Friday, November 28, 2008

Artist Alley Holiday Event Schedule

Please click on the image below to view our lineup of holiday happenings here at Artist Alley.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been lost in the sweet jumble of preparing Artist Alley for the holiday season, and I have so much for which I am thankful. At the top of my list today are my friends, both old and new. Many of these kindhearted souls exhibit their creations at Artist Alley. They selflessly share their creativity, time, friendship and wisdom; and I am grateful for it all.

More posts will follow this season with oodles of details about happenings at The Alley. For today, I have only two more words for you.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We'll be hosting a "Holiday Extravaganza of a First Friday on November 7th, and I promise that more details will follow.

If you'd like to extend your weekend of artistic fun in The Sandhills, please also mark your calendar for the Saturday show at The Country Club of Whispering Pines. A few of your favorite artists from Artist Alley will be in attendance. You can expect to see Kathleen Miller, Amy Smith, Charlie Oliver, Jaeja Jackson, Wayne Black, and Yours Truly too.

I hope to see you at both events!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

2008 Final Call for Artists

Artist Alley announces its final call for North Carolina Artists in 2008. Artist Alley, located at 167 E. New Hampshire Avenue in downtown Southern Pines, currently represents the work of more than fifty North Carolina Artists and Fine Craftspeople. These include jewelry makers, sculptors, painters, potters, glass artists, wood craftsmen, and others.

“We display an amazing array of affordable artwork here at Artist Alley.”, explains gallery owner, Jean Skipper. “Our body of work evolves constantly as our existing artists continue to express their talents while new artists join us. With a deadline of November 14th, this call for artists represents that last opportunity that North Carolina Artists will have to join The Alley before the holiday season. Specifically, we’re seeking watercolor painters, metal artists, and additional glass artists; but North Carolina Artists in all media are welcome to apply.”

Founder Kathleen Miller adds, “Artist Alley was established as an artists’ coop in Moore County in 1999, and the gallery continues to maintain the cooperative spirit that’s been the foundation of its success. There’s a sense of community among the talented individuals who showcase their work here, and they freely share their welcoming spirit with others.”

Information and applications for this call to artists may be obtained by contacting Jean Skipper via the comments on this blog. Please be sure to leave your email address in your comment. It won't be published or shared; but it is needed so that a reply may be sent. Applications are also be available in person at Artist Alley.

Artist Alley is located in downtown Southern Pines at 167 E. New Hampshire Avenue. It’s a gallery that exhibits a wide variety of art and fine craft all made exclusively in North Carolina.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Today I'm smiling..

Today I smile each time I notice the ring on my finger.

Yes, I know that it may not be the most practical ring; but I love it! This whimsical fish bead was made by my friend, and fellow artist, Debbie Keen. I've included him in my new line of copper rings. I know that I'm prejudiced; but they're absolutely fabulous, and some type of movement is incorporated into each one.

Kinetic wearable art and little purple fishies...of course I'm smiling!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Auction for Carol

Through the magic of the Internet, I've become involved with an auction to benefit an amazing woman named Carol. Carol's is a courageous woman with a story that will touch your heart. The flyer above will provide you a bit of her story. (Click on it for a super-sized view.)

Also be sure to visit the site for yourself...and bid too! You'll be helping someone who could use a hand-up, and you'll enjoy some amazing artwork as well. An image of my donation for the auction follows:

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Meet "The Art"

Most days you'll find Art greeting you here at Artist Alley. And while we do have an amazing variety of Art that's been created by more than 50 North Carolina Artisans, today I'm referring to "Art" our official mascot and doorman.

Art followed me home this spring from a show in Asheboro, NC. He was created by Asheboro artist, Mike Durham. (Mr. Durham, if you're reading this, please contact me!!! Art is getting tons of attention, and we'd love to have more of your work here at Artist Alley. Art would enjoy the company too.)

