An Art Scene to Be Seen
Among the many attributes of diverse, open, and welcoming communities is their artistic nature, and Durham is no exception. Those who find a home here often do so because Durham is a place where self-expression is the norm. As such, it is something of a haven for the arts and artists of all kinds.
The arts are celebrated in Durham almost as a matter of routine. There are several monthly gatherings such as Third Friday at Golden Belt, the semi-annual Art Walk, and CenterFest, the longest-running outdoor culture and arts festival in North Carolina.
Aside from its landscape of adaptively re-used industrial buildings that beckon to artists, Durham is home to many arts amenities. From the world-class Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, to the Golden Belt arts complex with its large gallery space surrounded by dozens of artist studios, to more than 50 other galleries and studios county-wide, to many of Durham’s restaurants and public spaces that display art, Durham artists can create and display their work in a variety of settings.
Durham also delivers great art thanks to the public’s support. Part of the city’s Capital Improvement Plan budget is dedicated to public art, examples of which can be seen in Parrish Street’s historical markers and the statue of Dr. Shepard on campus at NCCU. Visitors should also see the sculptures in CCB Plaza in the heart of Downtown Durham, as well as displays in nearby Durham Central Park.
Local arts centers keep the core of Durham’s arts scene thriving. The Durham Arts Council serves more than 60 arts organizations and more than 600 artists through classes, exhibits, and more. Beloved sustainable arts center The Scrap Exchange promotes creativity through material re-use and environmental awareness. The DURTY Durham Arts Collective, The Carrack Modern Art, and Outsiders Art & Collectibles advance original artwork by non-traditional artists.
Photo Credit: Dr. J Caldwell, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University/DCVB