"I used to think about it a lot back in school. Now I don't. We just do it." Dave Wofford, of Horse & Buggy Press, is describing the art that Antfarm creates in their two-story renovated brick warehouse that long ago used to be the home of Carolina Washboards on Raleigh's west side in Boylan Heights. "It's in all the spaces in between, really. Imagine the words 'art,' 'crafts' and 'design.' What we're doing is investigating all the stuff in between."
Antfarm's merry band of artsters and craftspeople share 10 studios in an open, creatively charged workshop atmosphere. A typical Antfarm day features media work in wood, clay, printmaking, painting, drawing and letterpress printing. Walls and worktables are covered with works-in-progress, illustrations, quilts, wood cuts, plant fibers, pottery, handmade paper and journals--brilliant evidence that art is happening right before your eyes.
"We're not a gallery, we're a community. Sure, we display and sell our arts and crafts here, but what I value is the group sense of seeing what each other's doing, giving and getting ideas. We all could be alone in our homes, doing our art, but together at Antfarm we each feed off the incredible collective energy," Woffard says. "Raleigh is finally starting to feel like a big city, an artist's place. There are a dozen studios, workshops and galleries within walking distance of Antfarm. Permanent Grin, freezetag and BLAM! are all close by. It's a great feeling to be able to stroll around and just pop in on a friend's studio."
This year's annual Antfarm open house takes place Oct. 8 from 2-5 p.m.. (Call 828-2514 or click on www.antfarmstudios.org for directions.)