“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” - Pablo Picasso 

For 11 months of the year, the fourth Friday of each month (December excepted), downtown Fayetteville comes alive with art and artists of every stripe and color. Sometimes there are themes — November is special because of the Dicken’s holiday celebration which revisits A Christmas Carol and all things Victorian and Christmasy. In the fall, the International Folk Festival sets the tone for the 4th Friday celebrations not only at the Arts Council but all over downtown.

This month, showcasing our community’s young artists at the Art’s Council and in conjunction with the school system’s Arts Education Program, is the 11th Annual Cumberland County High School Juried Art Exhibition.

It opens at 7 p.m. and runs through 9 p.m. on Jan. 28, although the show will hang through Feb. 17.

The exhibit includes drawings, paintings, sculpture and mixed media artwork. Each entry will be judged by an art professional with recognition going to fi rst, second and third place along with honorable mentions. All students submitting artwork will receive a certifi cate of participation.

“We are in awe every year at the amazing work produced by our community’s tremendously talented high school students,” said Mary Kinny, marketing manager for the Arts Council Fayetteville/Cumberland County. “We really stress that this is not a ‘Come look at what these kids did’ kind of show. That is not the point of if it. These are students who are at the top of their class in terms of art and they’ve already been through a weeding out process in each of their schools to compete to be in this show. Then, this show is jured. It really is the best of the best i01-19-11-4th-friday.gifn terms of our high school students who are artists.”

Not only is this show a treat for the public, allowing a peek into the hearts and minds of local young adults and future leaders, it also provides the students with an opportunity to learn and grow as artists. As supporters of the arts, the Arts Council is pleased to have the opportunity to make “it possible for students to learn the important skills of critical thinking, making connections, expressing diversity and solving problems creatively, which will serve them in all facets of life.”

Don’t forget to check out the other exhibits, demonstrations and performances downtown, too.

City Center Gallery & Books is hosting scrimshander Ken Baldwin. Scrimshaw art is the etching of pictures onto whale bone or teeth.

Headquarters Library, on Maiden Lane is featuring blues band The Piedmont Rhythm Aces. We’re talking down-home music complete with string/washboard, guitar, mandolin and a fi ddle backing up the vocals.

Speaking of old-fashioned and down home, the Fayetteville Area Transportation Museum has a 1917 Model TT Ford truck – set up for moonshining – in the museum’s annex, alongside other artifacts of transportation from days gone by.

An off-shoot of Fourth Friday, Arts Alive starts at 6 p.m. and runs through 10 p.m. Here you can see artists at work demonstrating their craft.

This month, says Kinny, Kevin Gregory will sell and demonstrate his paintings, which range from colorful depictions of baby dinosaurs to dark and macabre monsters and zombies. Glasswork artist Shannon Davis will use a gasfueled torch to melt solid rods and hollow tubes of glass into figurines and jewelry. Deborah Crandall will sell handcrafted jewelry while Greg Hathaway and Nancy Edge demonstrate raku fi ring. Performance artists also provide entertainment for the crowd.

Photo, top right: “Vagabond” by Terry Sanford High student Jasmin Nieves, got honorable mention in the drawing category during the 2010 Cumberland County High School Juried Art Show.

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