Arts Council ‘re-imagines’ the public art gallery
The council presents its inaugural exhibition, “Re-Imagining.”
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 9:45 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 9:45 a.m.
There’s a new community art gallery in town, one with aspirations to be open to the public in as many ways as possible.
What: The Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County’s first public open house and inaugural exhibition, “Re-Imagined,” featuring artwork by Cameron Art Museum School instructors.
When: Opening reception is 6-9 p.m. Aug 24. “Re-Imagined” hangs through Sept. 24
Where: The Arts Council Exhibition Space (ACES), 221 N. Front St., downtown Wilmington
“Our mission is to promote the professional development of artists in this area,” said Rhonda Bellamy, executive director of The Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County. “To that end, we are using the larger space in our new offices as a gallery/public salon.”
The arts council will host a public open house from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday in its new 221 N. Front St. gallery space, ACES, the Arts Council Exhibition Space.
In coordination with Fourth Friday Gallery Nights, a self-guided tour through the galleries of downtown Wilmington, the council presents its inaugural exhibition, “Re-Imagining.” It will fill the 414-square-foot ACES space with works by more than a dozen Cameron Art Museum School instructors, including Fritzi Huber, Hiroshi Sueyoshi, Virginia Wright-Frierson and CAM director Anne Brennan. The exhibition was co-curated by Martha Burdette, Museum School co-director.
“Martha in particular liked ‘Re-Imagining’ because she said the arts council is being re-imagined, as is the Museum School,” Bellamy said. “These are things that have come and gone and we’ve just kind of re-imagined what they could be.”
The Wilmington area’s new arts council was officially launched in December 2011, with Bellamy appointed executive director in July. New Hanover County had been without an umbrella organization or central voice for a decade; the former Arts Council of the Lower Cape Fear closed its doors in 2002.
The new council, Bellamy said, was “created first of all to try to write grants and to fundraise for the arts organizations here … We’re going to try to extend our pool of funds that are available for artists and art organizations.”
The new arts council also aims to market New Hanover County as an arts destination.
“Wilmington’s arts community is quite unexpected,” Bellamy said. “A lot of people come here for the beaches and even our downtown waterfront. But they really do not expect the type of talent we do have here, with an estimated 150 art organizations, both non- and for-profit, and about 3,000 creative industry workers.”
ACES’ exhibitions will rotate monthly, and the council is actively seeking submissions from local artists, groups and independent curators for use of the space on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Sometimes it can be solo exhibitions,” Bellamy said. “Sometimes I imagine it will be group exhibitions that are probably bound by some sort of theme, and sometimes we’ll come up with the idea for what the exhibition should be. So, it’s truly going be a public space where everybody has an opportunity to be seen.”
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