Hillsborough Arts Council moving

New space to include shop, classes
Feb. 19, 2013 @ 03:45 PM

Gail Cooley and Neil Stutzer point out some of the renovations under way in what will soon be the Hillsborough Arts Council’s new space at 102 N. Churton St. The ceiling has been painted, new lighting is scheduled to be installed, and the floors have been sanded to give the space a rustic look. Tuesday, Cooley and Stutzer were waiting for the “cable buy” to help with Internet access.
But the infrastructure is just a means to an end. “The location’s more accessible to the community. It’s a more flexible space for the artists,” said Stutzer, a member of the arts council’s board of directors. More important, the new space will allow the nonprofit arts group to reach out to the community at large, and to the larger community of artists, Stutzer said.
Friday, the arts council, as part of the opening of the 2013 season of Last Friday events, will allow visitors to get a sneak peek at the new space. Visitors also will get a preview of some of Maxine Mintz Pottier’s paintings, which will be in a forthcoming show at the new space. The arts council will hold a grand opening April 26, but in mid-March visitors will be able to drop by the space and see the new space taking shape, Cooley said.
For two years, the arts council has been at 220-B S. Churton St. The council has signed a three-year lease with the owners of the new building, who run a law office next door.
Except for a paid, part-time bookkeeper, the Hillsborough Arts Council is all-volunteer, Cooley said. Cooley and Tinka Jordy are co-chairs of the arts council. Programs the organization sponsors include a rotating exhibit, the annual Handmade Parade, a jazz festival, the Sculpture Tour, the Arts and Crafts show, and other events.
Those events will remain, but the space will allow the council to add some new programs. The new space will have a shop of hand-made items for sale, all creations of regional and local artists. The December “Hearth and Home” event inspired the idea of the shop, Cooley said. Stutzer, who has been doing a lot of the carpentry and overseeing the renovation work, also sees potential for expanding the council’s parlor concert series – now held in private homes and other small spaces – to the new space.
The new space also will accommodate classes, Cooley and Stutzer said. Moveable walls will allow for different kinds of exhibit configurations, and allow artists who may want to teach classes to have a closed space, Stutzer said. “The idea is to make it as flexible a space as we can,” he said.
Cedar Ridge High School’s woodworking class will be making display cases and book shelves for the space.
The arts council has made efforts to have the new space look like Hillsborough, Stutzer said. They have left the brick walls exposed. A portion of the wood floor was painted, and the arts council at first wanted to stain the floors, Cooley said. Instead, they chose to sand the painted portion of the floor to give the entire floor a rustic look. “We feel that it looks like it should,” she said.
Stutzer is “glad I’m here during this period of growth. It’s exciting.”
Adds Cooley, “Everyone’s energized.”

Go and Do
WHAT: Last Friday Art Walk and “sneak peek” at the Hillsborough Arts Council’s new location
WHEN: Friday, 6 to 9 p.m.
WHERE: 102 N. Churton St., Hillsborough
ADMISSION: Free