08-25-10-joyful-patterns-by-aja-smith.gif4th Friday celebration in downtown Fayetteville is once again changing. What began years ago to focus on the arts with a gallery walk along Hay Street, then Maxwell Street, became less and less about the arts and more and more about, well, I’m not sure!

Six months ago the Arts Alive initiative welcomed artists back to Maxwell Street, this time artists are not only in the galleries but also on Maxwell Street to show and demonstrate their art and their craft under individual canopies. Lights illuminate the artists and their work when night falls.

Visiting Maxwell Street you see artists showing you first hand what they can do as they demonstrate their art — from glass blowing and metalsmithing, to a relatively new group called the Feral Arts Collective. All of the artists are ready and willing to talk about the process and answer any questions.

Gallery One13, run by the Fayetteville Art Guild, has rented the space to a young group of artists known as S.T.U.N. Art. The S.T.U.N artists hope their juried exhibition, Exposed, will produce evidence of their mission to “provide a venue for local underground artists to exhibit their work and network with other artists.”

S.T.U.N. also strives to “source art from the genres of post modernism, electronic art, pop surrealism, low brow, installation, new-media art, performance art, outsider art, street art, graffiti and other less traditional genres.”

Angela Williams, the daughter of a military family who retired in Fayetteville, and Shantel Scott, from Las Vegas, Nev., came up with the idea for S.T.U.N. While art students at Fayetteville State University, the young artists became close friends, and after graduating they assessed the arts in Fayetteville and wanted to find ways to exhibit their works of art and include others in their pursuit.

Always ready to talk about S.T.U.N., and welcome people into the fold, Williams was eager to share her opinion and experiences as a young artist: “Fayetteville has a pretty established arts scene and it can be pretty intimidating when you are a young artist fresh out of college.”

Williams noted how she, Scott and their other classmates felt there was a void in the arts for them, so they decided to organize their own organization. Williams noted, “When we had our senior art exhibit, my introduction gave the first hint of S.T.U.N. It’s an acronym that stands for Social Therapy Un-Noticed. If you don’t understand, just read S.T.U.N. backwards.”

Scott declared the sentiments of both young women: “Exposed presents work from artists who have never before exhibited in Fayetteville and a wider variety of genres. Through word of mouth and social networking sites such as Facebook we have obtained a substantial following of artists and art enthusiasts and have received quite a few inquiries about the second show and expect to see a lot of foot traffic on 4th Friday. Bottom line — we provide the venue, you bring the creative vibe.”

Both artists predicted Exposed will be even better than their first attempt at an exhibition at Gallery One13 in March 2010, in a exhibit titled Indie Visual. Scott was enthusiastic when she reported Indie Visual consisted of a variety of genres including, work from tattoo artists, assemblage, ceramics, relief sculpture, found-object sculpture, digital art, photography, Afro futurism, geometric abstraction, figurative abstraction, pop surrealism, and mixed-media pieces.

Scott made this remark about Indie Visual exhibition: “More than150 people attended the opening. I’d say that’s a pretty hefty accomplishment for two neophyte art school graduates.”

Congratulations to the Fayetteville Art Guild for sharing their exhibition venue to support and encourage young artists in the area who are trying to make a difference in the art community. Making a difference includes people taking the time to visit Gallery One13 each 4th Friday and buying artwork helps keep artists in Fayetteville.

There is plenty of time to stop by Gallery One13 and see Exposed since the exhibit will remain up until September 19. Visiting the gallery is the best way to support S.T.U.N.’s mission to “bring underground artists together, bring exposure to their work — and network with other artists. Visit their online site: www. stunart.org

If you start real early for 4th Friday, before 4 p.m., there is still time for you to see Discovering Art 2010 at Rosenthal Gallery on the campus of Fayetteville State University.

