the audio tour adds an educational element to the exhibit.
"And rather than people just looking at a piece of artwork and passing it by, they're getting to connect with the artist through his or her own words. Because of that, the artwork that they may not have an association with is suddenly going to mean something as they understand where the artist was coming from. That way they can connect with both the artwork and artist better."
Ms. Alemdar said the whole point of an exhibit is to get people to experience it on a different level and the audio tour will do just that.
For those who don't have a cell phone, the Arts Council will have MP3 players to use for the audio tour.
The audio tour and exhibit are both free.
Ms. Alemdar said the theme of this first exhibit is celebrating the North Carolina landscape. It will feature the works of three artists.
Bernie Rosage Jr. is a regional painter from Jacksonville. He will have a variety of paintings including two large-scale works.
"He's inspired by old country roads and things you see driving in the country," Ms. Alemdar said. "You see the tobacco barns and land around it. One painting is called 'Morning Has Broken' and it's a large-scale work. It's a meaningful painting for Rosage because it was what he saw on the old country road he drove everyday to take his daughter to school. It was really early in the morning and foggy with all the blue hues."
Living on the coast, Rasage is also inspired by the marshlands around him. He's a plein air painter, which means he gets out and sets up his easel in places like the marsh.
Sharon Killette is a painter living in Mount Olive. She paints old barns, too, which is the underlying theme of the exhibit, Ms. Alemdar said.
"Her inspiration and what really attracts her to a subject is anything that reminds her of days gone by," Ms. Alemdar said. "She's nostalgic. One painting she will have in the exhibit is of a general store. That's something we don't really have now. You might see one driving by in your car and might think it's just some old building.
"I think it's important that she has that painting in the exhibit so older people can remember what this area was like a long time ago. It's celebrating what remains of the old days. And for the young people, it's about learning the past of the region."
There is also a folk artist, Skip Surman, who makes three-dimensional miniature tobacco barn models.
"We added him because we thought it would be cool to add a three-dimensional aspect to the exhibit," Ms. Alemdar said. "He makes those out of reclaimed wood from old houses. The metal roofing on them is reclaimed metal from old barns. They're really neat and they're models of barns that actually exist in eastern North Carolina."
In conjunction with the "Carolina Country" exhibit, there will be a smaller exhibit in the upstairs gallery featuring the works of Goldsboro artist Karin Thompson. She will have some of her paintings and pottery pieces.
"It's an opportunity for people to get an idea of who she is as an artist," Ms. Alemdar said.
The exhibits will also be available on the Arts Council's website at www.artsinwayne.org.
There will be an opening reception Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the gallery. There will be refreshments and all four of the artists will be on hand.
Days and hours for the exhibits will be Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m.
The new gallery is located at 201 E. Walnut St. For more information about the exhibit or the audio tour, call the Arts Council at 736-3300.