Putting His Art Where His Mouth Is: Don Mertz Donates Second Painting To The Town of Cary

To underscore his support for the Town’s Public Arts Program

Eye Candy IV by Don Mertz
Eye Candy IV by Don Mertz


March 14, 2013 (Cary, NC) — Abstract artist Don Mertz of Cary, NC, recently delivered a second donation of one of his large, original abstract paintings to the Town of Cary: “Eye Candy IV,” a 60-inch tall by 40-inch wide explosion of color and texture rendered in mixed media on canvas.

In April of 2010, Mertz first donated an abstract painting to the Town entitled “Good! Bad? Ugly?” He had just closed a retrospective of his work in the Page Walker Arts and History Center, sponsored by the Town of Cary Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources department. Denise Dickens, the Town’s Public Arts Coordinator, attended the exhibition and commented that she liked that particular painting.

“So I offered to donate it to the city,” he said. “It was the right thing to do given Cary’s support of the arts and artists.”

Donating the “Eye Candy IV” painting followed an email Mertz sent to Dickens last November after the unveiling of the new “Monumental Fire Sculpture” by Danish artist Nina Hole in downtown Cary. (To read a Cary Citizen article on the sculpture: http://bit.ly/RxJ4xP)

“With the Fire Sculpture (along with all the other neat visual and performing arts events and exhibitions), you have transformed — no vaulted! — Cary into a new category,” Mertz wrote in the email. “No longer the ‘beige’ city of the past, now, with the Fire Sculpture, we have become the ‘red hot’ city for the 21st century and beyond… [And] to put my art where my mouth is, I would be happy to donate a painting that perhaps portrays the colorful, exciting, and vibrant spirit of the new Cary.”

The Town accepted his offer.

Don Mertz moved to Cary from New York City 12 years ago. Since then, his abstract paintings have been included in many solo- and group exhibitions throughout the Triangle region and sold to numerous art collectors. For more information, visit www.mertzart.com.

For more information on the Town of Cary’s public arts program, call 919-465-4791 or email denise.dickens@townofcary.org.

About Don Mertz

Don Mertz is a North Carolina-based abstract artist. A former Marine and IBM branch manager, he attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and The Art Students League in New York City where he lived for 25 years. He is a member of the Visual Arts Exchange of Raleigh, the Fine Arts League of Cary, and the Durham Art Guild.  He is represented by ArtSource Fine Art Gallery in North Hills, Raleigh, NC, and by Joe Rowand Art Fine Art Services in Chapel Hill, NC. For more information:

Website: www.mertzart.com

Blog: “Mertz Art News & Media,” http://mertzart.wordpress.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donmertzart

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/don-mertz/3/9a4/900

“Drop The Masks” Exhibit Features New Works by Jason Craighead


Raleigh Artist Opens One-Man Show at Gallery A

"Live In It" by Jason Craighead, 48w by 50h, mixed media on canvas


November 15, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) – Gallery A in Raleigh’s Five Points neighborhood is hosting “Drop The Masks,” an exhibition of new works by Jason Craighead, now through December 31.


Gallery A is owned by Steven and Kimberly Andreaus of the Five Points Center for Aesthetic Dentistry. It is located within a historic building on Glenwood Avenue, just across from the Rialto Theatre.


Gallery A curator Angie Trull explained her reasons for wanting to showcase Craighead’s work:


“I was first exposed to Jason’s work after returning home to Raleigh after living several years outside of Charlotte,” she said. “ A number of his paintings were displayed at Frazier’s Restaurant on Hillsborough Street where I was dining with friends. I felt this immediate attraction to the work and inquired about the artist. Over the next several months, I would find myself standing in another location before a painting that I was attracted to, only to discover that it, too, was a Jason Craighead piece.”


Among the locations where she saw his work were the Humble Pie restaurant and The Dawson on Morgan condominium building, both in downtown Raleigh.


“The abstract qualities with the gestural drawings, the layering of paints, and the pale washes drew me into his paintings and gave me a sense of calm and peace,” Trull said. “I love that his paintings are ever-changing for the viewer, allowing them to continually experience something new.  Finally meeting Jason and having the opportunity to showcase his work at Gallery A was something of a full-circle moment for me.”


