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Feature Articles

March 2011

Artspace in Raleigh, NC, Offers Works by Carolyn Nelson & Janelle Howington

Artspace in Raleigh, NC, is presenting several new exhibits including: Embedded, featuring works by Carolyn Nelson, on view in the Upfront Gallery from Mar. 4 - 26, with a reception on Mar. 4, from 6-10pm and Janelle Howington, the Artspace Regional Emerging Artist-in-Residence, in-residence in Studio 108 through July, 30, 2011.

In this series of textile collages by Carolyn Nelson, partially deconstructed clothing rises and escapes, receding into background like ghosts. The works are created from personal garments, many of which were made by her grandmother, embedded within layers of hand-dyed silk and a varied network of hand stitches. Nelson sees these works as a metaphor for the deeply embedded culture of her family.

"Each of these garments has had a life of its own - meticulously sewn, worn, washed, ironed, torn, mended, handed down, returned. Each has a story. Each contains memory, holds secrets," says Nelson. "I try to present dichotomies in the each piece - the facade and the interior life - with stitches that float across the surfaces or nail two opposing elements together."

Nelson is an obsessive stitcher, mother, traveler, and hoarder of scraps and thread. In 2002, she began working in shibori dye techniques and textile collage. Strongly influenced by a sense of place, light, color, energy, Nelson combines layers of transparent fabrics and handstitching to create the atmosphere and spirit of place in her work.

Nelson earned degrees in art and in design from UNC-Greensboro and NC State University School of Design. She has studied at Penland School of Crafts, and is a member of Piedmont Craftsmen and Artspace. Previously, Nelson taught art in public schools as well as design at three universities in NC. She has served as the director of design at Elon University for the past 25 years.

Artspace welcomes Janelle Howington as our new Regional Emerging Artist-in-Residence. Established in January 2000, the Regional Emerging Artist Residency is a program that provides emerging visual artists with time and space to explore their work in a supportive, thriving, artistic environment. The residency includes a private, rent-free studio with 24-hour access. Recipients are selected through a call to artists held twice a year.

Howington will work in Studio 108. While in residence, Howington will continue to explore the triangular relationship between herself, her loved ones, and the practice of making art, through paintings, drawings, and printmaking. Rooted in a skepticism of the mythologies of art, Howington investigates the ritual, habitual act of making within the context of contemporary portraiture.

A Raleigh native, Howington received a BFA from Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, and an MFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in conjunction with Tufts University, Boston, MA. Her work has been exhibited nationally.

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

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