By Jonathan Blackwell
The Triangle Area of North Carolina made a strong statement for the arts last night when the Young Friends of the Nasher Museum at Duke University invited their ranks to visit the Artist Studios at Goldenbelt. 300 guests, all Nasher Museum members at this private event, RSVP’d from Durham, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill.
The turnout last night more than tripled from the projected number of guests at the first event since artists moved in within the last week. Some spaces still had unprimed walls, some primed, and others with bold colors to contrast the white gallery walls and earthtone brick, wood, and concrete.
As I conversed with friends and artists, the hopes I had for Goldenbelt were clearly coming to life. This is a creative enterprise accepted by the Triangle as a new Art Meccca and worthy of international export. Many of the Goldenbelt artists, such as Warren Anthony Hicks with representation in Beijing, are already Goldenbelt art ambassadors, showing the world that Durham’s artists are in a unique position.
With an art scene that, regardless of the generations who have proven themselves here, seems so young and vibrant, the environment is ripe to take on the issues of our humanity, which I see as the true nature of artists. The Triangle of North Carolina, with its Universities, Scientific Research, BioFuel production, Solar Energy and Green Building stronghold, cradles and feeds its artist to represent the same everyday solutions in their art that are forged in laboratories and workshops all around us.
Goldenbelt will once again lead in manufacturing: the manufacturing of ideas, creative goods, and a synergistic fellowship that will stimulate all those who enter from all walks of life. As with any institution, buildings make it easier to assemble and unify. In the end, however, as Andy Rothschild of Scientific Properties stated, it’s the people that really matter. These people and this place will inspire many more events after last night, the first social success of the Artists Studios at Goldenbelt.