505 South Blount Street, Raleigh
If there are now plenty of places to see weird art in the Triangle, that's partly thanks to Lump. Founding director Bill Thelen proved it was possible to plant a low-rent collective gallery on Blount Street, in the sleepy Southern city Raleigh was twenty years ago, and make it bloom. In the process, he helped pioneer the more versatile, experimental, provocative gallery scene we enjoy today. Lump has hosted nationally known artists like Shepard Fairey and Mark Mothersbaugh, but more important, it nurtured young artists who grew into pillars of the Raleigh scene, including Paul Friedrich, Laura Sharp Wilson, and Harrison Haynes. And it did so while pushing the edge of the avant-garde, sometimes controversially. (It once placed a convicted child molester in its storefront—as art.) But with Thelen finally stepping down after this twentieth season, dubbed "Lumpxx," and a new director coming in next year, will Lump stay ahead of the curve? Visit now in case not.