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Fourth Friday Gallery Nights 
1/27, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. • Free
Multiple galleries, downtown ILM
Fourth Friday Gallery Nights have become a cultural staple in the port city. Exposing Wilmingtonians to the creative ingénue of our local artists, two new exhibits at WHQR and the Hannah Block Historic USO/ Community Arts Center are opening on January 27th to shed the limelight on the innovation of contemporary art and of emerging local artists. Art functions as a reflection of the self: Artists take aspects of society, reinterpret them and force us to examine our actions and consumption habits.
“Known and Emerging Artists”
Historic USO Building • 120 S. 2nd St. 
The Thalian Association who manages the HBHUSO/CAC is exhibiting the work of eight emerging local artists. The featured artists work with a variety of media. Melanie Walter creates embellished pine-needle baskets. Barbara Bear Jamison presents oil on canvas. Jenny McKinnon Wright is a plein-air oil painter. Ryan Lewis creates mixed-media abstract paintings. Da Pascua shares photographic documentation of international travel. Lynette Ashby’s green jewelry utilizes recycled aluminum. Ronald Williams portrays his memories of growing up in Wilmington through his use of water colors. Also included in the exhibition—yet far from a new artist, rather a re-emerging one—is Ivey Hayes. Although a local artistic legend, Hayes is known for his use of vibrant, bold colors and unique shapes and will exhibit new works.

Organized after the Thalian Association issued a call for artists and received diverse submissions, the committee chose eight applicants who were at different stages in their career. Susan Habas, managing director of the Thalian Association, says, “The exhibit is to nurture visual artists and showcase their work in our community arts center.” 
Housing the future of Wilmington’s contemporary art scene is extremely symbolic. “The HBHUSO/CAC [building] is a home for all artistic disciplines,” she continues. “The USO/Community Arts Center represents [the] past and future cultural growth in Wilmington.” 

The Thalian Association, which is sponsoring the exhibition, is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping our rich Cape Fear region grow even more vibrant from the arts. Additionally, the association professionally manages the Hannah Block Historic USO/ Community Arts Center, so they’re dedicated to providing a permanent home for performance and visual art groups.

“This exhibition will provide something to interest all Wilmingtonians,” Habas says, “and showcase the creative brilliance of local artists who draw inspiration from our shared experience in Wilmington.” 

The HBHUSO/CAC will host an opening reception on Friday, January 27th, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., catered by Front Street Brewery and a wine tasting provided by Choice Specialty Wines. The entrance is free, and the show will run through March 23rd. 
WHQR M.C. Erny Gallery
254 N. Front Street
UNFORTUNATE UMBRELLAS: A project that started in November 2009 when Lynn Casper witnessed and documented her first unfortunate umbrella continues its display in “iPhoneography” at WHQR this Friday. Photo by Lynn CasperThe M.C. Erny Gallery at WHQR will be opening a new exhibition entitled “Out of the Pocket: iPhoneography” by Lynn Casper, Dorian Hill and Morgan Kenney. A study from an Ivy League medical school released earlier in the year reports that when people look at their cell phones, the brain emits the same neurons released when looking at someone you love. 

Although, society has developed an incestuous relationship with their phones, the gadgets have provided us with an instantaneous access to every facet of life. Technological advancements provide us with ways to connect and capture life as we have never done before.

Last year, WHQR put out a call for art submissions in response to our current technological obsession. A commonality emerged between Lynn Casper, Dorian Hill and Morgan Kenny: Their photography was captured on their iPhones. And so the show was born. Lynn Casper, a social media strategist, began taking photos of discarded umbrellas. Her series, entitled “Unfortunate Umbrellas,” portrays tragic beauty in their disregard. 
“Umbrellas represent something that is supposed to protect us,” Casper says. “When I see an abandoned umbrella, I relate it to seeing a part of something that someone no longer wants or needs. I think it speaks a lot about how people behave in society.” 

Though our phones seem to have facilitated the demise of physical communication, they provide us an outlet to instantaneously capture the demise of society. Irony at its finest. 
This is probably the first iPhone-only group photo exhibition Wilmington has seen. A direct assessment and testament to our evolution, the artists also exhibit the beauty and artistry of everyday life our phones can convey. All three artists emerge from diverse backgrounds but have turned to their iPhones to instantly and expertly capture the world around them. 

“Out of Pocket: iPhonography” is free and open to the public on the 27th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Guests are invited to meet artists and the WHQR staff and enjoy food and wine. Any proceeds from art sales will benefit WHQR and will remain on display until March 9th the gallery is located on the third floor of the Warwick Building, downtown.

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Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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