Friday, September 5, 2008

My Studio Companions

When I create, I'm extremely grateful for the company of my studio companions. Coco, Gracie and Cody are regulars by my side. Coco, our Chocolate Lab, makes her presence known by occasionally nudging her head into my arm. (This photo of Coco is not the greatest; but then of course she prefers not to have her photo taken.)

Gracie is less subtle. She tends to use my lap as a springboard to make a grand entrance from the formica table in the center of the room into the middle of my work area. Then she settles in wherever she pleases...ON whatever she pleases. In most cases this puts her directly in the middle of the project at hand, and generally my view is one of her tail.

And finally, there's Cody. Cody can usually be found inside one of my vintage train cases or playing with whatever shiny parts, pieces and treasures catch his eye. Ahhh...a boy after my own heart!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Favorite Things...My Special Place to Create

After only a day or two, this list is transforming from one of "My Favorite Things" ( I MUST get this song out of my head!!) to one of the things for which I'm grateful.

Today I'll share images of my organized studio space. My dear husband and son built my workbench and affixed all of my tools and toys as a Mothers Day gift this year, and I've been having a ball every since. Yes to the untrained eye it may still look like a lot of clutter; but trust me, this is nothing compared to what it looked like before I organized! lol

Here for the first time are a few photos of the place in which I create...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

I caught a snippet of The Sound of Music this weekend...just a minute or two of Maria fondling her curtains and singing about her favorite things. This moment, combined with an abundance of photos and a lack of time, has inspired me to share a few of my own favorites with you.

Please let me know what you think, and feel free to share a few of your own too.

My first favorite thing is this table in Debbie Keen's mountain hideaway. the table itself; but the manner in which four artistic women have managed to transform it from its previously pristine state to THIS in a mere matter of minutes. Ahhhh....such fun!! Wait until you see the results of all of this creativity!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Public Art

I know that my posts have been painfully few and far between lately, and I apologize. I went from a bustling summer show schedule to a complete overhaul here at Artist Alley again. (...or should I say still?!?!)

The gallery looks amazing, and I have so much news and many new artful creations to share with you. For today I'll take a baby step by sharing the fabulous public art project that my son Alan created in front of The Alley. Not only is it incredible by itself, he also made a sign to invite others to add to it.

Stay tuned in the next few days for lots of photos of our new displays and a few fun images from last weekend's First Friday Opening.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Perfectly Imperfect

I love to visit the studios of other artists. I enjoy seeing where and how they work. Are their spaces pristine or creatively cluttered? Do they have a dedicated space to create? Or do they spread out all over their home?

Regardless of their preferences, most times when I visit an artists studio, I find pockets of their creations on the walls, lining the shelves, or in bowls and jars everywhere. I'm drawn to these treasures like a moth to a flame. When I say, "This is beautiful! Why isn't it in a gallery?!?!?!" The answer inevitably, "It's a second."

They say that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, and I can attest to the fact that this is the case with most artists that I know. Often, even after they've explained in great detail to me why their work is not-ready-for-prime-time, I'm still at a loss.

I love the imperfections. In artwork and in life, they keep things interesting.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

On Friday, May 2nd from 5:00 – 9:00, Artist Alley will host an opening for Moore County Metal Sculptors, Karen Taylor and George Carling. Refreshments will be served, and George and Karen will be present throughout the evening to discuss their creations.

George and Karen began creating contemporary metal furniture together after an unsuccessful search for furnishings for their own home. They draw inspiration from each other and their varied backgrounds. Karen lends an artistic influence to their work, while George considers the weld quality and the fit of each piece.

They also happen to be two of the nicest people you'll ever meet! I hope that you'll be able to join us.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Coach Light Cafe and Wine Bar - Ladies Night Out

I'm really excited to announce that Artist Alley will be participating in an event that's designed to support women in business in our community. As a gallery owner and artist, I understand the challenges that a small business owner faces. One of our biggest here at Artist Alley is to communicate where we are and what makes us unique. I'm reasonably certain that other businesses face the same hurdle, and this event should provide us all with an ideal opportunity to spread the word.

