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Feature Articles

October 2011

Artspace in Raleigh, NC, Offers Works by Eric McRay and Mary Ann Anderson

Artspace in Raleigh, NC, will present two new exhibits including: Purely Abstract, featuring works by Eric McRay, on view in the Lobby Gallery from Oct. 7 - 29, 2011 and Coming and Going, featuring works by Mary Ann Anderson, on view in the Upfront Gallery from Oct. 7 - 29, 2011. A reception for both exhibits will be held on Oct. 7, from 6-10pm.

In this body of work, Eric McRay has used non-objective abstraction in the tradition of the New York School of the 1940s and 1950s. His focus is on subjective emotional expression with a particular emphasis on spontaneous creative actions to create this body of work.

McRay received a BFA degree at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, where he earned a four-year scholarship for his artistic talent. He is an Artspace resident artist and currently serves as the Co-President of the Artspace Artists Association, as well as on the Artspace Board of Directors.
Some of McRay’s collectors include NCCU Art Museum, African-American Cultural Center – NCSU, American Tobacco Campus, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Duke Eye Center of Raleigh, Capitol Broadcasting, Duke University Medical Center, NC State University, SAS Institute, UNC - Chapel Hill, and Western Wake Hospital, as well as many private collectors locally, nationally and internationally.

Mary Ann Anderson views Artspace’s Upfront Gallery as a passageway for visitors through the art center. In this way, Anderson considers the gallery a metaphor for our coming and going through life. “This passage can inspire our contemplation of that fleeting moment that we experience as a lifetime.” Anderson’s biomorphic forms dwell in the passage. They are vessels for the life force which inhabits all living beings. Anderson’s exhibition is also informed by Eastern philosophy and Asian art. In this body of work, acrylic paint and graphite are applied to synthetic paper (Yupo).

Shades of black and gray are made by rubbing a stick of graphite on the paper with woodblock and linocut printing plates underneath. The surface is then permanently sealed by brushing acrylic varnish over the graphite, creating a patina. Anderson notes that the principle composition element is pattern, as she weaves rhythm and movement into her work.

Anderson has exhibited her work extensively at galleries in Illinois for 20 years before moving to Chapel Hill, NC in 2008. This year she presented solo exhibits in NC at The Arts Center in Carrboro and at the Durham Art Guild. Her art studies include classes at Ox-Bow, a program of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Penland School of Craft. Her university course work includes classes in art history and philosophy.

Artspace, a thriving visual art center located in downtown Raleigh, brings the creative process to life through inspiring and engaging education and community outreach programming, a dynamic environment of over 30 professional artists studios, and nationally acclaimed exhibitions. Approximately 95 artists hold professional memberships in the Artspace Artists Association. Thirty-five of these artists have studios located at Artspace. Artspace is located in Historic City Market in Raleigh at the corner of Blount and Davie Streets.

Artspace is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, the Raleigh Arts Commission, individuals, corporations, and private foundations.

For further info check our NC Institutional Gallery listings, call the center at 919/821-2787 or visit (


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