Sunday, June 5, 2011

An Artsy Weekend

We didn't do a lot of welcoming summer last weekend over Memorial Day, because we were so focused on finishing up our last projects, creating our electronic portfolio, and preparing for our Student Showcase. But by this weekend, we were ready to embrace summer with a passion.  But instead of the typical pool and BBQ celebration, we greeted the new season by taking advantage of some of the many free arts activities offered in the Triangle region over the summer.

Friday night, we visited First Friday among the downtown Raleigh galleries again.

As usual, our focus was my friend Donna Belt's studio, SpiritWorks.  This month, Donna has been inspired to create some wonderful paintings of angels and Mary Magdalene.
Angel painting by Donna Belt

Mary Magdalene painting by Donna Belt

We made several other wonderful discoveries at the Carter Building, home to about 80 different artists.  We were inspired by the uplifting collage cards by Debbie Crawford of Art&Soul.  And we found some beautiful drawings of one of my son's obscure favorites--cephalopods--by a terrific artist named Edward Richards....who we found out was homeschooled as a child!

This time, however, we even got really adventurous and took the FREE R line bus loop in downtown Raleigh to Artspace, another epicenter for Raleigh artists.  It was a beautiful night, and it just great for both the children and the adults to see and discuss contemporary art, not only among ourselves, but with the artists themselves.

Tonight we got to experience a different artistic format, namely music.  There is a local band called Milagro Saints that includes fathers from two of our homeschooling friends.  So tonight we went with the family of the bass player, Steve Samosky, to a FREE outdoor concert at Fletcher Park in Raleigh as part of the Raleigh Parks & Rec's 2011 Sunday in the Park concert series.   The band is FANTASTIC, the venue is lovely and not very crowded, with lots of places for the tweens or teens to hang out or play around in a safe area but away from their not-so-cool parental units.  We (but mostly my friend Sara) brought lots of delicious food to share and the cool front that came in with a threatened 50% chance of thunderstorms brought cooler weather and light breezes, but no rain.  So, really, we couldn't have had a nicer night.

If you live in the Triangle area, there are so many opportunities to see our local artists over the summer, many times for free.  It may be a little warm, and it may take a little effort, but we have so many talented artists that it is really worth your while to take advantage of these sorts of summer showcases.

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