Originally Raleigh: Art
Friday, October 11, 2019, 3pm by Karen DeSollar
I consider myself something of an art aficionado. Before I moved to Raleigh in 2005, I worked on a college campus and was good friends with some of the art faculty there, and they taught me how to think more deeply about art. For example, sometimes a piece of art carries deep and nuanced meaning and is more than simply how it looks. Sometimes it is not intended to convey a deeper meaning at all and it is to be taken for what you see. There are also instances where my perception of a piece assigns meaning that the artist never intended. And you might see something completely different in a piece than I do. That what makes art so intriguing.
If you have been in the GRCVB offices in the last few weeks, you might have noticed that much of the office space was renovated over the summer. It’s now more contemporary and minimalistic and a better match of the destination brand visual identity and of Raleigh, N.C., itself.
When it came time to add the finishing touches, the accessories and art into the space, we turned to one of our hospitality partners, Imurj, a collaborative space for emerging visual artists, performing artists and fans in downtown Raleigh's Fayetteville Street district. If you’re not familiar with Imurj, you need to be, because they have a lot going on; check out their website here.
One of the many programs that Imurj facilitates is called the Extension Gallery Program, which makes it easy for local businesses to exhibit original art from local artists.
Bethany Studnicky is director of arts and exhibitions at Imurj. “The Imurj white-glove approach provides hassle-free art installations for all kinds of local businesses. We handle all of the exhibit logistics including sourcing, transporting and hanging the art. When a business becomes an Imurj Extension Gallery, they are supporting the area’s best visual artists, and as a result, there’s more art for everyone.” The program allows businesses to switch out artwork on whatever timeline they wish for a nominal fee (and it truly is nominal). For the first exhibition in our space, Bethany and her team recommended local artist Kevin Bass. Kevin lives in Raleigh and attended Appalachian State University, where he majored in graphic design and studied fine art. Kevin incorporates natural materials such as beach sand, mica and pumice into his work, giving it a rich texture and shimmer. Other materials like paper, old canvas, marker, spray paint and acrylic can be found in his other pieces.
There are two of Kevin’s pieces on display in the lobby of GRCVB’s 15th-floor office and another two inside our Marketing and Communications office on the second floor. (All of them are available for purchase, if you’re interested.)
We are on a quarterly schedule with Imurj so we will switch these pieces sometime in December.
Just as a point of information, Imurj has nine 4-by-8-foot panels, all created by Raleigh and North Carolina street artists. “They are pretty lightweight and can be prepared for a variety of hanging mechanisms,” Bethany said. “We don’t need to use them again until Sept. of 2020. We would love to see some or all of them go up in a community space or local business.”
If you are looking for original art, something truly unique and born in this area, please contact Bethany Studnicky at Imurj at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 919.825.1515, ext. 708.
As for us, there’s something about having original art around that makes our space feel sophisticated. And it’s a great reflection of our destination brand—passionate-minded people who are always creating and innovating. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by and take a look for yourself!
Author: Karen DeSollar
Karen DeSollar is creative director at the Greater Raleigh CVB and has worked for over 10 years in the tourism sector. She started her career as an editor and earned a bachelor's degree in speech communications and English and a master's in journalism. She added graphic design to her bag of tricks when she spent 13 years as director of communications at a university in San Diego.