LifeSpan Artist To Show New Works During NoDa Gallery Crawl

"The Colors of High Country" by Lisa Thompson

September 2, 2010 (CHARLOTTE, NC) – The LifeSpan Arts Studio in Charlotte’s historic NoDa arts district will host an opening reception for “The Color of High Country,” an exhibit of new paintings by Lisa Thompson, on Friday, September 3, from 5-8 p.m.

Lisa Thompson is a resident in one of the group homes in Charlotte for people with disabilities operated by RHA Howell, Inc., a statewide organization that has been serving people with disabilities and and their families for more than 35 years. Lisa receives day support at LifeSpan Arts, a community based arts program for individuals with cognitive and physical disabilities.

This isn’t Lisa’s first exhibition of her artwork. Earlier this year, she won first prize in a juried exhibition at the Enrichment Center in Winston Salem for a mixed media piece entitled “S. Lexington.”

“We all know she is a very talented artist, and we would love to see lots of people come out to support her and her work,” said Brittany Higginbotham, an arts assistant at LifeSpan.

LifeSpan Arts is part of LifeSpan, Inc., an organization that develops and operates programs that emphasize inclusion and choice in order to provide education, employment, and enrichment to individuals with developmental disabilities. For more information on the arts program, visit the Facebook page at

The LifeSpan Arts studio is located at 2424 N. Davidson St., Suite 110, Charlotte, NC 28205. Lisa Thompson’s opening reception is part of the NoDa district’s twice-monthly Gallery Crawl.

For more information on RHA Howell, visit

About RHA Howell, Inc.:

RHA Howell is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that has been helping people with disabilities and special needs, and their families, make choices to live more independently for more than 35 years. Integrity, high standards for quality, and hard work are at the core of every RHA Howell disability assistance program. Proven leaders in caring for people, RHA Howell, Inc. is a pioneering force in the field of human services, particularly supporting infants and children. For more information, go to


Jason Craighead To Participate In Major Group Exhibition

The Raleigh artist will show four works-on-paper in Green Hill Center show.

"Studio Floor Drawing 3" by Jason Craighead

August 30, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) — Raleigh artist Jason Craighead has been invited to participate in a major group exhibition at the Green Hill Center for NC Art in Greensboro, NC, entitled “Drawing Revisited.” The show will run from September 10 through October 31.

“Drawing Revisited” will showcase over 50 North Carolina artists who work “in a medium, which, in the digital age, may appear to be a slow and intimate art form,” according to the Center’s website. “Over 200 works on paper in graphite, watercolor, artist’s crayon, wash, charcoal and ink will attest to the ongoing vitality of drawing.”

Craighead will contribute four 22 by 30 mixed-media-on-paper works that he created “one Saturday morning on my porch while a friend was playing his guitar.” These particular pieces first appeared in a 2008 exhibit at the Fayetteville Museum of Art.

“These particular works represent a very specific moment in my past as an artist and human,” he said, “a moment of clarity and honesty — becoming confident in ‘feeling’.”

The opening reception for “Drawing Revisited” will be held Friday, September 10th, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Jason Craighead will present a lecture on the subject in the Center on October 13.

Jason Craighead is currently represented by Broadhurst Gallery in Pinehurst ( and by Flanders Gallery in Raleigh ( For more information on the artist, visit

The Green Hill Center for NC Art is located at 200 North Davie Street, Greensboro, NC 27401. For more information visit

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.

Jason Craighead Contributes “Recycled” Art to Green Frame Exposition

"Self & System" by Jason Craighead, mixed media on encyclopedia and column.

April 12, 2010 (RALEIGH, NC) –  Jason Craighead, an artist and the newest member of the Raleigh Arts Commission, is one of only 16 local artists who were invited by Builders of Hope to recycle discarded materials into works of art for “Green Frame: An Exposition in Reclaimed Materials” fundraiser. His composition, entitled “Self and System,” will be up for auction on April 24 at the Raleigh City Museum in downtown Raleigh along with the other artists’ works.

Builders of Hope CDC is a non-profit, tax-exempted corporation that works to provide quality affordable housing in cities and towns across the United States to stimulate revitalization and develop health, safe communities. “Green Frame, An Exposition in Reclaimed Materials,” is a fundraiser that, according to the website, “celebrates the mission of Builders of Hope through the vision of local artists. Using materials reclaimed from Builders of Hope, 16 invited artists have created unique interpretations of what it means to recycle, rebuild, and renew hope.”

