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Art galleries connect artists and community at 2nd Friday Art Walk

Gallery attendants admire a new art exhibit during the Second Friday Reception at FRANK Gallery in Carrboro, North Carolina, on Sept. 8, 2023. Frank Gallery is one of seven galleries participating in the 2nd Friday Art Walk in downtown Carrboro and Chapel Hill.

The Carrboro and Chapel Hill art communities come alive on the second Friday of every month through November for their 2nd Friday Art Walk.

Visitors can easily walk between various art galleries and studios, with different exhibitions and showings taking place from 6 to 9 p.m., often past normal business hours. Attendees are also encouraged to explore restaurants and shops along the way.

Last Friday's event featured a long list of participating galleries, including the FRANK Gallery, The ArtsCenter, the North Carolina Crafts Gallery, the Ackland Art Museum and more. 

An attendee at last Friday's Art Walk, Alison Cody, said she wanted to participate in order to meet artists and get to know the art community in Carrboro, where she recently moved.

“It gives artists a great opportunity to get together and see each other’s work and be inspired and socialize,” Cody said. 

During the Art Walk, artists mix and mingle with their audiences in many of the participating galleries. 

At the FRANK Gallery, several artists were in attendance for a new exhibit featuring various mediums, which provided an opportunity for viewers to discuss the work with the artists themselves.

Featuring art in mediums such as textiles, glasswork, porcelain and paintings, the FRANK Gallery put art on display and up for sale to attendees.

Steve Orton, an attendee of the FRANK Gallery event and Carrboro resident, said that the event felt more like a conversation with the artist.

Artist presence at the galleries during the Art Walk helps to bridge the gap between viewer and creator.

“That’s the cool thing about this place, when you walk in, there’s artists at the desk,” Orton said. “And they show you whatever, and then they show you their stuff and then they take you in the back. It’s great.”

Natalie Knox, gallery manager at the FRANK Gallery, said that they try to keep their openings in line with the 2nd Friday schedule.

“It’s just fun to be able to get the opportunity for people to come here,” Knox said. “Maybe they work normal hours, like 9-to-5, and they can’t make it to the gallery, so having this be a spot that people can come in.”

Another gallery, The ArtsCenter, used the 2nd Friday Art Walk to highlight local Latino talent with their “De Colores” exhibition, featuring the work of artists Fabrizio Bianchi, Itala Flores, Anthony L. Garza, Natalia Lopez and Erik Valera. The artists hosted a panel discussion about their work during Friday’s walk.

The exhibit showcased art through various mediums, such as dresses, paintings and photographs. 

Bianchi said that the exhibition was a great way for all the artists to present their work in a way that flowed together collaboratively.

The Art Walk benefits more than just the art community, he said. 

“You’re not just going to the art shows — then you say, ‘Oh, wait, that looks like a cool restaurant or a bar, or whatever,’” Bianchi said. “You’re adding to it, and you’re adding the interest or the potential. You’re benefiting other businesses.”

The Art Walk has new artists, exhibitions and performances every month. Community members can engage with the galleries again during the next event on Oct. 13.


@dthlifestyle |

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