CVA throws 2 parties to celebrate local art
Greensboro’s second-annual Holiday Showcase is mixing things up this year for the Center for Visual Artists’ year-end fundraiser. Everyone is invited to this free exhibition that includes two parties from 6-9 p.m. on Nov. 21 for the preview party and again that First Friday, Dec. 6. The show and sale will be up from Nov. 19-Dec. 31, except during its holiday closings on Nov.28-29 and Dec. 23-27.
CVA gallery director Devon McKnight said that they are doing things a little differently this year in the ongoing efforts to support local artists and raise funding. She said that for the preview party, they are creating good vibes by working with soft, low lighting for the overall gallery. She said the light will be illuminating the works instead of everyone’s faces to make it more comfortable to socialize. This exhibit will have more room to appreciate the pieces shown, meet the artists and shop locally for holiday gifts, while talking art and enjoying food and beverages. Their silent auction on this night will feature the work of artists in the show who have donated about 10-15 pieces to support CVA’s fundraiser. Visitors can take pictures in the photo booth and have the opportunity to pull quick prints of an image they get to paint themselves from CVA’s printing press.
McKnight said that they want to make it more casual for everyone by creating a low-chill atmosphere that feels like more of a lounge. She said she enjoys creating a custom Spotify playlist for each event.
“I feel like if you sit with the art, you vibe with it more,” McKnight said. “We are trying to create more of a connection.”
On the first Friday, Dec. 6, they will be serving warm seasonal drinks, and some of the artists will be doing demos to show their techniques, according to McKnight, who said they would also have cool crafts for the kids to make and take home.
McKnight said there would be 40 artists selling their fine art paintings, photography, pottery, ceramic sculptures, jewelry, soaps, bags, greeting cards and more.
One new artist, Marlowe Lowe of Morpho Design, uses her jewelry of pressed flowers and moths between glass to promote the protection of wildflowers and pollinators and uses part of the sales of her work to buy seeds to replant wildflowers.
Linda Spitsen paints very large wildflowers, and McKnight said her work just blew them away when they first saw it. She said she could not emphasize how colorful Spitsen’s paintings are and how they just make you happy.
Brett McDonough of Wild Rumpus Ceramic Arts will be there with his well-known creature-adorned vessels.
Returning to CVA is Caitlyn Whisenant of Greensboro. McKnight said Whisenant has “really amazing resin jewelry and mobiles everyone loved last year,” adding that Whisenant may have been their top seller.
Beth Shaffer of Greensboro makes metal robots out of old coffee pots, wind chimes from forks and spoons and yard displays that McKnight said are done most intriguingly.
In a separate exhibit, David Wasserboehr, O’Henry Magazine’s recently featured artist, will show his photos as part of CVA’s outreach program. According to McKnight, they collaborate with the magazine, which gives them a poster-size print of the artist’s story for each exhibit.
CVA, like all nonprofits, always needs volunteers. McKnight said they also reach out to their showcase artists and ask them to promote the event and volunteer at least three hours. They can also donate a bottle of wine or snacks for the two events, or even donate a piece of their work for the silent auction.
“With the winter shows and the holiday season, people are spending more money,” McKnight said. “We, as a community art space, are promoting buying local art. If you want your community to be vibrant and cultured, support your local artists, so they don’t move away. Conversations have been made to hopefully meet all needs of the spectrum. Artists are hungry and want to make money, so they tell us they are creating all sorts of things to sell for the holidays.”
CVA provides studio workspaces and exhibition opportunities for local artists, educational classes opportunities for children and adults, summer art camps, and outreach programs in local schools. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Cultural Arts Center between the African-American Atelier and the Native American Gallery, and across the hall from Green Hill Gallery.
Nov. 19 – Dec. 31, CVA Holiday Showcase. Nov. 21, from 6-9 p.m. is the preview party. Dec. 6, 6-9 p.m. is the First Friday party. Building is closed for holidays from Nov. 28-29 and Dec. 23-27. CVA is located at 200 N. Davie St. in Greensboro, (336) 333-7475, http://www.greensboroart.org/.