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House calls, live arts and family jewels

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Weaving down the curling path that leads to Ginger Young's front door, you get a good idea of what awaits you beyond the threshold. Crocodiles and dogs carved from knotty trees silently bark as you pass, wrens and titmice roost in multi-colored birdhouses, and paintings of a lumpy figure pointing a sharpened finger swear "god loves you"--whether this statement is promise or threat is hard to tell.

Inside Young's home gallery, paintings, drawings and sculptures from the likes of Minnie Adkins, Sharon Hardy and Mose Tolliver claim every surface, creating a wonderland that's just as magical for adult visitors to temporarily inhabit, as it must be for her children to grow up in. Twice yearly, Young throws a silent auction, with ten percent of all sales and proceeds benefiting a local organization. Past occasions have helped Habitat for Humanity, Animal Protection Society, Music Maker Relief Foundation and many more. Young gets to giving again on Saturday, May 31 and Sunday, June 1, this time passing on the generosity to Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina. Guest artists Kasey Carneal and Peter Loose will be on hand, as well as Young's famed pound cake and children's activities aplenty. Call 932-6003, e-mail ginger@gingeryoung.com for details, or preview online at www.gingeryoung.com.

ArtsAlive! ArtsAlive! ArtsAlive! Not only fun to say, the Durham Arts Council's celebrational hoohah hailing its current exhibitions is a blast to attend. Food from Joe & Jo's, coffee from Broad Street Roasters and Blue Coffee Company, wine from Shelton Vineyards, plus Liggett & Myers Last Days in Durham, Laura Grey's photo documentary, Mythopoeia: A New Mythology for a New Race, Wolf Bolz's gorgeous collection of acrylic works and selections from Durham Art Guild's all-star squad: Susan Parrish, Susan Simone, Sharron Parker and Trena McNabb. The party is free from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, May 29, but cough up $8 at 7 p.m. ($6 in advance) and stick around for preservation advocate Tom Miller, who speaks on Durham's historic warehouses, investigating their past usage and importance, and speculating on their development in the future. We can only hope that someday they'll all be equipped with smoking sections as a reminder of their roots, a nod to logic and a slap in the face of hypocrisy. We'll see. Call 560-2726 for tickets.

Mother's Day has come and gone, and we've fifty weeks to agonize on cards, flowers, or perfume--best representing our appreciation of the women who spawned us. (Personally, I've established my own relevant tradition and send a big box of wire hangers, Bon-Ami powder, and Christina Crawford's child-rearing manual Mommie Dearest.) If you want to get the jump on next year, or a peek at what a mother/daughter relationship can generate (besides rising anti-depressant stock and tears, tears, tears) get thee to Meredith College and discover the result of a shared passion between family members. Mama Mary Ann Scherr and daughter Sydney Scherr have both mined the artistic and decorative possibilities of metals. Both women have earned multiple honors for their stunning jewelry pieces, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Museum for Women in the Arts for the elder and an American Jewelry Design Council Award for the younger. The exhibition closes on June 1, call 760-8332 for more information. EndBlock

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