Summer can be a slow time in the arts, but we’ve still found a few things to recommend:
Where to go
Up for a quick day trip? The Diggs Gallery at Winston Salem State University (WSSU) just opened a new exhibition, “Origins: The Legacy of Winston Salem State University,” which celebrates more than 100 years of visual art at WSSU, as the university commemorates its 125th anniversary. Committed to preserving African American history and culture, the Diggs Gallery’s exhibition honors artists of the past. We hear there are some stellar works on view, including a large-scale (~38 x 98 in.) painting by John Biggers entitled “Jubilee: Ghana Harvest Festival,” on loan from the MFA Houston.
What to do
Don’t forget to buy your tickets for the upcoming annual Penland Benefit Auction, taking place Aug. 11-12 at Penland School of Crafts. The fun-filled gala weekend features the sale of more than 240 works in book arts, clay, drawing, glass, iron, letterpress, painting, photography, printmaking, textiles and wood. Over the years, this event has become one of the most important craft collecting events in the Southeast. Plus, it’s just a ton of fun to be in the mountains, taking in all of the amazing energy and creativity at this treasure of an organization. There’s also absentee bidding; signup instructions are at http://penland.org/support/absentee_bidding.html. This year’s featured artist is furniture designer, metalworker and former Penland resident artist Vivian Beer. (Look for a new work by the artist landing on Davidson College’s campus in the fall.)
Each week, Grace Cote, Lia Newman, and Kati Stegall offer Observer readers a to-do list on immersing yourself in visual arts around town. Newman is director/curator of the Van Every/Smith Galleries at Davidson College, Cote is senior coordinator at Jerald Melberg Gallery, Stegall is Art-in-Transit program administrator at the Charlotte Area Transit System, and they collaborate on the blog HappeningsCLT (happeningsCLT.com).
For a seasonlong visual arts calendar, go to: www.charlotteobserver.com/entertainment/arts-culture/article100517602.html.