by Bob Geary
No sooner did the new Contemporary Art Museum come to life in the Warehouse District than Flanders Gallery was discovered right next door — great space, nice works — and today the Visual Art Exchange announced that it will move in September from City Market to a new home right down the street from the CAM.
The Visual Art Exchange is, it says, Raleigh's oldest nonprofit group that's focused on the visual arts. It's also of late the management arm of Sparkcon, of which hopefully you've heard?
Put the VAE with the CAM and Designbox and Flanders, and apparently there are other galleries in the vicinity that I don't know (The Curatory — ah, it's in Raleigh Denim — and The Galleries and Studios at 311), and you have the makings of a pretty fabulous arts destination. Just add transit.
And may I say here, too, that one of my favorite places to eat in Raleigh, Humble Pie, is around the corner from the CAM? Best outdoor dining in Raleigh imho. Or maybe tied with P.R. — which is not in the Warehouse District.
Anyway, we had a great time First Friday at Flanders and then at CAM and then, as I just explained to Sarah Powers of VAE, at Flex, where my rendition of the theme from "Gilligan's Island" was very well-received. (They have this great mix videotape of show tunes and such ....)
Sarah sends this:
Visual Art Exchange (VAE) is pleased to announce that it will move a new gallery space in the Warehouse District in September 2011. The space is located at 309 W. Martin Street, just down the street from the new Contemporary Art Museum in a neighborhood that is emerging as Raleigh’s new art district. There, VAE will join The Galleries and Studios at 311, Flanders Gallery, Designbox and The Curatory.
In the last five years, VAE has grown to meet the demands of the artist community in Raleigh. Through innovative marketing and programming, expanded exhibition opportunities and more aggressive outreach into the community, VAE has seen a significant increase in revenue and participation in its programs. VAE’s budget has grown by 63% since the 2005-06 fiscal year. This increase has allowed VAE to create new initiatives as well as grow and improve its programs and exhibitions. The new space is 4,080 sq/ft, which is more than 3 times the space and will accommodate the growth of the organization.
VAE executive director Sarah Powers says, “The move will double the size of our Exchange Gallery and main gallery and allow VAE to add a new exhibition space called ’The Cube’ The Cube will allow for a year-round schedule of exhibitions and an expanded opportunity for artists who work in alternative mediums. Being able to accommodate the growing number of artists in our community is an important reason for this move.”
Visual Art Exchange // SPARKcon
Visual Art Exchange (VAE) is the longest running non-profit visual arts organization in Raleigh. Founded in 1980 as Wake Visual Arts Association, VAE’s mission is to support all artists, particularly emerging, and connecting the community to the arts. Today, VAE is a creativity incubator that provides opportunities, exhibitions and entrepreneurial training for artists. VAE is also the organizing force behind SPARKcon, an interdisciplinary art and design festival and showcase held each fall in Downtown Raleigh.