Artist Alley has been in business since 1999, and we've been in our current location at 167 East New Hampshire Avenue since January 2007. We show an amazing variety of artwork and fine crafts made by over fifty artists; our entire inventory is created right here in North Carolina; and we're located just one short block from the train station...exactly 120 steps off of Broad Street. (I know, because I counted them!)

In spite of all of this fabulousness, on a daily basis we hear, "What a wonderful gallery! I never knew that you were here, and I'm so glad to have found you!!!" We jokingly say that we're "Southern Pines Best Kept Secret", and while we're honored, it's a title that we'd like to overcome. Hopefully this event will take us one step closer to achieving that goal.

It could do the same for your business too, and it will be a lot of fun. I hope that you'll be able to join us! (For a closer look at the post card below, please click on the photo.)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

STARS Art Gallery Gala and Silent Auction

There's an amazing school here in Moore County that's fondly referred to as "STARS". STARS is the Sandhills Theatre Arts Renaissance School.

Please see the photo below that provides the details about their First Annual Art Gallery Gala. (Click on the photo for a better view.) Attend if you're able, and donate if you can! It's a great way to immerse yourself in The Arts while supporting the youngest artists in The Sandhills of North Carolina.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pea Island Art Gallery in The Outer Banks

Have you ever stepped into a gallery and felt welcome from the word, "Hello"? You know the feeling. You walk're greeted're left alone (but not too alone) to enjoy the artful spend as much time as you like without pressure. Then, when you finally decide to leave, it's with hesitation and the knowledge that you'll definitely return again and again.

That's the feeling that I have each time I enter The Pea Island Gallery. It's an absolute treasure in the heart of The Outer Banks, and no trip to the area would be complete without a visit.

I'm just preparing to ship a box of my latest creations to this gallery, and I'm so excited that my work will be shown in a place that I hold so dear in my heart. To view some of these latest creations, please visit the Pea Island Portfolio on my website.

And if you're planning a trip to The Outer Banks this summer, please be sure to visit in person too. I promise that you'll be glad that you did!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bee Gentle

I've decided to be gentle with myself today. A million things to do are running through my head, and I don't seem to be able to catch up with most of them. So....I've decided to be gentle with myself.

Just for tonight, instead of focusing on all that still remains to be finished, I'll focus instead on all that I've managed to accomplish.

Tomorrow will be a new day.

This little fellow has been buzzing around my front window for the past two days. I tried to lift him back into the great outdoors repeatedly; but he'd have none of it. As I was closing today, I noticed him there...completely exhausted and panting. He finally allowed me to carry him to the comfort of a welcoming pansy just outside the door. He seems to be at peace now.

Why do we resist assistance when we need it the most?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

We'll be be hosting an opening for Moore County Artist, Angela Cummings-Thompson on First Friday, March 7th from 5:00 - 9:00. Angela is an amazing artist with great vision. Her work has been collected nationally, and she's also won numerous awards.

Angela was born and raised on a farm outside of Vass, North Carolina. She graduated from Meredith College with a degree in art and a concentration in sculpture. She also completed graduate studies in sculpture at Purdue University. Her early experiences on the farm play a huge part in her life, and they're evident in her artwork today.

Sculpture is only one of Angela's passions. She and her niece, Alex LaRose, are developing a book of photographs and essays that will feature farms and farm equipment in and around Moore County. They see beauty where others fail to look, and they're hoping to preserve the beauty of the Small Southern Farm before it’s too late.

Angela now lives in Vass with her husband Kenny, a former Professional Bull Rider from Oklahoma. “These days, my life is full of family, pottery, welding, sculpture, photography, and book writing,” she says, “but by far, my greatest masterpiece is our one-year-old-daughter Cecelia.”

