The Red Dog Gallery

by Brian Crean

Every month I spend a few days exploring the galleries on Trade Street in Winston and Elm Street in Greensboro. It usually takes a few hours to cruise each town’s arts district and figure out what to write about for this column.

Sometimes I have to search around and stress for a while before I come across a show that really catches my eye. And other times, something jumps out at me and makes the topic for the column come together pretty quickly. Thankfully, that’s what happened this month. After parking my motorcycle on Trade Street and walking past this little private mysterious gallery that never seems to be opened, I spotted something totally new and totally unexpected.

Beneath a sign depicting a red dog wearing sunglasses, a brand new gallery seems to have emerged from the sawdust left behind by an old custom woodworking shop. Located on the same block as Finnigan’s Wake and Golden Flower Tai Chi Center, the aptly named Red Dog Gallery is the latest brainchild of the local group Art for Art’s Sake.

Formed and officially established as a non-profit in 2007, AFAS currently has 25 members and has been organizing the incredibly successful Arts on Sunday Festival every May and October on Trade Street. In case you missed it, during the last four Sundays AFAS brought together more than 160 vendors who lined the streets with arts and crafts for sale. Showcasing the work of artists, musicians and students, the festival draws a wide array of creative personalities to the streets of Winston- Salem every year.

With the AFAS headquarters just around the corner on 6 th Street, the Red Dog Gallery will give the group a more public presence year round. And, when I walked into the gallery and took in the atmosphere, I think it’s safe to say that their presence will be an impressive one as well.

Harry Knabb, the Chairman of AFAS, just happened to be sitting behind a nice new black desk in the back of the gallery when I poked my head inside. And after I asked him about the vision of the gallery, he explained that the space will house mostly work by the group’s more established artists. He noted the professionalism and vision of galleries like 5ive & 40rty and the Piedmont Craftsman Gallery, and from what I could tell, the space will essentially be a hybrid of the two. With clean white walls, excellent lighting and several glass cases for smaller 3-D pieces, I look forward to seeing the gallery after it has been filled with art. And although the grand opening isn’t scheduled until Nov. 18, Mr. Knabb assured me that the doors will be open this Friday evening, so curious gallery crawlers can see the space and ask whatever questions may come to mind.

And I’m sure, like myself, they’ll be looking forward to seeing AFAS fulfill its worthwhile mission: “To build, educate and celebrate community through art.”

wanna go?

First Friday Art Hops happen the first Friday of each month in Greensboro along Elm Street and in Winston- Salem emanating from the corner of 6 th and Trade streets.