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.


Jason Craighead To Participate in “The Study Group” Exhibition at The Collectors Gallery

progress-jan-08.jpgMarch 2, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) – Raleigh artist Jason Craighead will participate in a special exhibition at the Collector’s Gallery entitled “The Study Group.” The opening reception will be held Thursday, March 6 from 6-9 p.m. The show runs through April 12.

As a result of a long and mentoring relationship with the late and noted North Carolina artist George Bireline, Raleigh artists Robert Irwin and Bob Rankin formed a study group along with Anthony Ulinski, Richard Garrison, David Connell and Craighead. The group meets regularly to share ideas, offer critiques and support one another. The Collectors Gallery exhibit will showcase work by each artist in the group.

Represented in the Triangle by Somerhill Gallery in Chapel Hill, Craighead will hang two paintings: “Bridge Study #2” (25w x 30h) and “Progress Jan-08” (60w x 60h). Both pieces are part of a larger body of work depicting “idea on construction, deconstruction, revitalization and the energies produced in an urban environment,” he said. Other paintings in his newest series of work are currently on display at the Miriam Preston Block Art Gallery in the Raleigh Municipal Building.

The Collectors Gallery is a partnership between Rory Parnell, formerly of Raleigh Contemporary Gallery, and Megg Rader, former executive Director of Artspace. The gallery is located at in the historic City Market in downtown Raleigh and is part of the Moore Square Art District. For more information visit

Along with Somerhill Gallery, Jason Craighead is also represented by Broadhurst Gallery in Pinehurst; Anne Irwin Fine Art in Atlanta, Georgia; and Bucks Gallery of Fine Art in Newtown, Pennsylvania. For more information on the artist, contact Kim Weiss at blueplate pr: 919-272-8615;


Downtown Raleigh Art Gallery Presents New Works by Jason Craighead

January 15, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) – For the first time since October 2006, abstract expressionist Jason Craighead will present his latest work in a Raleigh venue when he joins artist Tricia McKellar for a special exhibit entitled “Microcosm/Macrocosm” to be held at the Miriam Preston Block Art Gallery in the Avery Upchurch Municipal Building in downtown Raleigh (222 West Hargett Street). The exhibit will open with an artists’ reception on First Friday, February 1, 5-7 p.m., and remain up through March 13.

Craighead, who recently served as a member of the City of Raleigh Arts Commission’s (RAC) 30th Anniversary Committee, will hang nine new paintings for the show ranging in size from approximately 16×18 to 80×80.

“My current work includes ideas on construction, deconstruction, revitalization, and the energies produced in an urban environment,” the artist said recently. “They’re not depictions of reality, but responses to the visual treat that is everyday city life within the structure and chaos that surrounds us. There is beauty to be found in the grit if we choose to be observant.”

The artist’s lasts Raleigh show was held at the former Glance Gallery on West Martin Street. He is currently represented by Somerhill Gallery in Chapel Hill, Broadhurst Gallery in Pinehurst, New Elements Gallery in Wilmington, Anne Irwin Fine Art in Atlanta, GA, and Bucks Gallery of Fine Art in Newtown, PA.

A selection panel of visual arts professionals and member of the Arts
Commission select the artists whose work is displayed in
the gallery. The Municipal Building Art Exhibition program began as a means to support Raleigh’s visual arts community with opportunities to exhibit work in a visible and professional downtown location. For more information contact June Guralnick at 919-890-3610.

For more information on Jason Craighead, contact Kim Weiss at blueplate pr, 919-272-8615;


When Objects Become Art: N.C. Architect Turns To Artists To Get The Job Done

January 11, 2008 (RALEIGH, NC) – “We talk about a concept and the artists take it from there,” Raleigh architect Frank Harmon, FAIA, told Residential Architect magazine in a recent article on the benefits of working with artists, rather than contractors, when a design detail needs a creative and often handmade solution. “Working with craftspeople is the most efficient way to get things done.”

Harmon was one of seven architects interviewed by author Cheryl Weber for the article, entitled “Supplied by Architect: working with fabricators to blur the boundaries between objects and art.” (RA, September-October 2007). He and the others regularly work with artists and craftspeople on their projects.

Harmon was specifically singled out for his award-winning work on a residence in Charleston, SC, that features 10 pivoting, perforated-metal panels which span, protect and shade the west-facing side of the house. Fabricated by Christian Karkow, a local metalsmith, the panels received an award in Residential Architect’s 2006 design competition in the “details” category.

“I knew that if I made a detailed drawing and gave it to the contractor, he would have charged $200,000,” Harmon told Weber. By working with a Karkow, “I got it done for a fraction of that.”

However, Harmon and the others stressed that saving money is certainly not the primary reason for bringing artists and craftsmen to the table. Their hands-on ingenuity is often invaluable.

“You don’t design it for them; then they become the worker,” he said. “You make a sketch and enroll them in the concept. They take it from there and usually make it better… We just leave it off the contractor’s drawing and say “supplied by architect.’”

The entire article can be read at by entering a search on the site for “supplied by architect.”

Frank Harmon’s work, which ranges from small sheds to 70,000-square-foot corporate headquarters, has received more AIA/NC awards than any other firm in the state and has been published in international, national and regional periodicals and books, including Architectural Record, Dwell and Waterfront Homes & Design. His work has become synonymous with sustainable, or “green,” architecture, and his firm was named Top Firm Of The Year by Residential Architect magazine in 2005. For more information, visit