4th Friday started as a gallery crawl sponsored by the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County. Over the years, the event grew and more and more of the downtown businesses became involved, adding extra events and performances to the monthly celebration that has become a downtown tradition that so many people look forward to with anticipation. It got so big that the Arts Council and the Downtown Alliance decided to split the responsibilities. The Arts Council handles Arts Alive and the information regarding the local galleries and the Downtown Alliance coordinates the concerts, themed events like costume competitions and other downtown events.

Arts Alive takes place on Maxwell Street (the street between the Arts Council building and Beef Obrady’s). It lasts from 6-10 p.m. and features artists performing, exhibiting their works and interacting with the public. If you have ever wanted to watch a basket weaver in action or learn about the secrets of throwing pottery, come on down and ask the artists yourself. They are there not only to entertain, but to educate and inspire, too.

4th Friday takes place from 6-10 p.m. all over downtown and includes not only Hay Street, but reaches down the side streets and even over to the Cumberland County Headquarters Library.

“While the both 4th Friday and Arts Alive are from 6-9 p.m. each business and/or gallery determines their own schedule,” said Sheri Collins, 4th Friday coordinator, Fayetteville Downtown Alliance. “For instance, the Arts Council hosts a reception for their new exhibit each month from 7-9 p.m. But there is defi nitely plenty to do for anyone who can make it downtown between 6 and 9 p.m.”

This month, 4th Friday falls on April 22 and promises to be as full of fun and excitement as ever. The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County will host the opening reception of the Public Works Exhibit featuring the work of local artists from Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson and Scotland Counties, Fort Bragg or Pope Army Air Base. It’s open to everyone and gives remarkable insight to the different perspectives of the artists in the area.

It is a chance for all local artists to showcase their talents and share their passion with the community, not to mention a wonderful way for the folks in the area to see some of the great talent that resides locally. The exhibit will hang through June 18, so if you don’t make it to 4th Friday, be sure to stop by the Arts Council building at 301 Hay St. and check it out.

04-13-11-4th-friday.jpgCity Center Gallery & Books is pleased to host a “meet and greet” with the new president of Methodist University, Dr. Ben Hancock, and with author and former newsman Bill Billings, who has written a history of Methodist University. Copies of From Cotton Field to University will be available for signing.

Also showcasing local artists this month is Cape Fear Studios. Located at 148 Maxwell St., Cape Fear Studios is the only visual-arts cooperative in Fayetteville. They’ve recently featured the work of international glass artist Robert Levin and just hosted an exhibit titled Create: The Mysterious Art of Wood which showcased the works of artists from North Carolina to Hawaii to England. The Create exhibit can be viewed until April 20. When their newest show is presented to the public on April 22, it will be the Annual Member Show. The exhibit will include the works of 2-D artists who paint in water color, acrylics, oils and more, as well as the works of 3-D artists who work in fused glass, wood-working, basketry, pottery and jewelry. The styles range from classic to modern to eclectic. You’ll have the chance to meet some of the artists and even catch a few of them at work during the evening’s celebration, too.

PHOTO: 2010 Public Works 3rd place winner Blue Zwartkop by Drota Quiroz


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