Raleigh, N.C., artist and illustrator Linda Dallas draws inspiration from the kitchen, using color, texture and perspective to transform food into fine art. Visitors to her Blount St. gallery can feast their eyes on an array of large- and small-scale watercolors, participate in interactive workshops and meet the artist at studio events, such as First Friday.

“Food has this way of bringing together different points of view. If you have a conflict, one of the best ways to solve it is to sit down at the table together,” Dallas said. “That is what I want my artwork to do... bring people together.”

As a young graduate student at the North Carolina State University College of Design, Dallas worked part-time at a local natural food co-op where she carefully examined and arranged produce into neat stacks. She quickly became fascinated by the geometry, scale and proportion of these organic shapes, a mathematical precision she continues to bring into her art today.

“Creativity doesn’t just live in the arts,” Dallas explained. “Creativity lives in business. Creativity lives in science. That is what makes for a Smart City.”

She believes Raleigh is a great place to visit; it is a great place to learn new things and get inspired. “I always think of Raleigh as that blind date you didn’t think you would like, but you fall madly in love,” she says. “That is what this city is to me.”

“There are so many generous, smart, passionate people here,” said Dallas, who is also a visual arts professor at Saint Augustine’s University. “We not only want to come up with good ideas and be successful. We want you to come up with good ideas and be successful.” 

“I love to share what I know and love what I do,” said Dallas. “For me, it is about showing my gratitude for the support that I’ve received from others by giving back. If we love the arts, it is our responsibility to share that love and passion so the next generation can embrace it.”

Learn about more of Raleigh's passionate minds here.

Did you know it's 31 Days of Art in Raleigh? It's an Oct. calendar filled with all things artful—shows, exhibits, performances, festivals in Raleigh.

Check the calendar and plan an enriching weekend getaway here.