Craighead and the other artists were asked to use items and materials that would otherwise be thrown away to create something of beauty and function. “Self and System” is a mixed media on encyclopedias and column sculpture. The artist describes his inspiration:

“This piece is commenting on education and the renewal of belief in the human self, how we lose it in our educational system and our efforts to achieve ‘status,’ then find ourselves feeling empty, even worthless, by this society’s definition. Returning focus to the self and not the struggle can bring about a community that works collectively and honestly. Less division and competition….no more good, better, best….education vs. inspiration.”

An accomplished artist who has been exhibited widely in galleries and museums, Jason Craighead was appointed to the Raleigh Arts Council earlier this month. Before that, he served on the Council’s Public Art Program. He has also donated numerous paintings to charitable art auctions for many years, including the Works of Heart auction for the Carolina AIDS Alliance and Visual Art Exchange’s annual fundraiser.

Builders of Hope’s Green Frame Exposition began with an “Official Opening Bash,” free and open to the public, at the City Museum on Friday, April 9. The Auction Party will be held in the Museum at Saturday, April 24, from 7-10 p.m. Auction tickets are $100 each or $175 per couple. The City Museum is located at 220 Fayetteville Street. To reserve tickets, call 800-277-6138 or email:

For more information on the event, including the list of all participating artists, visit

For more information on Jason Craighead, go to

About Jason Craighead:

Jason Craighead has been named Best Artist in Raleigh Metro Magazine’s annual MetroBravo reader’s poll for five consecutive years. His paintings have been featured in numerous gallery exhibits and belong to many public and private art collections. An active member of the North Carolina arts community, he has worked with the Raleigh Arts Commission on its plans for future public art and frequently donates his paintings to charitable causes, including Works of Heart, the Triangle area’s annual premiere art auction to benefit The Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina. For more information visit

Solo Show at Pinehurst Gallery To Feature Raleigh Artist Jason Craighead

"Whole" 100w x 64h, mixed media on canvas

March 3, 2010 (Pinehurst, NC) – Broadhurst Gallery in Pinehurst, NC, will open a solo exhibit of recent works by Raleigh artist Jason Craighead on Sunday, March 14, from 2-4 p.m. A gallery talk with the artist will begin at 4 p.m.

Jason Craighead is best known for his predominantly large-scale paintings that combine acrylic, oil pastel, and graphite in multiple layers of color, lines, and drips. For the Broadhurst show, he will hang 12 to 16 works that range from works on canvas and paper to works on book and encyclopedia covers, representing an evolution from the work he presented in his most recent show at Somerhill Gallery in Durham, NC.

“I always have the feeling of being right on the edge of something,” he said recently. “My work is always about growth and furthering exploration.”

The artist’s ongoing evolution is one of the reasons gallery owner Judy Broadhurst is excited about this show.

“I love to support an artist who realizes that change is important and necessary,” she said. “I love Jason’s new work. It’s more open, there’s more color. It is new for him and I support that. Jason is also great to work with, and I’m delighted that he will be at the opening and give a gallery talk. That’s another reason I’m excited about his show.”

Broadhurst also timed Craighead’s show to coincide with the busy tourist season in Pinehurst. “This is the time of year when anyone who plays golf wants to come to Pinehurst,” she said. “Since Jason is a contemporary artist, this is a good time of the year to have his show.”

Broadhurst Gallery is located at 2212 Midland Road, Pinehurst. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday 11am-5pm Saturday 1pm-4pm and evenings by appointment. For more information visit www.broadhurst

For more information on Jason Craighead and to see examples of his work, visit

About Jason Craighead:

Jason Craighead has been named Best Artist in Raleigh Metro Magazine’s annual MetroBravo reader’s poll for five consecutive years. His paintings have been featured in numerous gallery exhibits and belong to 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 paintings to charitable causes, including Works of Heart, the Triangle area’s annual premiere art auction to benefit The Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina. For more information visit

Triangle Modernist Hosts “Architects + Artisans”

January 13, 2010 (DURHAM, NC) – Triangle Modernist (TMH), the largest educational and historical archive for modernist residential design in the nation, will serve as a host site for “Architects + Artisans: Thoughtful Design for a Sustainable World,” a new design blog written and edited by Mike Welton.

“Architects + Artisans strives to wire itself into the coolest design trends on the planet,” said Welton. That sits well with George Smart, founder and director of TMH, who announced the association today.

“Architects + Artisans’ broad and knowledgeable perspective dovetails nicely with our targeted modernist focus,” says Smart.

Mike Welton’s articles and commentary on architecture, design and travel have been published in such national journals as Dwell, the New York Times, Interior Design and Travel + Leisure. This fall he launched a new monthly column on the business of architecture in Raleigh Metro Magazine.  The blog, however, allows the writer to step “beyond print and online publishing into a blog of my own – where good design and those who create it can be illuminated, demonstrated and discussed,” he said.

