Jim Dowell returns from a spring interlude with lots of art

by Jim Dowell

Greetings to you all. The last time I saw you was in April. What a spring we had! I had a wonderful mini vacation during the month of May which gave me time to catch up on my own personal “favorite things”: couch potato sessions, reading and seeing movies – in a theater. On the subject of the first, I watched along with the rest of the country, the annual “American Idol” finale. In my opinion, and only mine, I thought it was a very interesting season, and the contestants for the most part were more talented than usual. I was disappointed with the winner, but 12 million hormonal girls and rock fans seemed to win the game. However, if all 17-year-olds were as grounded as David Archuleta, I think we wouldn’t have to worry quite as much about our youth. I am not going to worry about either David… seems they both will have very good lives ahead of them. Hats off to both.

On the subject of the second: Barbara Walters’ Audtion is a fascinating read. This almost 80-year-old icon – yes she is that old – seems to know everyone, everything, and all the reasons why. The only person I think she didn’t know or meet seems to be Marilyn Monroe, and I don’t know why she didn’t encounter her. Not your typical autobiography, it is very factual, and easy to read.

On the third subject: Sex And The City, the Movie is fabulous! The cast is right back on top of their game, and the only thing that marred my experience was the apparantly half-asleep staff manning the helm at the Brassfield Cinemas. On opening day, you don’t let your sound waver in and out sounding like outtakes from “The Twilight Zone”, and you don’t flub up your reels when interchanging and leave the audience with half a visual for five minutes in a crucial storyline. I would suggest viewing it at a theater with great sound and comfy seats, and just relish in the four actresses who only get better with time and age. Girlie pic maybe/great time definitely.

Now onto “Art In The City”…..

Occasionally, we stumble upon an artist who is so real, so honest and so unaffected by Greensboro politics, so-called arts patrons, and air-kissy galleries that if we’re not careful he will either move away to a more appreciative city or venue, or become so disenchanted that he’ll quit the business altogether. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, artists who leave will return when they are stronger, better and on top of their game.

It is my sincere hope that the latter is what will happen to Emmett Williams. His Elm Street studio closed on May 31 with little fanfare, but with lots of hope that his return will be sooner than later, and that he will have his own space when he does.

Williams is a brilliant aritist, an extremely intelligent man and a wonderful friend to this arts community. He is currently represented by several local galleries, a fact I feel needs to be pointed out, as one gallery is not usually sufficient enough to support an artist in this area due to the fact that one gallery cannot possibly supply enough collectors in any genre to allow these folks to make a decent living. The arts community is so divided here that person one doesn’t frequent or support gallery two, and so on, and so each artist has to stretch themselves all over the city to just make ends meet. Williams, however, is comfortable and saleable in all the areas. His collectors are diverse, and will follow their man and support him wherever he may be.

Williams was born in 1963, and began studying art design at age 11. His love for the arts, musicians and jazz music has been a huge influence for his works. He has been honored in a show at the Greenville Museum of Art and received the Marie Fredenburg-Torsani Memorial Award for studio art presented by Joan Mondale. He is versatile, vibrant and expressive in his works, and knows no strangers in his paintings, yet he may expose his subjects much more than even they may imagine.

Williams has shown and sold in Greensboro since 2002, and has also had sales and interest in NYC, and at the High Point Furniture Market. His newest project is producing giclee prints of his “Blues Guitarist” in limited 16-by-20 numbered prints for $100. To purchase one, or for more information on Emmett or his inventory available for purchase, call 336.457.7238. He can also tell you where his works are currently displayed.

A new face has popped up on the Elm Street scene since my last column. Yew Tree Gallery at 524 S. Elm St., offers 18 NC artists and participates in First Friday openings this week. The current roster includes Jane Averill, Frances Baker, Sue Boggs, Sterling Edwards, Dianne Ellis, Maggie Fickett, Judy Glazier, Jan Greene, Ann Hooker, Ann Kiefaber, Sally Lembrecht, Alexis Lavine, Jo Leeds, Chuck McLachlan, Richard Phillips, Barbara Rohde, Helen Shaw and Carol Willis. Join them all Friday from 6- to 9 p.m. Information is available at 336.275.9844.

Our friends at Lyndon Street Artworks also have an opening slated for First Friday. Psychedelic abstracts from Angela Jamison, metal sculpture and paintings from Scott Harris, land- and seascapes from Anne Marie Davis, metal creatures from Trace O’Connor, etched glass works from Lori Bushell and mesmerizing works from Charlotte and Erik Ström are some of the delights found on this ArtStop Friday. The Ströms will also offer live demonstration painting on the stage in the lounge. Over 40 unique and talented artists operate on Lyndon Street. Check out this group for one of the best openings, guaranteed.

Winter Light Gallery and Studios features the works of Carol Sams in oil and watercolors for First Friday. This group offers 13 artists located in a historic house at 410 Blandwood St. Information is available at This reception is also from 6 to 9 p.m.

This is about all the space I am allowed for a month! Please support the three featured galleries for our monthly First Friday ArtStop. And also remember that a lot of our artists are supported only by their sales.

Hats off to the Class of 2008, and also to the most important men in our lives, our fathers, in June. Enjoy your summer.

I will see you again in a month. Please send any information concerning the arts community of the Triad to