First Friday/July 4th plans artful goodies

by Jim Dowell

A sure sign of summer in Greensboro is upon us! The long days, the scorching heat and oh, the humidity. It’s time for the artists to go on vacation.

The Heart of Living Gallery will be closed the entire week of July 4th this year. Also, the Winter Light Gallery will not be participating in First Friday for July. The huge Fun Fourth Celebration in downtown Greensboro will be in full swing on Friday with hot spots all over the city.

Marshall Art Gallery will have an opening reception on Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. A group show entitled Seasons will celebrate the diversity of the changing of the seasons and features Dawn Ashby, Jan Harris, Margaret Harrison, Lori Key, Tracey Marshall, Chuck McLachlan, Leigh Rodenbough and JoAnn Smith. A variety of mediums including oil, acrylic, watercolor, mosaic and collage will be on display through July 25. For classes, schedules, and other information visit

Artmongerz features a varied assortment of goodies for their part in the First Friday/July 4th bonanza. Emmett Williams and Kathy Eaton will be offering their wares outside the gallery in a street venue for the evening. There will also be live jazz artists accompanying Clement Mallory and an assorted group of area street poets. On the inside, the Mongerz welcome Glenn Mace from Mocksville with turned wood sculptures, and 3-D sculptures of the human form by TJ O’Connor. Frank Russell unveils crab, lobster, shark and flounder sculptures of found objects, and there is also a registry to win a piece of art from the gallery. See the associates for details when you visit, and as always, come early, stay late and have a good time while you’re there!

Lyndon Street Artworks offers their own in-house fireworks show prior to the grand spectacle that is the Grimsley tradition. Some of the assorted offerings include: Karen Dischell’s Summer Blue series; pottery demonstration on the lounge stage by Susan Ridenhour; new glass and cement works by the amazing Dai Rees; updates on paintings-in-progress by our favorite husband/wife team, the Ströms, Charlotte and Erik; maternity-inspired figurative paintings by Helen Palmenteri; and painted custom banners, Tibetan Prayer Flags and cool summer pants by Lida Witherspoon. LSA offers the largest contingent of working artists in the Triad, with over 40 local artists in their own studios. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; First Fridays each month from 6-9 p.m.; and an always intruiging, ever-changing inventory to choose from. Visit for more information.

We also bid a fond farewell to a local favorite. The Upstairs Gallery has closed officially as of June 30, after almost four years in the business. TUG was a pioneer in bringing other artists to Greensboro that were unheard of, or previously undiscovered. They are responsible for introducing us to Netop the painting shelter-dog from Wilmington (who sold 95 paintings in his opening reception); the timeless and fascinating works of the late Mamie Harmon, a woman ahead of her time whose works are in the Smithsonian now as well as private collectors from Greensboro; the show Miracles: A Celebration of Life that featured over 45 artists all of whom had overcome some form of adversity, or had been touched by someone who had, saw over 500 attendees of the reception and its subsequent run; and the discovery of local gem/devoted mom/national treasure-in-the-making Virginia Kassay. Virginia has been nominated, and is a finalist in the Energizer Hall of Fame Awards. A tireless, devoted mom, she is being rewarded for autism awareness and her burgeoning contributions to the world of the arts. If she wins, she receives a $10,000 prize as well as a donation to her charity of choice, Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, in the amount of $5000. To vote for Virginia in this national contest visit

TUG will be missed, and is the last gallery on the north side of town to close. Kudos to Mark Gillis, the founder, who is in the fight of his life with cancer, and has retired. I was lucky enough to be the curator of that venue, and will always cherish my memories of the ones we represented, and the ones we sold to as well. I have joined Prudential Carolinas Realtors as a member of the Jane McIntyre Team after obtaining my brokers license this spring. We thank you all for making our dream become your reality.

That does it for July! Hope your Fourth is wonderful, and that you all have a safe holiday.

Send any information on the arts in the triad to