Welton says he intends for Architects + Artisans to be a “well-informed provider of content, images, and knowledge concerning excellent architecture, artisanship and sustainability for the 21st century.  It is not just about designers – but about the people and products that make a well-designed place ring true.”

“Smart’s is a proven leader in raising the consciousness of the state and nation concerning mid-century modern architecture,” said Welton. “It’s a distinct honor and pleasure for Architects and Artisans to be included on his website.”

“Architects + Artisans: Thoughtful Design for a Sustainable World” was created with help from art director Ann Rudy and web navigator Tola Oguntoyinbo. The direct link is:

“TMH is proud – and privileged – to be the first syndicator of Architects + Artisans,” said Smart. “We wish Mike the best and will feature his blog prominently on the TMH home page.”

For more information on Triangle Modernist Houses, visit

About Triangle Modernist Houses

Triangle Modernist Houses (TMH) is a 501C3 nonprofit established in 2007 to restoring and growing modernist architecture in the Triangle. The award-winning website, now the largest educational and historical archive for modernist residential design in America, continues to catalog, preserve, and advocate for North Carolina modernism.  TMH also hosts popular modernist house tours several times a year, giving the public access to the Triangle’s most exciting residential architecture, past and present. These tours raise awareness and help preserve these “works of art” for future generations. Visit the website at

Raleigh Artists To Open “Studio 600” on Glenwood South

Jason Craighead © f8 Photo Studios

November 2, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) — Artists Jason Craighead and David Green will open Studio 600, their new working studios, to the public during Raleigh’s First Friday Art Walk, November 6, starting at 7 p.m. Studio 600 is located at 600 Glenwood South, Raleigh, NC,  between the 606 Lounge and Abbey Carpets.


After working out of a spare bedroom-turned-studio in his downtown Raleigh apartment for several years, Craighead was seriously looking for separate space when two things came together: His friend, mixed-media artist David Green, also needed a studio, and the warehouse space behind Abbey Carpets at 600 Glenwood South became available.


“Studio 600 – which is simply named for the address – will make us more accessible to the public,” said Craighead. “It also gives us a place to create work without having to live in it. And it gives us a great place to collaborate on some work. I want to do other things, besides painting.”


At approximately 1000 square feet, the new studios offer plenty of storage space to accommodate the artists’ completed works. Craighead’s paintings tend to be large, so getting them out of his downtown apartment was a major plus, he said.


Craighead and Green have up-fitted the warehouse-turned-studios themselves, with a little help from friends — framing out, dry-walling and painting the interior, and installing lighting. When Studio 600 opens to the public on November 6, the interior will feature a small entrance gallery/foyer, additional display walls beyond and to the right of that area, dedicated working space for each artist, and ample storage units.

studio floor drawing 3
"Studio Floor Drawing," mixed media on paper, by Jason Craighead


About the entrance area, Craighead noted that he and Green do not intend to use it just to display their own work. They will invite other artists to use the space for shows and art installations.


“If you’re going to participate in the community, why just hang your own work? Participate in the community,” he said. “Let somebody else have some fun.”


He noted, however, that “shows” are only for a day and a half. Studio 600 will be open to the public each First Friday and the following Saturday. After that, all but the front area is strictly for creating art work and open otherwise only by appointment.


“This is not a gallery,” he stressed. “It’s a working studio.”


For more information on Studio 600, contact Jason Craighead at; or call 919-946-4219.


About Jason Craighead:


Jason Craighead has been named Best Artist in Raleigh Metro Magazine’s annual MetroBravo reader’s poll for five consecutive years. His paintings have been featured in numerous gallery exhibits and belong to 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 paintings to charitable causes, including Works of Heart, the Triangle area’s annual premiere art auction to benefit The Alliance of AIDS Services – Carolina. For more information visit

Kimberly Alvis Opens Still-Life Exhibit in Cameron Village

Still life by Kimberly Alvis
Still life by Kimberly Alvis

September 1, 2009 (RALEIGH, NC) – Chapel Hill artist Kimberly Alvis will contrast her classical approach to still-life painting with Raleigh artist Eric McRay’s more contemporary interpretation when the Little Art Gallery & Craft Collection in Cameron Village in Raleigh opens an exhibit of new works by both artists on Saturday, September 12. The artists’ reception will be held from 3-5 p.m. and the show will run through October 10.

“What makes the show so interesting is seeing how two artists interpret the same subject matter — still-lifes — so differently,” said Little Art Gallery owner Rosanne Green Minick.

