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Inter-Section Gallery creates its own space for performance art

by Keith Barber

Kate Magruder Lambeth has owned and operated Inter-Section Gallery in Winston-Salem Downtown Arts District since last summer. Magruder Lambeth said she named the gallery ‘Inter-section’ because it represents the merging of art forms and ideas. (photo by Keith T. Barber)

Kate Magruder Lambeth listened to her intuition when developing the performance space at Inter-Section Gallery and Winston-Salem’s Downtown Arts District gained a fantastic space for installation and performance art.

“When I found the building, I was really looking for studio space, but when I saw this building and it was a huge open area and I immediately thought, ‘Aha! A gallery, a workspace,’” Magruder Lambeth said.

But then she walked up the back staircase and discovered an ideal place for local artists to create a singular experience for arts patrons.

During the April 1 Gallery Hop, Magruder Lambeth introduced the public to Inter-Section Gallery’s upstairs performance space with a “prayerformance” piece by artists who painted their bodies to match the abstract art hanging on the walls and danced to musical accompaniment.

“It was a tantric dance number — there were three dancers and we had four or five musicians,” she said. “It was quite spectacular.”

As Gallery Hop patrons soaked up the experience, Winston-Salem’s latest performance-art space was born.

“There are many, many galleries in the Arts District but there’s not one that focuses on performance art, where somebody takes multimedia things, maybe film, two-dimensional arts, sculpture and acts, dances or sings with it so that it’s a whole event,” Magruder Lambeth said. “The whole concept has to do with three-dimensional space.”

Since a performance art piece is typically done two or three times, it lends itself to a monthly event like Gallery Hop, so Magruder Lambeth plans to bring in a different artist each month to create an installation work and performance piece.

Currently, Inter-Section is showcasing Pink and Blue, an installation art piece by UNC School of the Arts seniors Sarah Megyesy and Rachel Qualliotine. The exhibit, which touches on gender-bending, is composed of large photographs, some of which hang on wires and dangle a few feet above the ground. The piece also includes a short film directed by Megyesy and Qualliotine.

On June 3, performing artist and painter Michael Sheppard will unveil his installation piece and perform at Inter-Section Gallery during gallery hop. For Magruder Lambeth, her current endeavor was the next creative step in her artistic journey.

A native of Mississippi, Magruder Lambeth graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in the mid 1970s. While attending graduate school, she joined an avant-garde performing arts ensemble. In 1983, she moved to Winston-Salem, and shortly thereafter joined Artworks Gallery’s artist co-op. Almost immediately, Kate began enjoying the differences between the arts community in San Francisco and Winston- Salem.

“It’s dog eat dog out there [in San Francisco] — there’s an artist on every streetcorner and the competition is pretty stiff,” Magruder Lambeth said. “In Winston-Salem, there’s more room for emerging artists — not that the artists are any less here than there, there’s just fewer of them.”

Magruder Lambeth’s art decorates the interior of Inter-Section’s beautifully decorated walls. When a visitor first enters, the gallery, her triptych entitled “Crossing” adorns the right-hand wall.

“It’s an energetic expression of my father’s death,” she said. “With any abstract work, it’s all in the eyes of the beholder; you bring to it what you want it to be.”

“To me, it’s about crossing from one life to the next,” she continued.

“It’s also about pain, but it’s mostly about energy.”

Magruder Lambeth taps into a different kind of energy when creating her pottery pieces, which include handmade functional pottery she sells at the gallery. Still, her first love is experimental art, which is on full display at Inter-Section Gallery.

“I like socially-conscious art; I like installation art; I like anything with multimedia,” she said.

Magruder Lambeth is relishing the transition from artist to gallery owner because it affords her the opportunity to give emerging artists a chance to shine, and solidify Inter-Section Gallery’s unique station in the Winston-Salem art scene.

“If you want to show art, you can in Winston-Salem; there’s a niche for everybody,” she said. “I, for one, am interested in emerging artists. I’m not going to turn down somebody because they just started making art. There’s a great opportunity here.”

wanna go?

Inter-Section Gallery is located at 629 North Trade Street in the heart of Winston-Salem’s Downtown Arts District. For further info, call 336.837.1248 or visit: www.intersectiongallery.com.

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