Art rites of Spring

by Jim Dowell Jr.

A pre-spring greeting to all of you, and hoping everyone has survived the winter TV onslaught that has suddenly taken over the country. Usually we have nothing to watch and now, according to whom you ask, we have too much.Just last night at our house, we were consecutively taping ‘“Dancing With The Stars,’” ‘“Skating With Celebrities’” and the Olympics. And, oh my God, I didn’t have another VCR or I would have taped ‘“American Idol,’” but I’ll wait till the field is narrowed somewhat on that. Maybe another North Carolinian will win, hopefully from the Triad, and not bolt away for another city to call home. After all we do live in the ‘“dead’” Triad, right Fantasia? And what is next ‘…’”Jump for Jesus’” with Whitney Houston’… or ‘“Am I Straight’” with Richard Simmons? I am of the opinion that anything goes on TV now. What does my mother think of all this?

However, our great community is showing signs of life. Many classes, workshops, and even some concerts are emerging as we jump into Greensboro’s most beautiful season, spring! Two ArtChicks will open All That Jazz with oil and acrylic paintings by Emmett Williams and Floyd Newkirk on March 1. At the GIG First Friday ArtHop on March 3 there will be live jazz guitar by Jimmy Person and refreshments with a cash bar. The exhibit runs through April 1.

They will also offer three master workshops by Rugby, England oil painter John Lines. They will be March 9 -11, 14 – 16, and 29 – 31. Call for rates and registration deposit. On March 17 there will be a folk/jazz concert by Boston musician Teresa Storch and Greensboro’s own Bruce Piephoff. Admission will be $5 at the door, with refreshments and cash bar available.

At Lyndon Street Artworks artist Philip Lombardo will unveil Underlying Truth with 20 to 30 paintings on display. The Lyndon Street exhibition at The Upstairs Gallery has been extended through March 17.

Artmongerz offers a new showing of ‘“Fresh Art’” and a redone front. Two new mongerz have joined the group. Venezuelan artist Raphael Rodriguez offers colorful exotic florals, sublime landscapes and distinct abstracts. Surrealist Zack Distel brings on board some beautiful contemporary art. These will complement the already diverse group that is Artmongerz.

Marshall Art Gallery will be offering classes through the spring. Christine Seiler will teach watercolors on Wednesdays. Tracy Marshall will be teaching acrylics on Mondays. Dawn Ashby offers a trilogy of classes with floor cloth painting on April 15; mosaic art on April 29; and college canvas art on May 6. For pricing and other information call 336.545.8268.

Longtime Greensboro framer Susi Frate surprised everyone by getting married for Valentine’s Day. She and longtime companion/roommate Miguel Lopez Sanchez decided to make it official on Feb. 13. The benediction ceremony was on March 4. We wish them many years of happiness!

It’s time to say goodbye to another great Greensboro gallery. 2 Sisters will close their New Garden Road store at the end of the month. The property has been sold to a developer along with the 32 surrounding acres. They are taking a six-month sabbatical and will then see which direction they will go. So long Alexis Lavine and Anita Leonard and thanks for all you have done and accomplished.

The GIG First Fridays ArtHop meetings continue on a regular basis. The group is moving slowly but surely and several issues will be discussed at the meeting scheduled for March 8. Anyone is welcome to attend. Meetings are held currently at The Scene on South Elm at 7 p.m. Thanks to Lowell Bridger for letting the group use his space.

Hopefully we are moving forward into a wonderful spring. By my next column we will have a new ‘“Dancing With The Stars’” winner; we’ll be closer to a new ‘“American Idol,’” the Olympics will be over and we should by all accounts be totally bored with network TV. Get out and enjoy the weather, support the Friday ArtHops, and see the hidden gems located throughout Greensboro’s galleries. Talent is abundant here’… just take a look!

I’ll see you all in April.

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