Minick noted that Alvis’ work embraces the more traditional, painterly approach to still-life painting while McRay’s is more illustrative and whimsical.

Still life by Kimberly Alvis
Still life by Kimberly Alvis

Alvis, an award-winning artist who is best known for her still lifes and landscapes, commented on her thought process when she begins a painting: “When I put together a still life, or even when I am picking a landscape to paint, I try to think abstractly. I try to break everything down to the most simple elements, like beautiful colors, interesting shapes, and a flow of light that will take the viewer’s eye through the painting.”

Alvis’ still life paintings often feature elements from her extensive gardens in Chapel Hill, along with fresh fruits and interesting pottery or porcelain. When asked about her compositional choices, she said, “When I choose an item, I am never really thinking in terms of what the object actually is. I might be thinking a round object with a warm color would work well in this composition. Let me try a peach!”

Alvis’ still lifes and other works have been exhibited nationally at such venues as The Art Students League, The Salmagundi Club, and the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit, all in New York City; and the Huntsman Fine Arts Gallery in Aspen, Colorado. Her work has received numerous awards including Best In Show two years in a row from The Arts Students League Annual Student Exhibition in New York City.

Kimberly Alvis is represented in the Triangle region by Little Art Gallery & Craft Collection in Raleigh and by Somerhill Gallery in Durham.

The Little Art Gallery is located at 432 Daniels Street. For more information and directions, go to

For more information on Kimberly Alvis and to see more of her work, visit

posted by blueplate pr

“Open Sky Art” Exhibit at Caribou Coffee

Artist Scott Myers at work on an "en plein air" painting for Open Sky Art.
Artist Scott Myers at work on an "en plein air" painting for Open Sky Art.

June 11, 2009 (CHAPEL HILL, NC) – Joseph Rowand, director and curator at Somerhill Gallery in Durham, was stunned to learn that the artists who participated in Kimberly Alvis’ “Open Sky Art” event on Sunday, June 7, began and completed their paintings in just a few hours that day. Rowand arrived at Caribou Coffee on 110 West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill late that afternoon to select the top three ribbon-winners among the 8 completed works.

“I thought they started three days ago,” he said as he studied the paintings now displayed on the walls of the downtown coffee shop.

Artists in the gardens
Artists in the gardens

Open Sky Art was an “en plein air” (French for “in the open air”) painting session hosted by Chapel Hill artist Kimberly Alvis in her lush gardens just outside the downtown district. Participating artists chose whatever element or view they wanted to paint on Alvis property, which includes a pond and small wooden bridge, pool, gazebo, extensive gardens in bloom and ornamental trees.

The artists brought their own supplies and painted outdoors from 8 a.m. to around 2 p.m. before delivering the completed works – most of which were also framed – to Caribou Coffee’s West Franklin Street location, where they became part of the Open Sky Art Exhibit to celebrate “en plein air” painting.

Painting "en plein air"
Painting "en plein air"

An advocate and veteran of open-air painting, Kimberly Alvis contributed three of her own oil paintings for the show, although as host and a member of the Somerhill Gallery stable of artists, her works were not included in the judging for the three winners.

For First Place, Rowand selected an 8×10 piece of the pond and bridge, rendered in pastels, by Linda Wood of Wood Design & Art Studio in Raleigh. The painting is titled “June Garden” and Wood will receive the only cash prize.

Second Place went to Scott Meyers of Chapel Hill, a member of the Orange County Artists Guild, for his 14×17 oil painting of an old Adirondack chair sitting by the bank of the pond.

Third Place went to Tesh Parekh, co-owner of IWP Photography and a member of the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, for a 12×16 watercolor of the pond and surrounding gardens — one of two pieces Parekh completed that day.

Open Sky Art event, sponsored by Kimberly Alvis
Open Sky Art event, sponsored by Kimberly Alvis

Kimberly Alvis sponsored the Open Sky Art event and exhibit to celebrate “en plein air” painting and go expose artists who enjoy it to a wider audience.

“I’m very grateful to the management of Caribou on Franklin Street for allowing us to display our exhibit there,” she said.

The Open Sky Art Exhibit will remain in Caribou Coffee at 110 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill,  through mid-July and will be part of the town’s Second Friday Art Walk.

About Kimberly Alvis: An accomplished artist, Kimberly Alvis is recognized for her representational work in oil on canvas, linen and panel. She is represented in the Triangle area for Somerhill Gallery in Durham ( and the Little Art Gallery & Craft Collection in Raleigh ( According to Somerhill Gallery’s Joseph Rowand, Alvis’ work offers “a style reminiscent of the 17th century Dutch and Spanish masters. We encounter with Kim’s work an artist who celebrates the past, deploying paint and light to exquisitely delineate her own compositions.”  To see more of her work, visit

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Kimberly Alvis Presents “Open Sky Art: An Event, An Exhibit”

Kimberly Alvis in her Chapel Hill studio.
Kimberly Alvis in her Chapel Hill studio.