Highlighted on the Arts Council’s website, Discovering Art 2010 is an exhibit with more than 200 works from three different student art programs — fall and winter 2009, spring 2010 — and summer 2010 art programs provided by the Fayetteville Art Guild at Fayetteville State University. The art classes included: art history and introduction to artists, ceramics, paper-bowl making, making a sketchbook, wet on wet painting, printmaking, pencil drawing, graphic computer art, personal image collages, portraits in acrylic, watercolors, masks, tessellations, making stencils and spray painting, making paper airplanes, perspective drawing, monoprints, free drawing, jewelry making and abstract acrylics.

What is particularly important is more than one hundred atrisk young people had an opportunity to create, explore different art mediums, think in new ways, and have fun. The program was made possible by the funding and support of the Cumberland Community Foundation with its Summertime Kids Program, The Junior League of Fayetteville, CommuniCare, Inc., Cardinal Clinic, FSU Department of Fine and Performing Arts and Fayetteville/Cumberland County Arts Council with its Project Support Grant.

Rose-Ann Bryda, one of the programs coordinators was eager to talk about a program that is going into its fourth year. Bryda explained how they “began with just a fall program and one collaborating treatment partner with classes in the meeting room of the CommuniCare building. After collaborating with Dwight Smith at Fayetteville State University, we began to hold classes at FSU. Later, Dr. Rollinda Thomas at FSU joined the team. It is just great for the children. For some of the children it is their first interaction with a college campus.”

Bryda continued, “We have carefully grown the program over the years and now it encompasses fall, spring and summer community-art programming with classes at FSU. We collaborate with two treatment programs, one at Cardinal Clinic and Cumberland County CommuniCare and a program at the detention center. We get funding from The Arts Council, Cumberland Community Foundation, and The Florence Roger Charitable Trust.”

In the Discovering Art programs there is much to celebrate. Bryda also commented on how they have documented growth evidenced in pre and post tests as well as in their work product.

Bryda stated: “We have collected anecdotal evidence that the program is making a difference in the lives of young people. For example, at the detention center there was a decrease in displays of negative behaviors because kids wanted to take part in art class, parents of participants look at their child and their work with pride sometimes for the first time, relatives get invited to an art opening instead of being regaled with stories of probation and suspension, former participants are seen enjoying 4th Friday downtown, counselors learn a new way to interact with those they serve, kids learn new ways to solve problems and learn new ways to interact.”

All the coordinators in the Discovering Art programs and the art teachers believe the purpose of the program is to be a gang prevention initiative and to improve life out comes for at risk and incarcerated youth.

Bryda said all the instructors and teachers feel “art is a level playing field. Look at what we offer young people: an opportunity to view themselves as artists instead of their various labels such as delinquent, and at risk. We provide positive role models and an alternate way to look at life. As well, we provide a positive environment for young people to express themselves and new tools with which to do so. Best of all, we bring the arts to an otherwise unserved population.”

Discovering Art 2010 will remain up until September 3. To participate in the various Discovering Art programs as a paid art instructor, interested art teachers or recent art graduates are encouraged to send a resume to mailto:ra.bryda@ earthlink.net. For information call Dwight Smith at 901-672-1795 or Rose-Ann Bryda 910-425-6670.

Although this article has focused on S.T.U.N and Discovering Art 2010, everyone should stop by all the galleries along Maxwell Street and visit the Arts Council on Hay Street — even after 4th Friday.

The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County is hosting two small exhibits, The Parade of Homes competition and this year’s winners in the annual competition by the Fayetteville Art Guild titled Visual Pleasures. For information call the Arts Council at 910-323-1776.

The Cape Fear Studios on Maxwell Street is hosting the reception and exhibition of the ceramics of Takuro and Hitomi Shibata. Both artists represent the studio of Touya Wood Fired Pottery. For information on this exhibit and future exhibitions call the Cape Fear Studios at 910-433-2986

As I began the close of this article, I realized the Fayetteville Art Guild has, in some way, been involved in three of the five exhibitions listed. For a 40-year-old art organization, with many established artists, I’m thinking the Fayetteville Art Guild is doing their part to make the arts viable in Fayetteville. For information about the Guild call 9910-223-2787.

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