Treasures abound and surprises await as you walk along North Chatham Avenue in Siler City. Amazing things are happening as artists reveal their studios and their work within. Be prepared to be enthralled at the depth of creativity that will surround you! To begin with, the PAF Gallery in the NC Arts Incubator plays hosts to many talents, as the artwork of James D. Best is on exhibition until May 30, 2012. His work is reflective of childhood memories, and places he has traveled during his long television career with the Dukes of Hazzard (he’s known for his role as Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane). On display are his many acrylic and still life paintings. While at the gallery be sure to check out the many artists that have hatched inside the incubator (http://www.ncartsincubator.org/incubator-artists/). The North Carolina Arts Incubator is located in several buildings nestled in the heart of Historic Downtown Siler City and currently features dozens of artists working in a variety of media from pottery to glass to fiber. So plan a trip to the Incubator where you will find open studio doors and artists busy creating art. In addition to working studios, the Incubator includes a Retail Gallery and the PAF Gallery for special exhibitions.
Be sure not to miss the Courtyard Cafe, at the NC Arts Incubator, where Mitch Woodward from NC State Cooperative Extension has worked with Andrew Wright to install a new rain garden, including a well-designed catchment and dispersal system. The new system will help water the trees and shrubs that give color to the courtyard. While you’re there stop by the Courtyard Coffee and Soda Café (at 223 N Chatham Avenue) for refreshing drinks. Courtyard Cafe serves a delightful assortment of beverages and snacks: coffee, espresso, latte, cappuccino, chai, hot chocolate, smoothies, frappe, Italian sodas, and much more. Afterwards, take a stroll across the street to visit the gallery of Sam Zinaich, owner and artist of Stained Glass by Sam. Here you can look at many examples of his work. Stained Glass by Sam is a family owned and operated studio which is entering its’ 24th year. Sam Zinaich embraces challenges and new ideas. He does commission pieces for many clients from just an idea, a description, or a photo. Restorations and repairs comprise a large portion of his studio work. Sam enjoys bring back to life the many designs created long ago by other artisans and to prolong the work of art of others. Among the recent work produced in the studio are church windows as well as customized doors, windows, transoms, and sidelights that have been designed specifically for the client. Smaller pieces are for sale in the gallery. Sam teaches stained glass using copper foil technique as well as mosaic classes using glass, tile, and many other interesting materials.
Located across the street from the NC Arts Incubator is another gallery called Person to Person Art Studio & Gallery owned by artist Roger Person. I can’t say enough about the imagination and ingenuity that you will encounter while you are visiting this extraordinary gallery. According to Roger Person, he uses found objects from different periods of his life to create “a world of endless fun”. These objects bring wonderful memories and ideas that stimulate thinking and direct views into the world of art. It is here that you will find a myriad of well engineered and crafted work from sculptures, mixed media assemblages, collage, acrylic paintings, found object assemblage, and so much more! The adventure continues (for the next few weeks) along North Chatham Avenue as we continue to visit artist studios, galleries, public murals, and perhaps even a music festival. So be sure to stop by (you’ll never know for sure what you’ll discover)!
Visit the NC Arts Council website to learn more about creative communities: http://www.ncarts.org/freeform_scrn_template.cfm?ffscrn_id=584