Roses, succulents, calla lilies and more will take on a new level of sophistication as the Ellington-White Contemporary Art Gallery showcases more than 60 juried works with the 2nd Annual Art and Flower Exhibition at the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County beginning this 4th Friday. This intrinsic showcase will pair original artworks along with unique floral arrangements created by local area floral designers and event planners.

“Works will include paintings, drawings, collages and photography,” said Dwight Smith, artist and founder of the Ellington-White Contemporary Art Gallery. “This is a beautiful exhibition from all over the country. Such an exhibition demonstrates the continued significance of botanical art through both conventional and innovative methods.”

The Ellington-White Contemporary Art Gallery began in Michigan as a project for two friends, Smith and Calvin Mims. The agency moved to Fayetteville in 2007, after ten years of cultural programming in Detroit, beginning first working with CommuniCare, Inc. The organization then moved to provide high quality after-school arts education to special needs youth through its “Discovering The Arts Program” taught by professional artists on the campus of Fayetteville State University and its Valley Gate offices. The programs provide a productive, structured and safe learning environment for under-served youth in Cumberland County during the after school, Saturday and summer vacation time. 

“Research has shown a direct correlation between increased academic performance and decreased at-risk behaviors, increased self-esteem and increased problem-solving skills when young people participate in art, music, dance, theatre and creative writing programs,” said Smith. “By using visual and performance arts as a catalyst, we keep our participants engaged and active, help them to improve their academic performance and interpersonal skills and provide life experiences that will hopefully help keep them out of the juvenile justice system and point them towards becoming valued community members.”

The exhibition will open to the general public at the Arts Council at 301 Hay Street from Friday, Apr. 22 during downtown’s 4th Friday celebration from 7 to 9 p.m.  and will hang through Saturday, May 21 during regular Arts Council hours. A gala reception is set for Thursday, Apr. 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. for members and invited guests of Ellington-White and the Arts Council. All art work will be for sale.

Artists have been selected from all over the country. Image selection jurors were professors Shane Booth, Soni Martin and Dwight Smith from the Department of Performing and Fine Arts at Fayetteville State University.The floral arrangements were juried by the Garden Club Council of Fayetteville. 

The Ellington-White Contemporary Gallery located at 113 Gillespie St., is an art gallery for emerging and professional artists, presenting a yearly exhibition schedule of national and local artists, national touring exhibitions and curatorial research projects in the visual arts and the humanities. Visit www.ellington-white.com for a complete listing of programs, events and activities.

For more information on the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County, visit, www.theartscouncil.com. Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.


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