Bill Thelen to Step Down as Director of Pioneering Raleigh Gallery Lump | Arts

Bill Thelen to Step Down as Director of Pioneering Raleigh Gallery Lump


  • photo by Skillet Gilmore
  • Lump

An upcoming installation by the Team Lump collective, Arise! Bald Man! King of Hair People!, will close Lump’s twentieth-anniversary season. It also marks an even bigger milestone: the end of Bill Thelen's long tenure as the director of the Raleigh gallery. 

In an email to the INDY today, Thelen confirmed that he’ll step down in July. “The space will move to being a nonprofit with a new director, and I'll still be on the advising board,” he says. “There is going to be a reconfiguring of the space in the near future. We are really excited about taking Lump into a new format."

As the INDY reported last year, Lump—with its avant-garde tendencies, collective approach, and grungy vibe—was a pioneering space in the Triangle's gallery scene, which hardly existed when Thelen and Med Byrd opened Lump on Blount Street in the mid-nineties.

Thelen, an artist and curator, has presided over the space the entire time; he has also worked with arts institutions like CAM Raleigh (where he curated the impressive drawing show The Nothing That Is last year) and Flanders Gallery, which moved into Lump's building in 2014.

Appropriately, Arise!, the final show under Thelen's directorship, is a tribute to him. It runs from May 6 through June 11.

“Last December I sent an email out to all the Team Lump members, who are scattered all over, asking them what they wanted to do for the last show," Thelen says. "They came up with the idea to honor me with a show about 'bald' since I've been drawing bald guys for the last twenty years. Since most of the people have moved on from the area, it will be a sort of a homecoming as well, and I am turning fifty next week to boot.”

Keep an eye on the INDY for more details about Lump's new director and new direction as they develop. 

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