The Gallery A building at 1637 Glenwood Avenue also houses Andreaus’ dental practice. “Dr. Andreaus believes that his dental patients benefit from, and appreciate, the ever-changing interior of original paintings and sculptures,” Trull said.


Steven Andreaus’ first office was located on Hargett Street, where he helped establish Raleigh’s “First Friday” art walks. For more information on Gallery A, visit http://gallerya-nc.com.


For more information on Jason Craighead, visit www.jasoncraighead.com.


About the artist:


A professional artist for over a decade, Jason Craighead is a recognized leader in the North Carolina arts community. His work has been included in many solo and group exhibitions throughout the Southeastern United States. He has received numerous awards and served as a juror for various art shows. He has been selected as Signature Artist for major charitable art auctions, and his work has been featured in a number of publications, including Artists & Art Galleries of the Southeast. He is also a member of the City of Raleigh Arts Commission and the Raleigh Public Arts Committee. He is currently represented by Broadhurst Gallery in Pinehurst and Flanders Gallery in Raleigh. For more information visit www.jasoncraighead.com.

Jason Craighead To Open Major Exhibit at Somerhill

big chune sm

August 15, 2009 (DURHAM, NC) — Somerhill Gallery in Durham, North Carolina, will open a major exhibition of recent works by Raleigh, NC, artist Jason Craighead, with sculptural pieces by Donald Gialanella. The artist’s reception will be held on Sunday, August 30th, from 2-5 p.m. The show runs through October 2.

Jason Craighead is best known for his predominantly large-scale painting that combine acrylic, oil pastel, and graphite in multiple layers of color, lines, and drips.

Before the artist’s exhibit last winter at the Fayetteville Museum of Art in Fayetteville, NC., he described the direction in which his work was going at that time as “the ultimate transitional moment for me. I’m detaching from ‘things,’ finding space and creating rhythm, and letting my work become the pure thing that it is. With less fear comes more freedom.”

Craighead’s work has continued to evolve since then, and now he notes, “Those earlier pieces were a little friendlier. The ‘less fear” concept is allowing me to leave things behind – fear, ego, pride – and really begin to make work. I feel like there is a flight mechanism in these pieces [for the Somerhill show], like the sense of jumping off a cliff: there’s that moment of horror and serenity all at the same time. This work is about progress and purpose, not perfection. I’m even allowing myself the freedom to stop early – to show something that raw.” untitled doors sm

According to Somerhill director Joseph Rowand, “Jason has discovered a source within himself that he knows how to acknowledge. And he is willing to do the work to get to the passage.”

Rowand describes the nearly 20 pieces in the show – on canvas, paper and doors – as “making us look up into our imagination. We are affected by mind-tripping on the tangible results of a man hard at his work as well as his pleasure. The culmination of his vision allows us, and coaches us, to loose ourselves in that vision, therefore enhancing it, in our mind’s eye, implanting the reflection for future referral. It is the pure pleasure of viewing a good painting. How much fun it is to create and indulge in one’s visual life.”

Somerhill Gallery is located in the Venable Center in Durham at 303 South Roxboro Street. For directions visit the website at  www.somerhill.com.

For more information on Jason Craighead and to see more of his work, visit www.jasoncraighead.com.

About Jason Craighead:

Jason Craighead is represented by Somerhill Gallery in Durham (www.somerhill.com), Broadhurst Gallery in Pinehurst (www.broadhurstgallery.com), Anne Irwin Fine Art in Atlanta, GA, (www.anneirwinfineart.com), and Bucks Gallery of Fine Art in Newtown, PA (www.bucksgalleryoffineart.com). He has been named Best Artist in Raleigh Metro Magazine’s annual MetroBravo reader’s poll for five consecutive years. His work has been featured in numerous gallery exhibits and belongs in many public and private art collections. An active member of the North Carolina arts community, he is now working with the Raleigh Arts Commission on its plans for future public art. He also frequently donates his work to charitable causes, including Works of Heart, the Triangle area’s annual premiere art auction to benefit The Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina. Recent donations to Works of Heart and the Raleigh Visual Arts Exchange’s fundraising auction broke both organizations’ records for largest winning bids. His studio is located in downtown Raleigh. For more information visit www.jasoncraighead.com.

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