May 13, 2009 (CHAPEL HILL, NC) —  Chapel Hill artist Kimberly Alvis will present “Open Sky Art — An Event, An Exhibit” in June. On Sunday, June 7, Alvis will host an “en plein air” painting session in her own gardens. By the end of the day, work completed during the painting session will be included in a special exhibit (location to be announced) that will run into July 12, spanning possibly two Second Friday Art Walks.

Joseph Rowand, the celebrated owner and curator of Somerhill Gallery in Durham, will serve as judge for the Open Sky Art exhibit, selecting a first, second, and third-place winner. The first-place winner will receive a cash prize.

“En plein air” painting – French for “in the open air” — challenges artists to create works outside of their studios, using what they see and feel around them in the land- or streetscape as inspirations for their work. During the Open Sky Art event, participating artists will have Kimberly Alvis’ lush gardens, backyard pond and parade of ducks as potential subjects.

Alvis frequently participates in plein air painting sessions through PAINT NC and Outdoor Painters in Graham, and she recently hosted a small painting session in her gardens through PAINT NC.

“I love plein air painting myself,” Alvis said, “especially this time of year.”

Open Sky Art — the event and exhibit — arose from her desire to attract more artists to the process of outdoor painting, to expose their work to a greater audience, and to give participating artists a chance to have their work seen by an expert of Rowand’s caliber.

“I’m delighted that Joe has agreed to serve as our judge,” said Alvis, who is represented by Somerhill Gallery.

Alvis will announce the exhibition location prior to the painting session.

Artists who participate must bring all of their own supplies and prepare their paintings for hanging prior to the exhibit. Rowand will determine the top three winners after the exhibit is mounted.

As the host and sponsor of Open Sky Art, Alvis will not paint during the event or include her work in the judging process, but she will hang a completed painting in the exhibit.

Artists must register to participate in Open Sky Art: An Event, An Exhibit. Registration forms are available for download only on Alvis’ website:

Alvis’ publicist, Kim Weiss of blueplate pr in Raleigh, is assisting in the event and exhibit and can answer any questions. She can be contacted at; 919-272-8615.

Kimberly Alvis is an accomplished artist represented in the Triangle by Somerhill Gallery in Durham and the Little Art Gallery & Craft Collection in Raleigh. To see more of her work, visit

posted by blueplate pr

Porto Announces Its 2008 “CHAIRity” Art Event to Benefit Habitat for Humanity

March 3, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) – To celebrate the role artists play in advancing cultural and social development, and to align that role with the contribution Habitat for Humanity makes to society, Porto, a fine home furnishings store in Raleigh and Chapel Hill (, has announced its second gala fundraiser for Habitat/Wake County, which will be held in the Raleigh location in North Hills on Saturday, October 18.

Porto is now inviting Triangle area artists to “recycle” used wooden chairs — in stock at Habitat/Wake’s ReStore Center in Raleigh — into one-of-a-kind works of art. The chairs are free to artists, who will be asked to translate this year’s theme: “Going Green Just Got Elegant,” a Porto slogan that reflects the stores’ commitment to sustainable furniture manufacturing.

The chairs-turned-art must be completed by August 30 and delivered to Porto. They will then be exhibited in public spaces around Raleigh for a month leading up to the evening of October 18, when gala attendees will bid on these unusual works of original art (some in a silent auction, others “live” via an auctioneer). Seventy-five percent of the winning bid for each door will be donated to Habitat/Wake County. The remaining 25 percent goes to the artists.

How artists use the chairs and translate the theme of the “CHAIRity” is completely up to them. Functional or not, construction or deconstruction – whatever they want to do with their chairs is up to their imaginations. They may even “reinvent” a chair into something else entirely.

Porto held its first Habitat/Wake County fundraiser a little over a year ago and raised over $14,000, which was used to purchase materials for a Habitat house that is now occupied by its new owner. Members of the Porto team helped build the house as well.

Artists who want to participate should contact Kim Weiss at blueplate pr (919-272-8615; no later than April 1. Anyone interested in participating in this year’s CHAIRity — as hosts for the chairs-turned-art, as sponsors to provide food or wine for the gala, or in another way – should also contact Kim Weiss as soon as possible.

Habitat/Wake County’s ReStore is located at 2420 Raleigh Boulevard. Habitat has set aside at least 30 specific chairs for this purpose.