It’s that time again folks. Fourth Friday is upon us and downtown Fayetteville is going to be filled with exhibits, entertainment and shopping — and don’t forget the great atmosphere and food that’s such a big part of every good party.  Mark your calendar for Friday, May 23 and come check out all the fun downtown.
     A great place to start the evening’s adventure is 301 Hay St. The Arts Council is hosting an exhibit by the students of Cumberland County’s high schools. Not only is this an opportunity to support the artistic youth in the community, but it’s a chance to get a peek into the minds of these talented young folks. The exhibit includes drawings, paintings, sculpture and mixed-media art. The entries are all judged by an art professional and recognition will be given to the artist who are juried as the first, second, third place and honorable mentions.
     Hay Street is always filled with great stuff, but don’t forget the side streets. There are plenty of gems there, too. Cape Fear Studios on Maxwell Street is hosting guest artists Margie Graves and Joanne Gillworth. Graves and Gillworth both made their way to Southern Pines from the north and are active in the local arts community. “Joanne and Margie have had shows in the past individually (at Cape Fear Studios) and Joanne has taught workshops before,” said Kate Harding, Cape Fear Studios administrator. “So we invited them back. We like to invite people who don’t necessarily live in Fayetteville so we can bring new art to the area to feature artists in the front main gallery.”
     It turns out that the two are more than artistic peers. “I actually didn’t know that they knew each other and are friends,” noted Harding. “Margie suggested could they maybe do a show together, which is interesting because they have very different styles of work.”
     {mosimage}Gillworth’s niche is still lifes and landscapes while Graves does a lot of abstract work. Harding doesn’t see that as a problem though. She actually considers it a strength. “Their colors complement each other very well. I think their work is going to look absolutely beautiful together,” she said.
     Gillworth recalls how the two met. “We actually met through somebody offering me a commission. I don’t do abstract work and knew she did and sent it her way. We got together from that and started working together and have been art buddies ever since.”
     Gillworth uses photographs, most of which she has taken herself, and renders her creations from those images. However, the two are known to collaborate occasionally. “My work is very realistic and hers is abstract. It is an interesting combination,” said Gillworth. “This year we have been trying to meet to explore a new medium as well as each other’s style. I am getting more abstract and she is getting more realistic.”
      The exhibit comes in on 4th Friday and will be featured in the gallery until June 25.
While you are there check out the works of the Cape Fear Studios member artists. The studio is an artist’s co op that provides not only gallery and retail space to its members but also boasts seven studios. According to Harding, Cape Fear Studios is one of the only places in Fayetteville where you can actually see artists at work. “Some of our members rent studios and they not only display works there but they also usually have works in progress on display so you can see a piece actually being created. A lot of times you can find an artist here actually working which I think is a really unique opportunity,” she said. {mosimage}
     The building has two exhibit spaces. Graves and Gillworth will be in the main gallery, and the co-op artists have displays in the hall. With 47 members, there is something for everyone. “A lot of people come in on Fourth Friday and don’t know that we are more than just a gallery,” said Harding. “We sell all the pieces that we have, but we don’t just sell giant pieces of art work. We also have tons of pieces of pottery and jewelry. We have things from $5 up to several hundred.”
     The party starts at 7 p.m. Hope to see you there!

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