Sunday, December 13, 2009

Good Art in Raleigh

Shortly after relocating to North Carolina, about one year ago, I went out to experience my first Raleigh art walk (known as First Friday), which happened to fall on January 2nd 2009. What an unfortunate first impression this night left on me. Having come from Southern California, where there are almost too many Art Walks to choose from each month, Raleigh's art scene appeared a very ho-hum, dead scene. People must have been recovering from their festivities, because I now know this isn't the typical First Friday scenario. But on that blustery, night I happened to walk into the (then quiet) studios of 311 W. Martin St. It was there that I met an artist who gave me hope that Raleigh wasn't the cultural vacuum I had assumed.

Julie Niskanen has her studio at 311 W. Martin Studios, which houses many fine print makers and a few painters as well as hosts gallery exhibits in the front space. I immediately fell in love with the rich blacks of Julie's mezzotints as well as her seemingly simple compositions. I've been coveting one of her piece's in particular, since that night. And today my husband and I celebrated our twelfth anniversary by purchasing this piece. Please take the time to look through her website which includes installation shots and mixed media pieces as well as drawings and of course her beautiful prints.

Julie Niskanen, Sanctuary, mezzotint, 18" x 24"

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