Please join us for Angela's opening where we'll be debuting the early photos from her book, new metal creations, and the official unveiling of our new "Metal Room". We'll also have the usual lineup of fabulous food and drink, sparkling conversation, and a whole lot more.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Kathleen Miller on Love Birds

I'm so pleased to tell you that, Kathleen Miller, a decorative painter from Pinehurst, North Carolina will be making a personal appearance at Artist Alley on Monday, February 11th from 12:00 – 2:00. In preparation for this event, she visited with me, and she's really excited about unveiling her latest creations.

If your True Love loves Folk Art or collects heart shaped boxes, this is an event that you won’t want to miss! Kathleen has over 28 years of painting experience, and one of her ornaments was even featured on The White House Christmas Tree.

When I asked her about the inspiration for her latest creations, she replied with a laugh, “Love Birds can be country crows! When painting this series, I was inspired by the romance of Valentine’s Day, primitive styles, and the charm of country living.”

Kathleen displays her work at Artist Alley in Southern Pines. She’s a member of the Moore County Arts Council, the National Society of Decorative Painters, and the City of Oaks Decorative Artists. She also teaches weekly classes at her home studio in Pinehurst.

If you're in the area, please stop and visit with us! Kathleen's passion for her painting and the history of the craft is infectious, and I know that you'll enjoy meeting her.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

First Friday Photos

This month has been filled with a variety of exciting changes here at Artist Alley. We've added new artists, and the artists who you've come to know and love have been creating like crazy since the chaos of the holidays. We've also installed a new lighting system, and our artwork looks amazing as a result. I'll provide you with more specifics and lots of photos sometime soon.

Last night was our First Friday Opening. In honor of Valentine's Day, we celebrated the Art of Jewelry, and a good time was had by all. I always mean to take lots of photos during these events. I plan for it; I bring my camera; And I place the camera on the counter so that I won't forget my mission. At 5:00 I give myself a pep-talk to remind myself that I'll be taking lots of photos. Then, I blink, and it's 9:30. Ahhh... my intentions are always good!

This month was no exception for me. Fortunately, however, thanks to the kindness of Al and Annette Daniels, I do have one lovely photo to share with you from last night's event. Hopefully you'll be able to join the fun in person next month when we'll be kicking-off "March Metal Madness" with an opening featuring Angela Cummings Thompson.

Yes, a picture is worth a thousand words; but being here in person is priceless!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Anniversary Bar by Penny Arrowood

"What's The Anniversary Bar?", you ask.

No, it's not the hottest new club in town, and it's not a new chocolate concoction. What it IS is a fabulous limited edition soap created by our own Penny Arrowood to honor the First Anniversary of Artist Alley.

Penny surprised yesterday with this delightful creation, and I was tickled pink...and blue...and yellow! She didn't even know about my love for polka-dots when she designed it.

I'll let the soap and her touching explanation speak for themselves in the photos that follow...

Finally!! First Friday Photos...

Our First Friday celebrations at Artist Alley are so much fun. I always mean to take tons of photos, and inevitably I remember at about the time I'm locking the door. Last night was different, and I thought that I'd share a few of my favorites with you here.

I hope that you'll be able to join us for a First Friday Opening sometime soon. And if you do, please remind me to take your picture!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Baby it's cold outside...

Yes, that's right, it finally feels like winter in Southern Pines! You wouldn't know it to look at it, because it's sunny and beautiful from the inside looking out.

Everything is warm and bright here at Artist Alley too thanks to the shining new additions in our front window and on the lawn. Angela Cummings Thompson and Ed Duke each have a few new metal creations outside, and Amy Keith just made a delivery of her original stained glass artwork too. You'll find shining stars in all the colors of the rainbow, dragonflies blowing in the breeze, and some multi-colored rectangles and squares that make me think of Frank Lloyd
Wright. (Amy didn't site him as her inspiration. It's just where my Falling-Water-Loving-Mind goes when I look at them!)

These pieces are bright...they're funky...and they're guaranteed to lift your spirits too. Please visit soon to enjoy them, and all of our other North Carolina Made Art and Fine Crafts, in person during our Anniversary Month here on New Hampshire Avenue.