Cape Fear Studios is the only visual arts cooperative in Fayetteville; as such, it already has deep roots in the local artistic community. The beautiful brick building houses a gallery, a retail area, seven studios for member artists and an open area for classes and meetings. And starting last year the cooperative annually opens its gallery walls to all artists in the community.
“The ‘Cabin Fever’ Public Exhibit is non-juried exhibit open to all; participants don’t have to be a member of Cape Fear Studios. The art can be of any type including fabric or quilts, which is unusual for us; something we normally don’t do,” Ann Griffin, the executive director, explained. It is an exhibit that brings a fresh perspective to all of the talent in the area.
To further engage the community, Cape Fear Studios often coordinates their exhibit openings with 4th Friday, and “Cabin Fever” is no different. Generally, exhibits open on a 4th Friday and remain open until the next one. Guests at the opening can snack on hors d’oeuvre and drinks, and often artists are available to chat with the public. This is especially true for solo exhibits featuring the work of a single artist. “The 4th Friday event … is like a regular exhibit opening reception. The only prize is a People’s Choice Award that people who come to the reception can vote on. They can also come the day before to vote,” Griffin said.
According to Griffin one of the most exciting aspects of hosting such an open exhibit is the element of surprise. There is no telling what may come in, but she has never been disappointed with what the community produces. “Last year was our first time doing the ‘Cabin Fever’ exhibit. I was very surprised by the quality. This town is amazing. Last year we had a wood carver bring in a 24-inch tall carving of a man with a cane and it was the coolest. You just look at these things and think ‘wow that really is hand-made.’ And the photographers in Fayetteville are really outstanding. I am always surprised by the quality of the work,” she said.
Though Griffin is not an artist herself, she is deeply passionate about her work and about the impact that art has on society as a whole. Art is part of what drives any culture. Technology is wonderful but what tells the story of the period is the art from people that lived at that time. “Many people don’t realize how important music and the arts are for any culture,” she said. “The artists bring more than their creations, they bring their energy. I love being part of that. “She asserts that it is art that differentiates early humans from just a collection of bones.
Cape Fear Studious is located at 148 Maxwell St. The exhibit opening and reception is free and open to the public. For more information visit www.capefearstudios.com or call 910.433.2986.