Raleigh First Friday

I’m going to sidetrack from the birthday month for a minute.  Friday night I made a rare trip to downtown Raleigh to support my friend Heather, who was having a gallery opening at Flanders, a trendy and well-regarded Raleigh gallery.  I don’t often get to Raleigh, because it is a bit of a trek (30-45 minutes, depending on traffic), I frequently get lost, and one of the last times I went to Raleigh I got into a car accident.  However, every time I’m in downtown Raleigh I wish I got there more frequently.  It doesn’t have the gritty, community vibe of Durham, but it is a more urban setting and definitely has the ability to buzz.

First Friday is Raleigh’s monthly gallery night (Chapel Hill has second Friday, Durham has third Friday).  Flanders is down the street from CAM, Raleigh’s contemporary art museum, and a number of great galleries.  I’ve visited some other galleries in the past, but I spent most of this Friday on Martin Street and in the Warehouse District.

Jon and I kicked off the evening by getting dinner at The Pit, before heading over to Flanders to see Heather.  I’ve been to Flanders several times, and it is always extremely sceney.  The atmosphere is very much big-city art gallery, which I always say makes me feel not cool.  However, I knew much of the audience there that night.  So I guess I was sort of cool.

Heather’s work is being shown as part of a group show, called Codework.  All the following photos were taken by me, on my iPhone, so apologies for the graininess.

Painting by Heather Gordon, photo by me!

All the works in the show dealt with language, communication, and interpretation.  Since I have known Heather, she has been interested in codes and language.  This work is from her newest series, which takes locations that we frequent in our daily lives (the above is a parking lot, but she’s also done cubicles and funeral homes) and maps them out in an abstract but still understandable manner (I hope I got that right Heather!)

Painting by Heather Gordon, photo by me!
Painting by Heather Gordon, photo by me!
Painting by Heather Gordon, photo by me!

The above two works are some of Heather’s binary works.  She takes text, oftentimes famous, and converts it into ASC-II (I think, this is all very tech-speak!) which she then converts into binary, which she uses to make these amazing, hypnotic, vortex-y pieces.  I love them.  As you can tell, Heather’s work is incredibly thought out and very cerebral, you can learn more by checking out her website.

I was also loving Peter Oakley‘s carved-marble sculptures of every day objects.

Sculpture by Peter Oakley, photo by me!
Sculpture by Peter Oakley, photo by me!
Sculpture by Peter Oakley, photo by me!

Aren’t those incredible?!  At first I totally thought that stack of take-out boxes was made of foam, but it is one solid pieces of marble.  The skill demonstrated in those pieces is insane.  Codework will be on view at Flanders for the rest of the month, and it is absolutely worth checking out!

After a bit of shmoozing Jon and I decided to check out a few other galleries.  We first stopped at 311 Gallery, which is run by Judy Jones.  Judy organized Screened, the current exhibit at the Durham Arts Council, so I wanted to check out her gallery and to say hello.  311 is a combination of galleries and artist studios, so there was a great variety of work on view.

Painting by Yuko Taylor, photo by me.
Painting by Yuko Taylor, photo by me.

These paper teacups were super fun, and there was a framed image next to them that showed how they were made.  Again, my apologies fro the graininess.

Also, this made me giggle.

We also went to the Visual Art Exchange, which had a bunch of work made with found objects, as well as a light and sculpture installation.

Parked outside of the VAE was one of those PODS mobile storage compartments, that had a multi-media installation made by art students from a high school in Apex.

By the time we’d finished checking out all these galleries it was 9:00, and the crowds were clearing out.  The weather wasn’t the best (foggy, humid but still chilly, and drizzly), and that combined with being tired from the work week sent me home pretty early (remember what i said about being not cool?).  Still, I was really inspired and excited by much of the art that I saw, and I definitely hope to get to First Friday more often.  If you live in the area and have never been to a First Friday you should totally go!  I won’t be at the next one, because it coincides with the first night of Passover, but it should be a great time.  Yay for art!

One thought on “Raleigh First Friday

  1. We’ll have to make a habit out of first Fridays! I’m glad you were able to check out so much of the work. There’s always something interesting to see, and the energy is definitely infectious.

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