City Center Gallery and Books isn’t like the large chain book stores. Located in downtown Fayetteville at 112 Hay Street, it is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon and get in touch with the local artistic community. Diane Parfitt is the owner of the City Center Gallery and Books, and for her, this bookstore is a dream come true.
“I always wanted to open a bookstore. I was always in a book club or reading. I just loved the atmosphere. I was a nurse and I worked as a nurse for years. So it was never really something I thought would actually happen. I just thought to
myself, wouldn’t it be great,” Parfitt says.
Parfitt’s journey to fulfilling her long-time dream of owning a bookstore, wasn’t direct.
“When my husband and I travel, we always find the local bookstores and galleries. We are art lovers, especially original pieces. We collected a lot of local art from Fayetteville artists. In 2000, when we bought this space we thought, why not make this official? So we rented out a space in downtown and had a gallery for a few years. We were renovating our space, and as we got closer we thought that having the gallery by itself might not be the best option,” she explained. “I always wanted a bookstore, so why not? A bookstore and a gallery are a perfect combo!”
City Center Gallery and Books is primarily a used bookstore. Much of the selection consists of classics, but there is a small section of new books that explore local history or are written by local writers. The art displayed in the gallery is also from local artists. The exhibit currently on display is Stephanie Bostock’s work, which will be displayed until May 22. Parfitt and her husband choose the artists to display in their gallery with tremendous care both by exploring local art shows and reviewing portfolios that artists submit themselves.
Bostock’s work is a great example of this process.
“Stephanie Bostock called us one day and introduced herself. She was getting back into art and had never been in a gallery and she wanted us to consider her art. So we arranged to meet and we went to her studio, which is in the back of her home. We walked in and in less than a minute I could see how wonderful her work was! It was an instantaneous connection. It really spoke to me. It is such a refreshing and up beat style. She has a couple of styles like watercolor and some more abstract work. It really spoke to me,” Parfitt explained.
The next exhibit will be a compilation of several artists that embrace a summer and beach theme. All pieces displayed in the gallery are available for purchase. “Stephanie’s work is very affordable and most local artists are. You can decorate your home with pieces of and about Fayetteville or by Fayetteville artists that you have never seen before. They also make really wonderful gifts, especially for people who lived in Fayetteville and are moving,” Parfitt said.
Find out more about City Center Gallery and Books at www.facebook.com/citycenter.galleryandbooks. Find out more about Stephanie Bostock’s art at www.stephaniebostockart.com.