I was one of the crowd at the Dogwood Festival. The thousands, at my last report more than 18,000 on Friday night, of people who thronged Festival Park got more than their money’s worth at the annual event.
As my family and I strolled through the park on Friday night, we saw people from all walks of life, with varying tastes in music, fashion and varying ideas of what they considered fun. The same can be said of the people who took the time, and put up the cold, hard cash to peruse the Andy Warhol exhibit. Each time I walked into the museum’s temporary home in the Festival Plaza building, I saw an array of different people looking at the art.
Some liked it, some didn’t.
     {mosimage}That’s okay. That’s what art is supposed to do. It’s supposed to challenge your perceptions, your ideas of what is and what can be. Warhol did that better than most during his career. My 8-year-old son had one word to describe the art: weird. We spent some time talking about it, and, in the end, although he didn’t truly understand the impact Warhol had on society as a whole, he was kind of digging it.
     The same conversations were being had about the location and the building which housed the art work. If you didn’t stop in, I’ll need to explain. The downstairs of the building has not been configured. It is pretty much a shell. No finished walls, no elaborate configurations. It’s just open space with a concrete floor. Like Warhol’s art, I think some people were having a hard time imagining the space, which looks more like a warehouse than anything else, as an art museum.
     But not Tom Grubb.
     Grubb, the director of the Fayetteville Museum of Art, was fairly walking on air throughout the weekend. If the doors were open, he and his staff were there. Having seen them in some pretty tense situations over the past year, it was a welcome change to see them almost giddy. In fact, I welcomed it.
     Grubb, who has been a friend to Up & Coming Weekly for a long time, was quick to ask me my thoughts on the space, on the exhibit, on the attendance. I had to give a thumbs up to all of his questions. Early on during the conversations surrounding the location of the museum, I asked Grubb why the museum didn’t move into that very facility. It was during a Fayetteville After Five, and Grubb noted that the building was too plain, and not in keeping with the unique look he and his board wanted for the museum.
     At the time, he was having a hard time seeing the possibilities. That doesn’t seem to be the case now.
As Tom and I walked through the building and spoke about the exhibit, he pointed out some of the building’s possibilities. He talked about ways to give it the unique appeal that the museum was looking for in a new museum. I have to say, the ideas he brought up and the impact they could have on the facility, and even the park itself, were intriguing.
     I finally had to ask, “So, Tom are you guys going to try and get this building?”
He smiled at me, with a gleam and his eye, and continued to talk about possibilities.
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