New space is fresh canvas for arts council

Feb. 23, 2013 @ 11:34 PM

It’s a time for artistic growth for the Hillsborough Arts Council.

Oh, and maybe a little elbow room.

They’re getting closer and closer to completing a move from the space they occupied for about two years.

Last week, the Herald’s Cliff Bellamy got a peek inside the council’s new space at 102 N. Churton St.

They’ve gone out of their way to give the studio a real Hillsborough feel, with exposed brick and rustic wooden floors. A sense of the nostalgic infused with modern energy and enthusiasm.

The arts council even enlisted talented young carpenters from Cedar Ridge High School to build display cases and bookshelves for the space. Putting their fingerprints on a project like this should give them a real sense of pride.

“We feel that [the space] looks like it should,” said Gail Cooley, co-chair of the arts council.

But the improvements go beyond cosmetic: the space is larger and more flexible than the old edifice, and should provide opportunities for the nonprofit group to reach more in the community.

“The location’s more accessible to the community,” said Neil Stutzer, who serves on the council’s board of directors. “It’s a more flexible space for the artists.”

The arts council can hold classes and move walls to accommodate different exhibit configurations.

They’ll also have a shop where they can sell hand-made items crafted by local and regional artists. We hope that will help support the artists and the arts council, which is an all-volunteer operation (save for the paid, part-time bookkeeper).

On Friday, the arts council opened the doors for the general public to get a look inside, including a preview of Maxine Mintz Pottier’s paintings on exhibit.

In mid-March, visitors should be able to stop by for a glimpse as the space continues to evolve.

By April 26, council leaders say, it should be ready for a grand opening.

We’re looking forward to it.